Homemade Chamomile Lotion Recipe
Step-by-step recipe for how to make homemade chamomile lotion using simple chamomile-infused oil. You’ll learn every step of the process, from making chamomile-infused oil to blending it into lotion. This is a simple DIY skincare recipe for normal to sensitive skin.
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I think that we expect beauty to come at a high price, especially plant-based lotions. What’s pretty crazy is that they’re easy to make from scratch — really. Moreover, even though your homemade recipes are the same standard as high-end skincare, the ingredients are much less inexpensive. That makes pampering your skin both luxurious and a great deal. If you’re a gardener, all the better because you can grow herbs and flowers for skincare and use them to create everything from soap to toner and to lotions and creams. A patch of chamomile will come in handy for this homemade chamomile lotion recipe and much more. Chamomile tea, chamomile soap, and other food and skincare recipes.
If this is your first time making lotion, then a simple recipe like this one is perfect for you. I’ve left out many more advanced lotion ingredients to reduce costs and avoid extra steps. Fewer ingredients, fewer steps, less stress. You’ll also find that the finished lotion is rich and creamy and that you can use it as an everyday moisturizer. The ingredients are also sensitive, so your homemade chamomile lotion is kind to all skin types, especially delicate skin.
Homemade Chamomile Lotion Recipe
To make homemade chamomile lotion, you’ll need just a few ingredients and one that you can grow yourself — chamomile. In skin care, we mainly use German chamomile, Matricaria recutita, since it’s high in skin-healing components such as proazulenes and alpha-bisabolol. On a more practical note, it produces many more flowers than its cousin, Roman chamomile. More flowers mean more tea, tinctures, and infused oils!
The other ingredients needed are those important to making emulsified creams, and it’s not as complicated as you’d think. The first step is making chamomile-infused oil that concentrates chamomile extract in a usable form. The step after is blending the infused oil with water with the aid of an emulsifier. We all know oil and water don’t mix well, so this ingredient helps glue them together. Lastly, we add a few drops of chamomile essential oil, if desired, and the preservative. More on that later on in the recipe.
Benefits of Chamomile for Skin
Chamomile is best known as a soothing and relaxing tea, but it also has medicinal qualities. Taken internally, it can help calm digestive problems, relieve menstrual cramps, and can help you to get to sleep. The extracts of dainty chamomile flowers also contain volatile oils and flavonoids that are very beneficial for the skin. For example, it has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that treat eczema and acne, and it can even speed up the healing of minor skin injuries. And just like chamomile tea calms us from the inside, chamomile extract can calm our skin from the outside. If you have skin that’s inflamed or highly sensitive, it’s the skin herb for you.
Okay, so how do you get the good stuff from the flowers and onto your skin? There are several ways to extract them, and all require using some sort of solvent or steam. You can use alcohol to make chamomile tincture and then use it for blemishes or add a few drops to lotions. Use distilled water as a solvent to make herbal tea infusions and use them as the water ingredient for toners, lotions, and creams. Another way to create chamomile extract is to infuse the flowers in light carrier oils and use the oil to make salves, lip balms, and homemade chamomile lotion.
Make Chamomile Infused Oil
Making chamomile-infused oil isn’t difficult. You basically put dried plant material together with oil and let it steep like you’re making tea. The main difference, other than using oil instead of water, is that it takes longer. Especially when using the cold-infusion method, as we’ll do in this recipe. When you’re finished, the oil will have the sweet scent of chamomile flowers and their medicinal properties.
You make chamomile-infused oil with any carrier oil of your choice and dried chamomile flowers. In this recipe, I recommend using sweet almond oil since it’s light in feeling, absorbs well, and has little scent. You can use other light oils in this recipe or heavier ones like avocado oil or jojoba for dry skin. The most important thing about the oil you use is that it has a good shelf-life (check its date) and that it’s liquid at room temperature.
It’s always best to use dried herbal material when making infused oils, and the same goes for chamomile flowers. If you grow your own, pick them when the flowers are full and open, and dry them in a food dehydrator or drying screens. You can use them to make chamomile-infused oil when they’re bone dry and crunchy. I know that it’s tempting, but please don’t use fresh flowers since the moisture in herbal material can end up spoiling your oil.
More Herbal Inspiration
- Chamomile Soap Recipe
- Skincare Plants to Grow in the Garden
- Herbal Remedies for Colds and Flu
Homemade Chamomile Lotion Recipe
- Glass jar with lid
- Large saucepan
Chamomile Infused Oil
- 1 cup dried Chamomile flowers
- 1.5 cups Sweet almond oil 355 ml / 12 fl oz
- 90 g Distilled water 90 ml / 3.04 fl. oz
- 11 g Emulsifying wax NF 0.39 oz / 1 TBSP ( you can use only one or two teaspoons to create thinner lotion consistency)
- 25 g Chamomile-infused sweet almond oil 0.88 oz / 2 TBSP
- Broad Spectrum Preservative*
- 5 drops Chamomile essential oil Optional
Make the Chamomile Infused Oil
- At least two weeks before making the lotion, start the chamomile infused oil. Fill a pint jar with a cup of dried chamomile flowers, then fill the jar with sweet almond oil to within a quarter-inch of the top. If you'd like to use another oil with a similar texture, I can recommend apricot kernel, grapeseed, or cold-pressed sunflower.
- Seal the jar and give in a shake. Place in a dark cupboard, and shake it every few days, or whenever you remember.
- After two or more weeks have passed, strain the chamomile-infused oil through a fine sieve. Discard the flowers, and bottle the oil in a dark glass bottle until you need it. You'll make quite a lot of oil in this step and it will easily give you enough infused oil to make a year's worth of lotions, and other skincare products. The oil has a shelf-life of one year, or the best-by date on the original oil bottle.
Prepare the Oil & Water Phases
- Sterilize all of your equipment by running it through the dishwasher. Wash your hands thoroughly, and consider wearing disposable gloves while making the lotion. Microbes that are on your hands and equipment can make their way into your lotion and spoil it.
- Measure the ingredients of the oil phase into one heat-proof glass jar. Measure the distilled water amount for the water phase in a second jar. Next, place both the jars in a large saucepan, and fill the pan with an inch of hot water.
- Bring the water to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. You're ready for the next step after you've heated and held the jars for at least twenty minutes, and the contents of both jars are 75°C/165°F. Take the jars out, and place them on a kitchen towel on the counter.
- Next, pour the heated distilled water into the oil-phase jar. You'll see it immediately turn an opaque milky color. Gently stir with a spoon for several minutes, then let it cool. Leave the spoon inside the jar since you'll need to return five minutes later to give it another stir.
- As the lotion cools, it will thicken up to a light lotion consistency. Return every ten minutes or so to stir gently stir*.
- When the lotion is 45°C/110°F or cooler, add the preservative* and chamomile essential oil.
- Now we need to test for pH. Stir a half teaspoon of lotion in 1-2 tsp distilled water. Dip one of your pH papers into liquid and then compare the color to the ones on the pack. Lotion and skin creams need to match the pH of your skin, or they can be irritating and affect the effectiveness of preservatives. If the pH is between 4.5-5.5, you're spot on. You can make the lotion more acidic (lower the pH) by adding tiny amounts of lactic acid or citric acid dissolved in a small amount of warm, distilled water. Make it more alkaline (increase the pH) with triethanolamine or by dissolving a small amount of L-Arginine or bicarbonate (baking soda) in water and adding it. Pass it through the sieve and into the lotion. Take the pH reading again and adjust again if needed.
- Using a rubber spatula, spoon the lotion into a dark glass container and seal it. You can begin using it immediately.
Hi thank you for sharing this recipe, can i use substitue for Geogard Ultra, can you name any so i implement, appreciate :-)
Hi Haifa, you can use any broad-spectrum preservative suitable for creams and lotions. A preservative is necessary for this recipe since it will grow mold in the cream without one, even if refrigerated.
I was very excited to try this recipe as I used to buy chamomile lotion. I followed the instructions but it appears there is an oil and lotion separation occurring. The lotion also seems to be more greasy. I reviewed the measurements to be sure I followed the right amounts. I used 2 tsp of the emulsifying wax nf as I wanted it to be thinner and 2 Tbsp of the oil mixture. What mat have caused this?
Hi Peggy, sometimes the emulsion you create can break down during the cooling phase, especially if you use a smaller amount of emulsifying wax. To avoid this, you should continue mixing the lotion every minute or so until it cools down. Unfortunately, this batch can’t be salvaged but good luck on round two :)
Thank you. I will try that.
Can Beeswax be used as an emulsifier?
Beeswax is not an emulsifier on its own. In the past, it was used in combination with borax but that’s now considered unsafe. It’s better to use cosmetic emulsifying agents, such as emulsifying wax, to make safe skincare.
Months ago I soaked dried chamomile in almond oil and used a portion to make this lotion. (It is fantastic). I’ve now pulled out the left over infused oil to use it again and it has a kind of vinegary smell. It it rancid or is that what to expect? I stored it inside a dark cupboard in a glass jar inside a white plastic container to help keep the jar dark. Thoughts?
My guess is that it’s unfortunately gone rancid. The scent to me is more like oil paints than vinegar but there’s a similar sharpness. Whenever an ingredient doesn’t smell right, don’t use it.
Thank-you for your reply. Oil paint smell is a better description. Does that mean it’s rancid then? (And yes, using it didn’t feel like a good idea.)
Yes, unfortunately, that scent does mean that the oil has gone off. Discard and use fresh oil :)
Help! I soaked more chamomile in almond oil and left it for 1.5 months (thinking it would be more potent), and again it smells sour. Ugh. I had it in a glass jar in a dark pantry. What am I doing wrong? Should I only soak for two weeks then and use it right away, just to be sure?
Or a better question is, what should the oil smell like after it’s been infused?
Lightly like chamomile and nothing else. Smell the oil before you infuse it…it should have no/little scent.
Do like this recipe! Just tried making it and unfortunately it didn’t get the milky colour..any idea how this is possible? And can I still use it as a lotion?
The color isn’t important, Linda, and yes, you can use it as a lotion :)
Two questions….In the recipe, you state to heat the water and oil for at least 20 minutes at 165, but your video just shows you getting the liquids up to temperature.
Do I have to keep the liquids at that temperature for 20 minutes prior to mixing?
As well, I will be using Geogard ECT, which is a liquid. How much should I use?
Thank-you so much!
The heating and holding method is to help reduce the number of microbes that make it into your lotion. If you use a good broad-spectrum preservative, it’s not really necessary, though. It’s something that used to be done more often with lotion making but fewer people are doing so now. Also, it only kills microbes temporarily — meaning only until the lotion cools to room temperature. Then lotion becomes an environment that microbes can settle into almost immediately. Always use a preservative with lotions and creams if you want it to last more than a few days :)
Hello. your link for Geogard Ultra* (Gluconolactone & Sodium Benzoate & Calcium Gluconate) does not work. This is the only thing I need but can’t seem to find where to buy it. I live in Alberta Canada.
Could you help?
Thanks for letting me know. You can find it through Lotioncrafter, other cosmetic suppliers, and even Etsy, in a pinch :)
You can buy Geogard Ultra at Botanic Planet Canada Inc. They’re in Brampton, Ontario. All the best. :D
my son is suffering really badly with itchy sore, cracked skin from psoriasis on his feet and the palms of his hands, OTC steroid creams are not working. He asked if I would make something to relieve the itch and soreness. I wondered about using strong chamomile tea for the water phase, and calendula infused oil instead, for a ‘double whammy fixer upper.’
*I also wondered about adding a bit of glycerine to the mix, but not sure how much to add. Please advise! (Wondering if I should just get it made as an experiment? Says to use at 1-3%? It’s the liquid type, not powdered.)*
Thank you for your recipes, it’s really kind of you to share your knowledge, I am using olive derived e-wax, and a broad spec preservative as advised.
Hi Corinna and yes, you could do that! You might want to consider making this balm too since neem oil can help stop itching.
Oh, hi Tanya!
Thank you so much, for such a prompt reply! I am currently already infusing the chamomile, but until then will definitely make with calendula oil, and chamomile tea infusion, as he has an outbreak right now. I will let you know how he gets on, and if it doesn’t seem to help, I will try the neem balm. (I also have tamanu oil, so have started with my own ”throw it together” recipe a very basic ointment, beeswax, tamanu oil, almond oil, cocoa butter.
Thanks for another natural lotion formula :)
I am wondering if making a chamomile infusion with the water (tea :) ) at low temperature (50ºC), doesn’t make the lotion more effective than infusing the oil (or infusing both water and oil in the same plant). Is there any cons about using the water infused with the plant in lotions?
Hi Sofia, you could definitely make this recipe using a chamomile infusion (tea) too :)
Wondering what I did wrong…I used Cera Bellina as my wax thinking it would work the same but when I did the combining the oil and the water phases it did not turn white. The oil separated from the water. I do not think I can save this now?
I think that you’ve answered your own question :) Cera Bellina can be used as a co-emulsifier — meaning that it can help out a bit, but is not strong enough to work as the main emulsifier. It’s more commonly used as a thickener, stabilizer, and in creating balms and salves that have shea butter as an ingredient. It’s very helpful in stopping graininess from forming.
Thanks for that nice Chamomile cream recipe. It is the first time I make my own cream and I just love it. Like said by someone above, I will never buy commercial cream anymore. However, the preservative I use (Eco Preservative) smells strong enough to erase the lovely smell of chamomile, which I would love to keep in the final cream product. Can you tell me if the Geogard Ultra smells strong too? I don’t put essential oil, so this is why I would like to keep the nice natural smell of the chamomile. Thanks for your help.
Hi Joanne, and thank you :) Geogard ultra has a very subtle scent. You don’t notice it at all :)
Hello Tanya, love this recipe I have just grown chamomile from seed so looking forward to making this!
Please could you advise on where to get the emulsifying wax NF from?
I’m new to this and can’t seem to find a match
Hi Gemma, you can find it from various cosmetic suppliers but they’re different based on which country you’re in. Lotioncrafter is a big one in North America, whereas Soap Kitchen is a good place in the UK.
I tried this recipe today with rose-infused oil instead of chamomile. And I substituted a wee bit of the oil with shea butter. It is so so so wonderful. I will never ever buy cream in a shop again. It was a little on the liquid side. I may have used a different emulsifier. Maybe that’s why? I will try to use a little less water next time and see what happens. It was really not that hard to make, once I gathered my courage, hehe. Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge.
Thankyou so much for all your lovely recipes and easy to follow steps!
I’ve been infusing the chamomile for two week’s now and looking forward to making the lotion!
I couldn’t find the Geogard Ultra on amazon, but did find Plantaserve P (Saliguard PCG) Liquid 10g, would this be suitable to use?
Many thanks Claire :-)
Hi Claire, if it’s a broad-spectrum preservative then go for it. Really pleased you’re happy with the recipe :)
Thank you for sharing all these wonderful recipes. Can I use marigold infused oil
Instead of chamomile and use the same lotion recipe ?
Also, can I use this cream for face, if so how much wax is reasonably good to go? Please let me know!
Hi Priyanka and yes, you can use calendula-infused oil instead of chamomile. For face, just use 1 tsp of the emulsifying wax :)
Do u use this recipe for body only, or it can also be applied to the face?
If you use the full three teaspoons of e-wax it will be quite a thick cream that I’d only use on the body. Use just one teaspoon, and it’s much lighter and can be used on your face — I do :)
I have sensitive skin and hate spending a fortune each month on skin care. I would love to replace my skin care with this recipe. I am concerned about the emulsifying wax clogging my pores. Thoughts? what is the benefit of making it a cream v just putting the oil on your skin?
Thank you! Looking forward to your book coming out!
Hi Ashley, all of the lotions and creams you’ve been using for your entire life contain an emulsifier/e-wax :) The more you use, the thicker your product will be, so if you want a very light lotion, stick with just one teaspoon of e-wax for this recipe.
Thank you for reply ?and one more question :can I do infuse oil with any herbal tea?
Infused oils are made with oil and dried herbs. For skincare, you use herbs that have skin-beneficial plant chemicals that are fat-soluble. Herbal teas are made with water and herbs. Again, you use herbs that are beneficial for skin.
Hi thank you so much for a really good information on your website. I love your YT channel! Because of you I believe I can do cosmetics for myself and my familly ?I have question :can I use chamomile tea instead of dry flowers?
Yes, you could use chamomile tea for the water part of this recipe. Either with or without the oil being infused too :)
Thank you for sharing your recipes and educating many of us with your tips. I have two queries regarding this one.
1)For infused oils if we are using more than 1 carrier oils how to determine its shelf life?
2) what is the factor that defines shelf life of any lotion?
For infused oils, it’s best to use one type of oil so that you can use it to make precise recipes when its ready. Shelf-life is the closest date of any of the expiration dates of the oils you used (check each bottle) or a maximum of one year.
Shelf-life of lotion is determined by the preservative. Some will preserve the lotion for twelve or eighteen months and some for less. The shelf-life of lotion without a preservative is less than a week if refrigerated.
Hi Tanya this formula sounds wonderful and I’ll definitely be making it. I do have a question about an active ingredient & if you’re familiar with it. It’s Urea, very beneficial for regeneration of new skin cells. Would it be possible to scale this formula with a few grams of Urea for an even more beneficial body and hand cream?
Hi Kimberly, urea, as it’s used in beauty products, is synthetic so I don’t use it. It’s said to be a great relief to red, flaky skin and especially for those who suffer from psoriasis. If you don’t have a skin reaction to it (some people do, so be careful) you can use it in leave-on skincare recipes up to 40% by weight. You can add the powder to the water phase.
Where can I purchase the Geogard Ultra? Amazon doesn’t have it. Also, where could I purchase dried Chamomile buds? Thank you!
Hi Linda, I purchase my Geogard Ultra from a UK company called the Soap Kitchen. That’s a brand name though and you’ll find the same preservative called ‘Gluconolactone & Sodium Benzoate & Calcium Gluconate.’ It looks like lotioncrafter sell it under the name ‘NeoDefend.’ I’ve also added a link to organic dried chamomile flowers in the recipe list :)