Simple Nourishing Hand and Body Cream

This Nourishing Hand and Body Cream is super easy and keeps your skin soft, even in the winter months. Add your choice of essential oils for a luxurious smell.

I love making as many of my personal care items in order to cut down on toxins in our home. I’ve made Eye Makeup Remover, Alcohol-free Hairspray, Sugar Scrub, Nourishing Lip Scrub, Hair Rinse, DIY Body Wash, and more. I’ve been looking for homemade lotion recipe that works for a long time, and I finally have it.

If you’re looking for a homemade lotion or hand cream that will nourish your skin, look no further.  This recipe is super nourishing, super versatile and super simple.

I’ve bought so many lotions and creams in my life, but have really wanted to go to making homemade lotion myself.

I have this ridiculous bent towards DIY stuff.

I can’t stand forking out a ton of money for something when I can make it for a fraction of the cost myself.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I am opposed to buying high quality things.

In fact, I’ve been using a pretty pricey hand and body cream for the past 6 months that I really love, but I’ve been hoping to have a DIY version for my home that I could also recommend to all of you.

I asked all of my great readers the other day for recipes for DIY lotions and one reader had a recipe that really appealed to me.  So I tried it, and–we have a real winner!

This homemade lotion is:

– non greasy
– super easy to make (no fancy tools–just melt, stir and pour)
– smells great
– has flexible ingredients (so you can pretty much use what you have on hand)

It’s a cross between a smooth lotion and a hard lotion.  Are you familiar with those hard lotion bars that are all the rage now on the internet?

While I love the concept, I have found that the hard lotion bars are a little tough for me to use.

Mostly, I think it’s because I’m a little too impatient.  I find myself trying to rub the hard lotion into my skin before it’s had time to soften and as I watch my skin pulling and stretching, I think, “That can’t be too good for my skin, can it?”

And frankly, it doesn’t feel too good.

So, for right now, I am using the hard lotion bars that I have for lip balm.  They work pretty well for that, and I don’t think my lips are getting too stretched out :-).

Anyhow, this lotion is solid at room temp (maybe I should call it “Nourishing Not-So-Hard-Lotion”), but it isn’t super hard and softens up really quickly in your hands, even in our pretty chilly home.  Our home is heated only to about 60 in the winter.  See what I mean about frugal?  Every time I think about moving the thermostat up, I think about the 2-3% of my heating bill that I’ve heard you save for each degree you lower your thermostat.

Let’s just say we all like long underwear around here :-).

Just yesterday, I used my Homemade Sugar Scrub and followed it with this Hand Cream and my hands felt super soft and revitalized last night.  The moisture left from the scrub and rinsing it off is sealed into your skin by this hand cream.

A very frugal way to treat yourself, or someone you love.

Easy Nourishing Hand and Body Lotion Recipe



1.  I love how versatile this recipe is.  I used extra coconut oil and shea butter since I was out of cocoa butter and it still turned out great.

2.  For essential oils, use whatever you like.  I used orange, which was really heavenly smelling, especially combined with the fragrance of the coconut oil.  I felt like a creamsicle :-).  I guess if I used the cocoa butter I would smell like chocolate covered candied orange peel (I’m working on a recipe for that), or something like that.  Lavender would be very soothing as well.

3.  This makes a small amount–just enough for one of these small canning jars.

Of course, you can make more to stock up, or for gifts!

4.  Please note that some (including me) who have made this have had issues with it not solidifying.  I suspect it has to do with the type of shea butter used.  I think if you use a raw shea butter, the resulting product is liquidy.

You can still use it.  In fact, one idea is to put it in a pump bottle. Some upscale lotions are like this including one I am trying out right now.

This bottle would be just perfect for that:

Lotion Pump

Two nights ago, I put a little warm water on my arms, legs, hands, feet, and elbows, and smoothed this lotion all over before going to bed.
This morning, my skin is obviously nourished and much happier.

There were other recipes that readers shared that I thought sounded great, so I am going to be working on more lotions in the future, hopefully my next one will be one that is liquid at room temp.

In the meantime, enjoy this treat for your skin.

Where to buy ingredients:

If you would like some essential oils at cost for making this body cream, check out my Natural Store page, or you can buy some from the company I recommend in my Best Essential Oils Series.

One of the best deals on aloe vera juice is at Vitacost.  You get $10 off your first purchase of $30.  Aloe vera juice is said to be great for intestinal health too, so get a large container while you’re at it.

For the oils, I am looking for more resources, but Mountain Rose Herbs has a nice selection.

For other great Homemade Personal Care recipes, see:
Jojoba Oil Face Wash
Easiest Deodorant
Rose Water Spray
Nourishing Lip Scrub

 Do you have a favorite homemade lotion recipe to share?

 This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer.

Shared at The Shabby Nest, Skip to My Lou, The Prairie Homestead, GNOWFGLINS, The Nourishing Gourmet, Sorta Crunchy, The Shabby Creek Cottage, A Glimpse Inside, Diet, Dessert, and Dogs, and Food Renegade.

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  1. Justin Kane says:

    Love the recipe, but I’m having a terrible time washing my utensils and bowls while cleaning up! Do you have any quick tips, or cleansers that work well? I tried to run them through the dishwasher and it was a DISASTER. I still have residue 20 cycles later -_-;;

    Any help would be appreciated!

  2. I’m not a huge fan of Coconut smell. Is the smell strong? And if so can you use another type of oil in it’s place?

  3. Gregory says:

    Just tried it with almond oil and and lavender essential oil. The liquid was very dark gold. Left it outside for the night so hopefully it’ll solidify by the morning. By the way, I replace coconut oil in all the recipes with melted coconut fat; I was suggested to do it by the shopkeeper in our local “health store” since it’s cheaper and I already had plenty of it (from cooking), also my cocoa butter has some coconut oil mixed in it so I guess that balances it out? I did one cream a couple months ago but it would never solidify – I had to reheat it and double or even triple the amount of shea butter so it’d finally solidify. Could possibly the coconut fat be causing it? Thank you for all the recipes and free ebooks, greetings from Slovenia!

    • I’m not sure what coconut fat is – could you share please? Thanks and nice to meet you too!

      • Gregory says:

        Thanks for the quick reply. It’s very strange that I couldn’t find the adequate pictures when I searched for it in English (maybe it has a different name?). Basically it’s a pack ( of small blocks of solid coconut fat ( It’s very cheap and it is used to replace butter and other fats in cooking because it (quoted) “contains a high percentage of lauric acid. The only comparable source of this healthy substance which helps the immune system is mother’s milk. Because of the lauric acid [it] helps against viruses, parasites, fungi and bacteria, it also helps to balance the blood sugar level and is useful for [people with diabetes]. It speeds up metabolism and fat burning in cells and helps lowering the blood cholesterol level. Moreover it’s one of the rare fats which help with weight loss. […] Coconut fat tolerates heating very well. Even at very high temperatures, harmful substances won’t appear. Because of that it’s very convenient for frying, baking and other processes in which the food is heated to very high temperatures.”. Sorry for a very long quote but I wanted to give you an idea (there supposedly isn’t much written about it in English) why it’s so popular here in Slovenia. Do you have it too, but sold under another name?

      • Gregory says:

        Oh, by the way – the lotion turned out great. In the morning it was completely white like in the header. It was a bit greasy though … Could it be my coconut fat causing it again? Cheers.

        • That’s so great! I find coconut oil to be fairly greasy personally but others don’t. Might be the type of skin we have. I can’t use it on my face at all.

  4. Catalina says:

    Would you say that it’s safe to use this on a 10mo baby? If not, do u have other recommendations? What essential oil is better for baby skin (diluted, of course)?
    Thank you

  5. Niquisha Keys says:

    How long would the lotion last without going bad and is there a certain way to store it?

    • I am sorry but I can’t make storage claims. I would guess a few months but it will depend on how you use it and where you keep it. I just kept it on the counter in the bathroom. The ingredients will make a difference as well. I had some raw shea butter spoil on me just a few weeks ago :(.