Basic Body Lotion Recipe

Basic Body Lotion Recipe

How to Make Basic Body Lotion

If you’ve never made lotion, this tutorial is a great place to start! Handmade lotion is so much nicer than store bought because it’s filled with oils and butters that nourish your skin. This recipe is made with rich shea butter and luscious avocado oil. Shea butter is a wonderful source of phytosterols including cinnamic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties. Avocado oil is a medium heavy oil that is packed with nutrients and polyphenols which give it a drier skin feel. Feel free to substitute the oils and butters in this lotion for any other oils or butters to make this lotion exactly the way you want it. Click Here to read more about oils and butters in our handy oil guide.

This recipe includes two humectants, sodium lactate and glycerine. Humectants are molecules that draw water to the skin to hydrate it. Humectants are the key to plumping up dry skin! If you want humectants, such as 10% aloe vera juice, remove an identical amount of water from the heated oil phase. 2% crystalized sodium lactate was used to formulate this recipe. If you have liquid sodium lactate on hand, use 3% and adjust the distilled recipe accordingly.

You can use any Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil of your choice in this recipe. For assistance in using essential oils, Click Here for our guide.

This recipe is emulsified with emulsifying wax, NF – it’s the ingredient that allows the oil and the water to form a stable, emulsified mixture. You cannot substitute beeswax in this recipe. Germaben II is used as a preservative. You must include a preservative in all body products that contain water to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination.


  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Yield: 4 x 4 oz Bottles


  • Prep Time / Clean Up: 15 Minutes
  • Perform Time: 1 Hour
  • Total Time: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes


Basic Body Lotion Recipe Supplies


Heated Oil Ingredients

Heated Aqueous Ingredients

  • 0.32 oz / 9 g Glycerin (3%) (Available at pharmacies)
  • 0.21 oz / 6 g Sodium Lactate Crystals (2%)
  • 6.78 oz / 192 g Distilled or Deionized Water (64%)

Cool Down Ingredients

Basic Body Lotion Recipe Ingredients


Before starting this tutorial please make sure to read all instructions. Spray work surface, utensils and funnel pitchers with 70% isopropyl alcohol and wipe with paper towels. Use caution when handling heated oils. Use disposable pipets when dispensing essential oils. Do not place undiluted essential oils in plastic ware. Carefully weigh all ingredients before you start working.

Place wire rack in the bottom of pot or skillet and fill with 2-3 inches of water and bring to a simmer on stovetop.

Step 1 – Heat and hold ingredients

Combine heated oil ingredients in one funnel pitcher and heated aqueous ingredients in a second funnel pitcher. Place funnel pitchers in pot of water simmering on the stove.

Basic Body Lotion Recipe Step 1

Heat both pitchers to at least 158⁰ F (70⁰ C) and hold for 20 minutes, maintaining the water in the pot at a simmer. Remove the pitchers from the water bath.

Step 2 – Make the Emulsion

Pour the contents of the aqueous pitcher into the oil pitcher. Insert the immersion blender into the combined ingredients. Tap the head of the stick blender to remove any air bubbles. Blend on high speed until a stable emulsion forms and the ingredients are fully mixed, about 1-2 minutes.

Basic Body Lotion Recipe Step 2

Step 3 – Add the Cool Down Ingredients

Allow the mixture to cool until it is below 115⁰ F (45⁰ C).

Hand stir in the preservative, cyclomethicone and the lavender 40/42 essential oil.

Basic Body Lotion Recipe Step 3a

Scrape the lotion into a piping bag or zip top bag. Snip the corner off the bag. Squeeze the lotion into the bottles, cap and enjoy!

Basic Body Lotion Recipe Step 3b

For cleanup, wash all containers and utensils with hot, soapy water. Alternatively, use a dishwasher with appropriate detergent. Carefully wipe the tip of the thermometer clean with a paper towel. Do not immerse the thermometer in water.

Basic Body Lotion Recipe


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