I’ve posted before about my creamy homemade body lotion and I love that recipe with its cocoa butter and coconut oil. The lotion bar recipe is also a winner. However, there’s nothing quite like a homemade lotion made with shea butter. It’s the way it glides across the skin, or perhaps it’s the gorgeous aromas of essential oils that do it for me…
These are the reasons I keep a bottle of this magical formula topped up as often as I can. And you can too, with my fabulous lotion recipe!
The main thing that differentiates a lotion from other diy body creams is it’s high water content. This means a lotion should be relatively thin in consistency, and will be absorbed by the skin very quickly. While a lotion is good for pretty much any skin types, it’s especially good for normal or slightly dry skin.
Besides our wonderful method, today we’ll also be discussing the importance of a preservative for beauty products with high water content, as well as the importance of storing it correctly. We’ll also discuss great ways to gift this gorgeous DIY shea butter lotion.
Supplies Needed To Make Your Own Lotion
- 73g Water (boiled tap water is fine)
- 2g Vegetable glycerine
- 5g Shea butter
- 14g Sunflower oil
- 6g Emulsifying wax NF (or polawax, emulsimulse/ritamulse, or BTMS-50 make good substitutes)
- 10 Drops Rosewood essential oil
- 6 Drops Lavendar essential oIl
- Broad spectrum preservative (optional)
- 2 pyrex or heat proof jugs/beakers
- Digital Scales
- Milk Frother
- A container to store your product
Notes on measurements
- When measuring your ingredients, make sure you use a scale. Volume measurements, such as teaspoons, tablespoons and cups are not suitable for such small quantities, and you’ll never know exactly how much you’re actually using.
- For preservative measurements, always consult the instructions that come in the box or on the label.
Notes on preservative
- While using a preservative is quite important for this recipe, you can make do without. When adding water to any kind of health and beauty product, bacteria is always going to be a problem. You’re giving it everything it needs to grow, which is where preservative comes in.
- If you really, really don’t want to use one (and I strongly recommend you do), make sure you use it for a maximum of 2 weeks and religiously store it in the fridge. Using it beyond this date could result in your applying huge quantities of unwanted bacteria onto your skin and can cause a myriad of health problems. For this reason, you may want to make smaller quantities to avoid waste.
How to Make My DIY Lotion
Step 1: Boil your water and then pour it into a pyrex or heatproof beaker/jug. Add your vegetable glycerine and then put to one side. This is our ‘water part’. Providing it’s safe to drink, ordinary tap water is fine to use because boiling it will kill off most of the bacteria present in your water.
Step 2: Combine your ‘oil parts’ with your wax, which includes your shea butter, sunflower oil and emulsifying wax in another, separate heatproof or pyrex beaker/jug.
Now pop that in a water bath with your water and glycerine mix. You can set up a water bath by simply pouring a few inches of water into a pan and leaving it on the stove to warm. You don’t want it to boil, keep the heat very low.
Step 3: Let your oils and waxes melt together. Depending on the temperature you’ve set your stove, this can take about 20 mins. If it’s still not melting, turn the temperature up and keep a close eye on it.
Step 4: Once everything has melted, add your water part to your oils part. Try your best not to spill. It’s best to leave the combined mixture in the waterbath for a few minutes once it’s been mixed, just to ensure everything is melted.
Step 5: Remove your pyrex jug/beaker from the water bath and gift it a quick stir. Next, we need to give it a good whizz with a milk frother.
While you’re mixing, keep the beater as close to the base of the jug as possible as not to add too much air. You don’t want bubbles, you want thick lotion.
Depending on the emulsifying wax used this could take a while, it may not fully thicken right away, so persevere with it.
Step 6: Leave your mixture for about 10 minutes once you’ve whizzed it. This will make sure it’s cool enough to add the next few ingredients.
Measure out your preservative following directions for your chosen preservative. A pipette really comes in handy here, as we’re using such small quantities.
I find the best method for this is placing your jug onto a scale, set it to zero and then add your preservative a drop at a time until you have enough. This will make sure no preservative gets left in a cup or ramekin.
Then stir thoroughly.
Step 7: Add around 16 drops of essential oil. Iv’e used 10 drops of Rosewood and 6 of Lavender essential oil but you can exchange this to suit your own taste. And stir thoroughly once more.
Step 8: Decanter your mixture into your chosen storage container. If you’re using a jar with a wide lip you can use a spatula or spoon. If you’re using a bottle, you can make use of a funnel.
Once that’s done, you’re pretty much finished. Although it may seem unnecessary, always label your homemade health and beauty products, including the date in which you’ve made it. This will make sure you’re never going to use an out of date product.
How to Store, Use and Gift a Homemade Lotion
Storing this is pretty simple. If you’ve used a preservative, it sits happily at ambient temperature. Try to keep it out of direct sunlight if you’re using a fully transparent jar or bottle. You can store it in the fridge if you like, which will extend the lifespan of your lotion. If you’re not using a preservative, this is a requirement, not a suggestion.
To apply this, treat it like you would any lotion. Apply to large areas of the skin and rub it in using a circular motion.
This makes an absolutely fantastic gift, especially as it’s homemade. If you’re planning to gift, think about the different essential oils you can use tailor it just for them. Maybe they like a specific fragrance, or have dry skin and could use something with an extra punch.
Take a look at our oils section to get a better understanding of how to tailor your essential oils for a variety of different ailments.
So there we have it, everything you need to get started with making your own homemade lotion. So today we learnt how to combine water and oils to produce a lotion, as well as how to make use of a preservative and store it well.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my lotion recipe. I can’t say this enough, a preservative is very important for this recipe. However, if you’re going to make do without then it’s absolutely vital that you store is properly and throw away after 2 weeks.
When you’re confident with your skills, you absolutely should consider gifting. This is a fabulous present to receive, and I myself have had nothing but beaming smile from my giftees when they open one of these homemade lotions.
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