How to Make Homemade Lotion: Easy Recipe With All Natural Ingredients

hand dips finger into glass jar of homemade lotion made with oils and beeswax

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

  • Working Time: 25 - 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes - 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 ounces
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $8.00

Creating your own homemade lotion isn't tough—and the ingredients are easy to come by. The advantages to DIY lotion are numerous; while you will spend a bit of money to gather all the ingredients at first, over time, it will save you serious cash, especially compared to an equivalent product off the shelf. And making your own natural lotion means you know exactly what went into it.

It also gives you flexibility with scent—you can choose unscented, mix essential oils, use one single note (orange is inexpensive and never seems to get old), or go as heavy or light on the scent as you like. If you want your lotion to replace your perfume, you could double the essential oils you use. If you don't want unscented lotion but just like just a hint of smell, use half the amount indicated.

aloe vera gel, beeswax sheets, and oils on counter with jar of homemade lotion

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

What You'll Need


  • Immersion or pedestal blender
  • Heat safe bowl
  • Small saucepan
  • Medium-large bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spatula
  • Jar with lid (to store lotion)


  • 3/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup beeswax (grated or pellets)
  • 1/2 cup jojoba oil (or sweet almond or grapeseed oils)
  • 1 tsp vitamin E oil
  • 18 drops essential oils (optional)


There's one tricky step here—the emulsifying, so go slowly the first time you go through this process, and follow the instructions closely.

  1. Prepare Your Ingredients

    hands stir wooden spoon to combine aloe vera, vitamin E oil, and water in bowl

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Because temperature is important to the process of creating your lotion, get all your ingredients and materials out and organized.

    Combine the aloe vera gel, water, and vitamin E oil in your medium-large bowl. Make sure these are a warm-room temperature; if it's cool or cold in your home, warm them up a bit by placing them in the sun or use the microwave. You could also set the bowl inside a larger bowl with warm tap water in it to gently warm the ingredients—it's important they are not cold when you combine them with heated ingredients in step 3. Set aside.

  2. Heat the Beeswax and Oil

    beeswax and oils heated on stovetop in saucepan to make homemade lotion

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Fill your saucepan with about 2 inches of water. Turn heat on low.

    Then, add the beeswax and jojoba (or sweet almond or grapeseed) oil to your heat-safe bowl and place it in the saucepan with water. This is a double-boiler and will help heat your beeswax and oil gently.

    Stir occasionally, and keep your eye on the melting beeswax.

    Carefully remove the heat-safe bowl from the water in the saucepan (both the bowl and water in the pan will be hot!).

  3. Add Ingredients to Blender and Cool

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Gently pour the beeswax and oil mixture into your blender, being careful not to splash. You might want to pick the blender up by its handle and pour the mixture down the interior side of the blender to avoid splashes.

    Wait 10 minutes for the mixture to cool in the blender.

  4. Blend Ingredients

    hand adds bowl of aloe vera mixture through top of blender to combine with oils for homemade lotion

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Put the top of your blender on and start blending at the lowest setting for 10-15 seconds. Now, remove the cap over the hole in the top of the blender (it's usually clear plastic, whereas the rest of the blender top will be flexible plastic) and, with the blender still going on low speed, slowly add the aloe vera and water mixture to the beeswax and oil mixture.

    Add the aloe vera mix very slowly, as it needs time to emulsify with the beeswax and oil. It should take you more than 5 minutes to pour the aloe vera in (so think a thin drizzle), and closer to 10 minutes.

    Turn the blender off and scrape the sides down every couple of minutes. The key here is getting these two sets of ingredients to combine properly. Be patient.

    Note: If you are using an immersion blender, use the same process, except you will wait for your oils to cool as per the above step and then pour the aloe vera mix into the bowl with the beeswax and oil already in it.

  5. Keep Blending

    hand uses wooden spatula to scrape down sides of blender to make homemade lotion

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Once your ingredients are combined, stop the blender and scrape the sides down with your spatula. Blend again, and clean the sides with your spatula again. Keep going until you get to the thickness you like for your lotion. This should take at least 10 minutes and could take longer, depending on your blender and the consistency you like your lotion to be.

  6. Add Essential Oils

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    When you are getting close to the consistency you want, add your essential oils to the mixture. Blend or mix with the spatula. If you prefer unscented lotion, skip this step.

  7. Store Homemade Lotion in a Container

    women in silky robe displays glass jar with spring top filled with homemade white lotion

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    When you have reached your proper lotion feel, use the spatula to scrape the lotion into the container or containers you have designated for that purpose. This lotion is designed to be the kind that you scoop out and spread around with your hand. You could try adding more water to the recipe to get a more liquidy, pumpable lotion. You could reduce the water if you want it to be thicker.

    This lotion should last for a few weeks unrefrigerated; consider dividing what you have made and storing half in the refrigerator for later, depending on how fast you go through lotion.

How Much Does Homemade Natural Lotion Really Cost?

person in houndstooth coat compares prices on store-bought lotions at supermarket

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

If you were to buy it off the shelf, 16 ounces of no preservative, no artificial ingredients lotions cost well over $20. DIY it and this one will cost around $7-$8 (that's using mid-range prices, not the most expensive ingredients or the cheapest).

Ideally, you will need to gather the ingredients in bulk, and the more you buy of each product, the less expensive the lotion will be. So, if you stock up on larger amounts of beeswax, aloe vera gel, and sweet almond oil (and opt for less expensive essential oils), this lotion could be even cheaper.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is homemade lotion greasy?

    Homemade lotion should not be greasy. If yours is, it means that the emulsification was not successful and the oil and aloe vera mixtures have separated. Adding some tapioca starch can help bring the emulsification back together. You can also try decreasing the amount of oil in future batches.

  • What are the best oils to use in homemade lotion?

    In this recipe, we recommend jojoba, sweet almond, and grapeseed oils. Apricot kernel and safflower oils are also good options for homemade lotions. It is important that the oil you use is fast-absorbing. Avoid oils like avocado, olive, and hemp, which are heavy and will take time to absorb into the skin, making it feel greasy.