How to Make Handmade Hand Lotion (w/ label download)

How to Make Hand Lotion

An Important Post Update on using Preservative with this Lotion

I had always been a little intimidated with the idea of making handmade toiletries, such as lotions, lip balms and the such. First of all, I thought I’d need all sorts of expensive ingredients. I thought it would take a lot of time, that I’d need all sorts of special pots to melt things in. Maybe I’d need to remember back to my high school chemisty class, which I just barely passed. I thought maybe I’d need to check out a book on Alchemy at the library and maybe even wear a flowing gypsy skirt and over-sized rings just for good measure.  I just thought making lotions and potions was just much too involved for all that I already had going on in my life.
How to Make Hand Lotion
However I was getting really fed up with the store bought lotion. My youngest son has eczema which means that we have to lube him up with lotion on a regular basis (Need help with eczema? Try this new whipped shea butter recipe I figured out.) Have you noticed on most of the store bought lotion that they have a poison warning on the back? Yes, if ingested, call poison control. Besides the fact that my two year old puts everything in his mouth already, I really didn’t like the idea that what I was putting on his skin everyday was worthy of calling poison control. If you skin is your largest organ, shouldn’t we worried about this? The all-natural store bought lotion was too expensive to buy for how much we go through, so I had to find an alternative.

Enter this hand lotion recipe (below) that I found on TipNut last fall and you know what? It’s easy. Ridiciously easy. Would you believe me if I said that I now make my own all natural hand lotion in less that five minutes with only four ingredients for less than a dollar a jar? And that it works maybe even better than anything I’ve bought? Seriously. This recipe is amazing. Now that I’ve given a jar to almost every single person I’ve come in contact with, I feel safe to share the recipe with you. And now you can go make some for yourself and everyone you know.
Hand Lotion Ingredients

How to Make Homemade Hand Lotion

1 1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup emulsifying wax (Don’t use beeswax, here’s an easy homemade beeswax lotion recipe)
1/4 cup olive oil
24-36 drops essential oilTips on using a preservative

I buy my emulsifying wax  & essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. For $7 you get enough emulsifying wax to make many more batches of homemade hand lotion. In a pyrex measuring glass I combine the olive oil and emusifying wax and microwave for 1 minute until it is all melted. The temperature on this reads about 155 degrees.
How to Make Hand Lotion
I have found that our coffee mugs hold almost exactly 1 1/4 cup of water, so I fill is up and microwave that for 1 minute or until about 120 degrees. While that is heating up, I add the essential oil into my melted wax/olive oil mixture.
How to Make Hand Lotion
Then pour the hot water into the wax/olive oil mixture and watch it turn milky white. At this point the temperature is about 125 degrees. I then pour the hot lotion into wide mouth pint size jars and let cool overnight. The next morning you’ll have a fresh jar of homemade natural hand lotion!
How to Make Hand Lotion
Oh and of course, you’ll need decorative labels to put on your jars, which you can download here. Remember, when you print these out onto Avery Sticker Project Paper in Adobe Reader, it often automatically reduces the size of the original document, make sure that you click on the setting to print these at full size. These labels fit on the wide mouth pint jars. Enjoy your new soft skin!

If you’d like to make this with a ‘Woodland Walk’ scent follow my tutorial here.

Make sure to read on How to Make Your Own Deodorant too!

If you are looking to make this as Christmas gifts, you might want to check out my new Christmas Labels too!

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490 responses to “How to Make Handmade Hand Lotion (w/ label download)

  1. iasa

    Thank you for posting this. I am going to make some of my own this weekend.

    • julia

      Hi sorry for replying under yours but couldn`t get on any other way!! I`ve just made this lotion with mango essence it`s lovely but quite runny have you any suggesstions or did I do it wrong?? Thanks

      • Elizabeth

        Hi Julia, my lotion is a little runny too did you figure out what was wrong? I made mine a few hours ago and the lotion has solidified but its a little watery at the bottom.

      • Julia @ Elizabeth, My lotion takes at least 12 – 18 hours to cure, it will seem thick but I usually take something and stir it and it comes into the lotion consistency that most of us are accustomed to. Try making some and waiting until the next day to use it.

      • Kawaski

        Try adding a butter (shea..cocoa etc.) to your product.

      • Mine was really runny too so I gave it a good mixing once it was all cooled off and it became the right texture.

      • Brenda Bodkin

        Why can’t we use beeswax?

      • asonomagarden

        Because the oil and water won’t emulsify together with beeswax. You need emulsifying wax.

    • Marla

      I am a massage therapist, and make my own massage cream from fair trade african shea butter. It’s fantastic for many ailments discussed, is all natural, and easy to make- with no chemicals!!!

      • shaz

        how wonderful! can you share the recipe?

      • Could you please send me a copy of the massage cream recipe. I would greatly like to try it. I would be very greatful.

        Thank You

        PSS I do not know how this works, but I am including my email address.

      • asonomagarden

        Shelly, I don’t have a massage cream recipe. Sorry I can’t help you.

      • Kat

        I would love the recipe if you would share it. Thanks, Kat

      • I make my own salves/ointments for my clients (I am a therapeutic/clinical bodyworker) using Sonoma’s base easy beeswax lotion. Instead of olive oil, I use my own, infused organic sesame oil-base, then use the rest of her recipe. I like organic sesame oil (mountain rose herbs) because it is lighter than others and absorbs more easily into the skin without a greasy residue as well as because it contains sesamoids, which inhibits rancidity far longer than other oils.

        I simply adjust the amount of the infused sesame oil, coconut oil and beeswax (sonoma’s original recipe with sesame oil substitution on my part) on the texture I want in any given situation.

        For deeper tissue work and more “grab,” I add more beeswax. Beeswax does make things thicker and harder. If I want more flow, I use less.

        I think Sonoma would agree with me that her base recipe is a guideline, not something etched in stone. Experiment, folks!! It’s fun and enlivening. The base recipe, WITHOUT the water is brilliant. And I have been experimenting and adjusting it to my own and my clients’ tastes (which they do purchase from me).

        I like oils and oil-based salves, rather than creams, particularly in winter, as they are very warming to the body. That is as a bodyworker.
        Creams are colder and more suited to Summer months.

        I also slather the lotion recipe all over me throughout the year with wonderful benefits, whether just the base recipe Sonoma has provided, or with my own, personal preferences with regard to infusions and such.

        It really is a wonderful, wonderful starting place for any and all creative permutations one can think of.

    • Silvia

      Thank you for posting this recepie. I really like it and want to make some for myself. Just have one question: what is emulsifying wax? This item always comes up and I wonder what it is. Found the same breakdown on different pages. Check this out: I bit shocking. And maybe beeswax would be better after all.

    • Ann Reeves

      I’m confused in regard to the lotion recipe,where it says to use:
      1/4 cup emulsifying wax (Don’t use beeswax, here’s an easy homemade beeswax lotion recipe)

      Does that mean the beeswax lotion takes the place of the emulsifying wax?
      Thanks .. ann reeves.

      • Angie

        Well it says to use , (Don’t use beeswax, here’s an easy homemade beeswax lotion recipe), which, I think, means if you want to use beeswax then here is a recipe that you can use beeswax. hope this helped!

      • crickett

        I am confused because when i click on the link in the recipe for Emulsifying wax the site i go to has two different types of beeswax and then a wax that comes from mexico but no emulsifying wax whatsoever. What am i supposed to be using? What, exactly IS emulsifying wax?

      • asonomagarden

        Emulsifying wax is right there on the page you click through too, you may have to scroll down a tiny bit, but it’s there along with a full description of what it is.

    • jo patrick

      i am making youe lotion. My label Be Careful Little Hands What You do.

  2. I made lip balm for Christmas gifts and was amazed at how EASY it was, and how much better it was then store bought varieties.

    • Kat

      That sounds so neat. My grandson has a very bad nervous habit of licking his lips and they stay in very bad shape during the winter months esp. Can you send me your recipe for this. I’ve not tried to make any lotions yet, but would love to try. My Grand Mother use to make lye soap years ago. I was a little tiny thing back then but remember her using it on us. Thanks! Kat I sure hope I can find this web page again. Sometimes it just don’t work for me.

    • I also make my own lip balm, but haven’t been able to figure out how to make labels to list the ingredients. I also make & sell bath soap, but have generic labels for that. Any suggestions?

  3. OMG….my neighbor and I were just talking about finding a recipe for homemade lotion…Thank-you SO much !!!

  4. tracy

    wow thank you for posting this. I think I’m going to try this one of this day. 🙂

  5. Deere Driver

    Technical question: What type of olive oil? Light? Wondering just because the EVOO can be very fruity smelling on its own? Going to try this. Thanks!

    • asonomagarden

      I did use a lighter version, however it was still extra virgin. It’s the kind we use in our everyday cooking, not the deep dark green kind we use on salads. I enjoy the smell of olive oil, so I don’t mind it in my lotion. However, if you happen to have grapeseed oil or any other nice oil you can use that.

  6. What a great article and a new use for all that lavender oil we harvested last year.

  7. Patty

    Thank you very much for posting this and for the labels. Can you tell what kind of software you used for designing the labels? I would like to try to design my own.
    Thank you again

  8. This is a very timely post. As soon as we use up all of the rest of the cheap-chemical-filled-but-necessary-because-we-don’t-have-much-money-and-husband-won’t-buy-the-more-expensive-natural-stuff lotion I am using right now, I will definitely be making lots of this. My Libby loves to put on lotion, and I will feel much better about her putting this stuff on. Thanks for the beautiful labels, too!

  9. This is very cool! Once I use up the odds and ends of lotion I have sitting around in my bathroom, I’ll definitely try this.

  10. Oh this is FABULOUS! I have so many wonderful things to put in this, I’m excited! Thanks so much for sharing, I’ll be linking as well.

  11. Sounds great. I have sensitive skin and am allergic to most perfumes/fragrances so this recipe sounds just perfect for me. Will let you know when I try it and how I like it.

  12. Awesome! My boys have excema and I’ve been intimidated with the thought of making homemade lotion, but it’s been tickling my brain! I am so excited to try this recipe, thanks for sharing!

  13. This looks brilliant – and I love the labels. Thank you!

  14. Jennifer

    Can I substitute bees wax for the emulsifying wax?

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Jennifer, I think you do need to use the emulsifying wax because that bind the water and oil together. But you could half the recipe and try the beeswax.

      • Sure- Beeswax is a natural emulsifier. I get mine from They offer a natural, beige colored product, as well as sun-bleached white beeswax. Both will work just fine, and you might even like the texture of the lotion better. Use the same amount specified in the recipe. What a great recipe, by the way! Also, although grapeseed oil is a wonderful massage oil (it is quickly absorbed without leaving a greasy feeling), it goes rancid quickly. If you use it, squeeze the “juice” out of two vitamin E gel capsules into your batch of lotion. It’s a natural preservative, and also great for skin!

    • Courtney

      I just tried melting bees wax in my oils, then blending it in my blender with a slow stream of water and some aloe to emulsify it. (just like making mayonnaise) I think that it is working great. Maybe a little tweaking of the oil/water ratio that I used. But as far as the process goes, it blended well and wasn’t super messy.

      • Irene

        yes, ive thried ur beeswax lotion and its great as a night cream. ive tried different ratio of oil/water and blend it…but after a few days, water starts sipping out. i was wondering if it is the humid weather in singapore. fridge may be an option but im still looking into other ways. maybe i should get emulsified wax.

  15. Wow, this sounds so easy! I just figured that it must be hard to make lotions and other toiletry items! Thanks for posting this — I am definitely going to bookmark it and give it a try!

  16. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. I have very dry skin and get small patches of eczema so I use tons of lotion. My only problem with making lotion is that I’m really picky about the texture I like. I like a thick, rich, but creamy lotion. I too think it’s so much better to use a lotion with very few and completely nontoxic ingredients in it.

    thank you for sharing this! I might give it a try.

  17. Jamie

    Thanks for posting this, I’ve been out of lotion for a while, had everything I needed to make it but was waiting to buy some Aveeno anyway. I do worry about homemade lotion going bad without germaben or whatever in there but it’ll be good for a while at least, no sense in not doing it. My hands thank you.

    By the way the lotion I just made is Spikenard and Geranium. And I replaced 1/4 of the water with pure Aloe vera.

  18. I’m so excited to try this! Thank you.

  19. Sharon

    I made this after I read this a few weeks ago. I ordered the emulsifying wax to do it exactly like this recipe. I was surprised at how well it turned out. The only thing I don’t care for totally is that it does feel a little waxy even after rubbing it in. But it made a nice pint mason jar size and it works great. Way too easy.

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Sharon, I’m glad you tried it. I too noticed that it was a little waxy feeling, but it’s not enough to deter me from making it, because you are right, it’s way too easy.

    • Janet

      I have read another recipe which called for 1/2 cup oil to 2 Tablespoons of wax. Perhaps that would give you a less waxy feeling.

  20. Decinces


    Thanks for posting this awesome recipe! I can’t wait to try it out. I just have a few questions about it first. I went through your comments and I don’t think anyone else asked them. 🙂

    1. What is the self life on this lotion?
    2. What do you use to keep fungus and bacteria from growing in it?
    3. Does it have to be refrigerated or anything like that after you’ve used it?

    I look forward to reading future posts! 🙂


    • asonomagarden

      Hi Decinces- The shelf life on this is at least three months, that’s the longest I’ve had it last. And no it doesn’t need to be refridgerated. I keep mine on my bathroom counter. I’ve never thought about germs and bacteria growing in it. I never think about it with commercial lotion either though. I go through this lotion quickly and have never noticed any strange things growing in it 🙂 If you are worried about it, try putting one or two drops of tea tree oil in it- it has antibacterial and anti fungal properties. I hope you try it!

      • Patty

        Actually I have started to find “stuff” growing in mine. I made up several jars and stored them in my closet for a few weeks…when I went to use them there were brown spots!!! I’ll try the tea tree oil!! Thanks. Love the cream though!!

      • Sarah Keating

        My friend and I made this lotion about 3 months ago and loved it. However, a few of the jars that we just opened have fuzzy mold on them – ironically it was a few of the jars that had tea tree oil in them. We just had it on our counter. Is there anything else we can try? Have you ever tried freezing or canning the lotion?

      • asonomagarden

        Sarah, the lotion has a very short shelf life, so next time I would make only as much as you need. I haven’t had any mold issues, but I make one jar at a time and since I use it everyday, I use it up fast.

      • Amber Ogden

        I tried putting the tea tree oil in mine and have had stuff “growing” in it??!! Not real sure what else to do?? I gave some to my brother and the lid to his jar actually has condensation on it?? I used the recipe like it said and added the tea tree oil and vit E capsules, could this have had anything to do with it? How true do the temps need to be?? That’s the only thing I didn’t check! Other than that, it is wonderful!! I recently ordered grapeseed oil because I prefer lotions that soak in! I also ordered scents that are comparable to name brand perfumes and colognes from Wellington! So excited going to get started today! I was just hoping to come up with a resolution to the stuff “growing” before-hand. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!! I am a chapstick junkie too, so I am wanting to make that as well! Have a Merry Christmas 🙂

    • Sonia

      I completely agree with Decinces. I’m all for DIY and that is why I make bath and body products at home. That being said, I would never make a water based lotion without heating and holding the water and would definitely not make a water based one without using some form of broad spectrum preservative. Just because you don’t see the microbes, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be growing in your cream.

      • Maybe you need to use distilled water to keep things from growing…

      • Sonia

        Using distilled water is better than tap water, but it still won’t stop the nasties from growing in your cream. Heaven forbid you have a small abrasions or a cut (from shaving your legs, etc.) and introduce the stuff growing in your cream (that is not visible to the eye) into your cut(s). Or worse, you gift the cream to someone and they use it and get an infection or worse. Not something I would want to risk. Using proper techniques and a preservative is not as hard as it sounds.

      • Germaben added will stop bacteria

  21. Decinces

    LOL..sorry it’s suppose to say ‘shelf’ not ‘self’ in the first question.

  22. I love this! I will definitely make some. But I’ve been having trouble finding essential oils. Where do you find yours?

    • asonomagarden

      I get mine from Mountain Rose, the same place that I get the emolsifying wax from. They have good prices and have all sorts of different scents.

  23. I make soap, sugar scrubs and lip balm for our family. I (and a couple of the kids) have eczema and Psoriasis and I’ve looked high and low for a good lotion recipe. This might be it. Thanks!

  24. Jodi

    What kind of oil do you use or can you use other than Lavendar? I’m allergic to Lavendar… Thanks so much I look forward to trying this and giving it as gifts!!! 🙂

  25. Jodi

    Thanks for clarifying that you can use any oils… Thats nice to know. Thanks for your concern about being allergic to Lavendar but when you have never used it (or remember using it) you don’t miss it! 🙂 Again thanks for the wonderful post! I’m super excited to make it. 🙂

  26. Pingback: The [Mis]Adventures of Joel and Lauren » Blog Archive » Personal Products

  27. Nat'e

    Hey thanks for putting this up…..I want to know can I use the 100% coco butter in place of the olive oil?

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Nat’e – You know, I have no idea. I think it might make it a very thick lotion because coco butter is a solid at room temp where as olive oil is a liquid. You can always try, right?

  28. christine hamilton

    Hi there,

    Can you please please tell me where you got those cute little jars from?

    Thank you so much for this site as I’ve been going crazy trying to sort this out. xx

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Christine, You can get those jars at the grocery store in the canning section. They are the wide mouth pint jars.

      • Lindsay

        I just found this and will try it this weekend.
        I have been experiementing with ‘green’ home cleaning solutions, shampoos, conditioners, etc. and love this lotion idea. I had used an old 1oz Nivea tin and put in a mixture of coconut oil, jojoba oil, and peppermint essential oil to keep in my purse for my hands, as they get so dry in the winter in CO.
        It works great, but is a bit oily if I use too much. I’ll try this recipe for sure.

        Wanted to share a site I found for bottles. I’m getting some to make gifts for Christmas. specialtybottle. Google it, love the producta and very reasonable. Glass and plastic if you are looking for that.
        Thanks and I’ll try this out!

      • asonomagarden

        Hi Lindsay, I did use the exact recipe and it worked well for my son, however it doesn’t seem to be helping my daughter as much. I am currently researching a new recipe that hopefully will help with with the eczema even better and I’ll post it as soon as I get it figured out. Hopefully sooner than later for the sake of her poor little skin. Thanks for the bottle site!

  29. Can’t wait to try this recipe out! But, one question: What do I do if I don’t have a microwave? I always have a hard time converting microwave instructions to stovetop – any tips?


    • asonomagarden

      Hi Melissa – You can easily use the stovetop, you just want to melt the ingredients, no need to get to any sort of temperature…just melted. Good luck!

      • For eczema, you might want to try steeping some plantain herb in your olive oil before using it to make the lotion. I’ve had great luck using plantain ointment on stubborn eczema, and a plantain lotion would be even easier and less greasy to apply.

        Steep the herb by putting the dried herb in a jar, pouring olive oil over it until it’s an inch above the herb, and then heat at a low heat for anywhere from a day to two weeks if you want it really strong. You can heat the jar in a dehydrator, an oven with a pilot light, or in a crockpot on low filled with water and a towel on the bottom to keep the jar off the direct heat.

        Then just strain the oil out with cheesecloth, a clean piece of cloth, or a coffee filter and use it in your lotion recipe.

        Hope that helps and thanks for the great recipe!


      • Cici

        Using a double-boiler seems to help!

  30. Tammy

    What a great idea – as soon as heard about this, I had to try it. The wax and oil separated from the water when I poured it and I was wondering if anyone had a tip for me so this doesn’t happen when I make the next batch.

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Tammy, I’ve been thinking about your problem… did you heat up the water before you mixed it with the hot wax and oil? That’s the only reason I could think that it would seperate.

      • Tammy

        Thank you – I did heat up my water – but I think it’s because I used crystalized wax instead of emulsifying wax. Do you think that’s the problem?

      • Jennifer

        Hi to both:

        I am having the same problem. I used emulsifying wax and hot water off the stove, and once it cools, a body-butter consistency layer forms on top, and the bottom layer is very thin. I can’t get it to pump in the lotion containers I bought for Christmas.

        I love the lotion, though, and will definitely use it for myself, and would like to give it as gifts if I can figure out how to fix this.

        I’d be grateful for any suggestions!

    • Beth M

      I have the same problem and can’t figure out what I could be doing wrong. I pour the hot water into the oil/wax mixture and I get a jar of hot water with oil/wax on top.

  31. Kimberly Ann

    Love this idea! I wonder if I could add dried herbs to the mix? I have some calendula, lavender and chamomile that I’m growing just for the purpose of adding to homemade products.

  32. Excellent recipe. I just tried it for the first time, and it was very easy and quick (a little messy, but that’s just the type of person I am).

  33. Freny

    Where can I buy anhydrous lanolin and bees wax from? I looked around at Trader Joes and at Whole Food- could not find them. Please let me know.

  34. Jenny

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe!!! I made a couple batches last night and they turned out great! I wanted to print some of your beautiful labels, but they come out small & I can’t seem to find a full size setting in my print menu. I am using Adobe 9…..where is this setting on your menu?

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Jenny, I’m glad that the lotion turned out well for you! On the labels when I print, there is a little option in the print box that says: Page Scaling:’ Shrink to Printable Area’. I change that to the option that says: ‘None’. I work on a Mac so I’m not sure what it says on the PC print menu. Hope that helps!

  35. Bonita Peele

    Does any one know how to make rose water by placing it in the sun. I would like to use Rose water in place of the water.

  36. Bonita Peele

    I was reading the instructions an realized that someone already asked about a preservative. Asonomagarden if you was to include a preservative which would you suggest? I would like to give this as a gift and you have no control how long a person will keep a product. I would hate that 6 months later it has funny things moving around in it. I was going to use Vitamin E anyway as one of the ingrediants. I see that you say Tea tree oil is a great additive. Can anyone tell me of the products that one might add for eczema and psoriasis conditions.

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Bonita, I wish I could provide you with preservative info, but my lotion making knowledge is limited only to this recipe. When giving it as a gift I’d just suggest to your receivers that they use it promptly since it is free of any preservatives. I’ve added Vitamin E to batches before and it all floats to the top instead of mixing in. You can try it, but that is what happened to me. This recipe as is helped my son’s eczema quite a bit so I’m not sure what else you could add to make it even more effective. Let me know if you do find something.

    • Michele

      Yes anything with water or comes in contact with water needs a preservative. Google soap making sits or “point of interest” blog- she explains what isn’t a preserve and the options you have. Beeswax Is NOT an emulsifier. Different oils will change the shelf life of the product.

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  38. Hi there, I have recently made your recipe, one with olive oil and one with coconut oil. I liked the olive oil better. But, after about a week the coconut oil had little black spots growing on the surface, then about 4-5 days later the olive oil one did. You have not had this problem at all??

    I didn’t put in fridge, but less than two weeks seems so short of time.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you for the recipe and labels, so generous of you.

  39. greenwitch

    Just curious – I looked into emulsifying wax on the ‘net, and it seems that it is made using sodium lauryl sulfate, or sodium dodecyl sulfate, which is the scientific name for the same. I’m trying to exclude this chemical from my household – it appears in many store-bought shampoos and toilettries, and its original usage was as a cleaner or degreaser. Does Mountain Rose have anything to say about their house brand? The affects of SLS may be negative for those suffering from excema.

    Thanks in advance, I would love to make my own lotion, but not if it’s got SLS hiding in it anyway…

  40. made some of this lotion and it worked great. a recommendation:
    i made a bottle with a pump in it and also a jar with lid, as recommended. the pump has no mold growing in it, and its been close to two months at room temp, but the jar grew some right away. i think its a matter of touching it with your hands, so a glass bottle with a pump works best.

    for the prior comment, i’ve read that beeswax works as an emulsifier also, its probably worth investigating for entirely natural ingredients.

    • Toni ledford

      I haven’t made the lotion recipe yet, but I have made the beeswax formula and I love it. I put the clean dry jars in a baking pan before using them and set them in a 250 degree oven for 30 minutes. I know that boiling temp is 212 F and you need to leave it in for at least 5 min, so I thought that 250 F dry would work as well. Make sure they are totally cool before filling. I have not had any problems with anything growing on them. If the lids are not plastic, you can “bake” them too. Also, it is good to know that everyone carries staph aureus on their skin as normal flora. If that comes in contact with a good growth medium, ie…homemade lotion, you may find some growth. The trick is not to contaminate the inside of the jars/lids or the lotion before closing the lids. Hope this helps.

  41. oh! also Grapefruit Seed Extract is a good anti-mold agent to add to homemade stuff, you only need a couple drops, so the expense of it works out.

    bottles, I’ve been getting “boston” bottles at sunburst bottle company, you can choose white or black pumps. I reuse them for ages, and they work great.

  42. Kyle Marie

    Thank you for the great idea! One question though. When you say hand cream, I’m assumming you can use it all over. Also, do you have a good recipe for body wash? I get nervous everytime I shave and then lather up with all those store bought chemicals. How can that be good for you? Thanks again!

  43. angela barber

    I was wondering, is this lotion creamy or runny? does it thicken after it cools? if I wanted it creamier, could I use a electric mixer to make it that way? and does it get moldy if its not used right away? thanks

    • asonomagarden

      Angela, It’s a creamy lotion and mine hasn’t gotten moldy at all. But I tend to use an entire jar within 6 weeks or so. Have fun making it!

  44. Jennifer

    Hey guys,
    Just wondering if anyone knows how to add a bit of color to the lotions?? I’m guessing using regular food coloring would not be wise. Thanks, J

  45. Sonoma, I know this is an old post, your labels are gorgeous. I am wondering if you use laser or ink jet for those labels?

    thank you for sharing all of this

    • asonomagarden

      Hi dreamseeds, I used my inkjet for these, but I’m sure a laser would do just fine too if that’s what you have.

  46. Is this ok to ask? How did you get your letters to go around the circle in a curve.

    I totally love your design and have never been able to figure it out.

    Your blog is awesome, Please keep blogging after you sell your place

  47. tobeybobey

    As asonomagarden has said, Mountain Rose Herbs sell not only emusifying wax, but also many of the products you have all asked about. Look there first.
    Also, these are some of the essential oils that I chose to put in a cold cream for ACNE, ECZEMA, PSORIASIS, DERMATITUS, ITCHING:
    frankincense eo(eo = essential oil), organic patchouli eo, jasmine eo, organic ylang ylang eo, sandalwood eo, lavender eo, organic rosemary eo, organic geranium eo, organic bergamot eo, organic spearmint eo, tangerine eo, organic tea tree eo, organic petitgrain eo – all sold at MRH.
    If you look up the essential oils at Mountain Rose Herbs and look at each one, they have a spot called “learn more” in each one that if tapped, will tell you the benefits of each that will help different problems.
    Check it out!

    • jody

      I tried two batches. I want to give as gifts this X-mas and hoping they do not “turn” as fast as some are saying. I used clean baby food jars and was wondering if I should put the lid on while still hot? I tried some with no lid overnight and the lotion was all runny underneath a harder film on top. But all I did was scoop it all out and use the electric mixer (I recommend that) and is fine now. Any other suggestions on covering/not covering the jars while cooling? Thanks

      • asonomagarden

        I put the lid on while it cools which helps it not have that firm top. I’ve found that if I keep the glass jar on the bathroom counter then it doesn’t go bad. But when I put it under the sink cabinet then it does tend to mold faster. I would suggest making this in mid December for xmas gifts, just in case.

  48. thanks for this recipe. i have seen other recipes for lotions and i believe they suggest using a mixer to blend the ingredients. i think it helps with the creaminess too.lavender is antibacterial also. emulsifiers act as a surfactant to keep the cream stable over time (mixed, not separated), so emulsifying oil would be necessary if you want the cream to stay mixed. here is a link to natural emulsifiers, including beeswax.
    lecithin is also a natural (soy) emulsifier

  49. i found two more sites that might be of interest to readers
    they both deal with preservatives
    i did notice it says that you shouldnt dip your fingers into the jars, but use a spoon or somesuch, as water is a great breeding ground. it also stated that you should refrigerate after 3-4 days….

  50. Dreamseeds

    A stick blender has been my most successful tool for creammaking. I had separation issues prior to using one.

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  52. ScienceGirl

    I’m a pharmacy student who started to learn how to compound this year, and I’m looking for some “recipes” for lotion online that I can make for Christmas gifts.

    Several points I’d like to share. First, this recipe seems fine, but it is a TOPICAL product. If your child ingests it, call poison control. It may be natural, but so is chalk. That doesn’t mean you should be eating it.

    Also, if you are aware of a compounding pharmacy in your area, the pharmacists there may be able to answer some of your questions about making your own lotions, especially if you’re concerned about safety or want to know where to order supplies.

    Lastly, when we made cold cream, we gave it a six-month expiration in our class. If you don’t add preservatives to your lotion, I’d suggest using it up by six months or throwing the rest away.

  53. ScienceGirl

    Oh, one more thing. Try to use sterilized and/or really clean containers while making your lotion. This should make it last longer.

    If the lotion does smell funny or have spots in it, DON’T use it.

  54. WOW!!!! I’m only 10 yet i now can sell and make my own HAND
    LOTION.i was amazed at how fast and easy this is thanks sooooooo!!! much.just wondering dose any body else have good cosmetics recipies.


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  56. Cindy

    I love that I found your site, and am so ready to try this, however, I would like to add fragrances, is that possible and if so, how much?

    Thanks for sharing.


  57. Amazing! you have inspired me to give it a go.Can you add colour to the recepie?

  58. yolanda

    Hi, I started out making my own candles then on to bath salts, bath beads,and foot scrubs. So I decied hmmmm what about lotion and this seems to be the easiest w/o a thousand ingredietnts that to me at the end your still buying the store lotion. Now I have a question…I have made this lotion which by the way smells good (used orange essential oil) but, my top layer has hardend but, my bottom layer is still liquidy (if that’s even a word). I followed the recipe as is. I heated up my water in all. so where did I go wrong?

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Yolanda – I wish I could give you a good answer, you did use emulsifying wax and not beeswax, right? I’ve never had that happen. Hmmm, give it a try one more time and see what happens.

    • holly

      Mine did the same thing. So I tossed it in the blender on the stir setting for about 30 seconds, it came out wonderfully. The next batch I made I let it sit for 1/2 – 1 hour I tossed it into the blender. The second batch was still liquidy but cool enough to not separate again. Much eaiser to get out of the blender than the first batch. Both are great but I will just add blending to my recipe steps.

  59. Kathy

    This is an excellent recipe! I added a little bit of cocoa butter to replace some of the oil and used a stick blender to mix everything.

  60. Nice post. I might have to share this with a few friends. Thanks. I’ve had psoriasis for about 46 years now. Psoriasis is bad enough but now I have psoriatic arthritis. After four years of methotrexate therapy, I’ve just about given up any hope. I’ve tried everything — nothing seems to really work for me. Think this could work for me?

  61. chieromancer

    I tried this with beeswax and it did not work! The water separated, then I made the mistake of putting it in the blender, which just made it worse. Huge Caveat! You cannot get the wax off of any utensil you use, so now I have to replace the blender carafe and my pyrex measuring cup.

    But I am not giving up, I’m trying some recipes I found elsewhere.

    • asonomagarden

      Nope, you definitely have to use emulsifying wax, not beeswax. Sorry it turned into such a mess for you.

    • gaiea goldberg

      you can remove wax by putting the objects in the oven on aluminum foil upside down(i also raise the items up a little by placing some small pebbles under the rims) use a low heat of 200 degrees for about 5 or 10 minutes,long enough for the wax to heat up and melt… i suggest that you not leave the oven…you can take the items out and wipe with a paper towel and then wash with a castile soap.

  62. sweet-joey

    I was very interested in making this lotion..and have never made anything like this before.I went on the Mountain Rose Herbs web site and was totally scared off by the warnings on essentials oils….one of them being avoid contact with skin..another, not rec. for children. Do the properties of the oils change when emulsified in the lotion?

    • Chantal

      You should avoid skin contact with essential oils because their high concentration makes them irritating. Their properties do not change when emulsified in lotion (as far as I know), but they are greatly diluted and thus all right to touch.

  63. which oil did you chose to use?

    • sweet-joey

      I would really like to make this lotion.I am very sensitive to smells and would like to make something with a light scent…any suggestions would be great

  64. Michael Adkins

    Hello. I loved the idea of making hand cream and tried my first batch. I just made my first batch and had a problem. The emulsifying wax separated from the water after about an hour.

    Here is what I did as I documented each step to be sure what to do the next time I wanted to make more.

    I doubled the recipe. I combined 1/2 cup of “Mountain Rose Herbs” emulsifying wax with 1/2 cup of “Wal-Mart” Pure Olive Oil and heated it in a metal mixing bowl emerged in water on the stove. I heated it till it combined to a clear gold liquid and checked the temperate of 150 degrees. Removed from the heat. I then added 2 1/2 cups of “Wal-mart” distilled water heated to 160 degrees in the microwave. The mixture turned to a milk consistency. I sturred till well mixed and then added “Jessica Bay Inc.” Essentail Oil Tropical Coconut” 70 drops.

    I poored the mixture into 1 – 10oz tester bottle and 4 – 5 ounce clear plastic tester bottles.

    I set the bottles aside to cool over night. But in about an hour I seen the water seperated to the bottom of the bottles and the wax collected at the top.

    I have since re-heated the mixture and waiting to see what happens. Can you help explain why this seperated? I thought the emulsifyinhg wax purpose was to combine water and wax to keep them suspended together.

    Thank you.

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Mike- I wish I had answers. I’ve only made it in single batches using the microwave. I usually only put about 15 drops of essential oil, maybe that was it? Or maybe it was using the evil Walmart’s products! Ha! Give it one more try using a single batch in the microwave.

  65. Michael Adkins

    Hello Again,

    I found after re-heating the mixture a second time and then as it started to set up I stared and blended it again that the lotion started to bond with the water. Poring the lotion is a cooled state into bottles is a lot harder. I will know by tomorrow if it has separated again. If it holds together then I have another question. How to you control the thickness or consistency of the hand lotion. Now it appears to be thicker than I would like. Any suggestions?

    Thank you.

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Mike, I hope the lotion worked out this morning! I don’t know how to control the thickness actually, but that would be a good thing to experiment with. Mine always turns out thick, which is why I put it in the jar, so I can scoop it out with my hands. Let me know how it turns out.

    • gileah

      Mike, don’t know if you’ll check this again, and you might have figured out how to make it less thick. But I add closer to 2 cups of hot water. I use a 4 cup glass jar, and after I’ve heated the emulsifying wax/oil combo and added the essential oil I fill the hot water to just below the 3 cup marker on the jar. It seems too watery at first, but I give it a good shake after I’ve poured it into the bottles. By the next morning it’s the perfect consistency.

    • Jen

      Oh me Oh My!!!! I have been heating and wisking and re heating and all I know is it just WON’T stay congealed for me. This is the third time I’ve tried it and I’m at the point I’m going to throw in the towel. At the moment my jars of “mixture” are in the FREEZER to see if they would like work right that would be great but I’m thinking about it now and I think they’ll separate one I take them out. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong : ( Any ideas anyone?

      • asonomagarden

        Jen, I wish I could help. You are using emulsifying wax correct? Hmmm, wish I could come over and see what was going on. All I can say is to try making it again, and stir every couple of minutes while it cools down. Try a blender maybe?

  66. Love the labels, they are gorgeous.

    @Andy, most times the finished product is contigent on the ingredients used. If they’re cheap ingredients, you’ll get a lotion fighting to find it’s identity. That’s my 2 cents 😀

  67. Larry

    Mine separated too, so I re-nuked it until it all melted again. Then I mixed it with a spoon every few minutes until it cooled enough to stop trying to separate. The result is smooth and creamy, kind of like pudding. DW likes it!


  68. Terry

    I love this Recipe. Does this thicken somewhat?

  69. elaine

    can’t wait to try this with my 9 year old…she’s been making body scrubs to sell and donate proceeds to Haiti victims/united way/red cross…i think this would be another great item…plus our family goes through lotion like there is no tomorrow…i’ll come back to let you know of the outcome.

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  72. Looking forward to trying this. Does anyone know how long this lotion lasts after making it?

  73. Leah

    Hi! I have searched your site for the lip balm recipe and can’t find it! Can you direct me please?

  74. Michael Cofelice

    I tried this yesterday. I did everything as the directions said but I used a plastic rubbermaid wide container. It did not turn out good. It had a hard top layer aout 1/2 inch thick and under the thick layer was still very watery. I think everything went to the top. I wonder if it is because of the container I used. I purchased some regular class jar containers to see if that changes the way it hardens during the colding process.

  75. Sarah L

    People you have to try this!!! It made my hands so soft after i used it. It also helps treat x-ma and not just on your hands!!!

  76. Pingback: A Springy Hand Lotion Update « A Sonoma Garden

  77. Seagull

    Oils used:
    1) Olive oil is nice but too expensive
    2) Corn oil Worked as a lotion but left behind yellow stains on clothes if not entirely rubbed into skin.
    3) Vegetable oil So far, so good.

    The corn oil and vegetable oil were from Aldi, the olive oil from Sam’s, their house brand.

    Some batches come out runny, some too hard, some just right. I pour the new batch on top of the leftover. The runny batches are remicrowaved with more emulsifying wax, the hard batches are remicrowaved with more oil.

    Thank you for a terrific recipe, best way I’ve found to use up stale oil.

  78. I really liked reading your post!. Quallity content.
    i’m a big fan of natural remedies. blessing…. from Lisa

  79. I’m new to making lotion and I’m wondering if I can use goats’ milk in the recipe along with beeswax?


    • asonomagarden

      This is the only lotion recipe I’ve tried to. However you can always give it a try and see how it goes! Let me know how it works.

  80. Pingback: Caring for Your Skin: Homemade Hand Lotion « Time for Dinner

  81. Kristine Meier

    I was wondering if the beautiful images on your labels are available on Illustrator as well???

  82. Lynn

    I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this lotion recipe. My son seems to have eczema and regardless of what lotion I tried, he’d scratch his skin until he was sometimes near bleeding- which would wake him up at night. I tried this recipe and it is out of this world. Within a few days, my son’s skin cleared up and was perfect! It was so great, that I got lazy and stopped using it twice a day, and we’re back to it since his sky was dry again. I’ve referred every person I know to this- and am excited to make have it as a take-away favor for my future Sister-In-Law’s upcoming wedding shower! Thanks so much- you have no idea what a difference this has made!

    I’m surprised at the difference in results people get- my numerous batches have turned out perfectly every time- I use it until it’s gone, have never had black spots appear in it- and when the jar is empty, I throw it in the dishwasher for the next batch.

    • Lindsay

      Did you use the exact recipe listed? My son has horrible exczema. I started using coconut oil and jojoba blend on him last week and it seems to be workign very well, but I’ll try this also.

    • Brittany

      What essential oils did you use? I currently don’t have any and would like to keep my order to a minimum. I have some mild eczema and my sister has severe eczema all over her and I’m eager to try this lotion. What essential oils do you suggest? Are they absolutely necessary?

      • asonomagarden

        Brittany, I used lavender, but I also love the smell of jasmine. There are so many different scents to choose from, pick whatever you like. However you can also skip those all together if you like. They are optional.

  83. lambzrule!

    is there anything u can substitute 4 the emulsifying wax? or can u only use the emulsifying wax?

    • Angela Vullo

      The emulsifying wax is what binds the water and oil together. It probably is the best choice out there if you want a cream lotion. You can make lotion with oil and beeswax though. It will be greasier. That is how I make mine. Emulsifying wax is heavily processed and comes from alcohol. I prefer to stick with all natural ingredients. Use about 10-12 oz of oil and a 1 oz stick of beeswax instead. You can remelt if it is not the consistancy you want. Add more beeswax to thicken it. You wont be able to add water without it seperating. Then when you apply it to your skin make sure it is still slightly wet and the lotion will seal in that moisture. Also make sure to add vitamin E oil to preserve your lotion or it will go bad within a few months. You can use other oils like jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, or almond oil.

  84. For your face...

    wow this is really awesome! look forward to making some for stocking stuffers 🙂 well done.

  85. Julie

    What is the difference between using beeswax and emulsifying wax? I have a book with essentially the same recipe you supply here, except it calls for beeswax and no water.
    Thank you,

    • asonomagarden

      Julie I don’t know what the difference is, however I do know that a couple people have commented that they tried using beeswax and the mixture never emulsified.

    • Danielle

      Hi there,

      Emulsifying wax is used to bind water and oil mixtures, whereas beeswax is used in ointments and balms. I hope this helps :o)

    • HI Julie

      Beeswax is a hardener or a thickener, and emulsifyer combines the oils with the water. I hope that annswered your question


  86. john

    This lotion is really not poisonous? It is totally non-toxic? just want to make sure 🙂

  87. I was just wondering if you thought Avocado Oil would work in place of the olive oil? Just curious. I’m just starting to make my own deodorant and want to start making my own lotion as well.

    Thanks for your posts!

  88. Pingback: How to Make Your Own Cosmetics

  89. Danielle

    Hi there,
    I happened upon your recipe completely by chance and just want to say a HUGE thank you! I have tried making emulsions a few times, but the results have always turned been a bit of a disaster!

    But after half an hour and a few alterations to the recipe (i used a mixture of cocoa butter, sweet almond oil and wheatgerm oil instead of olive, and a mixture of rose water and chamomile water) I now have 4 beautiful little jars of a lovely nourishing, thick lotion for my parched hands. I will definitely be using this again in future – and thank you for the lovely label templates too.

    x x

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  92. Do you have idea how many cups come out of 1 pound of the wax? I’m trying to judge the cost effectiveness. Thanks!

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Alisa, I would guesstimate that 4 or 5 cups is in that 1 lb bag. It’s really cost effective to make it yourself!

      • Thank you for that answer! Also…I’m trying to determine how much essential oil I would need to buy. I see 1/2 ounce quantities sold. Will that last awhile…or do I need larger bottles? Thanks for your help!

      • asonomagarden

        Go ahead and buy the little bottle of essential oil Alisa. I use about 24 drops each time and that lasts me about 5 jars worth of lotion.

  93. Becca

    I am interested in making my own lotion and was looking for the cheapest place to buy emulsifying wax, when I found this site that talked about the different chemicals used to create the wax. The site said that two of the three chemicals are mostly harmless, but the other chemical rates a 7 on a scale of 0 to 10, as likely to cause cancer. I would research this and find more information if I were using the wax. I’m going to try making whipped shea butter with raw shea instead (I figure as long as I’m spending the money it might as well be natural).

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  95. Lisa

    My lotion also separated. The next batch, I let it cool while stirring to keep it from separating. Once it had cooled and thickened a bit, I poured into jars and it didn’t separate! It’s gorgeous lotion. Thanks for the recipe.

  96. Paula

    Quick question…If I wanted to add glycerin and vitamin E to the lotion what measurements would I use and at what point would I add them in the process?


    • Hi Paula,

      I have a different recepie but i would not put more then 1 tablespoon.

      Also the best is to use a handmixer to mix the ingredients. I always put my vitamin E at the end almost when the lotion is a little cooler.


  97. Hi,

    Well i posted last week but i dont know why my question dont show up, maybe it was erased, i dont know.I am making handlotion and beauty products in natural ways for over 3 years now. I did a lot of research what the best is for the products. And I only
    want the best for my familie and my customers.I was thorn between preserve or not to presereve.

    My question to you is, where is your preservative? If you mix water and oil together after 3 hours it will build up mold and funges… vitamin E or tea tree oil alone is not preserving the lotion it helps but you need a litle more then that. If you dont put any preservative in it then you have to put it in the fridge, even in the fridge it only holds for maybe 2 to 4 weeks. And you have to put that on the label as well…. If you have any question i maybe could help.

    I hope hearing from you



    • asonomagarden

      Hi Tanja – Sorry I’ve been out having a baby and not paying careful attention to comments the past two weeks. I don’t put a perservative in my lotion and haven’t had any problems with it. I’ve been using it for over two years.

      • Oh ok… yes i saw that that you dont preserve it. The thing is like i said that when you mix water and oil together and you dont preserve it, mold and funges will grow less in 3 hours. It can be dangerous to your health, since your skin is the biggest organ and takes everything in. It was talked about it, that you could get rashes and also up to blindness and death. That is just what i was reading from researches i saw from internet or books. I just thought to put it out there so that everyone knows.

  98. sweet-joey

    I want to make this unscented as I cannot wear fragrance where I work…is it possible to just omit the essential oil?

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  100. Thank you so much for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it out! Do you think almond oil can be substituted for the olive oil and it still come out the same?

    • asonomagarden

      Katie, I don’t know if it will come out the same, I would assume that it would, but give it a try and let me know!

  101. I have been looking for a good recipe for hand lotion. Will try this one just as soon as I get all the ingredients.

  102. I would love to try your hand-lotion. Thank you so much for showing us this.

  103. Nita

    Can we make this hand lotion without emulsifying wax? What are the subsitutes? In my place it is so difficult to get emulsifying wax.

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Nita, I think you really do need the emulsifying wax. Can you order it from Mountain Rose Herbs? I believe they deliver anywhere.

  104. Maria-Greece

    Thank you so match
    for a fantastic recipe and for the tags!

  105. Pingback: How to Make an Easy Winter Hand Salve (aka Eczema Fighting Lotion) « A Sonoma Garden

  106. Sonja

    Love this recipe! On the separation issue, I shake the bottles every few minutes or so until it cools down. It has never separated. A little less wax makes it creamer. I have never had mold grow in my lotion. Thanks for the recipe.

  107. Pingback: Do-It-Yourself: Make Your Own Lotion :: Money Saving Mom®

  108. Thank you so much for posting this. I just found you through Money Saving Mom and I’m so glad I did. I’ll be checking your blog often. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. 🙂

  109. Carol

    Just wondered if anyone has tried coconut oil in place of the olive oil. My brother is a bee keeper and has many times said he was going to experiment to make natural cosmetics with bee’s wax. We use coconut oil in our cooking in place of other oils and it would already have a hint of coconut fragrance. Also found you through Money Saving Mom. Have already saved you to my favorites. Thanks a Bunch!!

    • asonomagarden

      Carol, I have added coconut oil into the lotion but haven’t replaced it completely with the olive oil. I would think it would work, but would make it much thicker. Give it a try and let me know. Also, if you are going to substitute beeswax for emulsifying wax, make sure to blend it together with a stick blender to keep it from separating.

      • I used my stick blender with the beeswax and my blender, and it still separated. I blended it when it was still warm and it looked fine, until it cooled. The wax and oil solidified at the top and the water stayed well, water underneath. When I blended it it became creamy but the water still wouldn’t mix.

        Any suggestions?

      • asonomagarden

        Hmm, I guess beeswax won’t work even when blended. Sorry that it didn’t work for you Paimbia, however yes, save it for soap or chapstick making and get some emulsifying wax for the lotion. It works perfectly, I promise!

  110. I saw this on moneysavingmom and am SO glad I’ve found your site! 🙂 I CANNOT wait to make this. =) THANK YOU!!!

  111. Katie

    How long does this last before it gets rancid?

    • asonomagarden

      Katie, I use it up too fast so I haven’t noticed it going rancid. I usually make a jar every month to month & a half.

  112. Darby Lohrding

    I just found your site and love it!!! I am so excited about the recipes you have shared!!! I go through a ton of lotion and can’t wait to make this lotion of yours!!! I wanted to ask, have you noticed if this lotion has helped with your sons excema?
    I have a friend who’s daughter had excema so bad that she had to home school her…isn’t that sad!
    Have a great day and again thanks for sharing!!!
    darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

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  114. Crystal

    Hi im interested in making this. I use a lot of lotion and would like it to be a daily moisturizer, wondering if it would be too oily? i also just got some honeysuckle extract.. can i use it instead of the essential oil?

  115. You problems with your lotion separating is because you haven’t properly emulsified your lotion.

    Lotions, just like mayonnaise, is made of fats and liquids that are emulsified. When you just simply stir it, it just mixes together. If you whip it together in a blender, it emulsifies. That means the liquids attach to the fats creating a cream.

    • Katy

      Just a quick note – your recipe is awesome! And creates a great lotion – but a tip for all those whose lotion has separated: you have to use a lighter oil. I made a large batch of lotion using extra virgin olive oil and lavender extract, and they all separated just a little bit. Then, I made a batch using sweet almond oil, with the exact same methods, and there was no separation at all. Since the almond oil is lighter, I think it emulsifies a little easier.

      Just a tip! Thanks again for an awesome recipe!

  116. Tasha

    Thank you so much I too found you from money saving mom. I made this and have been using it for the last 3 days on my 3 year old that has excema. It it working better than cureal and aveeno at a fraction of the price and no scary ingredients. I have used it on my self as well. She has had no flair ups or dry/rough red patches like when I try other creams.

  117. I tried the recipe with beeswax and I agree with other women, it totally separated. I don’t agree with one poster who said she had to toss out her Pyrex. I washed mine and it is just fine, same with my blender, maybe because mine are glass?

    Anyway, I did put mine in the blender and the wax and oil became creamy but the water would not mix with it. Once it cooled it separated. So, I took out the creamy wax/oil solution and put it into a jar because it is fine and tossed the water.

    I think for my next batch I will use a different emulsifier and keep the beeswax for making my soap. I do love the ease of this recipe though!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  119. Diane

    After you pour the lotion into the mason jars, do you allow the mixture to cool uncapped, or do you place the lids on right away? Is condensation from the warm lotion a problem?

  120. Kat

    I made this just tonight, and boy, am I happy I did! Both my husband and I get tattooed often, and we need a dependable (vegan) lotion to take care of tattoos as they’re healing. I just put the lotion on my hands, and I think this will be it: gentle enough to not irritate, but also a good protection. Thank you for the recipe! I’ll have to tell my tattoo artist about this, as he always recommends Curel…

  121. Hi there! I’ve made several batches of this lotion {love it!} for gifts this Christmas, along with the chapstick, deodorant and hand salve. Most of my batches of lotion came out perfectly, but one didn’t. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong until last night. The batch that had separated had chilled in the fridge. I tried another batch last night and let it set up on the counter overnight–it turned out perfectly. I’m thinking maybe cooling the lotion too quickly can also cause the separation? In any case, I love this recipe…as well as all your others! Thank you!

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  123. Shawna

    I LOVE this stuff! I’ve made two batches of this lotion in the microwave. The first batch turned out perfect. I used one mason jar to melt the oil/wax and another to heat the water. Then I combined and poured it in third a mason jar for storing and the next morning it was great. I did shake the jar once or twice the night before while cooling.

    The second batch separated. And I think it’s because I have a plastic measuring cup. I used the plastic cup to heat up the water and poured it into the oil/wax mixture, which was heated in a mason jar. This batch was also stored in a glass jar, but was hard and wax on top with skim milk on the bottom. I was able to re-microwave these, replace the lids and shook them while cooling and they are okay now. (A little folding with a rubber spatula helped this along the next morning.) (Be careful re-heating, I had some wax pop and explode all over the place in the microwave. What a mess!) Also my second batch was divided into two parts so I could add diffrent essential oils for separate gifts. It may have gotten too hot in smaller quantities. Anyway, the plastic measuring cup has been banned to the back of the cupboard.

    I think if all items are heated using glass containers and stored in glass jars, it works out fine. Also, I wouldn’t advise doubling or halfing the recipe. Any of you who are having problems with other heating methods might try this.

  124. WOW! I waited forever to get my jars, as I ordered those on eBay… but it was well worth it! My daughters helped me make this today, and we made it Tangerine scented (purchased Tangerine oil from Mountain Rose Herbs). The scent is so light, I think it will be good for my 15 year old stepdaughter, who is terribly allergic to most lotions and perfumes! My kids put it on and couldn’t stop sniffing their hands and arms! LOL! 🙂 I didn’t think it felt waxy at all, and I had no trouble with it separating. I made 7 jars straight away, and I used my electric teapot to keep the water hot, since I was making so much.

    Thanks again for the recipe! I’ll never buy stuff from the stores again! 🙂

  125. Caitlin

    I just tried making lotion. I did some last night and they were a total fail. Didn’t thicken at all. I added the water and oil/wax mix together while they were warm.

    I am also using beeswax because I get it from my aunt and uncle who have bees.

    But I found that if you let the oil/wax cool so that it is starting to solidify on the edges on the top THEN add water it works. And add cold water and add it VERY slowly while mixing the lotion. Then if you want it to be thicker vs thinner you can just add more water. I think this is probably the only way you’ll be able to get good lotion with the beeswax since it is a bit different than emulsifying wax.

    I also added aloe vera gel to mine since I wanted some lotion specifically for my face. I added it right after all the water was blended in. I think I added a bit too much though because it didn’t all mix in. I also think next time I’ll add some tea tree oil or something to help with breakouts.

  126. Heather

    I’ve had the recipe saved forever while I waited to be able to grab all the ingredients… and I’m saddened that it did not work out according to plan.

    I followed all the instructions to a t… except I used coconut oil instead of olive…. could that be the reason it seperated so badly?

    I also didnt use a thermometer but I followed the heating instructions…

    it didnt get milky when i added the water, but after shaking the jar for a while it seemed to combine well so I let it sit… upon further investigation later there were pockets of liquid amongst thick globs of lotiony stuff.

    the actual lotion part is lovely and smells amazing.. but I obviously want to do it right.

    should I try again with olive oil? I wanted to use coconut because its a little lighter and has a more pleasant smell for cosmetics… but maybe its too light.

    Also… I’m on my second attmept to go “no – poo” its going much better than the first time around! I absolutely adore your blog !

    • i want to try this too with coconut oil because i don’t like the smell of OO and coconut oil has a lot of wonderful properties for skin, as well as tamanu oil. i wan’t to try it and see if i can make it work or maybe add less water and use the coconut oil

  127. I think your blog is marvelous I found it on Bing. Definetely will return again! I am very exsiting about learning newknowledgeHave a good day, Alex

    • Rawney

      I am making your lotion as a craft for our women’s MOPS group…50 women!! Yikes! I am going to use a crockpot to melt the wax as 50 women can’t stand around the microwave melting it! Anyways, do you know if I can reheat the wax and use it again later?
      (Also, I’ve never done this before so no expertise here, but I was reading about making lotion and I read that if the emulsifying wax isn’t vegetable that it will cause the lotion to separate…so that could be the problem with some of your readers’ lotion.)

  128. Pingback: Let’s Be Practical | Northwest Shift

  129. rawney

    Hey! I’m making this lotion for a women’s group craft – 50 women – yikes! I was wondering if it changes the properties of the wax if I reheat it after melting it. I am melting it in a crockpot as there are too many women and want to be able to reuse the leftovers. Thanks!

  130. Paimbia

    I have used avocado oil, almond oil, grape-seed oil, and olive oil for the lotion, they all work wonderfully. I am on about week 3 for no shampoo and my hair is better. So is my son’s and he has oily hair problem. Since doing this we’ve noticed an overproduction of oil to start with but now it’s balancing itself out. Thank you for such a wonderful site. I have even sent my husband here for the gardening tips.
    Last year our tomatoes were terrible. This year we are going to try the tip you mention about the pvc pipe. We have bad soil and it’s real hard to water so this may help. We’re also going total organic on our mulch so … I’ll post back and let you know how it went!

  131. I have made this and am in love with the results! I made one batch exactly as yours, and it is beautiful and so lovely on our skin. I gave some to a pregnant friend and she loves using it on her dry baby belly. Another batch I used calendula infused olive oil and it turned out just as nice, with a little healing component with the calendula. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

    Oh and I keep what we aren’t using in the door of the fridge. No problems with mold, probably because we use it so fast. 🙂

  132. Pingback: Homemade Hand Cream « local kitchen

  133. Wendi

    Hi, I was wondering how to add fragrance(s) to this lotion. Also, what kind of olive oil should I use in this? I’m wanting to make a cranberry/pomegranate lotion. I usually buy mine from someone else, but I’m sick of paying for something that I am certain that I can make on my own. I’m also wanting to give this out as gifts. You said this was a good lotion for people with sensitive skin (i.e eczema), is this also a good lotion for people with acne problems? Thank you so much for this post and also for your time to read and respond to this reply.

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Wendi, I add about 12 drops of my favorite essential oil, I frequently change it up. Check out Mountain Rose Herbs to see if they have any cranberry or pomegranate essense. Use any sort of olive oil you like! I use whatever we have on our kitchen counter, usually extra virgin. I don’t know about acne…I have used this on my face before, but I think it’s too thick and it seems like it makes me break out a little. I use the lotion only on my body.

  134. Thank you for your helpful information. I purchased the items to make the lotion–wow! After making some for myself, I am sold! I am making some for a friend tonight. What an incredible post!

  135. brian white

    is there an oil that can be used instead of olive to avoid the odor associated with it? canola, corn, vegetable? etc.?



  136. Kristen

    Hi, i am wondering if you can use beeswax instead of the emulsofying wax? Thank you!

  137. Pingback: Woodland Walk Lotion « A Sonoma Garden

  138. Hello! I wanted to give you a heads-up – Your how-to recipe has been featured on my blog!
    Here is the link, and I hope you enjoy!
    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe!!! 😀

    Azteca Designs

  139. kristen

    I made this lotion with beeswax and grapeseed oil. Once it cools the wax hardens and all the water/oil is separate. any ideas??? SO bummed! 😦

  140. Claire

    Mountain Rose Herbs sells National Formulary (NF)Vegetable Emulsifying Wax. Regardless of the seller, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax NF contains Polysorbate 60. According to the Environmental Working Group’s non-profit website evaluating cosmetic ingredient safety (, animal studies show reproductive effects and tumor formation at high doses of Polysorbate 60. In addition, Polysorbate 60 is an ethoxylated compound, meaning it has been treated with ethylene oxide: a KNOWN human carcinogen with moderate evidence of causing reproductive, skin and gastrointestinal cancers.

    I think your website is a wonderful resource encouraging smart consumers to make or use safer alternative cosmetics. Making homemade lotions is a smart way to avoid toxic, endocrine disrupting (cancer promoting) preservatives and phthalates.

    In my opinion, a safe one-for-one alternative to Vegetable Emulsifying Wax NF is a product called Olivem 1000 (Olivem 1000 is a non-ionic, ethoxylate-free, oil-in-water self-emulsifier naturally derived from olive oil). Olivem 1000 is available at

    I am not employed by the Italian company that manufactures Olivem or by The Herbarie. I have nothing to gain financially by encouraging self-formulators to use Olivem 1000, except for peace of mind.

    • I’m so glad you offered this information, as I don’t think most people are aware of this. Vegetable emulsifying wax is a highly processed substance, as you mentioned, this processing leaves behind undesirable toxins, such as Polysorbates and 1,4 dixoane. Vegetable emulsifying wax sounds natural and benign but, as Mountain Rose advises on their site: “Because of its heavily manufactured nature, alcohol content, and post-production residue which includes polysorbates, this material cannot be considered a benign “natural additive”. From what I’ve read on Olivem 1000, it’s tentatively considered safe, but who knows what the evidence will show down the road?

      This is one reason why I stick to oil-based formulas and steer clear of water-based recipes that require an emulsifier. Another reason is the need for preservatives, which is an IMPORTANT NOTE to make regarding water-based lotions. Without some sort of preservative, water-based lotions are high risks for bacterial and microbial contamination, some of which can be serious. As such, these types of lotion should be made under extremely sanitary conditions and using distilled water. Even then, it’s not a matter of if, but when the bacteria, fungi, yeast and other microorganism will set up house. As such, the “safe” shelf life for water-based lotions with no added preservatives ranges from a few days to a few weeks — and that’s under refrigeration! Dipping fingers into it hastens the process.

      As with the emulsifiers, the available preservatives for water-based lotions are highly processed and subject to the similar contamination concerns. For instance, grapefruit seed extract, another benign-sounding ingredient that is often recommended for preserving natural products, contains benzethonium chloride, triclosan and/or methyl paraben.

      I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, nor to disparage this blog, which I just love. I make my own natural balms, salves and deodorants and think everyone should use natural products, if possible. But it’s important to know as much as you can so that your natural products will be as healthy and safe as possible.

  141. shamika

    i cant wait to get started!!!

  142. Just found your website and this post. Made my first batch…and am in love! It’s so creamy and beautiful (not to mention easy). Thanks for the great recipe.

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  144. wow awesome tips here – making youre own hand lotion – I guess I could add many elements to this recipe – i will incorporate it now …. thanx 🙂

  145. Bonnie Alderman

    I am so excited about making all of this stuff..I have the tubes for the chap stick already, but I have to find something to use for a label..looks nicer…any suggestions..guess I will be doing alot of shopping on ebay…lol..thanks for putting this out there..also if you return an answer to me…is the lotion to think to put in a pump bottle? and the creams would have to go in a jar because of being thick..I am going to start shopping now…lol

    • asonomagarden

      Bonnie, I’m glad you are so excited to give these recipes a try. I am going to design a chapstick label at some point, its just a matter of finding the time. I haven’t put the lotion in a pump bottle yet. I keep meaning to try. It is a bit thick, but it might work. If you try it, let me know how it goes.

  146. brian

    this lotion recipe works great in a pump bottle. i use these
    just transfer from mixing container/measuring cup to ziploc bag, cut a corner and squeeze into bottle. a little will be leftover, but i just use another bottle and mix all my different recipes.



  147. Hi! I made the deodorant and it came out great, but the lotion separated. I put it in the fridge overnight to cool. Maybe I shoudl have let it cool at room temperature. Can I reheat it and try again? Love your site, btw!

    • asonomagarden

      Kathleen- make sure you are using emulsifying wax, not beeswax ( as I have done!). I let mine cool on the counter with a spoon in it and give it stir whenever I walk by. Good luck!

      • katmarsh0730

        Thanks! I’m definitely using emulsifying wax. I reheated it and am letting it cool on the counter, stirring a bit now and then with a whisk. So far, it’s holding together better.

  148. Thank you very much for sharing these wonderful recipes. I will be making some real soon, actually today!

  149. I am going back and forth and have a question…

    Would there be a problem with this recipe or formulation to use Candelilla Wax? I wasn’t sure if there was a certain wax used because of texture or if it had to do with how they emulsify together

    • asonomagarden

      Amanda, make sure to use the emulsifying wax and not the candelilla, the emulsifying was is what emulsifies them together.

  150. Lisa

    Is this a lotion thin enough to put in a bottle with a pump?

  151. Lisa

    For am emulsifying wax I used soy wax ECG blend, I had the right temps but it didn’t mix together, the water and oil mixture stayed separated-what did I do wrong?

  152. Thanks for the recipe! I’m planning on making this lotion in the near future and am looking into buying the ingredients. I’m wondering what when wrong when you used beeswax? The Mountain Rose Herb site that you link to says that beeswax can be used in creams. It also says the following about emulsifying wax:

    “Because of its heavily manufactured nature, alcohol content, and post-production residue which includes polysorbates, this material cannot be considered a benign “natural additive”.

    Ingredients (Derived From)
    Cetostearyl alcohol, and Ethoxylated Sorbitan Ester”

    I’m thinking I’d rather try the beeswax . . . .

    • asonomagarden

      Hannah, if you use the beeswax in this recipe, the lotion won’t bind together. Don’t use it! I’m actually working on a beeswax recipe right now, so if you want to order it go ahead. I hope to get it figured out within the next week or so.

      • Hannah

        Ok, thank you so much for your persistence in testing and developing these recipes so we can benefit without going through all the trial and error!

  153. This Such A Wonderful Idea To Try, I Will Be Trying This This Weekend……Thank You

  154. Pingback: DIY: Homemade lotion | Blatherskite

  155. cyncpymnWen

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  156. navywifey

    This sounds so easy!! I also tried a “make your own lotion” kit from Michaels (which claimed to be shea-butter lotion, but I have my suspicions that it wasn’t). Do you know of any stores that would sell emulsifying wax I could go to instead of ordering online (I’ve been doing a lot of this lately and it’s making me nervous). Also, if we did want to make shea or cocoa butter lotion, how much of that would we add, at what point would we add it and should we compensate for any of the other ingredients? Thanks so much for your help 🙂

  157. navywifey

    oh yeah and two more questions: will the lotion set correctly in a plastic container or must it set in a glass one? And if so would it be transferrable into a plastic container after it’s done setting?

    Also: I’ve enjoyed trying all your recipes…do you happen to have one for soap bars? I love the idea of making things like this with stuff you already have in your house 🙂

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Navywifey, It is easy to make the lotion. I don’t know what stores would sell the emulsifying wax, however Mountain Rose Herbs is a great company so I feel pretty good about ordering from them. I have added a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil to the recipe before and it’s turned out just fine. I think you just have to sort of experiment and see what works. It will set up in either plastic or glass and it would be transferable, however it would be messier to do it once it cools since it does thicken. I am working on getting a good soap recipe down to share, but it isn’t easy!

      • navywifey

        Thanks so much for all your help!! I’m looking forward to your soap recipe! I’ve been ordering different kinds of soaps from the internet to mold & fragrance (detergent-free and oatmeal soap), and was just curious about being able to make the actual soap myself. Easy or not, I’m willing to try! 🙂

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  159. SRD

    i made one jar of this as the recipe states and i had no probs w/separation. however, i did turn the jar as it was cooling. i love this and i can feel it on my body hours later. the only thing is, when i use it on my hands they feel a little drier afterwards. idk if it was too much essential oil or if i need to use something other than olive oil. any suggestions? we go through a lot of a lotion and i would love to be able to make my own, but my hands are very dry and i need something that works on that part too.

    • Dawn

      I use grapeseed oil in my lotion instead of olive oil and haven’t had a problem with dryness. It’s my understanding that of all the oils grapeseed absorbs the best.

  160. I love the recipe and your site. I’ll definitely be checking back often. Thanks for the information.

  161. Michele Cleveland

    could I use sweet almond or Jojoba oil as well?

  162. Jennifer Middleton

    Hello, I have been enjoying your lotion making blog. I’ve learned so much and am ready to dive in and make a batch or two. I’m wondering if you have ever tried adding Royal Jelly, fresh or freeze dried, to your recipe? I’m shopping for my ingredients tomorrow 9/7/11, hope to hear from you by then.

    Love your site,

  163. Pingback: Becoming Less Convenient: making my own lotion « proverbs3512

  164. Pingback: How to Make an Easy Beeswax Lotion | A Sonoma Garden

  165. Pingback: Adventures Into Hippie-ville: bars and chap stick « proverbs3512

  166. Jennifer Middleton

    Hi There! This weekend I made the lotion two ways with grapeseed oil. I’ve seen recipes where regular beewax was used. I tried it. What a miseralble mess. Then I ordered emulsifying wax from Amazon. It worked perfectly the first attempt. The lotion is a bit thick, like what you would want to use during the winter, which is what I was hoping for. I’m wondering tho, I see that you used pure olive oil, not light olive oil, which is what I usually buy at Costco. Would the pure olive oil be better? more nutrients?…. what would be the difference?

    • asonomagarden

      Jennifer, yes using beeswax in this recipe is a terrible mess! I just posted a mess free beeswax recipe if you have leftover wax. Also, I’ve used both the Costco olive oil for this lotion as well as extra virgin. I’ve even used canola oil in a pinch. They all work, but I can’t vouch for the nutrient content.

  167. Jennifer Middleton

    Yes! I did get that beeswax recipe email from you, Thanks! That’s the next lotion project I’m on as soon as the wax patilles come in the mail. I’ll letcha know how it comes out. 😀

  168. Patty

    I love this recipe……have made many jars. But have a question about the shelf life. I have found that after storing the cream in the closet for a few weeks……brown spots have developed on the top!!! Has anyone else had this problem?

    • asonomagarden

      Patty, this lotion has a short shelf life. I keep mine on the counter top and I think the light helps. You can add about five drops of Vitamin E or grapefruit seed essential oil as a preservative.

    • NurseEri

      Try tea tree oil or or the liquid from vitamin e capsules. I have read they are both good as natural preservatives. Also keep the unused jars in the fridge.

  169. I have a large block of beeswax and with winter coming I wanted to make some hand cream. Would I weigh the wax before melting it? How would I be sure to have the exact amount or would going a little over or under matter that much?
    I have been enjoying your lotion recipe so much. Mine have lasted for months and only one item kind of lost its smell and seemed to smell funny. I think that was due to the lid being cracked because nothing else has had anything bad happen to it.
    I’ve even used emu oil. It works well but no matter how much essential oil I use the emu smell would NOT go away … so I use it on my feet hahaha! I did one time end up using less oil and it came out a bit creamier. BUT I’d like to try the beeswax for winter.

  170. Great!! As soon as I have that I’ll start making some of course I’m in Southern California so winter might not start when I would like it to!!!! 🙂

  171. This is such a great recipe. I don’t know if it’s my skin or what but not quite as hydrating as I thought it would be. Your eczema lotion is fantastic!

    My question about this lotion is that my batch got a hard layer on top after I let it harden over night. Is this normal and if not did I do something wrong? Everything under that top layer is just fine though. Please help!

  172. Mine does it covered or not. I just stir it all up together and it’s fine after that. I kind of think of like I do pudding’s protective coating, still good enough to eat!! But don’t eat the lotion’s protective coating!! hahaha

  173. Jennifer Middleton

    Yes! This lotion does very well out of a pump bottle! I just put a funnel on the bottle and the lotion, even a bit thick, just slid right into the bottle within a about 5 minutes. I just love that! I haven’t tried it just made and hot yet, cause I can still get some batches that separate, when that happens I use a whisk and stir it real good. I like the fact that I can still feel this lotion on my skin the next day, but I don’t feel oily. 😀

    • SRD

      I was wondering about the pump bottle as I want to make this for xmas gifts. For me personal use, I just dig it out of the mason jar with a popsicle stick. Do you know of anyone who sells pint size glass jars w/pumps? I was trying to go for the all-in-one effect and skip the pouring. But if not, glad to know that it worked. I was worried with it being so thick it wouldn’t pour out easily and I’d have a mess scooping it out.

      • Jennifer Middleton

        Hi SRD,
        With me anyway, because there is usually a skin on the top of the set lotion, I bought a stick blender, Walmart, $20. I scoop out all of my set lotion into a bowl and give it a whirl with the stick blender, not very long, maybe 30 seconds or so. then I funnel it into the pump bottle. It real easy and clean that way, because the lotion just slides thru in a couple of minutes.That way there are no little soft chunks (stirred up blobs from the skin) to get stuck in the pump. It works beautifully. If you want just a few bottles, check out your health food stores, if you want many bottles check out Freund bottle company on the net. I just bought 50 bottles from them, cost me $33. I have also thought of just pouring the hot lotion into the pump bottles, but still sometimes I get a batch that may separate, then it would be a hassle getting it out of the bottles and cleaning it all up, and all of that. This way I know the lotiion is right when I put it into the pump bottles.

  174. Pingback: Making Lotion | Sincerely, Emily

  175. I love your site. The photography is absolutely beautiful! Everything looks so peaceful, even though I’m sure its not always that way. I put a link to your handmade lotion on my blog, along with a photo. Thank you for being so willing to share.

  176. Jennifer Middleton

    I am wondering how to get more essential oil fragrance into lotion that is already made and cooled down. I’ve been putting in 10 drops of rose absolute into my batches but a couple of days later the fragrance fades. Can I whip eo’s into cooled and shelved lotion?

    Thanks, Jennifer

    • asonomagarden

      Jennifer, I’m sure you could add more after it’s cooled. I usually add about 25 or so drops. Hope it works for you!

      • Jennifer Middleton

        Note to lotion makers. Essential oils cannot be added to ‘cold’ lotion, I whipped the eo into some lotion that I had stored in the back room, and the next day, the eo was floating on top of the lotion. I’m thinking of adding the eo into the hot oil/wax, stir, add water, stir. fyi 🙂

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  178. Thank you so much for this super easy recipe! I was wondering if you knew anywhere to buy emulsifying wax (like… a store that I could just drive to)? I’m trying to do a DIY Christmas to keep my spending under control, but so far– with all the supplies ordering I’ve done online– the cost of shipping is far exceeding my cost of products! Any suggestions?

    • asonomagarden

      icookbythebook – I haven’t found a brick and mortar store that carries that type of wax. I know just what you mean about the shipping charges adding up though!

    • Amanda

      Hi 🙂 I see you are making lotion for Xmas gifts….are you making it ahead of time? I want to do the same thing but I am wondering about the shelf life…are you adding anything to preserve it?

      • brian white

        I made 18-20 batches for xmas at the beginning of september and have seen no indication of the mold/fuzz that others have seen. I have batches with friends that are 6 or more months old and all of those are fine. I put mine in 10oz plastic bottles w/lotion pumps. No preservatives.

      • Amanda

        Thanks Brian!! I am looking forward to making it!!!

  179. Whitney

    I used the recipe just as it was written and put them in 1/2 pint jars instead of pints. It was the quickest five minute project. Thus, far all the women in the office love it. I’ll keep an eye out for mold. Hopefully the second time around will be as easy.

    • Sarah

      Thanks for the quick response. We just made the lotion and actually decided to try canning it. It seems to have set fine and we’ll see if that helps with the mold problem. Have you ever tried this anyone?

  180. Amanda


    I am very excited to get started on this lotion. I was just wondering how long it will stay good for. I am hoping to give jars of lotion as Xmas gifts, but not sure how long this lotion will keep. Any thoughts?

  181. Hi thank you very much for posting this recipe it can help me for the making of our investigatory project=))…but our project is out of Lato or sea grape… any advice?

  182. Louise

    Tonight I made my third batch, i love it and use it as a facecream since June. I used Avocado oil in my previous batch and loved it, today I used Apricot oil. I hope it will be just as good. I used filtered water and never had a problem with mold or anything. I do have to stirr it a little during the cooling process to not seperate, but it works well. This is great, i have given away so many little containers with the lotion, as well as the deodorant and the chapstick. everybody loves it!!! Thanks for great recipes.

  183. Have you had any problems with the lotion molding? if so do you have any ideas for preventing mold?

  184. I am concerned about cost…can anyone break down the cost of beezwax essential oil coconut oil jojoba oil ect….i will not be buying online but at a health store? can u find theses products all there and also i have heard breaking down the list of ingrediences in the emulsifying wax it tends to not be natural and is bad for ur skin???? any help with this would be fantastic!!!

  185. Whitney

    I have begun making these lotions for friends and family. Thus far everyone seems to like them and I have not encountered any of the things that other commenters have experienced. Since I put up jams and things, I have sterilized my jars before adding the lotion and noted to everyone that the concotion is perishable. Thanks for sharing this. It has been a great gift to make and to share.

  186. Sylvia

    I have been reading your blogs with interest and now offer some more tips.
    1. You can sterilise all your equipment with Milton tablets, make as directed (this is used for babies bottles so safe).
    2. As you dont want to use a preservative in the lotion you can add citric acid (bought from the supermarket) at a ratio of between 0.5 and 1% of your total volume do not go above the maximum as it can be irritating to the skin, you will have to work how much to use and add this to the water phase making sure it is dissolved. By using Citric Acid this will help to stop the greeblies from growing in your lotion. Buy some pH sticks obtainable from the chemist/pharmacy or pool shops, test your lotion which should be in a range of 5.5 to 6.5 pH. This is not bullet proof but it should extend the shelf life for a bit longer for which you will have to test.
    3. To stop your lotion from separating when it comes to the cool down phase, whisk with a balloon wisk or stick blender. Just give a couple of zapps then leave for a few minutes, then whisk again its just so it keeps the oils suspended in the water while it cools. Hope it helps.

  187. Paula

    I love this lotion and is so easy to make. The first batch I made I did not have Vitamin E and about 6 weeks later a little spot of mold showed up. After that I have used Vitamin E so far no problems. I was wondering if anybody has any thoughts about using potassium sorbate also.

    Also I use essential oils and it seems like after about a month the scent has faded. I do use about 20 to 30 drops per pint jar. Any suggestions?

    • Sylvia

      Usage rate for Essential Oils in Lotion is no more than 1%. Just check on Mountain Rose Herbs with their essential oil as the Essential oil you are using may be a Top Note and for it to last longer you need a Middle or Bottom Note. Lavenda 40 – 42 on their website will tell you its a Middle Note. I have used this in lotion and it has lasted.

  188. thank you SO SO SO MUCH, for making these recipes for us all, and sharing them. I cannot wait to try this one out for myself! As someone with an incredible amount of allergies, things like this really come in handy. (Seriously, my allergy/asthma doctor calls me “the mess”. with love, of course!)
    Everything I have tried that’s OTC makes me break out in BIG, angry, and sometimes painful hives, all over my hands. (Either immediately, or after 5 – 12 uses. but they ALL end up doing this, every time.)
    But I NEED lotion, as every winter, my hands are chapped badly, and then get little cuts all over them. I’ve tried aloe, and hated the way it just doesn’t sink into your skin for forever. Oils leave my hands greasy, and are only used when I go to bed at night, and only in extreme emergencies.. even with socks over my hands, I stain the bed. =P
    There is a wonderful little store in town called Thymely Solutions, and I am hoping they have all the necessary ingredients I need to do this myself. I know it couldn’t have come at a better time, as my hands huuuurrrrt….! And “Gloves in a bottle”, the latest OTC lotion I have tried, has just become “bad” for me. ARGH. Burt’s Bees are kind of expensive. Me and 2 of my 3 kids are already on a gluten-free diet (and casein free, and soy free, with the youngest having peanut allergies), because of celiac disease, so our budget get quite tight. When you add in throwing away all the lotions a person uses throughout the winter, that can add up.
    So thank you again, for sharing this with everyone. And also I’d like to thank Fire Eyes Roth, on Facebook, for turning me on to this page. I may have never found it before! And, I cannot believe they are SO easy!!

  189. Wendy Tan

    Thanks for the blog. I am going to try making this weekend. Can you tell me why is it better to use emulsifying wax rather than beeswax?

  190. Penny

    I am going to make your homemade lotion for x-mas presents. I am excited to do this project. I just ordered the supplies from My question is: I know that you said the shelf life is about 3 weeks for this lotion. Do you think it would last longer if stored in the frig.? Does it separate after 3 weeks? Thanks for posting this and I will look forward to seeing more projects from you!

    • asonomagarden

      Penny, it won’t seperate, but keeping it in the fridge is a good idea! I’ve actually kept mine on the counter for up to 6-weeks just fine, but others have seen mold. I’m sure there are a number of variables as to why that happens, but I’ve never had it seperate!

    • I think the 3 month thing, is just a general rule. I’d just keep checking it and making sure. I’ve made some and it has lasted over 6 months and I don’t refrigerate any of it. I did have some go rancid but that was about a year after making it. Tossed it and made some more. Normally I use mine up within a couple months. But made some for the boys and they don’t use lotion as often so that’s how I know how long some of it can last.

      • Sonia

        Just because you don’t see the mold, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. If this lotion was challenge tested, it would fail. If many of you are scared about using parben laden preservatives, try a paraben-free preservative like optiphen, optiphen plus or germall. ROE and vitamin E only get you so far, they extend the shelf life a wee bit, but will not kill or stop the nasties. To truly make a safe lotion, you need to heat and hold the water phase to 70˚C (about 158˚F) for 20 minutes in order to ensure everything is dead. Make sure to heat and hold some separate water to add back any water that is lost due to evaporation. The last thing you want is to be using a lotion that has stuff growing in it that YOU can’t see and applying it over fine cuts (say after shaving your legs) and ending up with a bad infection. I love that everyone wants to DIY (that is how I got started), but I would love to see everyone doing it properly to ensure a safe end product.

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  192. Thanks for this! I have a couple of questions and please forgive me if they’ve been asked already but there’s a long comment trail. Could the shelf life be improved with some vitamin E oil do you think? And I know that this next question is about a different lotion you made, but you mentioned that the beeswax lotion could be loosened a little to fill a pump bottle. How much beeswax would you recommend in order to do this?

  193. Rebecca

    Do you use your cooking utensils again for cooking after you make your lotions, etc?

    • Sonia

      Always have separate tools for making lotions/cosmetics. You wouldn’t want your food tasting like fragrance and no matter how well you wash stuff, wax is hard to remove fully. Visit a dollar store and get some cheaper spoons, pots dedicated just for lotion making.

  194. Gillian

    I’m from South Africa I am searching high and low for emulsifying wax and pastilles, no where to be found.

    • Sylvia

      You could call the following Unichem House, 27 Island Circle, Riverhorse Valley Business Estate, 4017, Durban, South Africa
      Tel: +27(0)31 576-0600. These people deal in personal care and have emulsifying wax etc, beeswax, Their website is They would be able to tell you where there retail suppliers are. They also have an office on Joburg. Hope that helps. Sylvia.

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  196. Gillian

    Thanks a mil Sylvia, I will contact them.

  197. I’m going to make this for some of my siblings for Christmas! Can I put it in squeeze bottles or is it too thick?

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  200. Christina Ziegeler

    I cannot wait to try this!

  201. Hey There. I found your blog the usage of msn. That is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your useful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  202. Anie

    Thank you for the recipe. I have severe psoriasis and I have used this lotion recipe along with your the excema salve recipe you posted along with the psoroasis salve one of your users posted. I wanted to thank you for posting this, it has helped me.
    I have had problems with mold in my lotion containers and keep them in the fridge now.

  203. This looks like a great recipe – very simple. I’ve just started a “quest” to find a great homemade solution for my dry skin and my daughter’s itchy skin. Thanks for a great start!

  204. Laura

    When I saw this, I instantly went to Mountain Rose Herbs and orders some emulsifying wax. I made this last night. Followed the above recipe to a T. I poured it into jars, and then let them set up over night. I woke up this morning, and I have a hard layer of hard wax at the top, and a bottom layer of water. I’m about to re-nuke it and try to figure something out to keep it together.

    • brian

      Happened to me too the first time. Now I use a whisk after combining the water and the wax/oil mixtures until it cools down a little. It’ll start to setup like pudding as it cools and this is about the time i pour mine into the plastic lotion bottles that i use.


      • Brian, so I’ve noticed your previous coments and you’ve found that whisking during the cooling process has been helpful, correct? I wanted to ask what size pump bottles you use and if youve ever used any other oil outside of oo

    • Amanda

      Hi Laura,
      Mine does the same thing; however, I just give my jar a good stir before I use. This usually remedies the problem. I also make sure I stir all the ingredients well before I pour it into my jar to set.

      I hope this helps;)


    • Amber Ogden

      I actually have a hand mixer, with one beater, and I actually mix mine up! It works great and gives the lotion a very nice soft texture! I hope this helps!


      • asonomagarden

        I love how three of you immediately helped Laura and her question, what helpful blog readers you are! Have a great weekend all!

    • Laura

      Oh wow, I didn’t realize anyone responded! That as quick. I came back to update on what I did. Thanks for the quick responses. 🙂
      After I posted this, I went and nuked it for 30 seconds, stirred, nuked for 30 seconds, stirred, then let it cool for about 20 min, stirred it, and it started to set up like pudding as I stirred, and it’s great. I love this lotion. 🙂

  205. I have been experimenting with making hand lotion recently. I suffer from psoriasis on my hands and it is so hard to find a lotion that won’t sting and dry my hands out even more. I loved this post and I will be following more from you 🙂

  206. Crystal

    I am going to make the homemade lotion (original) Can I use this a face lotion? Can I add Vitamin E? Curious I am need of a face lotion it would be great if I could use this on body and face?? Didn’t know if the olive oil would clog my pores?

  207. BAAM

    Four of my friends & I are doing a science fair project on how to make your own homemade cosmeticsss . (: We were looking for an easy way to make your own hand lotion & this is perfect ;D But yeah ❤ thanks . c;

    Lovee ,

  208. naima


    Great recipe! Regarding storage, do the mason jar lids produce rust overtime?

  209. To address the ‘runny’ issue, try adjusting to 4 ounces of oil (1/2 cup), 4 Tablespoons of wax (or 1/4 cup; also 1T. for each ounce), and the remaining 1 cup in water. Then follow the rest of the recipe as above, and see if that helps. 🙂

  210. tammy

    Could you tell me how much this recipe makes. Thanks

  211. Question: could I use Coconut oil instead of Olive oil? 🙂 –Just tried your beeswax lotion recipe with a friend, and loved it!! So much fun!!

    • asonomagarden

      yes you can Jessica, but it will make for a much firmer lotion, as coconut oil hardens at room temp. and olive oil stays a liquid. I’ve often added a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in addition to the olive oil with great results.

      • ASG, do you think if I add more water and mix mix mix while it’s cooling that I can use coconut oil? I use straight unrefined coconut oil now as my full body/face lotion and love it. I keep mine in my bathroom and after my shower it’s normally a bit runny but it is soooo smooth on my damp skin and absorbs really easily without being greasy.

  212. Dana

    I was curious as to what emulsifying wax was made from and found this resource that is interesting. It might not be as natural as it would seem at first glance. The group of ingredients that make up emulsifying wax seem to be used widely in cosmetics and make for a nice product and allow for water and oil to blend, so it serves it purpose and are very common, but not truly natural.Cetearyl Alcohol (a blend of cetyl and steareth alcohol), Polysorbate 60, PEG-150 Stearate, Steareth-20. The link below explains each ingredient. That said, making your own lotions with the use of emulsifying wax will likely get you a cream with far less chemicals that store bought products but I just thought I would share this information in case anyone else was interested. Thank you for your lovely website, it is a great resource. Take care.

    • Actually, cetyl alcohol can be produced from vegetable oils like palm and coconut.
      A stearate is basically a stearic acid, which is highly produced in cocoa butter and shea butter. It’s a saturated fatty acid that occurs in animals and vegetable fats/oils.
      According to a fairly well cited article in Wikipedia, polysorbate 80 is safe and well-tolerated and Europeans and Americans both eat about 100 mg of it in foods each day. Weird.

      Anyhow, I am not trying to come across as a know-it-all or a b***h. I am just saying I think these ingredients may or may not be “nasty.” It really just depends on where they come from. We don’t truly have any way of knowing, short of purchasing products from a company that has a trustworthy reputation, like Mountain Rose.
      I hope that came out the way I meant for it to and not all spaz-tastic. 🙂

  213. Patti Olson

    Reblogged this on – The Balancing Act – and commented:
    This is a follow up to my last blog post about detoxing your life. Here are some DIY personal-care products. Thanks “a sonoma garden”!

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  215. airah crisostomo

    where can i buy that emulsifying wax ?

  216. Zenith Bose

    Hi! I’ve started using your recipes to make lotion, lip balm etc and I’ve really been enjoying it! I’ve made them for friends and family for Christmas and everyone has been raving about the products. I tailored my own course (called Health and Ethics) and even if my class I used your lotion and lip balm recipes and my students had a blast making them!

    The only problem I’ve had has been black mold growing in my lotion (the emulsifying wax, olive oil, water lotion). I know that because it has water in it, it has a shorter shelf life, but some batches have had mold grow faster than in others and some haven’t had any mold at all. So I feel like there’s a factor in there that I could control, if I knew what it was. Any thoughts?

    But really, overall, your recipes are awesome. I’m so glad I came across your blog!

    • Zenith Bose…
      Refrigerate. You can also add SAFE preservatives that will make your lotions last much longer… usually at least three months, I would say, sometimes up to six in the fridge. Technically, ANY skin product with water in it, from my understanding, starts going bad after a week, whether you can see it or not. You can replace the water with aloe. As far as preservatives go, there are many to choose from. What you usually need to make your lotion last is an antioxidant, an anti-fungal, and antibacterial. So I usually replace the water quantity with either aloe [for its anti-fungal and supposed antiseptic properties] or some sort of green tea [for its antioxidant properties and it is also an anti-inflammatory]. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and it’s great for the skin. Tea Tree oil has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. Lavender also assists other preservatives and is an antiseptic. Rosemary Oil Extract is very friendly for the skin and is an antioxidant and antiseptic. These are all natural items you can add into your homemade products. Plus, there are still more! This is not an all inclusive list. You just have to be careful because there is some yucky stuff out there. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

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  218. I made both the Beeswax lotion and this lotion and of the two I love this one better. I made the beeswax according to your recipe and it’s nice but takes forever for the oil to absorb. So I made this one with grapeseed oil, and it’s only been 3 hours since I mixed it but I couldn’t stop myself from trying it (I am not bred for the arid desert so I am dying to dry, itchy, scratchy skin) and I am loving it and can hardly wait until tomorrow. I love the thick cream lotions, they make this desert so much more bearable. My next item to try is your winter salve, thanks for such a great website!!

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  220. Roxanne Veigelt

    I have been looking up what an emulsifier is and I am not really getting an answer. I googled it but I do not know where to buy it or even what it is! Help!

    • Courtney

      An emulsifier helps the oils and the water blend smoothly. (They need help cause oil and water don’t mix!) The recipe says ‘Emulsifying Wax’. If you google that, there are many places to buy it online. I got mine at

  221. has anybody tried putting this lotion in a container with a pump???

  222. It’s great to see more and more people choosing to create their own cosmetics. my grandmother always said “when we know better we do better”!

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  224. RJRepeat

    Anyone had an issue with it being oily or greasy like other store bought lotion? Curious
    I’ve never made lotion but would LOVE to try it.

  225. Niki

    I have been making this recipe both as listed and with variations for over a year now. It is a fantastic “go to” recipe and also great for beginners to use as a starting point to experimenting. To address any issues with separation, I let it cool gradually (room temp) and stir occasionally when I walk by it for the first hour or so. If it does separate, I heat it up slightly in the microwave enough to soften it but not liquify it and then stir or shake it up to blend.
    As for feeling greasy – the recipe as it is above is not greasy at all, making it a fantastic all over, every day lotion.
    I have been adding a Tbs or two of shea butter. If I go over that, it tends to get a little greasy. I always add a few drops of Vit E or Rosemary Extract as a preservative, particularly when I give it as a gift.
    Last several recipes I have used coconut oil in place of the olive oil (initially due to an over abundance and now because I really like it) and then use Tbs or two of cocoa butter instead of the shea because in mind it sounds like it goes better with coconut (?).
    I just wanted to comment to let everyone know that this is great exactly as it is and also easily customizable based on what you have in your stock.
    I’ve also made the beeswax recipe you posted and love it as well. It really lasts and my skin is so moisturized but does require toweling my hands off after applying. Love them both! Thanks so much for the recipes.

    • Niki, can you share your coconut recipe? Do you use unrefined or refined? Do you use water with the coconut recipe? Lastly, do you put yours in jars or in pump/squeeze bottles?

  226. hisuni

    Sounds like a lovely recipe to try however I have a couple of questions. First, what type of olive oil should I use? Extra Virgin or does it matter? Second, our water here is very hard. Which type of bottled water would you suggest (distilled, purified, etc.)? Thank you for sharing.

  227. Great site! I was wondering how you created your own labels?

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  230. habitual

    Could I substitute Jojoba Oil for olive oil?

    Thanks for this recipe!!!

  231. Wonderful Recipe! How much does this make?

  232. Shannon Canary

    Can you use soy wax instead of emulsyfiying wax?

    • asonomagarden

      No I don’t think so Shannon. The emulsifying wax is the secret ingredient to getting the oil and water to bind together.

  233. hisuni

    Please respond. I’d like to prepare this ASAP. Thank you.

  234. Kim

    I am so frustrated! The first time I made this lotion it turned out perfect. Now I’ve made 3 batches, and they’ve all separated! I’m fairly certain that I followed the same procedure…but, well, I’ve been wrong many times before! I do it on the stove instead of the microwave. Does anyone have any help for this?

    • Eileen

      Make sure that your water is not too hot, I do mine at coffee drinking temperature. I will also whisk the whole combo for a minute after adding the water to let some of the heat escape. Also, do not put a lid on it for at least an hour otherwise the heat will seal in and make your lotion separate. It’s heat related, in my experience, that causes the separation with this recipe, so make sure that you get it to where it’s really warm and not so much hot before you leave it to set. Hope that helps! 🙂

  235. genevieve

    hi there! i loveeee you beeswax lotion.. i have made it so many times! i want to try this one….. although…
    i was wondering, can i use aloe vera juice or gel instead of water? would i need to still boil it? thanks!

  236. Kim,
    I have been in your shoes;…It seems to depend much on the temperature as well as the type o water you are using. I have tried it with tap water…works great , but at the correct temp, a bit cooler and bam it separates. I have tried filtered water or distilled and it somehow changes the outcome,, I also add arrow root powder to mine if you prefer a thicker lotion/cream. If you would like this fab lotion to not expire ( grow mold) try a paraben free preservative. that is kind to the skin. I should mention that my family and friends love this lotion almost as much as I do . Hope this helps.

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    • asonomagarden

      Romantic, I tried to unsubscribe you from the comments, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to do it! Sorry you are getting comments four times!

  238. Could you use mineral oil instead of the olive oil?

  239. Irene

    im from singapore and am so glad to found this website which inspire me to order in beeswax and essential oil. however im encountering some problem. the water and the mixture of oil and beeswax doesnt become one and ended up, upon cooling, water starts flowing out which left the oil and beeswax. in a hot tropical climate, its too hot to have the oil on skin. please tell me what is wrong…

    • asonomagarden

      Irene, you need to use emulsifying wax for this recipe, otherwise it doesn’t work. Try my beeswax lotion recipe since you have the beeswax. That’s a good one too!

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  242. genevieve

    my previous post i asked “can i use aloe vera juice or gel instead of water? would i need to still boil it?” i thought id let everyone know that i followed the recipe however, i did not boil the aloe vera… i mixed everything together. and then let it settle slightly… then re melted the whole mixture and let it cool in the fridge.. turned out awesome! however you MUST keep it in the fridge as it will grow some mould over time.. i hope that helps someone =)

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  244. Kiva

    I’m working on a version with rosewater and exchanging most of the olive oil for rose hip because of its scar healing attributes. Also it plumps up the skin which diminishes the look of fine lines (or so a study by dermatologists says) for whatever that’s worth. I will post my recipe when I work out all the kinks. The plan is for a suitable face lotion for damage skin. Some temps and additional ingredient must be changed though.

  245. Courtney

    I love this recipe! It is such a great baseline and wonderfully easy to customize, And customize I have! Almond oil, Coconut oil, & Grapeseed oil, as well as Shea Butter. Also Green tea, rose water, & aloe vera. I have even added some powders – powdered oatmeal, Matcha, and cornstarch. Love it!

    I was wondering about trying a milk and honey version. Obviously it would have to be refrigerated and used quickly (not a problem in my house!) But I am not sure of the ratios and such. Would I use part water, part milk? Or would a powdered milk be better? How much honey? Would the honey mix with the water, or the oils?.. Thank you!

  246. Great blog post! I am rounding up the supplies to make the hand lotion. I wondered if the finished product flows well to use the 2 oz. opaque plastic squeeze bottles that Mountain Rose offers. Or, are the small canning jars the best option. I would like to carry some in my purse…..

  247. Jennifer

    I follow these posted recipies faithfully. Have been using the lotion for months and hubby and I, and a few friends love it. I would now like to make a homemade sunscreen (not sunblock.) I’ve done a lot of research and get many mixed messages. But seem ‘red raspberry seed oil’ is naturally high in spf, 30 -50 spf actually. But I’ll be darned if I can find any. MRH does not carry it. Anyone have a good sunscreen recipe? or where I can find ‘red raspberry seed oil’? Thanks

  248. Jennifer

    Never mind about finding red raspberry seed oil. There are many sources online, must not have typed it in right the first time. But still interested in sunscreen recipies.

  249. Suemarie

    Love, love, love this lotion! I had some trouble with my first batch not emulsifying – so I used a stick blender. Then it was too thick to put in a bottle even though I added tons of water (not boiled) to thin it out. I ended up putting it in a tub that I had to dip my fingers in, and after a few weeks, it was a little iffy (brownish spots on the surface). Now I make it with safflower oil and add a bit of beeswax, honey and lemon essential oil (for their antimicrobial qualities but honestly I have no idea if I add enough to help).

    Anyway I wanted to share two tips:
    1) Use a stick blender to emulsify the hot liquid. The liquid stays thin and easy to pour into a pump bottle and it’s easy to clean the stick blender. When the lotion cools, it’s nice and thick.
    2) I save out a little that I pour into a clean glass tub, which I check once a week. It’s hard to see inside the pump bottle, but in case something goes off before I use up the lotion, I can see it in my little test sample!

    Thanks again for the recipe – so happy to have found it.

  250. Hi there! Just wondering if I would I be able to use soy wax??

  251. Donna

    You can add a few drops of vitamin E oil and A oil, this is what naturally perserves lotions & keeps them from molding.

    • Katie

      Oils such as Vit. E, Vit A, Tea Tree, and Grapefruit seed extract are NOT preservatives, they are antioxidants. They will not prevent lotions from growing mold. They only help prolong the shelf life of the oils used.
      SwiftCraftyMonkey is an excellent blog that explains the proper forumation and creation of lotions, creams, balms, scrubs, etc.

      It is a very good idea to use a preservative in hydrous (water added) products. Even if you can’t see mold growing, it most definitely is.
      “Natural” is not always better. Even though preservatives are chemicals, I’d rather have that in my lotion than a “natural” lotion that grows mold.

      • Sonia

        I completely agree with Katie. SwiftCraftyMonkey is an AWESOME resource! Using a small amount of preservative (usually 1%) is safer than taking chances and using a lotion without a preservative. The last thing you want is to apply a moldy (not visible to the eye) lotion on recently shaved legs or such and ending up with a staph (or other type of) infection.

      • I highly recommend readers to check out swiftcraftymonkey too. When I started I avoided preservatives too. Swift’s site is a MUST read, even if the products are for yourself. You must have a preservative!!!!! You must sterilize!!!! There is no way around it.

  252. Barbara

    This lotion is AMAZING!!!! I am so happy I found your site! I also loved the caramelized almonds. At first I wasn’t too happy with the way the lotion looked (it clumped up a lot), but I kept using it anyway. After a couple of days on my bathroom counter the clumps were pretty much gone. My only question is: why do you call it ‘hand lotion’? I’ve used it all over my body, except for the face. Just curious. Thanks!!!

  253. Sheryl

    I made two batches of the lotion and they both turned out with a yellow wax on top of runny white mixture below. My granddaughter made one batch and it turned out perfect. I wonder if maybe the water temperature was too hot. Even when I whisked it up, it didn’t look like hers. Mine is yellow and hers is white. Very strange.

  254. just made this lotion with some tweaks: 2T EW to 1/2 EVOO. I also added rosemary and lemongrass EO and some GSE. It was so easy!! I did use my stick blender to completely mix and it filled two 3oz squeeze bottles, one 1/2 pint mason jar and one 5 oz plastic jar…. can you tell I wasn’t sure what to put it in? Will post tomorrow to let you know how it came out. Thanks again for all your wonderful recipes ( I made, use and LOVE the deodorant)

  255. Rose Myrtle

    Hi. Do you know know how much it cost for that wax stuff. I really want to try this. Do you also have any other lotion recipes?

  256. jennc

    I just wanted to say that I SO appreciate your blog! You are so sweet to share, and to share your labels even, without charging or anything! I made this lotion and it turned out divine! You turned me on to Mountain Rose Herbs. I live in the Portland area, maybe someday I’ll make it down that way to check them out in person. I have been making my own dishwasher soap for 2 batches now. I’ve also made some soaps (out of shaved glycerine bars) with yummy extras. I’ve been on a DIY kick and thanks to your blog! I also made laundry soap. I’m going to make your deoderant next 🙂 thanks again and I’ll let you know how that turns out xo

  257. Becker

    My skin thanks you! Great recipe — it’s a keeper!

  258. Kali flynn

    What if u don’t have or don’t want to use beeswax

    • Rose Myrtle

      Kali, if you don’t have or want to use beeswax, then you can’t make this recipe since the main ingreidient is beeswax and this is meant to be a beeswax lotion. If you want to make a shea butter lotion go to serch it in the bar at the top. If you can’t find it let me know and I’ll give you the recipe. 🙂

    • Rose Myrtle

      Oops, I didn’t know asonmagarden had a recipe for shea butter lotion.

  259. Rachel

    Any suggestions of what to add that might be healing for someone suffering from Psoriasis? Psoriasis is different from eczema.

  260. Ninnanna

    Hi! Just a tip…. I don’t know if somebody else commented this, because I didn’t read all the comments, sorry!
    About the essencials oils, I recommend you don’t add them in the mixture untill it’s a little cooler. Essentials oils lose part of their properties when they are too hot.
    See you!

  261. oMoriBillyjoexrb

    Great information provide from you.

  262. This seems like such a lovely recipe! And I love the labels 🙂 I am definitely going to keep this in mind as I buy ingredients to make lotion. My hands are so dry in the folder months!

  263. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.

    Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking
    and checking back frequently!

  264. Thank you SO much for this wonderful recipe!! I am on my 2nd batch and it turns out beautifully! I admit, I was skeptical because I’ve tried several homemade hygiene products without much luck. But this is fabulous. 🙂 2 questions…
    1. I am experimenting right now with coconut oil – has anyone tried it yet? (same recipe, just coconut oil instead of olive)

    2. What happens to the lotion after a few weeks? i know you said it needs to be used up…just curious what it does. 🙂

    THANKS!! I am giving some as Christmas gifts and will likely blog about it…will be sure to give you credit for the great recipe!!

  265. hello, I tried this with stearic acid and it didn’t emulsify… is emulsifying wax the only emulsifier that will work? I would like to try vegetal and soy lethicin.
    I tried sweet almond oil and coconut oil for the beeswax cream and it worked very well. I would use deodorized coconut oil next time for a body lotion / hand balm for sensitive skin and non deodorized for a lip balm.

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  273. Reblogged this on AstroLoco and commented:
    Reblogging this as a reminder, because I will be making this.

  274. Christine

    Hi, I’ve made this hand lotion and it’s great! First time I’ve ever made lotion and it worked perfectly including making the woodland scent. I did have issues with the pump bottle though because the pump wouldn’t work and I kept adding water to make the the consistency thinner until it eventually worked. Does the consistency need to be very thin and runny or is there likely to be a problem with the pump? Thanks

  275. Melissa

    I made the homemade beeswax lotion and that was great. When I tried to make the hand lotion it didn’t emulsify. So just to check I did it write I took a 1/4 cup of the homemade beeswax and added 1/4 cup olive oil heated that to 155, heated the water to 120 and than pureed the water on the oil lotion.

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  277. Nicole

    Do you have any tips or advice for extremely sensitive skin people like myself that any fragrance or dye usually kills me. I usually just use unscented aveeno everyday and everywhere. Any preferred essential oil to use or what not? Thank you I’d much appreciate it :^) Otherwise totally looking forward to trying this!

  278. Judi

    I think the purpose of the Vitamin E is as a preservative to prevent spoiling/molding. Probably best not to leave it out. It really is not expensive to use several drops from a bottle of it.

    I really like this recipe as a basic lotion. You can divide the olive oil in half and add half coconut oil, put all different kinds of EO’s in for varied aromas. It is difficult to find a good recipe for a lotion that is not beeswax based! Thanks for this one!

  279. Julie

    I love this recipe! I am planning on making some for a gift basket but I can’t seem to download the labels to print. Any ideas?

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  282. Robert

    Hello, I hope you are doing well. Thank you, this product seems very good. I guess I will try it.
    Have a good day 🙂

  283. Robert

    Hello, I have a question, do we have to blend all the ingredients or it transforms by magic ?
    Thank you 🙂
    P.S. Your blog is awesome, keep up the good work. I really like wool things.

    My e-mail is
    Sincerely yours.

  284. I love this recipe! I’ve used the same bag of emulsifying wax from Mountain Rose Herbs for over a year now, it never seems to run out. I started making this in my vitamix instead of on a double boiler cause I’m lazy and I LOVE it. It makes it a very creamy, frothy texture. This lotion so good that I don’t have to use it every day and it was lasting so long that it actually got moldy! So I keep it in the fridge now. It’s nice and cool and refreshing. Love it!!

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  287. Thank you so much for using time to post
    “How to Make Handmade Hand Lotion (w/ label download)
    | A Sonoma Garden”. Many thanks once more -Celinda

  288. emma

    but emulsifying wax is oil with detergents, did you read ingredients list? I am trying to use lecithin as an emulsifier

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  294. mscarletti

    I’m so glad to find your blog! I love homemade body lotions (I usually just use coconut oil) and I garden too! Have a wonderful day!

  295. Maria

    Did you know that emulsifying wax is not natural? It is a chemical cocktail that is made with yucky ingredients. If
    you want to make lotion with all natural ingredients you should use beeswax and soy lecithin.

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  299. britny

    How long does the lotion last before going bad?

  300. I love your recipe! Just tried it out last night. The cream ends up a lot thicker than I thought it would be. When it’s all still warm, the consistency is very watery & milky looking as you mention in your blog. Once “set”, this is a thick & rich body cream with the consistency of frosting. Once absorbed into the skin, there is no greasy after feel. I love this recipe & look forward to saving tons of money on quality body creams.

  301. Amber

    My first attempt ended up a little runny too – I found that once you mix all ingredients if you add them to a stand mixer and mix until it cools it will incorporate together and not separate. Just a tip!

  302. Michelle

    I just got an order of emulsifying wax yesterday and am anxious to try it as I have only used beeswax. I’ve made tons of lotions/creams/body butters using beeswax including water in oil combinations. It emulsifies perfectly. I state this because you said somewhere near the beginning of the comments that it can’t do that. It can and it does. 🙂 However, I do want to make more of a lotion consistency product which would use more water than oil. Obviously. :)))

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  304. tricia

    I have now made this lotion five times. It is truly easy and delightful to use. The first time I made it, it was perfect! –Luckily, since it was for Ayyam-i-Ha gifts in February. Subsequent times it was ok, but as others have stated, a bit lumpy, like oatmeal. I made it again last week and ignored the strict instructions regarding the temperature for the water and just followed the instructions for how long to microwave it, so it was quite a bit hotter. Once again this time the lotion is smooth and wonderful. Give it try!

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  306. Reblogged this on nubianqueen836's Blog and commented:
    For a start to healthy lifestyle and to living off the grid, we need to reduce our reliance on consumer products and to recycle whenever possible.

  307. Michelle

    I just made some of this with a combo of grape seed and jojoba oils. I added a tbs of vitamin E in the hopes that it will work as a preservative. It did separate initially, so I just popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds and then hit it with the stick blender. This was my first attempt at making lotion and I have to say it’s bloody amazing. I’ve never, ever commented on an Internet recipe for anything, but this is so great that I had to say thank you. I don’t think I’ll ever buy lotion again. Thanks so much!

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