Homemade Skin Moisturizer Lotion Recipe

There comes a time for a change. Not just any change, good change.

A few weeks ago, I decided to use reusable fabric bags for groceries. I also bring my reusable containers for meats and fishes I get from the store across the street.

I started to embrace a new mindset of repurposing things in creative ways. Buying products that are well built instead of going for the cheaper versions that will break within a few uses. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t started doing this a few months ago. This is a long process that takes years to put in place.

Too many companies seem to think that’s how the economy grows. “Money is there to be spent”, they say, but that doesn’t apply to these manufacturers who make sure they spend less on materials and conception.

Of course, this serves their interests more than those of the consumers: both paying less for raw material and ensuring that the customer will need to buy more in a very short time span. Marketing is the cornerstone of the strategy to convince us we need this item because it will make us feel better and perhaps makes us a better and more caring Mom, Dad, Person.

We are surrounded by deceptive ad campaigns showing us a reality that is clearly not from this world. They always come up with the most unbelievable scenario: Perfectly clean house with a smiling parent that just came back from work, looking relaxed and rested. Nothing fake there, a hard-working day always makes us look as we just got back from the beach…!

Alright, never mind, let’s see where this leads. The 3 kids and the dog walked around everywhere leaving mud all over the sparkling white dining room.

Mom or Dad looks at this mess, shaking their head with an amused grin and happily cleans it with the super product from this cool company that knows what is good for us. Now, where’s that planet and how do I get there?

Truth is buying and relying on companies to know what is good for us is not going to make me feel better. Only using time and money the right way will.

Five years ago, I started looking for eco-responsible cleaning and personal care products and changed my laundry and dish soap, shampoo, deodorant, body lotion, toothpaste.

Along the way, I realized that you can do wonders by only using 3 products: vinegar, baking soda, and water. I can thoroughly clean my very dirty oven using those products. I’ll have to write a post on how to make your own cleaning products because it’s cheap, efficient and much better for the environment than the harmful chemicals you find in the average oven cleaning products on the market. I’m won’t drop any names here, you know what they are.

Making your own preservative-free body lotion and hand cream

The point is, there is way too much money spent on poor quality goods and too much time wasted in running errands on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. Not to mention all the money thrown out the window in that endless quest for the “best” gift of all for a birthday, a wedding, birth, Christmas, graduation, etc..

Homemade skin moisturizer

Making your own personal care products is a great way to avoid harmful chemicals (like synthetic dyes, emollients and fragrances, preservatives, parabens, and many more) that are known to be endocrine disrupters.

It’s also a great gift idea that is way healthier for those you are giving them to than that expensive $80 plastic tube that contains 30 grams of weird and dubious ingredients that people love because “it’s a great brand”.

You can also package in reusable glass bottles for a personalized and cute look. Who knows, doing so may influence others to care more about what they consume and how they can keep and reuse their own stuff.

Initial planning: do it once and save time and money forever

Changing your ways requires some planning.

In my opinion, making your own skin lotion is the best first personal product to make as the basic recipe is simple and only requires 3 ingredients.

The first step I found a bit tricky was to find good setup and tools. Once I figured out this step it became pretty easy.

So here’s the way I do it but I’m sure there are more efficient ways that you can experiment with.

With a bit of experience, you will find your own way of doing things. For now, here mine:


  • small scale that is accurate enough to measure grams.
  • tablespoon (15ml)
  • whip or a milk frother
  • A ceramic or glass container that supports heating and that can contain 100g of water
Tools to make your skin lotion
  • Another ceramic or glass container that supports heating Choose one that can contain at least 120 grams and that is wide enough for you to whip something in it. I use a wide mouth ceramic onion soup bowl.
  • A large saucepan that can hold both of your containers. This will act as a water bath to heat both oils and water ingredients separately.
  • A container for your finished product. It can be an old hand lotion bottle previously washed and dried. That’s what I used to do. Now I use a cute blue glass bottle that I can easily wash and refill.
DIY skin lotion equipment

Where to find quality ingredients

You don’t need to have complicated ingredients to have an awesome skin hydrating cream. However, choosing the best quality is important to ensure you get all the benefits of a chemical and pesticide-free personal care good.

I live in Quebec province in Canada and I get my organic oils from local companies. For more cosmetic specific stuff like wax, I picked a storefront company located in the Quebec province, Coop Coco that also offers its products online and ships anywhere in Canada and the USA.

Emulsifier DIY lotion

This recipe gives more or less 100 ml of lotion. It’s a perfect test sample so you can see if the texture and thickness are right for you.

Don’t put yourself too much pressure, it’s possible that the first attempts require some adjustment in the ingredients to really get the type of lotion (more liquid) or cream (thicker) you prefer.

I think it’s important to play with it and find the best version. Once you figure out what works best for you, write down your personal recipe with your favorite quantities and stick to it a few times.

You’ll see, it will take you less time to do the whole process once you master the basics. In fact, it takes me no more than 20 minutes from the moment I put all my tools on the countertop and the time I have a fresh, brand new 200 ml bottle ready to use!

I’ll provide you with more details on how you can double or triple the total quantities to fit your personal or family needs.

Ingredients (approx. 100ml lotion)

  • 1 1/4 tablespoon (20 ml) of sunflower or olive oil. Make sure to use high quality organic cold press oil
  • 75 grams of filtered water or boiled water that has cooled down
  • 8 emulsifying wax. I use glyceryl stearate
    Remember that using a different type of wax will have an impact on the resulting lotion. Make sure it’s wax that is suitable to make skin lotion.


Add just enough water to your saucepan to warm the ingredients.


Add the oil and the wax to the larger glass or ceramic container


Add the filtered or boiled water to the smaller glass or ceramic container


Put both containers in the saucepan that you previously added water to and turn the heat to medium-low. The idea here it to bring both water and oil/wax mix to the same temperature. It should be warm but you should still be able to put your finger in it without burning yourself.


Once the wax has melted and “disappeared” into the oil, add the water in it and remove it from heat.


Whip until the desired consistency (about 3 to 5 minutes). Start slowly to keep from splashing around and more vigorously as the texture thickens.


Making a bigger batch of body lotion

Eventually, as you get confident in making your homemade moisturizer lotion, you will need to adapt the quantities according to your family needs.

To do so, you can multiply by 2 each ingredient and see how the texture feels to you. I know I had to gradually find the right proportions before going for family size quantity.

So, before you decide to make a 500 ml or a 1L test with a smaller batch and see how it goes.

Keep in mind that if your lotion feels too watery with the proportions you used to make a 200ml lotion it will get much worse with a 1L and will probably look like skimmed milk. Consequently, it may not be as hydrating either. On the contrary, you may end with a cream that will clog up your bottle pump if it’s too thick.

Fortunately, there is a use for every type of thickness but larger quantities mean more trouble trying to fix it. So make sure you are comfortable with the results before you make a bigger batch. Smaller steps will provide you more consistent results.

Ingredients and proportions

Important: As you play with quantities to get the texture you need, make sure you follow these proportions. This will prevent weird reactions like the separation between the oil and water and will help the lotion stay homogenous.

Required proportions:

  • Water: between 70% and 80%
  • Wax: between 3% and 10%
  • Oil: between 10% and 25%

Just keep in mind that the texture can be very different depending on the type of oil, and wax you are using. The following reflects my personal taste in terms of lotion texture for a 200 ml bottle with these specific ingredients.

I’ve also added the respective proportions for each ingredient to help you determine your own preferences while testing different combinations.

  • 150 ml of water (75%)
  • 10 grams of emulsifying wax (5%)
  • 40 ml of olive or sunflower oil (20%)
    For a grand total of 200ml – 100%!

Hand Cream: Making a more dense, thicker texture

Using exactly the same 3 ingredients, simply decrease the water content while increasing the wax and oil content as follow:

  • 150 ml of water (70%)
  • 10 grams of emulsifying wax (7%)
  • 40 ml of olive or sunflower oil (23%)

Again, you should adjust according to your preferences

Conservation tips: how to prevent your cream and lotion from deteriorating without preservatives

It’s possible to make a complete preservative-free product. You just need to keep your bottle in the refrigerator instead of leaving it in the bathroom. It just requires to get used to opening the fridge door to put some moisturizer. Surprisingly, me and my family got used to it very quickly.

Although, in winter months I leave it outside of the fridge all day and put it back in the fridge before I go to bed. I can keep my lotion for a month without any signs of deterioration.

Over that period, make sure to smell it and look for signs of mold before you use it. Finally, during warmer months keep it in the fridge all day to extend shelf life.

That’s it!

You are now able to make a high-quality lotion or cream at a low cost! You can add lavender essential oil to add a nice scent to it or leave it as is like I do.

The subtle olive scent is barely noticeable and I prefer odorless skin products for daily use.

Pure happiness: Giving meaningful gifts to your loved ones

A wise man once said, “enlightenment doesn’t come at equal times to everyone”. Ok, I just made this one up but I’m pretty sure it was said in different words many times in human history.

Someone just as wise probably also said “What looks like enlightenment to some is pure insanity to others” That’s why I try to keep an open mind and admit that some things that once looked good were finally not so great when looking at the tiny characters. But that’s another story… or is it?

A few weeks ago, I also realized (not without grief) that most of the gifts I get for Christmas are not gifts that I use. I also came to realize that many gifts which I thought were great in the past (that I gave or received) don’t look that good now.

There seems to be a very bad tendency around me to only give gifts for the sake of giving something… It makes me a bit depressed. It’s like our family has lost the understanding of what giving is about.

I sincerely prefer receiving something homemade with care and love than receiving a $100 gift card for some steakhouse restaurant or a book on some topic I don’t really read about.

Once in a while, I have this friend who randomly brings me some homemade applesauce or a small cake made with a fermented base that’s been passed on for 30 years in her family. Don’t ask me how it’s done, it’s clearly a whole topic to write about on its own and I will certainly look into it sooner a later.

Last time she gave me the most delicious “cretons”. Unfortunately, I only got to taste it once, in 2 days it was gone (probably eaten by hungry little mice, I don’t know…).

Whatever it is that she makes with her own two hands, it always fills my heart with warmth and joy.

Like its Christmas day, literally.

I’m lucky though, I can count 3 people on the top of my head that are skilled and generous enough to give me their precious creations. Incidentally, I wanted to give something I made in the same spirit of serenity and passion for quality that inhabits their handmade crafts.

I want the tangible presents I give to be more than objects. I want them to bring true happiness. That’s the real gift I want to offer.

That’s something you can innoculate in a product you make yourself by putting in it all the care you are capable of. That’s what marketing tries to mimic through beautiful pictures of lifeless products. However, once they are released from their colorful, shiny packaging, there is just nothing.

Insignificant, unsincere, inert piece of … you know. Emptiness.

Handmade skin moisturizer

I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you decide to make it, I would really like to hear some feedback. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave me a comment!

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