How to Make Homemade Lotions

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Searching for the perfect body and hand lotion can feel overwhelming. You want the right scent, the right feel and the right effect. You do your best to interpret the ingredient lists, hoping your skin approves of our purchase. There is one surefire way to get it all: make your own!

What You'll Need:

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  • Large saucepan
  • Small saucepan
  • Metal or Pyrex pitcher
  • 16-ounce mason jar with lid
  • Immersion blender
  • 1/4 cup Jojoba oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa butter
  • 1 cup purified water

Optional: Essential oils of your choosing

1. Heat the Oils and Emulsifier

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Add the jojoba oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and beeswax to your pitcher or small pan (as shown here). The cocoa butter is solid and can be scraped out of the container. Prepare a double boiler by adding a few inches of water to the large saucepan and place your pitcher or pan in the water. Heat over medium heat until fully melted. Remove from heat.

2. Let the Oils Cool and Heat the Water

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Add purified water to the mason jar and place it in warm water next to the pan or pitcher in the larger saucepan. The goal is to get both the oil-wax combination and the water to about 98 degrees Fahrenheit (body temperature). Use your finger to test or use a thermometer to be extra precise.

3. Blend the Ingredients Together

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Place the warm water in the mason jar on sturdy surface. If you used a pan, pour the oil mixture into a pitcher now. Place the immersion blender into the water and turn on low speed. As slowly as you can, pour the oil mixture into the water in a steady stream. The mixture will initially look clumpy, even after all the oil has been added.

4. Keep Blending

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Keep blending until it looks like a smooth, perfect lotion. It will take about five to eight minutes. Blend in 10 to 20 drops of essential oil, if desired.

5. Shake It Up

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Once the lotion is completely blended, screw the lid on and shake several times as it cools. Excess water may separate out – simply pour the water off.

Storing and Shelf Life

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Lotion is comprised of three basic ingredients: water, oil and an emulsifier. Its richer, more hydrating cousin, butter, is made without the water. Water decreases the shelf life. This recipe is a lotion and will keep for about two months. It keeps best in a dark, cool environment. Storing it in the refrigerator will increase the shelf life to three months. Butter is entirely oil based and can be kept for up to a year.

Lotion Variations

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  • Instead of water, use chamomile tea, green tea or oat water for their skin-soothing properties. To make oat water, cook oats in distilled water and dispose of the oats, reserving the water.

  • Instead of cocoa butter, try Shea butter.

  • Use aloe vera gel in place of a portion of the water.

  • Other oils to experiment with are olive, sweet almond, avocado, grapeseed and sunflower.