Homemade Lotion: Natural Hand & Body Moisturizer

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Homemade Lotion

This homemade lotion recipe will give you a creamy hand and body moisturizer that repairs dry skin and is all-natural. It’s light and fluffy, never greasy!

Ever since I posted a recipe for a light, non-greasy moisturizing spray, I’ve had countless requests for a heavier, creamy homemade lotion recipe.

Today I’ll finally share my absolute favorite recipe for an all-natural hand and body cream that is light, fluffy, yet extremely moisturizing. The best part, it doesn’t leave your skin greasy like all the popular body butter recipes you find all over the Internet!

This creamy moisturizer will repair your dry skin after a long winter, but it’s light enough to carry you all the way through a hot summer.

Homemade Lotion

Homemade Lotion: A Non-Greasy Moisturizer

4.5 from 4 votes

This homemade lotion recipe will give you a creamy hand and body moisturizer that repairs dry skin and is all-natural. It's light and fluffy, never greasy!

Prep Time
15 minutes
Active Time
1 hour
Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Servings
16 ounces
Estimated Cost
$15

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl combine aloe vera gel, Vitamin E oil, and essential oils. Set aside for later, allowing it to come to room temp. (Sometimes it even helps to set this in a warm water bath to bring it closer to the temperature of the oil/wax mixture you'll be adding it to. This helps it emulsify.)
  2. Add grated beeswax and oil to a glass measuring cup. Place measuring cup in a saucepan of water and bring water to a gentle boil. Heat, stirring occasionally until beeswax is completely melted then carefully remove the measuring cup from the pot. 

  3. Pour beeswax/oil mixture into a blender and allow to cool. (Move on to step 4 when it has cooled down but is still soft.)
  4. Once cooled, turn the blender on LOW. Remove the top of the blender and pour aloe vera mixture in a SLOW, continuous stream.

  5. Stop blender as often as needed to run a spatula around sides to incorporate ingredients. If some liquid is pooling at the top, stop frequently to push it around with a spatula. (This step may take as long as 10-15 minutes, and patience is key!) Continue blending until desired consistency is reached. (We use and highly recommend a Vitamix blender.)
  6. Transfer moisturizer to clean jars and refrigerate any portion that will not be used up within a few weeks.
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Homemade Lotion Video

Notes for DIY Lotion Success

  • Vitamin E oil is a natural preservative but doesn’t keep indefinitely so use within 2-3 months. I keep a small container of it in the bathroom and refill it from the large jar in the refrigerator. (Although I will say – I conducted an experiment with this cream, and found that it did not change in smell, consistency, or color for almost eight months when kept at room temperature. However, I don’t recommend keeping it around this long, as bacteria can begin to grow in homemade products containing water.)
  • I experiment with different essential oil blends in this homemade lotion recipe, you should too. My current favorite is a mixture of lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus. 
  • It bears repeating that patience is key while blending and waiting for this cream to emulsify. Do not leave the blender unattended. Also, be sure to continuously push any separated liquid around so it reaches the blades. You can add a pinch of borax to the mixture if you’re really having trouble getting it to emulsify. (Find cosmetic grade borax powder here.)
  • This moisturizer can also be made with a stick blender or hand mixer.

Tips for Cleaning after Making Lotion

  • After making this homemade lotion, scrape residuals off the blender and utensils before cleaning. Rub this excess into your hands.
  • After transferring jars, wipe out the blender thoroughly with old rags (paper towel works too). This prevents oils and beeswax from going down the sink and clogging drains.
  • Fill blender halfway with water, add a few drops of dish soap, and blend on high for a few minutes. Add a little sea salt to the blender for scrubbing if needed.
  • Clean blender and utensils in hot soapy water.

We hope you enjoy this natural recipe, it has become a favorite in our house.

Let us know what you think about this homemade lotion!

*******

Betsy Jabs

About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebook, Twitter, and her +Betsy Jabs Google profile.

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DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.

Comments

  1. Shelley says

    I really wanted this to work but when the soft wax hit the room temp aloe it turned to a solid and then separated. I now have a waxy disaster mess. Might have destroyed my Ninja blender cause of all the wax in it.
    So disappointed… And will spend the rest of the evening cleaning my mixer ??

  2. deb says

    I made this using the fresh aloe I had on hand. All of my ingredients were at room temperature and carefully measured. I used an immersion blender, and after 20 minutes, had a gloppy mess. I added a pinch of Borax, and it immediately emulsified. I kept on blending, but instead of a creamy lotion, it was runny. It’s still usable, and I may put it in a pump bottle.

  3. Tamara says

    Unfortunately this was a total disaster for me. Nothing worked and I ended up using a lot of equipment to try rectify it and thus ended up with a nightmare of a washing up situation. Totally bummed 🙁

  4. Ellen D says

    I can not wait to try this. I am allergic to all commercial beauty products even the ones recommended by my dermatologist. She claims she never heard of anyone being allergic to vanicream products before. But vanicream has a long list of nasty ingredients and the lotion just has a consistency I can not stand. I tried lotion bars and find them to oily. I was planning on making soap tomorrow so I’ll make this too.

  5. liona says

    I’ve just had a look at your recipe and would suggest instead of using a glass measuring cup to use a double boiler instead to melt the beeswax, then add your oil and let cool.

    The 2nd suggestion is to obtain airless jars in small sizes like 15ml from cpr packaging (you can order small amounts) and keep one jar for use in the bathroom and the rest in the refrigerator. This will keep your product germ free longer since you aren’t exposing it to air or germs from fingertips-spatula’s & so forth.

    There isn’t a strong preservative used in this so even if you can’t see anything growing, it doesn’t mean there isn’t.

    It’s vital to make sure all your tools are very clean so you don’t introduce germs into your mix.

  6. Dawn says

    My daughter is allergic to aloe. Is there a substitute you could recommend for this recipe that I could use instead? She has terrible eczema, her finger tips and heels crack terrible so I am looking for a good remedy for her. Thank you!

  7. Lisa Quenon says

    Betsy, may ’emulsifying wax’ be used? I’m finding that on the beeswax sites – in flakes, no less – and wondering if I could use it.

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      You can use emulsifying wax, which will work better than beeswax. However, the problem is that it’s not actually a natural product. It’s usually made from many synthetic ingredients, and often contaminated with the carcinogen 1, 4-dioxane. I would encourage you to do your own research on this ingredient and decide if it’s right for you!

  8. Lisa Wright says

    Betsy, what do you think about the use of guar gum/xantham gum as a thickener, particularly for this recipe? Do you have any thoughts about the use of guar gum in cosmetic recipes?

    I use guar gum in my body wash & conditioner recipes. For lotion that is still a bit runny after whipping it, guar gum may help thicken it right up. Thoughts?

  9. Leah Harris says

    Just made the recipe tonight and I found it to be very greasy. I had a very difficult time cleaning any of the tools used, because it was so greasy. When using water, I couldn’t even clean it anymore because it would slip out of my hands. I spent about 45 minutes blending and blending, trying to get it to become creamy, but it never did. I followed the directions, is there something I am missing?

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      It’s really hard for me to determine what went wrong without actually being there to see it. 🙁 What kind of oil did you choose? And you only used 1/2 cup of oil, right?

  10. Michele says

    I’m a new Vitamix owner (and LOVE it). You said using the Vitamix is best. What setting should I put it on when emulsifying? (My Vitamix goes 1-10). And when cleaning it up, it’s ok to add salt? I hadn’t thought of that. I haven’t used it for anything non-food related yet and can imagine it being kind of difficult to get the blade area clean. Am excited to try this!! Have had emulsifying fiascos before so hopefully I can get this right!
    BTW … Love your site. I unraveled a wool sweater and made the wool dryer balls. My father in law was visiting the other day and said his clothes have never been so fluffy or smelled so good (he used my DIY laundry detergent as well)..

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      Hooray for a new Vitamix!!! Just use the lowest setting (1) for most of the mixing, but then turn it up to 5-8 every so often to help emulsify. Just experiment to find what works best for your batch. 🙂 Be sure to constantly push the liquid back down into the blades and watch your mixture until it reaches a creamy state with all the liquid incorporated. (I stand on a chair to watch mine since the Vitamix is so tall. Lol.)

      It’s perfectly fine to add salt to it for cleaning. I usually wipe mine out as well as I can, then add water, salt, & a little dish soap for cleaning.

      Glad you’re loving the site! The wool dryer balls are fantastic, right?

    • Michele says

      Betsy – the wool dryer balls ARE awesome!! Totally recommend them putting that project to the top of the DIY list. Ok, so I tried it and it was pretty much a straight shot into the trash can. It wouldn’t emulsify. I decided not to use my Vitamix, which was total laziness on my part (have to make mayo today and didn’t want to wash it twice… I know… lame on my part.) Instead I used a hand mixer, which I’ve had success using with lotions before. No bueno. I put the aloe mixture in the micro to get it to the same temp as the wax mixture since it was solidifying rather quickly. What’s the consistency of your wax mixture at the point of combining? The first half of the mixing went great. Consistency was great and it was totally emulsifying, but the second half went downhill quick. I even added a bit of borax, which didn’t help at all. Do you think emulsifying wax would help? Of those readers who have had success with this recipe – any pointers on the emulsification process? If at first you don’t succeed… will be trying this again!

      • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

        I’ve started blending when my wax/oil mixture was still pretty oil, and I’ve also done it when it was very close to being hard (and I don’t recommend waiting this long). That’s mysterious that it was emulsifying and then it didn’t work out. Hmmm. I wouldn’t recommend using emulsifying wax, which is not a natural product. However, if you do, you will not need beeswax in this recipe.

        I have had success with this recipe with a hand mixer, but I really find the blender to be easier since the lotion is contained in a smaller area. Hope you have success on your next try!

    • MiTmite9 says

      I use baking soda/vinegar combo when I have to clean off anything that seems gunky/greasy. I would add that to your blender with a bit of water and then blend to clean.

  11. amanda says

    hi betsy!

    thank you so much for this recipe! of all the homemade lotion recipes i’ve tried, this is by far THEE best! :o)

    my only thing is, it seems to be a bit “waxy” to me… it leaves a very little bit of a waxy coating on my hands when i rub it on. it’s like having a thin layer of butter smeared on your skin. when i went to wash my hands, the water beaded and ran right off my hands, instead of washing away the coating. is this from the beeswax, do you think? would it be wise to cut the about of beeswax in half, to see if that helps? i also added about 2 cups of distilled water (in addition to all the ingredients listed above), b/c while i like a “heartier” lotion, what i’m really after is a thinner lotion, not a butter… something in between would be perfect.

    any suggestions you could offer would be so very appreciated!

    thank you again! this really is pretty wonderful stuff!

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      Yeah, this is most likely due to the beeswax. A little bit of the lotion goes a long way. Perhaps you’re using too much? Try using less, and if you still don’t like the texture you could decrease the beeswax in the recipe. Glad you like it other than that issue. 🙂

  12. Kirsten Gonderman says

    well I messed up big time so need to know if there is anyway to fix.
    On the beeswax I was thinking half a cup equals 4 oz, so I took 4oz of beeswax and guess what I have hard as rock lotion LOL
    then i read half a cup grated in someones comment is about 3/4 oz…
    anyway I can fix this by melting it again and adding more oils??

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      I would not melt it again. If it’s hard as a rock, just use it as a lotion bar! You can keep it in a container and rub it on your skin. Your body heat should melt it as long as you don’t have too much beeswax. Give it a try!

  13. Susan says

    The only aloe vera gel I could readily find in Toronto, Canada is Lily of the Desert. It contains carrageenan (thickening agent) and, as a result, was impossible to pour slowly. Is this the reason why my cream is taking so long to emulsify? I’m getting there, but I’m at almost one hour at this point and my blender is heating up!

    • Jennifer says

      I used the same brand when I made mine a few days ago (99% aloe vera Gelly) and it turned out. I did not let the oils cool very long though…impatience 🙂 Possibly that helped. As soon as I put the aloe in it turned into a big clump. I had to constantly turn it off and push down the cream to get it to stay down in the blades. It did not take very long to emulsify, either. Another difference for me was that my blender does not have a low speed, just fast and a little faster. The cream is a tad gooey, but has a wonderful feel if you get past that.

      • Susan says

        Hmmm, how did you get the aloe mixture to pour slowly? I did read on another site that the (grapeseed)oil/beeswax should be “room temperature” so I thought maybe that could have been my problem as well as I was rather impatient too. I started out using my immersion blender but got tired of holding down the button, then switched to my 2-speed (fast and faster) blender after about 20 minutes. After letting my blender cool down I did get about 95% of it to emulsify… it is initially a little greasy but it does sink in nicely.

        • Jennifer says

          It didn’t poor slowly. It just kinda glopped in all at the same time.

          I’ve been wondering, what’s the purpose of the beeswax?

        • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

          If you purchase a good quality PURE aloe vera gel, it will only contain a little citric acid to preserve it, and it will be thin and pourable. Many brands add carrageenan to thicken, which makes it thick and goopy. Mountain Rose Herbs sells a nice pure aloe vera gel that has a pourable consistency.

  14. chris says

    I have done the different speeds, it does not help. I scrape it and mix the liquid and that does not help. All my ingredients are room temp. I don’t put my aloe in the refrigerator. It does not state to do that once opened so I leave everything at room temp. I am thinking maybe trying adding less aloe vera and seeing if that works.

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      I really recommend using a blender for this. You may need to turn the speed up on high a few times, scrape down the sides, turn it on low, push the liquid carefully toward the blades, turn it up on high for a few seconds, etc. This is the way I got mine to emulsify. Lots of patience, moving the liquid around so it hit the blades, and changing the speed on the blender a few times. Making lotions and creams is a very tricky art…don’t be discouraged if end up with a bum batch! 🙂 It took me about 3 messed up batches to get this recipe just right.

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      Just checking…are all your ingredients room temp before you start adding the aloe mixture to the wax/oil mixture? This is very important for the success of the emulsion. (I have had problems with this because I take my pure aloe vera gel out of the refrigerator and I’m too impatient to allow it to warm to room temp.)

  15. Clarice Clark says

    I’ve been trying to get away from plastic stuff.
    I’m going to buy different glass jars.
    I noticed the jar for this cream is blue.
    Do you need a colored jar for this?

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      I always try to use glass when storing a homemade product that contains essential oils because they react with plastic. It’s best to use amber or cobalt glass since essential oils also degrade when exposed to light. If using clear glass, just be sure to store in a dark drawer or cabinet.

  16. chris says

    I tried this recipe the first time with a hand held blender and it did not turn out-was hard. I still used it but got quite the workout just trying to get it to blend into my body. The second time I used a 5 speed blender and cannot get the liquid to go away no matter how long I do it. I have read all the directions and the comments and to no avail. It is nice and creamy but watery. I even tried dumping the excess liquid out but the lotion is still wet when I apply so I end up itching because the water dries with the lotion and makes me itchy. I really like this recipe because when it is rubbed in, it is nice and nourishing but am getting frustrated because I cannot get it to turn out. Help.

  17. Bama says

    Hi Betsy,
    Thanks for this recipe–looks wonderful. Can I squeeze shea butter in the recipe anyway ie instead of all oil, can I mix 1/2 jojoba and 1/2 shea butter or some ratio like that. The reason I’m asking is because my son’s skin is very dry and even homemade body butters don’t seem to nourish his skin fully (i.e. shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil etc). He also has eczema.

    The other question I have is can i use aloe vera gel straight filleted from the leaf for this recipe? We have a plant at home that I can use.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      You could definitely use some shea butter in place of the oil in this recipe. A half & half ratio would probably work well. You can also use your fresh aloe. Have fun with this project!

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