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.

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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,  The Nourishing Gourmet, Sorta Crunchy, The Shabby Creek Cottage, A Glimpse Inside, Diet, Dessert, and Dogs, and Food Renegade.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. I should make this or get this. I have dry skin(some of it my fault- washing my hands too much) & use store bought lotions too much. I just don’t like shea because it’s a humectant or anti-humctant. Can I use mango butter or kuku butter? Or even hemp butter

    I’d like to pass this idea along we should all work together create a glycerin preservative method that works:

    We need 60-70% of it to work as a preservative. I was thinking we add an anti-humectant(joboba oil, beeswax, etc.) to cancel the humectant each time if that is possible. This would require us to have only 5% of product in it(60% glycerin & 35% anti-humectant). But glycerin+humectant might be cheap & worth it. There would also be 25% glycerin that wasn’t cancled but that isn’t too much.

    We can also use solid rain(the stuff from Mexico that collects water in soil for farming) to collect the glycerin each time we use a lotion or product with 60-70% glycerin. Without touching that much glycerin. This is useful for dry powders. I’m not sure if we could separate glycerin from lotion.

    If we could get something to work we could have our natural, effective, safe preservative:

    • I think you could use those for sure. I’m not sure what you are referring to about a glycerine preservative, but it sounds interesting!

    • Oh nice! Though I think Mango Butter is a humectant or anti humectant too but I’d love to try Mango Butter so that’s great! :) I’m glad you think so :) I heard glycerin was an effective preservative even broad spectrum(I heard it was a fungicide too) but at 60-70%. I was thinking if we added 35% anti-humectant to cancel it out we could safely use glycerin as a preservative.
      We could also drain the 65% glycerin from our product each time we use it with something like solid rain. Though that depends if it would work.
      If it worked we would have a safe preservative.

      • You are talking way above my head. So how do you know if a butter is humectant or anti and would you need to know which it is in order to use it? And I didn’t know glycerin was a preservative. I don’t know what you mean by solid rain. Thanks.

  2. can I use 1/8 of cocoa butter + 1/8 of cocoa butter instead of shea butter? cuz in my country there isn’t shea butter :) thanks

  3. You can try whipping the mixture with a mixer with a whisk attachment for about 5 minutes. I’ve done this with coconut oil and Shea butter combined. It gets quite creamy and it won’t become solid or liquid. Its more like a body butter.

  4. I’m not sure what I did wrong…mine turned completely liquid. It’s smells nice but it’s pretty oily. I only warmed the ingredients to get them to melt then whisked the batch by hand, and then cooled the final product in a jar. What went wrong? Also, it’s not white like the picture but more a golden color.

  5. Valerie Wright says:

    I bought a solid block of Ashanti Pride SHEA BUTTER 6 months ago and don’t know why. Now hoping it will work in one of your recipes for creams or lotions if mixed with coconut oil and an essential oil? Oh, I am also reading about ‘fractionated coconut oil, but presumably that is different and has been pre-treated in some way.
    Am totally new to all this but because of health issues I am doing a lot of research on Frankincense, Myrrh, and many of the others you mention. Because of what I have learned from reading through your blog I have been exploring the NAN site and have spoken to them and found them incredibly helpful.
    Am thrilled to have found you, Adrienne

    • Thank you so much, Valerie! Hope to see you around again. Fractionated oil is a fraction of coconut oil in which most of the long chain triglycerides are removed. The medium chains remain, making it a saturated oil and thus giving it a longer shelf life. It’s a great carrier, however :)!

  6. This should not even be called a cream, doesn’t end up looking anything like the picture and I laugh (HA) at the fact that this is described as “non-greasy”, This is an oily mess that never solidifies and it separates so putting it in a “pump” wont help any. If you are looking for a “cream” please please look elsewhere. You will waste time and resources making this mess. I am going to try and save my resources by adding some bees wax and blending.

    • I’m sorry you had this problem. It works for me and for so many other readers. Perhaps you used something not pure for one or more of the ingredients?

    • Just looking at the ingredients (aloe vera juice + butters + oils), this will separate. You would need an emulsifier (e-wax) to combine water & oils. Also, because this does have a water ingredient (aloe), you would then need a preservative (not glycerin, that is not a preservative that I read in a recent post), otherwise this will only last a few days (if that) before microbes grow in it. Omit the aloe if you want a pure oil-based product without a preservative that will not separate. Soften the butters up slightly, add your liquid oil & fragrance & whip it with a hand mixer & you’ll have a beautiful whipped butter. Add a little vitamin E also to prevent the oils from oxidizing (going rancid). Beeswax will work to hardened your oil like lip balm or a solid lotion bar. I agree, putting this in a pump would not work. & I would not classify this as a ‘cream’.

  7. Melanie mills says:

    Im allergic to shea and coco butter. Any suggestions that r easily obtained that can be sustituted for these items?

  8. What is another alternative to cocoa butter?

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