Basic lotions, rich creams, and healing balms. Make these natural lotions and skincare recipes using plant-based oils, fragrance, and wax.
Imagine walking into the beauty section of your favorite department store. Pots of beautifully packaged creams line the shelves with prices that seem disproportionately large to their sizes. Perhaps you wouldn’t bat a lash at them — the expense is normal. You might change your mind when you learn that the cost of making lotions and creams is really just pennies.
Fortunately, lotions can be easy to make yourself. Once you become familiar with the process you’ll also be able to customize recipes for your own skin type and purpose. The below recipes are my own and from health and beauty bloggers around the web and each will help you to create inexpensive yet luxurious skincare products at home.
The basic lotion ingredients are water and oil. The third essential ingredient is an emulsifier, an agent that ensures that once mixed, the oil and water don’t separate. There are a lot to choose from and include everything from beeswax and borax (please research this method before trying it) to commercial E-waxes and natural emulsifiers such as Olivem 1000.
Please also be aware that beeswax on its own is NOT an emulsifier. Some recipes will claim that it is, but this article and test from Formula Botanica shows why it’s not a good solution.
The Basic Process
The basic process to making lotion involves heating the water, oils, and emulsifier, and blending them together. It’s a little like making mayonnaise if you’ve done that before. You’ll also need a broad spectrum preservative if you’d like your lotion to last more than a week. Without it, microbes will quickly colonize your handmade beauty potion and ruin the fun for everyone.
The recipes below are either from myself or from sources I trust or have vetted. The recipes are grouped in a few different categories and if you’d like to try super easy skincare recipes check out the oil-based products in body balms and lotion bars.
Another great source to get you started is this ebook on growing, harvesting, and using calendula flowers to make natural skincare. It includes detailed instructions on how to use the healing petals to make everything from lotions and rich creams, to bath fizzies, handmade soap, and more.
Basic Lotion Recipes
- Organic Aloe Face Cream from Lovely Greens
- Soap-free Facial Cleanser Recipe from Lovely Greens
- Fresh Face Oil-Free Lavender Lotion from the Soap Queen
- Oil Based Skin Serum from Crunchy Betty
- Hydrating Face Serum + Eye Oil from hello glow
- Chamomile & Elder Sensitive Skin Lotion from the Nerdy Farm Wife
Rich Creams for Hands & Body
- Wild Rose & Honey Hand Cream Recipe from Lovely Greens
- Sultry Jasmine Lotion from the Soap Queen
- Chamomile & Lavender Lotion from Homespun Seasonal Living (uses Borax)
- DIY Handmade Calendula & Honey Body Cream from Lovely Greens
- Herbal Citrus Eucalyptus Hand Salve from the Herbal Academy
For Skin & Body Issues
- Handmade Balm for Eczema and Psoriasis from Lovely Greens
- Dandelion Magnesium Lotion for Aches & Pain from the Nerdy Farm Wife
- Homemade Calamine Lotion from the Herbal Academy
- DIY Soothing Eczema Cream for Dry, Painful Skin from Joybilee Farm
Body Balms & Butters (oil-based)
- Healing Calendula Salve from Lovely Greens
- Carrot Seed and Rose Body Butter from Salt & Ritual
- A Mother’s Love Hand Balm from Formula Botanica
- Elderflower & Rosehip Salve from The Nerdy Farm Wife
- Wintery Body Butter with Warming Notes from Formula Botanica
- Rose Lotion Bars from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
- Lotion Bar Recipe from Mommypotamus
- Cocoa Butter & Shea Lotion Bars from Learning & Yearning
- Vanilla Bean Winter Lotion Bar from Garden Therapy
After Sun Care
- Homemade After Sun Salve from Garden Therapy
- Sol Relief After Sun Spray from the Hippy Homemaker
- Oatmeal & Honey Bath for Sunburns from Popsugar