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. 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!

  2. 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

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

  4. 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.

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

  6. Hi….Your website is awesome. I just made this recipe. I poured the liquid into some jars, does it change to a cream when it cools?

    • Thank you so much! It did for me. Some people had issues with it but I think it’s the ingredient choice. I am going to try another batch soon – let me know :).

      • I let it sit for a few hours, but it stayed a yellow liquid. So, I decided to put it in my KitchenAid mixer and mixed it for 5 minutes. It did not turn to a cream (like some other moisturizers I’ve made), but it did turn a whitish color. When I poured it into my jar, I waited a short amount of time before it solidified. So, now it is good. Maybe it was the type of shea butter I used. I believe it was of the raw type (without me getting up to check…lol). I love your site.

  7. I made this today! I too had problems with it solidifying, however I decided to chill it in the fridge and after a couple hours it turned out the perfect consistency!
    I also tried whipping some with the mixer after chilling a bit in the fridge and it came out a lovely fluffy consistency. And it smells divine! :-)
    Thanks for the recipe!

  8. If coconut oil is so special then why the need for those other ingredients? What properties do the other butters contain that coconut oil doesn’t have?

    • I haven’t done a comparison of the properties of the oils, but of course as with different nuts, while almonds may be super healthy, other nuts have different nutritional properties that almonds don’t have. As for using them in a cream, I personally don’t care for coconut oil straight on my skin. I find that it feels oily. The others in the blend help it feel more like a traditional moisturizing cream. Hope that helps.

  9. Since 2011 I started using predominantly natural products, and the past two months I started making my own. So far I’ve made nice body scrubs and this lotion. This was an awesome, easy to follow recipe! After reading that it was hard to get it to solidify, I placed it on my window seal and it’s hardening thanks to the cold weather (I’m in Maryland). I would suggest putting it in the fridge for people living in warmer areas! Also* LUSH brand pots work very well if you want to recycle and not buy mason jars and such. Thanks for the recipe!!

  10. Adding emulsifying wax or at the very least beeswax should help to bind the oil based ingredients & the water based ingredients (aloe vera) together. It will also to give it the right consistency.