DIY: Making a very easy lotion

Today we are going to be making a very simple lotion. This lotion is perfect for summer as it is not too heavy, and I think it is the perfect consistency for a very light summer recipe! We’ll be making 100g of lotion today.

Firstly, let’s get one thing straight. Beeswax is NOT an emulsifier! No matter what anyone tells you, beeswax is not an emulsifier. 

Got that? Good. 

And yes, this recipe calls for a preservative. And yes, we will always use one when making lotions.

Now that Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin has begun to regularly post some DIY recipes, there will be a lot of lotion recipes posted especially come Autumn when the cooler weather starts to come (I can’t wait!!! I hate China’s horribly humid weather think 30C with 97% humidity and NO air conditioner). And yes, that means some fantastic body butter recipes too!

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All the ingredients you’ll need: ewax, coconut oil, vitamin e, glycerine, preservative and silk

Making a lotion is crazy fun! It’s worse than soap making I think in terms of what you end up collecting to make stuff. I’ve half a room dedicated to soap stuff, and the other half to lotion and cream making. So many choices to choose from! For this recipe, I just closed my eyes and grabbed a jug and that is the oil I decided to use to make this lotion. You could substitute coconut oil for babassu oil, shea butter, cocoa butter. And each one will give you a different result! My skin really likes coconut oil, but everyone has different skin, and coconut oil is pretty cheap and it probably is already is in your kitchen cupboard. 

I decided to use Emulsifying Wax NF for this recipe as it is a pretty common ewax and easy to get a hold of in western countries.

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Oil Phase: coconut oil and ewax

For the liquids, I decided to just use plain water, as this is a simple recipe! I love glycerine as my humectant and it goes into every lotion recipe I make! It steals moisture from the air and deposits it on the skin! This time of year…. I can actually feel the glycerine working on my skin! Which is super neat! I added silk for a silky smooth feeling and a humectant boost. And I mean come on! It’s silk! If you don’t have access to silk, feel free to remove it and just add more water. 

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Liquid Phase: water, glycerine and silk peptide

The extras, I decided to keep it simple. Just some Vitamin E, a preservative and a couple drops of fragrance oils. A preservative is a must. You’re mixing oil and water together, if you don’t have a preservative, your lotion is only good for a day before you really need to toss it! Safety first please! I used Liquid Germall Plus from the NDA to make this recipe as simple as possible with ingredients one can easily get a hold of in any country. 

You are going to heat two parts or phases as we call them: a liquid phase with an oil phase, then mix a fair bit and allow to cool, mixing every now and then as it cools down. Then you’ll add in your extras. Stir again. Decant. And voila! That is how you make lotion! Lotion making in a few sentences!

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My Oil Phase and Liquid Phase before heating

There are many bogs and websites out there that tell you, “you don’t need to heat and hold” and some that tell you that “you have to heat and hold your liquids and oils for twenty minutes and make sure they are the same temperature”. I love Susan’s blog. And I am enjoying Formula Botanica. But I personally have come to the decision, that it depends on what ingredients used and which emulsifying wax used which will determine if I heat and hold or not. I do feel that Emulsifying Wax NF is pretty dummy proof (and a great ewax to introduce lotions with) , so I personally just heat both in a double boiler on a barely there simmer till the oil phase is melted, then carry on my merry way. 

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In the double boiler they go!

While you are waiting for your liquid and oil phases to melt, measure out your vitamin E and preservative into your small bowl.

Once everything is melted, remove the liquid phase and dry off the outside. Pour the liquid phase into the oil phase and gently stir with your spatula. Continue to stir and enjoy how your lotion at this moment looks like warm milk! And smells heavenly!

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Combining the Water Phase and the Oil Phase while in the double boiler

Remove from the double boiler and let sit on a towel (so not to ruin your counter top!), with your immersion blender, tap out the air pockets and blend on low for about five to ten seconds. Then walk away for five to ten minutes. You want to alternate blending and cooling of your lotion without getting too many air bubbles in there. And you want to make sure you blend enough to get the emulsion to hold. All in all, I usually spend about thirty minutes to an hour on this part of lotion making. 

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Blending and waiting to cool down

Once you have your mixture (should look like stiff yoghurt right about now) cooled down, add in your Extras and your fragrance oils if you choose to use them. Stir and decant into a 100mL pump bottle or 100mL flip top bottle. Be sure to leave the lid off and allow to cool fully before capping. Container condensation is NOT our friend! 

I really like this simple lotion. It comes together quickly and it is really hard to get wrong. It’s a great recipe for beginners! I have been using this as my foot lotion before bed, but it is an all purpose lotion that is lovely and light! It’s nice and light weight, great for summer but definitely not heavy enough for winter. I found the natural coconut oil scent a wee bit sweet, and I love love love tropical scents. So added in some fragrance oils; Ruby Red Grapefruit from NDA and Thai Coconut from FNWL. I love how the scent is rounded out to make a perfect scent blend for the nose and makes me feel like I am back in Mexico! 

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Plop, plop, plop goes this summer light lotion!

So what do we need and what do we do to make a lotion? 

You will need:

– two heat proof pyrex measuring cups

– one small beaker/glass bowl+ pipet 

– silicon spatula 

– spoons 

– immersion blender 

– digital scale 

To make it simple and easy to understand, I split my recipe into three parts. Liquid Phase, oils+wax phase and extras.

Ingredients: 

Liquid Phase

79% water

1%  silk peptides

2% glycerine

Oils+Wax Phase

11.5% coconut oil

5% ewax

Extras

1% Vitamin E

.5% Liquid Germall Plus (preservative)

Optional into your Extras

5 drops Ruby Red Grapefruit Fragrance Oil

3 drops Thai Coconut Fragrance Oil

I cannot stress this enough, a preservative is a must for this recipe

  1. measure out your liquid phase ingredients into one heat resistant measuring cup
  2. measure out your oil phase ingredients into a second heat resistant measuring cup
  3. measure out your extras and optional extras into a small bowl
  4. place your liquid and oil phase heat resistant measuring cups into a double boiler on a barely there simmer and allow to melt (approximately 10 minutes)
  5. once melted, add your liquid phase ingredients to your oil phase ingredients and gently stir
  6. remove from heat
  7. using your immersion blender, blast your lotion on short bursts, be mindful of splattering
  8. alternate giving your lotion time to cool and blasting it with the immersion blender
  9. allow your lotion to cool to approximately room temperature
  10. add in your extras and blast it one last time with the immersion blender
  11. decant into your container
  12. allow to cool completely
  13. cap and enjoy!

So? What do you think of your lotion? What are you going to try next?

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2 thoughts on “DIY: Making a very easy lotion

Add yours

    1. It actually really is! Just remember to start with no more than 100g (that’s where I like to start with a new recipe for 100g of ingredients isn’t all that much to cry over if it doesn’t work) and give it a whirl. Remember, soap making probably sounded difficult when you started too.

      Take pictures! It’s something I wish I did of my first batch!

      Liked by 1 person

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