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.

Got dry skin?

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

 

NOTES:

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.

Comments

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  1. I make a very similar ‘lotion’ and wasted a ton of my essential oils trying to create a nice scent and in the end, it always still smelled like shea. So now I have just resigned to smelling like shea butter …which I also like… and not wasting my expensive oils. Just thought I’d mention that :) Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hmmm. I typically use unrefined shea butter but this time I used refined b/c I wanted to use it up. I never minded the smell of shea – does it bother you? Thanks!

    • I’ve never encountered this. Have you tried using coffee infused oil along with vanilla? I’ve never smelled like Shea.

      Then again, you can pretty much use any oil that is solid at room temperature instead of shea like almond butter, hemp seed butter … or simply use more cocoa butter.

      • I’m way too busy working on a farm to make my own lotion. I’ve done a lot of research to find safe, environmental-friendly, cruelty-free products, using EWG’s site and other research, and I buy all my body products from Nourish. The fresh fig scent is so lovely and all their products are supper cheap. (Their body/face lotions are amazing.)

    • Stephanie says:

      I personally hate the smell of Shea on my body. it smells fine off of me but the thought of walking around smelling like it bugs me. Its too overwhelming to me. But I think vanilla or almond would go really well with the scent. Otherwise other scents would not cover it. Just try to compliment it.

  2. Oops, also meant to add that some citrus oils react with the sun (photo sensitive), increasing sensitivity to the ultraviolet rays, so some might want to be careful adding citrus oils to a body lotion.

    • Yes, you are right. I should find out and add that info. I know bergamot without being treated to remove the photosensitive components, is an issue – thanks!

    • I checked w/ the owner of NAN and he said in these small amounts that it is not a concern, even w/ the most photo-sensitizing oil which is plain, unadulterated bergamot. So…if you like creamsicle…go for it :).

  3. I am going to make this. Thanks for the recipe. I’ve been using whipped coconut oil but it’s still greasy AND my skin is still dry. I’m hoping this is the formula I’m looking for.

    • Please let me know. I have never liked straight coconut oil. I am going to keep trying things, but for sure my hands aren’t as dry as yesterday. They aren’t perfect today but waaay better.

      • Got my ingredients today and just made my first batch. It took only minutes to melt the solids and stir everything together. Can’t wait for it to cool. I’ve already rubbed some of the liquid on my hands and it feels terrific. ;)

        • Yippee! So glad to hear it. Did you see the body wash post today?

          • I did see the body wash recipe. I might try that too. My lotion is pretty good. I wasn’t happy with the texture. It was semi-solid as you described, but had little bits of something sort of hard that melted on contact with my skin, but it was still weird. So I whipped it with my stick blender and now it’s very creamy. I’m going to use it every day and I’m hopeful that my skin will be happy!

            • You mean my recipe didn’t work out? If so, glad to hear it’s better now. Not a fan of “something hard” in my lotion. Ick.

              • It was just little bits. It had previously been all liquid, but it’s like something “crystallized” for lack of a better description. My best guess is that it’s either the cocoa butter or shea butter. I’ve never worked with either of those before. I think whipping it solved the issue. I just checked it and it had hardened again, kind of like my whipped coconut did, but it’s still fairly soft and melts right onto my skin. I’m happy so far. :)

                • Hmmm.. Not sure. But glad it worked out!

                • Hi liz just thought I’d let you and others know that if cocoa butter melts too fast it will crystallize. Melt very slowly in double broiler.

                  • I just got to the very bottom of my jar and it had very small hard bits, wish I would have reread all these comments before the double batch I made today, ce la vie! I do not recall having a separating issue with the last jar but I did today. I used my little mini stick blender a couple of times while it was hardening, and it turned out AMAZINGLY! Definitely not like the first time I made it, and I really liked that first jar, but am really excited by the results this time! Oh and I will melt slower next time in case that’s the reason I got little hard bits.

  4. Nice Recipe! I’m always experimenting and looking for safer alternatives.

    Please check out my new blog @ http://www.enrichedmarket.com/blog.asp
    and online store @ http://www.enrichedmarket.com

    Like us on facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/enrichedmarket

    I am brand new at this (a stay at home mom) and trying to participate in the natural alternative world and help spread the word.

    :)

    • So did you set up this site to sell things out of your home?

      • Yes. While I’m home with my kids, I want to contribute to the natural health movement.

        I admire the site that you have built.

        :)

        any advice you could offer i would greatly appreciate it.

        admin@enrichedmarket.com

        • Good for you. So you are stocking those things in your home and shipping from there? Then I need your help b/c I have a few things for sale and folks need to email me. What a cumbersome method :).

          If I have time I can help but I am really swamped and trying not to ignore my kids. I am still healing from heavy metal toxicity and chronic fatigue and this week I haven’t felt well so I have to be careful. Let me know :).

          • Thank You :)

            Yes. I found companies, signed up for their wholesale program and ordered a little bit of everything. When I see what is selling, and what’s popular, I will order more of that. I have shelves in my office and have them stocked there.

            Hope you heal up soon! I am on the Master Cleanse myself! I was due for a detox! LOL

            • Sounds like my style. I am doing nutritional balancing, which I hope to write more on soon. Just a bit is on my blog. Talk w/ you later. I need to get to bed.

  5. I love your lotion post. I have made hard lotion for my hands, but dang, it’s hard! This is my day cream for my face. I have a more intensive night moisturizer:) It has also cleared up a couple family members’ eczema.
    Day Cream Recipe
    3/4 oz beeswax
    1/2 c sweet almond oil

    1 cup aloe vera gel
    1 tsp vit E oil
    2 tsp vit C (I use a powdered ascorbic acid)
    10 drops essential oil

    Melt the first two ingredients, then let cool completely. I mean completely. The finished product will separate if you’re not patient. Add the rest of the ingredients, but go slowly with the aloe. The whole time you add the aloe, blend with a stick blender. You can also cool the first two ingredients in a blender pitcher then add the rest while blending. It makes a light and silky lotion that’s luxurious! I like lime and lavender oils together:) This makes quite a bit!

    • Sounds great and thanks! Do you find it is too thick and heavy due to the beeswax? So the above is the daytime face cream, right? Do you have the intensive night moisturizer recipe as well or is that store bought? Thanks again!

      • The beeswax sounds heavy, but it’s not. I added cocoa butter once, but that was very heavy, although my gram and gramps love it:)

        My night moisturizer is as follows. I mix everything in a 2 oz. dropper bottle.
        1 part Sweet Almond Oil
        1 part Avacado Oil
        1 part Jojoba Oil
        2 tbsp Vit E oil
        10-20 drops Lavendar oil
        5 drops Chamomile oil
        2 drops Neem oil

        • Wow – thanks! Is this for your face or all over? Guess I better start shopping. This could be fun….or very chaotic! So you don’t use this?

          • Sorry that wasn’t too clear…it’s late;)
            I use it on my face every morning. My grandparents like it with the cocoa butter added. It could absolutely be for all over too, though. I do a scrub in the morning, followed by the day cream, an oil cleanse at night, and then my night moisturizer. All homemade! After spending oodles on expensive stuff (I’m a recovering Sephora addict), I really like my homemade better. The great thing is, when you buy the supplies, it will make several batches. You’ll be set for quite a while. Good luck!

        • when you say “1 Part” how much is that exactly?

          • Whenever you talk about 1 part it is the basis of the recipe. So you make the recipe according to how much you want to make. If you want a small amt and 1 part is 1/4 cup then 2 parts is 1/2. Hope that helps :).

    • Kimberly, Is the vitamin c essential to the lotion consistency? We arent using ascorbic acid and wanted to make this without it?

  6. This sounds perfect. And I do bet it smells heavenly! I’ve been wondering how I’ll stop using bought creams (even if “natural”) so I am thrilled to see this recipe! Thanks, Adrienne! (And hope you had a very Happy V-Day yesterday). :D

    • Thanks, Ricki! I hope you like it. We had a pretty meh V’day. Broken leaking sink and a box shipping problem. Seemed like pretty much everything went wrong. :(. Maybe today I can try a re-do. You?

  7. I just made this, and it is amazing! It is soaking in nicely, and I smell so good! Next time I will use some peppermint oil, so it will be chocolate/peppermint!

    • Great great idea!!! I still need to buy my cocoa butter. What a wonderful idea! I just used it after my shower today and I feel better. I still would like a more liquid version but maybe I can change proportions.

  8. Just made this with peppermint oil and it’s amazing! and so easy! thanks!

  9. oh it’s lovely! I was going to say too that while vitacost.com is a bit cheaper with the aloe vera juice, they charge $5 in shipping, so I bought some at Whole Foods for under $7. (Vitacost is still a great site though!) Thanks again…I’m allergic to parabens (surprise!) so this helps me out a lot.

    • Wonderful! I always buy at least $49 to get free shipping. Well..once I paid shipping. There’s always something else that’s a great deal that I can put in my cart :). Like 2 aloe vera juices :). I am so glad! Hair rinse coming soon……and….hmmmm…I think body wash will be soon as well. And toothpaste. And deodorant…..and…and…

      • oooh can’t wait! I use a really simple hair rinse now…just unfiltered apple cider vinegar diluted with water and use it every other wash. it does wonders for dry scalp!

  10. I made this today with my nieces (ages 10 and 7) and it was a big hit. I also informed them that the lotions they have been using aren’t good for their health and I may have to answer to their mothers later, but I feel good to have given them a great alternative.

  11. I hate spending money on beauty products, too!

  12. Sounds wonderful! I need to give this a try. I’m still stuck on using the chemical filled stuff from the grocery store. I really need to start making my own. Thanks for the recipe!

    Lynn

  13. I would love to have you link up to The HomeAcre Hop this evening!
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/02/the-homeacre-hop-7.html

  14. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been using straight coconut oil, and while it works great, the greasiness is an issue. Looks like I might have to put in a little effort. ;-) This looks lovely.

  15. Is there something I could use instead of coconut oil? It dries my sink out so much, even in a lotion I made recently.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  16. I have always wanted to make my own lotion. Where can you find shea butter? Also, could the shea butter be replaced with olive oil?

    • You could try to replace it….I don’t know. Shea butter is solid at room temp so you will get a totally different lotion. I gave a link to Mountain Rose Herbs in the post. I am looking for other options to offer to you as well. Did you find that link?

  17. Just saw this featured on Today’s Creative Blog. This looks great! I’m literally, at this moment, trying to not pick at dry cuticles. I could really use some decent lotion! Thank you!

  18. I made this yesterday, super easy. But mine turned out very hard, cannot get it out of container. I will try warming it tomorrow before my shower and see if that helps. I used beeswax instead of cocoa butter. Could be the problem!

  19. Thanks! I will try doing that today, I now have some cocoa butter, hope it works. I liked it when is was still warm and soft!

  20. Love your website and recipes. But, I made this lotion this weekend, it took 24 hours to set up into a pasty tan shade and then 24 hours later it is sitting in my 70 degree kitchen, partly melted and all the ingredients seem to have separated. What the heck went wrong??

    • Wow – not sure. So many others have had no issues. What oils did you use? Did you blend them well?

      • Thanks for your quick reply. I used Nutiva coconut oil, shea and coco butter I got from Amazon, melted them together, added the aloe, sweet almond oil and essential Lavender oil. I did double the recipe but it doesn’t seem that could be the problem. And I responded to your email with an email that had two photos of my mess. Pretty ugly, and very very greasy. Got any ideas because I really wanted this to work. Been wanting to go more natural for some time now.

        • Wow – very strange. And all of your solid oils were solid to begin with, right? I don’t know about this but what brand lavender are you using? I’m wondering about that….if it might have something to do with it. Thanks!

          • I melted them in a metal bowl rather that a pot. Think that might have had something to do with it? I also have no glass containers so I put it into plastic containers I had from another project.

          • Sorry for the multiple posts. Didn’t see my first one. I’m using “now” essential oils and i used Aura Cacia sweet almond oil and yes, they were all solid when they went into the bowl. The butters don’t have a packager’s name on them.

            • No worries. Unless something is awry w/ one of them I can’t say. Maybe you should contact NOW and ask if their oil is really pure? I just wonder if something else could have been in there. I am just not an oil chemist…..I’d love to dig into this w/a place that makes lotions but this is outside my capability right now. Maybe try a small batch w/o the lavender for now?

      • Hi. Thanks for responding so quickly. I used Nutiva coconut oil and shea and coco butters I got from Amazon. Melted them together, added the aloe, sweet almond oil and lavender essential oil drops. The aloe broke into tiny bubbles, didn’t mix well with the oils. I also made a double batch, but I don’t think that would have mattered. I answered you email with an email with two photos of my mess. Got any ideas what went wrong?

        • Can you tell me about the lavender? Nutiva should be just fine. I can’t speak to the other oils….

          • I’ll try another batch this weekend and see what happens, will use a pot, single batch, no essential oils. My coco and shea butters are really hard, can’t crush them, have to break them with a knife tip. Will let you know on Monday. Thanks for the help. Your’s looks so pretty and white! I wanna some!

            • My shea was refined which I would rather not have used but it’s what I had. Cocoa butter is often tan and shea can be brown so the color is variable for sure.

              • Can’t believe I’m finally getting back to you after six months but I am. I didn’t get to make a second batch that weekend. My mess sat on the kitchen counter for about two months before I decided I wasn’t going to let it go to waste. Soooo, I scooped it out into a bowl and added some additional coconut oil and lots of sugar to make it into a sugar scrub. Well, it is fantastic! I had been using coconut oil and sugar as a scrub for a while but it melted when it got warm and solidified when it was cold. This was perfect! Basically stayed the same consistency all the time. And I love the addition of the shea butter and cocoa butter, they give it a nice texture. I use it in the shower on my face, neck, arms (especially elbows), shoulders and legs. I have to really towel myself dry because it is oily, but by the time I’m done with my hair, etc., any left on my skin had been absorbed. And I can really tell the difference with my skin. My old 62 year old skin feels soft, supple and that alligator effect that was starting on my arms is diminishing. I’m very happy with the end results. Oh, and I had to mix the concoction so much when I was adding the sugar that I think that was what my problem was in the beginning, I didn’t mix enough. Thanks for all you do for us, your experimentation certainly saves us time and money! Love your website!

  21. Like Linda, I made this yesterday and mine is still loose. I’m thinking of adding beeswax and seeing if that stiffens it up. This is actually the first recipe I’ve seen without beeswax so I was curious. I followed your recipe exactly, except I did add a few capsules of vitamin E. I can’t imagine that would mess up the entire formula. Maybe I need to add more of one of the solid butters like Shea or Cocoa, not coconut. I actually also found it dying and this was the first site I’ve seen others say that.

    • The only thing I can think of right now is maybe it’s the temp where you live? Where are you? It’s super cold here still. Did you mean “drying”? I am not clear on your last sentence. Thanks.

    • You can also put your bowl into the freezer for a couple of minutes and then whip it with a standard mixer – that’s how I do mine. If it’s still too liquid, your ratio of liquid to solid oils is definitely off.

  22. I am in Dallas area and it is warm one day and cold the next. Yesterday was warm and humid. Today is cool and drizzly.
    I was referring to coconut oil being drying. I was a bit vague and random.

    • Maybe it’s liquid in warmer temps. I guess I’ll know in April ’cause my home is about 60 right now. I don’t like coconut oil myself but this lotion seems to work. I hope to find another one soon as well.

  23. I melted down the lotion again and added beeswax. I don’t really know how much, but enough to make it solid. Much better. Maybe in winter it doesn’t need beeswax, and too much can make it too hard, I don’t really know enough about this lotion making yet.

  24. I’ve made this lotion 4x and it is fabulous! It has helped clear up my eczema and my cracked heels. I’ve put it on my face and it seemed to make my skin have more even tone. My mom asked me what new cream I was using because she wants to buy some! So I had to make her a batch too! The only problem I’m having is that every single batch I’ve made, the aloe vera juice is separating from the rest of the ingredients. Do you know what could be causing this? I’d like to keep it in the recipe, but only if I can get it to mix with the oils and butters. Thanks!

    • That’s so great! I have no idea why it wouldn’t me mixing in. Did you blend it with a strong blender or immersion blender?

      • No, I didn’t use a blender. I just melted it all together in a stainless steel pot and stirred in the ingredients. How long do I mix it with the immersion blender? I don’t have one at the moment but going to the store tomorrow so I can pick one up. Thanks!

        • I just use one until everything looks well mixed. Perhaps heating it at a lower temp might help as well?

          • I tried heating it on low but after 30 minutes on the stove there was not one drop melted so I bumped it up to 1. Then it melted within 10 minutes. What about a double boiler? What temp (my stove ranges from lo/1 to high/9) should I use if I put the ingredients in the top of a double boiler and just let the warming water underneath melt the butters? I will pick up an immersion blender tomorrow and try that. I think I will need one anyway because I am researching sunscreen recipes and the couple I’ve looked at said to use one to mix the zinc oxide thoroughly with the oils. Thanks so much for you help! :)

  25. for my carrier oils and butters I like Brambleberry, they also have a good blog site called soap queen with great tutorials. super helpful for someone like me who is just getting into making their own lotions and potions. thank you for the recipe, I will have to try it out!

    • I saw their site. My friend has a soap business and uses their things but she makes soaps w/ artificial things in them so she is not as picky as I am. Thanks!

  26. Sorry to say that I am VERY disappointed with this recipe… in the end, I had a jar of mixed oil, not cream or lotion…. it wouldn’t re-solidify in any fashion :(

    • Well this is a puzzle. So many say it is great and a few are having trouble. Did you heat it over very low heat?

    • so, determined not to waste, i was ready to slather some ‘oil’ on my daughter this am…. and presto! 12 hours after my lotion had cooled, been whipped with beaters (to fluff it a bit and to mix the aloe into it better), and set over a bowl of iced water without luck, it suddenly looked like lotion this am!!

  27. This is exactly what I have been looking for! I have done my own chapstick and love it. I now want a straight forward lotion. I use the DoTerra essential oils. They are certified 100% pure oil so a little bit goes a very long way. The blended oils smell wonderful, So I was looking for something to mix them in. Awesome stuff!

  28. Jennifer says:

    A lot of your stuff is vegan. You should advertise that! Great!

  29. Jennifer says:

    A lot of you stuff is vegan! Great!

  30. Do you know what the shelf life of this lotion is? I know some homemade lotions have a fairly short life of about a month at room temp. I haven’t made this yet but I really look forward to trying it.

    • I can’t make statements about that but the ingredients are pretty shelf stable. I’ve had mine since the post was written and it isn’t “off” at all. The lotions I buy w/o preservatives have 6 month+ shelf life on them and the owner of the company said you can even use them 1 year w/o worrying about it.

  31. Thank you! Your recipe sounds great. I am new at this and just made my first lotion and I realized – I love making my OWN lotion! Then I control what goes in it and how it smells… I used Hemp butter and Oil (LOVE IT). I used a light summery fragrance called Spa Tonic, and it feels wonderful on my dry skin. You are right, homemade lotion is non greasy and super easy to make.

    I got my recipe and products from Wholesale Supplies Plus. Here is the recipe if anyone is interested http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/RecipeDetail.aspx?RecipeID=206

    The recipe called for a preservative that prevents bacteria and mold that has no Parabens or formaldehyde. I didn’t think of that until I read about it.

    Keep up the good work!! I am looking forward to your future posts!!

  32. Will this thicken when it cools? I didn’t have a 1/8 measuring cup so I estimated. Maybe I didn’t measure well and that’s why it’s a liquid? I really enjoy your website. Thanks for all your great ideas.

    • Hi and thanks so much!

      Mine is not a liquid at all so I am not sure. I did use a refined shea butter since that is all I had but I don’t think that would make a difference….Let me know!

  33. Maisey Peterson says:

    I made some of this and it was super easy and I’m just 11. I love to make things and have been looking for a good lotion recipe. Mine is still cooling off.

  34. Maisey Peterson says:

    Mine isn’t turning into lotion:( Its only liquid. How long is supposed to be liquid?

    • Still having a problem? I don’t know why some folks have had this issue. In warm weather mine is a smooth butter-like consistency. I have to make more soon so I am curious about this.

      • Maisey Peterson says:

        I tried to half it and maybe I put too much or too little of an ingredient, I don’t know.

  35. I figured it out! I just put it in the freezer and when it was solid i took it out and let it melt. It was just mush, so I put it in again and did the same. When I took it out and let it melt, it didn’t go into liquid and stayed solid. I let it sit over night and it never melted to liquid, so I have lotion.

  36. Mine smells like a chocolate orange:)

  37. I don’t know what I did wrong, but my turned out in liquid form and very yellow – not the nice white in your picture.

    • Perhaps different ingredients? My shea butter was refined so that could be part of it. Put it in the fridge and see if it solidifies for you. Hope so :).

    • Mine is liquid too :( I was making these as gifts. Can the author of the article please give help? Seems like a lot of people have this problem. The directions aren’t the most detailed, so I’m wondering to what consistency it should be melted. To an oil or less? Thanks so much.

  38. Char R. says:

    I made this tonight, according to the recipe, but it’s been almost 2 hours and the lotion is still liquid. Looks just like it did when I took it off the stove. How long does it take to solidify? Did I do something wrong?

    • This has been going on w/ a lot of readers if you check the comments. How’s it now? Try putting it in the fridge and let me know – thanks!

  39. Candice says:

    Hi, how long does this lotion last in a canning jar before opening? and how long after opening does it expire?

    • I think I’ve answered this before. I can’t make claims about longevity b/c I could get sued and I didn’t make it so I don’t know the cleanliness of everyone’s utensils, etc. I wouldn’t store it for too long. I just finished using my first batch from when I posted this and it smells just fine. :)

  40. Dear Adrienne
    I made your hand cream recipe and it set well and really smells lovely.
    However, I have found it very greasy. The consistency is great too but once I applied it to my hands, it remained quite greasy for ages. I followed your recipe to the “T”.
    Could you shed any light on this for me?
    Regards,
    Kabby :-)

  41. wondering if there is any reason it would not be OK to leave the aloe out? And can you use olive oil for the liquid oil? I’m inclined to tweak this a bit to use half cocoa butter/ half coconut oil and then the small bit of olive oil and EOs with perhaps a bit of vitamin E to preserve it and a bit of beeswax to stiffen it up?

    • I think you could play with it a lot. I am about to make a batch today as well….Olive should be fine. Let me know how it goes.

      • it turned out amazingly. It’s kind of a spawn of this recipe and the camp wander all purpose salve. I think next batch I make I”m going to add some of the shea butter that I just bought today!!! Yum!!!

  42. Hmmm I tried to make this last night and it is still liquid? What did I do wrong? that was my first time making lotion..I usually make salves. I didn’t have Cocoa butter so I split that 1/8 of a cup with more coconut oil and Shea butter..but it still came out pure liquid. Any ideas?

    • I just made it this weekend too and it is still liquid. I am assuming removing the aloe vera juice might do it. It still works but this needs a redo. Let me know if you try it and I will get to it as soon as I can. Thanks and sorry. I’m thinking it’s the warm temps of summer.

      • Thank you..I even tried putting it in the fridge. It has been nice and cool here in Colorado..almost fallish like. But it still is liquid. I am going to see what I can do..maybe it needs a little time in a mixer. I still used it after my shower today, and it felt good. I just would rather it be more of a creamy texture. I am going to see what I can do and if I can get this down, I will let you know. :)

  43. I tried making this lotion today and it doesn’t look like the picture at all…. Not sure what went wrong. It looks like runny salve.

    • I am having the same issue – not sure why this is happening. I am thinking that I need to try it without aloe vera juice to see what happens then. I’ll update when I can :).

      • Have you tried the recipe without the aloe vera juice? Could I use some of the gel extracted from my plant or would that cause it to spoil faster?

        • I haven’t yet. The gel and juice are different things – the gel is the inner gooey part of the plant and the juice is from the outer part of the leaf. If you can take it out in a sterile environment I would think you would be OK but I can’t make shelf life claims :). And of course, that will be the gel and not the juice.

  44. Does the coconut oil need to be in its solid or melted form?

  45. Help! I tried this today and it hasn’t set up at all. Anything I might try to add or change? Maybe my measurements were off?

    • Did you use refined or unrefined shea butter? And it is warm where you are? A number of us are having this problem. I used refined the first time and made it in the winter. Now it’s warm and I used unrefined and it didn’t set. :(

  46. It is very warm today. I used unrefined Shea. I put it in the freezer for several minutes and it started to set up. I’ve had it in the fridge for a couple of hours and it is perfect. I am letting it sit out to see if it will melt. It is very hard, though and only the heat of my fingers melts the cream. I really prefer it this way. I used cocoa butter and added 30 drops of peppermint essential oil. I also used 1/2 tsp of vitamin e and 1 tbs macadamia oil for the liquid oil. Smells like a peppermint patty. Fabulous!

    • Keep me posted. I am wondering if the combo of warm weather plus unrefined is doing it. Back to the drawing board, eh? I will have to rename this Refined Shea Butter Winter Lotion :).

      • I added a heaping tablespoon of beeswax and it set up like the consistency of Vaseline. I’m ok with that, but definitely not hard like I anticipated. I’d rather not use refined Shea because of the chemical solvents and it has been stripped of its beneficial properties.

  47. i haven’t tried it yet however i really like your recipe…sounds so much easier than a couple of others i have encountered. I have been searching for a good aloe-camomile lotion/cream for several months and finally decided that making my own might be easier and I’m sure, less expensive. I want something on the light side…the last lotion I found at my nearby health store feels very waxy and uncomfortable going on. Sensitive itchy skin thats aging is my chief problem and I will scratch at it til I bleed if not careful. Thanks for your site…have it bookmarked into my favorites.

    • Well, thanks! You might wish to subscribe….neato stuff coming around the corner. As in tomorrow even :). I hope to work on the recipe again. Not sure why it’s been giving me fits of late.

  48. Thank you for the recipe! I am so glad I found your site! I made this yesterday and used aloe butter instead of the aloe juice and it worked great! I stuck it in the fridge to harden up so I could try it right away. It is very moisturizing and a little goes a long way. It is still solid at room temperature here but a little soft, but that is okay. I used lime essential oil and it smells like coconut lime!!! Aaahhh! Thank you again for sharing. I am looking forward to trying some of your other recipes :)

  49. Thanks for sharing! I would love to try this recipe but how long does it keep? will I need to refrigerate this?

    • I can’t be liable for shelf life claims. I don’t keep mine in the fridge and haven’t had any issues.

      • What is the longest time you have kept this lotion then? I am wondering what is the first indication of it going bad and I need to toss it.. nasty smell? I have aloe butter as well and I’m contemplating whether to use this or the aloe juice! Some would say having an all oil formula would extend the shelf life since bacteria breeds only in water.. so in this case aloe juice can be omitted to be on the safe side

  50. And oh I don’t have coconut oil can I replace it with cocoa butter? or shea?

  51. Stephanie Longwell says:

    I thought I would try this recipe with mango butter instead of Shea butter and for some reason my lotion never turned into a solid! I had to put it in the fridge to make it solid! I think it needs a lil beeswax or calendula wax. Any thoughts as to why mine didn’t solidify?

    • I had that problem the 3rd time I made it…not sure what is going on but I am thinking leave out the aloe juice and try again. Mine is solidifying now that it’s chilly. I am on the hunt for a new recipe as well.

  52. Someone please tell me why the batch I just made is not hardening up? It’s been over 2 hours since made (even put it in the fridge) and it is still very runny liquid! UGH :(

    • Hey Janet. If you read through the comments, a number of us have had that problem. I think if you use refined shea butter it isn’t an issue – not sure yet. It still works well but is runny. Now it’s super chilly here so mine is solid, but try leaving out the aloe juice and that should do it. Thanks! There’s another nice moisturizer recipe on my site as well now – just search for moisturizer. Thanks and sorry.

  53. Is there a difference in quality between brands of shea butter and cocoa butter?

  54. Great recipe! I have been trying out my own recipe using beeswax, shea butter, and evening primrose oil. Primrose is quite expensive for such a small amount, but I already have so much beezwax that I wanted to keep that in the recipe. Do you know if coconut oil would work as a replacement to primrose? Or another oil that could counterpart it? Thanks!

    • I am not familiar w/ it’s qualities except that it is supposed to be good for eczema…but I do seem to recall that it can be good for some folks and not for others. Maybe try coconut oil and add a drop of rose essential oil (or another one like vitamin E) for added “nourishment”?

  55. For this recipe would it be better to use virgin coconut oil, or expeller pressed?

  56. I was just wondering if aloe vera gel can be used in place of the juice since that is what I have on hand right now? Also, do you have any idea how long it will last….I want to get started now on making some as Christmas presents but only if they will still be okay. Thanks so much for the recipe! Can’t wait to make it!

    • I would think you would be fine though their properties are a little different. One thing….several people have had issues w/ this not solidifying. It happened to me once as well – so you could even try leaving it out. I need to add that to the post.

  57. Do you know how long this lotion lasts before spoiling? I would like to make it for Christmas gifts, but want to know how far in advance I can make it. Thanks!

    • I can’t make shelf life claims but I would take the shortest shelf life of the items and consider that to be the shelf life. Of course, if anything gets contaminated it will be a different story.

  58. I saw your posts on your website months back about making body butter and I now make my own. Trying different variations, shea butter, coconut butter and grape seed oil is my latest and add some essential oils. I love how it whips up after chilling it in the freezer. My one problem is if the body butter is left in a warm car or windowsill it melts and is no longer whipped. Do you know of any other safe ingredients that can be added to prevent the melting? Thank you so much for your fabulous ideas and all the work you put into them! Blessings for a great day!

  59. Hi – you say in your notes that you did not have cocoa butter so you used a little more co and shea butter – would you mind sharing how much more coconut oil and how much more shea butter?

  60. I just made the lotion this morning! So excited! About how long does it take to harden back to a solid? It has been about two hours and still at liquid form.

  61. I have a customer who is allergic to coconut oil and unusually use something very close to your recipe. Do you have any ideas for what I could sub out the coconut oil for??

  62. I tried this recipe without the essential oils. Everything melted nicely but it did not thicken. I left overnight and in the morning stuff had “settled” to the bottom hardening into a wax with the liquid oil floating on top. What did I do wrong and is there a way to save the batch? I made enough for 16 jars for christmas gifts and hate to trash the entire thing.

    • I am really frustrated w/ this at this point as well. My first batch was perfect and now it’s not. I am thinking it’s the type of shea butter but I don’t know. I would maybe try to reheat it gently and add more solid oil. I ended up using mine anyway but it isn’t as nice. You might need to blend it as well to make it smooth.

  63. Great recipe and I can’t wait to make it! I am wondering if this would work in a pump dispenser??

  64. Two suppliers I use to purchase essential oils are:
    Liberty Natural (dot com)
    New Directions Aromatics (dot com)
    Both have DELICIOUS oils, give loads of details on use, are completely open about how their oils are sourced, derived, processed and stored, and are VERY reasonable on price. Oils do NOT have to be outrageously priced to be of good quality. I LOVE both these companies. Give them a look.

  65. This is a complete and utter waste! Non-greasy? Terrible. This recipe does not moisturize or even soak into your skin at all. Very greasy….you might as well just put your hands in a vat of just oil.

    • Sorry you feel that way, Jessica. Did you use raw or refined shea butter? Did it solidify? I loved it when I made it the first time. I would appreciate it if you could be a bit more gracious if something doesn’t turn out the way you like. There’s a human at the other end of this blog. Thanks and hope you’ll let me know what went wrong.

  66. Hi, just wondering if I need to let the mixture cool before stirring. I’ve been looking at other recipes and many are saying to let cool and whip to get the creamy texture.

  67. Beth Turner says:

    Ok, I had the same trouble that you have been talking about with the mixture remaining a liquid. I put the whole thing back in the pan and rewarmed it adding about 1.5 Tbsp of beeswax. Melted it all together, removed from heat, and let it sit for a couple of hours. It was a soft solid which I then treated to some time with my hand mixer using my thin, whisk-like beaters. It is a bit greasy but no more so than any of the other homemade lotions I’ve made.
    I had a few other tweaks and next time will make another:
    1. I was out of shea butter so used all cocoa butter
    2. I wanted to add vitamin E oil (my hands are the WORST in the winter) so I used 1/2 Tbsp jojoba and 1/2 Tbsp vitamin E oil (from Trader Joes).
    3. I was also out of aloe vera juice so I used gel (also Trader Joes)
    4. next time I will cut the coconut oil in half and make up the difference with more butter to cut the greasiness a bit.

    If you have a blender or stick blender you can use that instead of a mixer I just find it easier to clean the whisky beaters than the blender.
    Good luck!!

  68. Tried this and it stayed in liquid form…. Shouldn’t have returned in a cream form?

    • I mentioned this in the post – some are having issues w/ this. I still used it. You could put it in a squirt bottle and use it that way. Or next time leave out the aloe and that should work. Seems the shea butter is causing the issues, depending on what type you use.

  69. Hi! Thank you for the recipe. I want to know if it’s necessary to use aloe vera juice?

  70. Thank you for responding. I want to know if ylang ylang essential oil can be used? I don’t even know what it smells like but I really want to use it so yeah thought I would ask before purchasing. :) Also I would make the lotion and let you know how it turned out. What’s lotion’s shelf life?

    • You can use whatever oil you like…but of course choose wisely. I can’t make shelf life claims b/c of variations in oils you start with and cleanliness and storage but I would think you would consider the least stable ingredient and its shelf life and go from there.

  71. I tried this lotion a few times now… The first time, the Aloe juice didn’t blend with the rest, the cream separated and it was a disaster. I remelted everything in a double boiler and then mixed it all with a hand held mixer. It worked and the ream was smooth enough. However I found it very greasy.

    I tried it again though, wanting to make it work, and i just omitted the juice. After adding the essential oils and almond oil, I again mixed everything with the hand held mixer, poured it in a jar and put it straight in the freezer or a couple hours, until it solidified.

    Now it has this amazing mousse like texture, it hold together and just a little bit of it does a great job, so my hand are actually not greasy.

    I gave up using the aloe juice though and found a facial cleanser recipe to use it in.

    Thanks for this recipe

  72. I just made this hand lotion recipe and it won’t set for me. I have blended it a few times and refrigerated it but it is still liquify 2 hours later. Is this normal? Am I missing a step maybe?

  73. Is there an alternative to aloe vera juice? I’m just curious before I have to make a trip to the grocery store.
    Thanks!

  74. Aloe juice is WATER. It will not MIX completely with oil of any type without some type of emulsifier. Also, aloe vera juice is meant to be refrigerated when you open it because it will go rancid otherwise. Unless you plan to use up the mix same day, there should be concerns for mold growth. Hope that helps.

  75. Hello, I love this recipe and read all of the notes beforehand, but somehow I still ended up with a very liquidy product. You had mentioned that it was the unrefined shea butter that does this? Any suggestions on how to get it more solid like it should be? Thanks!

  76. Natalie says:

    I love making homemade lotions! I also usually whip mine for a nice, smooth, whipped texture. I also make homemade lip balms, makeup, etc and never thought I would be interested in buying anything made by anyone else again. BUT…. In case you or a reader would be interested in really nice but affordable alternatives to making your own shampoo bars, detergent, whipped body butters, cleaning spray, tub scrub, and so on, Radiantly You sells all handmade, organic, completely natural non-toxic stuff that works and is just beautiful. I can give you more info if you’d like – I don’t know if I’m allowed to share a site link here, but just wanted to let you know. The face wash and moisturizer are the best I’ve ever used, homemade or not!

  77. cheryl a quarles says:

    Is there a difference between aloe Vera juice and gel. Which one is most commonly used and can you use the real plant. Thanx

    • Yes, they are different. You can use the real plant but that is the gel, I believe. I don’t know which one is more commonly used. So sorry for the delay – I am so backed up and missed your comment. Take care!

  78. How many ounces of lotion does this recipe make if replacing the 1/8 cup of cocoa butter with another 1/8 cup of coconut oil?

  79. i loved this works very well and helped a lot.

  80. Hi – I read that if you heat the shea it loses some of it’s nourishing properties.

  81. Kristan says:

    I was wondering if you know the shelf life? I would love to make it for gifts but don’t want to make it to soon. Thank you.

    • I don’t – sorry! I would look up the shelf life for each and take the shortest one maybe? Plus it depends on the freshness of the starting base materials. Nice gift idea!

  82. Hello! I have been wanting to make home made lotion for some time
    Myself! Thank you for the awesome sounding lotion recipe! I’ll try it this weekend!
    I’d use a stick blender to be sure the recipe came out creamy.

    7 mm

  83. Please excuse my error! I am happy to find your web site &
    I look forward to trying out your lotion recipe!

  84. Hi, I am realy interested in DIY skin care but I found most online recipes turn out to be more in cream consistent but i prefer cream that could be pump out from a pump bottle. Do u know how could I get that consistency?

    • I think you would look for a lotion rather than a cream….I haven’t made that kind yet but I would think adding more liquid oil would do it. You could try that w/ this recipe.

  85. Hello! I’ve recently made homemade cream & found that using a handmixer or stick blender to incorporate the ingredients works well.