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How To Make Homemade Lotion With 3 Simple Ingredients {Video Tutorial}

Affiliate Disclosure | in DIY Beauty | by | with 295 Comments

how to make lotion

Lesson #1 from my first job, Bath & Body Works . . .

Do not climb the stockroom shelves like catwoman. Ever.

Lesson #2: Those luscious looking photos are meant to distract you from cancer causing dioxane and formaldehyde in shower gels and lotions with unpronounceable ingredients.

But is the solution homemade lotion??? That’s waaaay too complicated, right?  Believe me, every other recipe I’ve seen is complicated, so when I found this simple recipe it seemed too good to be true. Folks, it WORKS! And it absorbs much more quickly than straight coconut oil, which is great if you’re dressing in a hurry. Louisa’s post is really worth the read if you want to give this a go, but since I like to SEE how things like this work Katie and I made this video tutorial for you. :)

UPDATE: Though I say in the video that this lotion can be stored at room temp for 3 months (based on the tutorial I linked to), that is not the case. Based on research I’ve done since then you can store at room temp for at the very most two weeks or keep in the fridge for up to 3 months. For info on how to keep at room temp for a longer period of time check out my new ebook, DIY Organic Beauty Recipes.

You will need:

  • 3/4 cup oil (The video says one cup, but I’ve found that’s too much and can sometimes cause separation. Olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil are great choices*)
  • 3 tablespoons beeswax
  • 3/4 cup water, rose water, or herbal tea – room temp or slightly warmer
  • essential oil for fragrance (optional)

* If you use coconut oil keep the lotion you want to use at room temperature because it will become solid in the fridge.


Note: Use 3/4 cup water instead of the 1 cup water mentioned in the video. Though it may work, it is much more prone to separation.


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295 Responses to How To Make Homemade Lotion With 3 Simple Ingredients {Video Tutorial}

  1. Rose says:

    I love this recipe! And I love your blog! I am excited to try more of your recipes. Thanks so much for sharing. I made creams as Christmas gifts for family this year. It is really easy!! Last year I made similar lotions but from other blogs but they weren’t as easy or as absorbent as this recipe. A lot of the DIY creams tend to be very oily and don’t absorb well into the skin

    I have kept it out at room temperature because I find that it gets too hard in the fridge. Do you recommend refrigeration to prevent bacteria from growing?

  2. Cindy says:

    I’ve been meaning to try this recipe for months and am finally excited to get on it with the motivation of so many dry hands in our house. Then I remembered that I’d commented on your FB post about this that I have Candelilla wax instead of beeswax. Someone wrote me back saying I’d use 1/2 or double the amount of candelilla wax but I can’t remember which it was and can’t find the post. Would you know? Thanks so much!

  3. Kristi says:

    I made this lotion this weekend and I love it. However, I do have a question. When I made it the consistency was perfect but after 24 hours it hardened. I did not put it in the refrigerator. I used coconut oil instead of olive oil. Is that the difference? I can still use it, I just loved the perfect lotion consistency.

  4. Rebecca says:

    I’d love to try this… just wondering, could I use tallow in place of the olive or coconut oil?? I would like to make this lotion to use in your sunscreen recipe.

  5. Andrea says:

    Sooo…I thought it was all working well and then the lotion split. It is now this part lotion and watery consistency. Anyone Know how this be fixed? Much appreciated:)

  6. ERIKA says:


  7. Dominique Walston says:

    i know this post is old but it came up and i am anxious to try it!! My only question is i have shea butter and i have almond oil is there a way to sub these products into this current recipe?? maybe sub sha butter for beeswax and almond oil for coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil???? i only ask because i made a lotion previously with these things and where it felt great it was overly complicated i need something that will be done with in a few minutes instead of hours. these are the ingredients i had from it…. thoughts?? (sorry for duplication i pressed enter too soon)

    • Heather says:

      Hi Dominique, I haven’t tried making lotions with those particular ingredients so I can’t say how it would work out using the proportions from this recipe, unfortunately.

      • nisha says:

        Hi, i knownthis post is super old but i was wondering could i use lanolin instead of beeswax?

        • Diane says:

          Lanolin is sheep´s water-free wool fat, not to be confused with the lanolin that you can get in chemists which according to the German pharmacopoeia (DAB) is made up of 65% woolwax, 15% paraffin oil and 20% water!

          Lanolin is added to our cremes with a water-in-oil emulsion as a natural emulsifier and serves as a bond between water and oil. At the same time it is an outstanding skin care product: It binds the skin´s moisture and contains valuable organic ingredients such as cholesterol and provitamin D.

          So, Nisha, why not try it? Of course, you may have to figure out how much because all emulsifiers are not equal in power.

          Good luck.

  8. Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars | The MommypotamusThe Mommypotamus | says:

    […] years, I don’t usually make it in advance because the shelf life of the base –  my homemade lotion – is shorter than those preserved with […]

  9. Turning my Back on Duane Reade: My Homemade Beauty Experiment | continuumissues says:

    […] Homemade Lotion, 3 Ingredients  […]

  10. Misty says:

    I tried this recipe last night and must’ve done something wrong because my finished product is very greasy. When you say “3 Tbl beeswax” is that 3 Tbl of grated beeswax, or the brick? I think I put in too much. Also, does your beeswax have a strong aroma? Mine does and it has overpowered the essential oils I added. Also I used an unfiltered virgin olive oil (cloudy) and this also had a strong smell. haha

    Is there anything I could have done to make it less oily? I love the simplicity of this recipe and want to try again.

    Thank you so much. :)

  11. kimgoesscrimping says:

    Hey, I like your recipe, I do most of my cosmetics and household products too (see my blog ) I make sometime lotion with beeswax as well and other time with natural cosmetic emulsifying wax. Beeswax tends to “hold” the emulsification less long but it’s more natural in my view :) I just wanted to add that to keep your lotion longer you could add natural conservative such as EPP (made from citrus) or cosgard (less natural but allowed in organic certified product).
    anyway, nice video and your daughter is super cute !
    Kisses to you two from a fellow French diy-in-the-natural-way addict, Kim

  12. Odysseia says:

    This is simple, no hassle hydrating lotion!
    Just a small correction, if I may, on the Sea Buckthorn oil, it is mostly loaded with Vitamins A and C. Its orange/yellow color is from the beta-carotene. It is a fabulous oil for regenerating skins cells-great for mature and sun-damaged skin also.
    What I usually do to make my lotions is similar to your recipe with the exception I add pure organic Aloe Vera juice-gel will do as well, or a strong camomile or lavender tea infusion with the dosage being more than the oil to provide more hydration to the skin.
    Dry skin needs both oil and water – Dehydrated skin is thirsty skin and needs mostly water and there’s nothing better for it than Aloe Vera! Another amazing ingredient to add is seaweed gel combined with aloe vera-I make my own and add it to my lotions.

  13. Vickie says:

    I just need a quick clarification; in the video you say to add 1 cup of water, or rose water, or herbal tea to the oil, but in the written instructions above, it says 3/4 cup. I have wasted a lot of ingredients in the past trying to make a lotion so thought I’d better get some clarification before attempting this one. Thanks much~!!!

    • Heather says:

      I reduced the amount to 3/4 cup because at 1 cup I sometimes had separation issues. Hope that helps!

      • Vickie says:

        THIS IS AWESOME~!!……It worked! My first successful attempt at DIY lotion…..happy dance. I used Rose water and added 3 or 4 capsules of Vit. E. Thank you so much! What a great recipe.

      • Danika says:

        I used a little less than one cup of rose water and noticed that it separates a bit especially after refrigeration. Someone had suggested to add a stabilizer such as Xantham Gum to help with that and I was wondering how much to add and where in the process. I have Guar Gum on hand which should work as well I assume. Other than that it seems great, absorbs well and doesn’t leave my skin too greasy. I took the liberty to add a teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to help preserve it and I was wondering how much this may add to the shelf life if at all. For essential oils I added some lavender, cypress and rosehip as I read that cypress and rosehip are supposed to be firming for skin. Someone also suggested to add a thieves oil blend to help prevent bacterial growth. I have clove, rosemary and eucalyptus on hand and suppose these might be good to add for that purpose?

  14. Homemade Mineral Makeup (plus lotion, lip balm, and toothpaste) | This Fuller Life says:

    […] pregnant sister is working on on the other side of the counter :)) and colored lip balm!!  Homemade Lotion (only 3 simple ingredients) Honey Peppermint Lip Balm (to color we added 1/2 tsp alkanet root powder) After that we […]

  15. Celeste says:

    Do you have any thoughts on Bulk Apothecary? Have you used their products before? I noticed there is a significant price difference in some cases, but wanted to learn more before making a purchase. Thanks!

  16. Lotion Bar RecipeMommypotamus | says:

    […] not sure when the potami first mistook my homemade lotion for a jar of mayo in the fridge, but in this house they know to check before they chew. Sure, […]

  17. Jen K. says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if I could do this with tallow (liquified)? I think I need something more than olive oil since it’s winter now :)

  18. Whitney says:

    I know this is old, but the video is not available anymore??? I love your site and trust it so much, I don’t want to find another video because it might not be trustworthy! I only made the lotion once and can’t remember the steps!!

  19. Heather says:

    Is the recipe/how to mix it all or video still available? I can’t find either in the post. :/ I’m coming here through Pinterest, wasn’t sure if that had anything to do with it.
    Thank you for any help. :)

  20. Mia says:

    Can you add a calendula tincture to this. I have about 2 ounces left and dont know what to do with it.

  21. sarah says:

    I’m so excited to try this lotion! I was wondering if anyone has tried using tallow instead of olive oil or coconut oil? ???

  22. Monique says:

    I love it, will definitely try it. On a different note, I was wondering if I could use shea butter instead of the oil, I have about 2Kg of shea butter that I would like to use up. Second, is there any reason a lotion would solidify once it has set? I have tried making lotion once before and my whole batch solidified. Why would that be? Thanks

  23. Reene says:

    My lotion turned out to be too watery. When I rub it on my skin I can see water drops. Is it because I used too much water? I followed your video where you said 1 cup of water.
    Anyway, how will I know while making a lotion when there is enough of water?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Reene! I’m so sorry you had a problem with excess water. Though I did use one cup in the video and it worked fine, over time I found that some batches would separate due to excess water. After awhile I updated the written instructions to suggest 3/4 cup water instead and explained why, but I haven’t found a way to edit the video because the original files were lost in a computer crash.

      I have added another note below the video in case anyone misses that update in the post. So sorry about your lotion! If the water collects on the top you may be able to pour it off.

  24. Cherie says:

    I am so excited to make this lotion! Thanks for your great tutorial! :) I was wondering though…. is this still the lotion you still use on a daily basis or have you moved on to something different? I was just curious because it is an older video… is it a tried and true recipe or if it was a short lived thing? :) Love all your help on being an healthy Momma! :)

  25. Donna says:

    Could you tell if I could add glycerin and citric acid to your recipe? If so, how much and at what point would I add them? Thank you very much for your help!

  26. Veronica says:

    I’m trying the lotion recipe and the beeswax isn’t melting… I’ve had it in a double boiler for a long time now…any suggestions?
    Thank you!

  27. Emily says:

    Should you really be using olive oil in this? it’s definitely one of the slower absorbing carrier oils. a lighter oil like sweet almond might be better, at least for your hands if you need to be able to touch things afterwards.

  28. Emily says:

    Have you used Kokum butter? It’s very very hard and I wonder if I could use it as a substitute for the beeswax…..

  29. Debby says:


    I would like to know if I can add make it as sunscreen lotion, how much of zinc oxide I need to add for SPF 30 ? Thanks.

  30. Neha says:

    I could not c ur video
    Could u please give written instructions of this home madeklotio
    Thanks a lot

  31. Neha says:

    Sorry still cant c the video
    Pls provide written instructions

  32. Lon says:

    Could you please provide written instructions…your video isn’t working!
    Thanks so much!

  33. Lauren says:

    Hi! I would love to make this. Unfortunately the “Method” section is completely blank when I view this site. Is there a way that I can view how to make it? Thanks!

  34. Luisa says:

    Hi Debby
    great tutorial… just want to chek if I can add Vitamine E to this mix, and how much should I use.

  35. tara says:

    Hello, I just had to say thank you! I`ve never made lotion before, but I`m starting to make my own make up products and stumbled on this when I discovered that most DIY (natural) foundation recipes require lotion. Amazing! I haven`t moved on to phase 2 yet (combining the powder foundation and liquid components) but now just sitting and marveling at how soft my arms feel…

  36. Kai says:

    Just wanted to thank you mommypotamus for this wonderful recipe! It has been a staple at my house ever since I found out how to make it.
    I’m not sure for others, but i find that i get the best result when i just dump the oil with the melted beewax and water together in a big container, and blend with a stick blender. It’s kind of like magic how well it blends together. And no separation afterwards too.
    To help cool it down, I blend while the container is placed in a double boiler filled with ice cold water.
    Just to note: I usually use coconut oil, natural bee wax, and rose water

  37. Mary says:

    Hi – I am a little confused – and I’m sure you can clarify this for me. the list of ingredients is oil, beeswax and water. I believe I heard on the video that you add the beeswax and oil to the double boiler to melt the beeswax. then you place that combination in the food processor and add the water. then I believe I heard you say to add something very slowly but I did not hear what was added very slowly? please clarify.

    Also – can an emersion blender be used as well – will it be as effective?

    Thank you – loved the video and your little girl is precious!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Mary, the last section mentions adding essential oils if desired. Yes, you can use an immersion blender. I have a video planned to demonstrate the technique :)

  38. JoyElena says:

    July FYI Vitamin E inhibits collagen production

  39. Diane says:

    Note to Joyelena, I’ve never read any studies saying Vitamin E inhibits collagen production. If you google “Vitamin E collagen production” you will get many websites with medical authorities touting the opposite, i.e., Vitamin E produces collagen.

  40. Kristi Duggan says:

    Would this lotion recipe work to use in a pump dispenser?

  41. Diane says:

    To, Kristi D.,

    Yes, this cream/lotion can be put into a pump dispenser and works wonderfully. Interestingly, with the less water, 3/4 cup, my lotion lasted without mold/fungus from the water or rancidity from the oil for over one and a half years! It still even smelled good.

  42. Arlene Phillips says:

    I have spent a lot of time reasearching lotion making. But I have a question, I have read about emusifiers,some use it some don’t. Is it necessary or not and I’m sure
    It’s full of chemicals. Is it a yes or no.
    Thank you

    • Diane says:

      Arlene, emulsifiers are a must if your blend contains water! Oil and water don’t mix. You need an emulsifier to marry them. Most natural emulsifier is beeswax. Lecithin and glycerin can also be used as natural emulsifiers. Egg yolk of course is an emulsifier used primarily in cooking.

      Just google “natural emulsifiers” to find one that suits your needs and/or preferences.

      If you’re making a body butter, which contains only oils, an emulsifier isn’t needed.

  43. Homemade Lotion Recipe (Video Tutorial)Mommypotamus | says:

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  44. Homemade Intensive Moisturizing Lotion Recipe (Video Tutorial) | Diet Balance says:

    […] you’ve tried my three ingredient lotion recipe before, you are going to love this new version. Not only does it incorporate shea butter for more […]

  45. Hanna says:

    That’s great! I will try this receipt. Anyway, can you also show more about how to mix the whitening body lotion and its ingredients? Thanks you.

  46. amy says:

    Thank you for sharing this info. Will try this! Btw, have to say that your lil girl is too cute! what an awesome helper you have :)

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