Lotion at Home

Last week I realized that I was running low on body lotion. I normally would have made the trip to the store to buy some more, but as I mentioned in Tackling the CabinetI wanted to make sure that my lotion is chemical free. I could have browsed through the isles of the co-op until I came across a good replacement, but this time, I decided to make my own at home. Plus, I didn’t realize how easy it was until I took a Natural Skin Care class with Kami McBride, the author of the The Herbal Kitchen. I took her class to learn about  the benefits of using herbs in cooking and personal care products. After Kami’s class, I walked away with recipes on how to make a lotion, a body scrub, body butter, lavender oil, chapstick, and other goodies.

Not including  going to three stores to pick up the supplies, the whole process of making lotion took about 30 minutes. I bought the coconut oil, olive oil and the aloe vera gel at my local grocery store. I bought the beeswax and the cocoa butter at the Beekeeping Store. As a side note, this is such a great store! They have a large variety of local honey and all kinds of goodies for making lotions, soaps, and candles. And last, I stopped by a Mediterranean specialty store for the rose water. OK, if you count the time it took me to find all the supplies, you are probably wondering why I went through such a hassle. Believe me, I don’t typically have time to cruise around on lotion expeditions; however, if you know where to go and just buy in bulk (triple the recipe or more), you can get all the ingredients you need in one trip for a whole year. 

Now, what about the cost? I’m not going to pretend that making lotion at home is much cheaper than buying it at the store. But again, if buy your supplies in bulk, and especially if you make extra lotion as a gift for others,  it is definitely cheaper. Plus, you get the benefit of knowing that all the ingredients are so good for you!

So today, I took that extra hour (which was well worth it), and made some of  Kami’s Luscious Herbal Cream. Now, I have more lotion than I know what to do with. 


1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbls. coconut oil
2 Tbls. cocoa butter
1 Tbls. beeswax
¾ cup rose flower water
1/3 cup aloe vera gel


In a pot, melt all the oils together (olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax) over low heat, making sure that the mixture does not boil. After the ingredients are melted, leave to cool. In a separate bowl combine the aloe vera gel and rose water. The key to making sure that the oils don’t become solid when you combine them with the rose water/aloe mixture (in the next step) is to take the oils off the burner and cool  them until they are the same temperature as the rose water. Pour the rose water/aloe mixture into a blender and then pour the oils gradually into the blender. Mix on high-speed until all the ingredients are combined and form a smooth lotion.

The shelf life is 3 months, but I’m sure it won’t last that long. I tripled the recipe and have more than enough for myself, my mom, and some friends. Last time I was at the antique store (which happens to be right next to the Beekeeping Supply), I came across a vintage jar with a gold lid, which I thought would make a perfect lotion container for mom.

In her natural Skin Care class, Kami McBride said, “if it can’t go in your mouth, don’t put it in on your skin“. I never thought about my skin care regimen in such a simple way. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies, which plays many important functions. Things I put on my skin are absorbed and go straight my blood stream. Naturally, I want to make sure that whatever I’m lathering on every day is beneficial for my health. Whether it’s making lotion every few months, reading the ingredients, or checking Skin Deep, these extra steps help me make healthier choices every day. Thank you for such a great class, Kami.

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  1. sofiya
    Posted November 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    wow, this is soooo cool! do you like how the lotion feels on your skin? i’m willing to take any leftovers off your hands :)

  2. Misa
    Posted November 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for letting me try the lotion – I love it! Skin feels great and gave me a healthy glow for the entire day. I’m so ready when you want to take on lip balm – count me in for supplies and/or prep. So worth it!

    • Posted November 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Of course! Just let me know when you run out and we can make some more. I will make you some lip balm, I have all the supplies at home. You will be amazed at how easy it is!

  3. Posted January 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like lovely lotion. I’m just curious – did it stay soft and “lotiony”? I tried making lotion a couple of years ago – with a very similar recipe – but it came out really hard. I’ve been making my own soap for years with great success so I was a little disappointed my my lotion fiasco.

    • Posted January 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes, very soft. It is definitely worth a try. The trick is to melt all the oils/fats together and leave them to cool on the counter until they are the exact same temperature as the other liquids (rose water and aloe vera gel). Once they are about the same temperature you can blend them together in a blender. The aloe/rose water mixture goes in first, and then the oils should be poured in while the blender is going. It should give you a very smooth and silky consistency. Good job on making the soap work for you! Let me know how it goes with the lotion if you decide to give it a try.

      • Posted July 15, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Well I finally tried making it and it’s very runny. Like melted icecream. Does it thicken up? Should I have blended it longer? It’s definitely blended, just very runny.

        • Posted July 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          It won’t thicken up much once you made it. Some people like their lotion thick, some lighter so you can definitely play with the consistency. It’s a balance between the aloe vera/rose water and the beeswax. Try adding 2 more of beeswax to it next time to get it thicker.

          • Posted July 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

            OK thanks. If I make it again I’ll try more wax. It’s so runny now that it’s hard to actually get any: It just pours out of my hand. And seems quite oily. Perhaps it didn’t emulsify properly – although I did pour the oil in REALLY slowly and mixed it in the blender for a good long while. I’ve got it in the fridge hoping to harden it at least a bit.

            Your comment to Maria (below) mentions that you’ve played around with the recipe a bit. Can you share the recipe for your favourite result?

          • Posted July 16, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

            That’s interesting. It should not have turned out that runny. My lotion is not too thick, but I can definitely scoop it and put it on my skin. Olive oil does tend to be a bit more “oily” than others. If you don’t like that texture, you can use a lighter oil, like almond oil or apricot seed oil. I often like to use Shea butter instead of cocoa butter. It’s bit lighter and smoother, and some of my friends and family are allergic to cocoa butter. You can also add a few drops of essential oil like lavender or chamomile.

  4. Posted July 8, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    HI Maria,
    Your photographs are beautiful, this is such a great page! Thank you for sharing it with everyone!

    • Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Kami. I still make the lotion for myself and as a gift to others. I also have played around with the recipe quite a bit and love it!

One Trackback

  • By Easy Vegan Cauliflower Soup « limetreelife on January 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    […] to actually watch it, I’m getting ready to tune in from time to time while doing Pilates, making lotions and lip balms (by a special request from a few friends and family members), and organizing our new […]

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