All-Natural Moisturizing Lotion with Essential Oils

Our skin is very porous and absorbs just about everything we put on it. Many body care products on the market today often contain ingredients we wouldn’t want inside our bodies. So, when our skin gets dry, why not rub in some homemade, all-natural, moisturizing lotion with essential oils instead of store-bought lotions?
All-Natural Moisturizing Lotion with Essential OilsLotion can be fairly simple to make as long as you have the proportions of oil and water correct. What really makes the oil and water become lotion is a process called emulsion. Emulsion simply means finely blending insoluble substances, such as oil and water. So, the very basics of creating lotion are to melt your oils and let them cool together and then emulsify with water and blend thoroughly until it creates a lotion consistency. For more information about lotion making, see the “Basic Body Cream” brochure by Tamalu Watkins or Making Aromatherapy Creams and Lotions by Donna Maria.

Here’s a simple lotion recipe that has a thin consistencyperfect for containers with lotion pumps!

Soak Oatmeal

Step 1. Combine 1/8 cup (or 2 Tbsp.) of old fashioned oats and 1/2 cup distilled water. Cover, and let soak for 12 hours (starting this the night before works great!). If you don’t have distilled water, you can use regular tap water as long as you boil it and allow it to cool before mixing it with the oats. Distilled water is best when making lotions because it doesn’t contain the minerals and other stuff found in regular tap water that can increase the likelihood of mold growth in the lotion. The picture above is the oatmeal after sitting for about 12 hours.

Strain out OatmealWater

Step 2. After the oats have soaked for 12 hours, use a spatula to strain out the oatmeal water. This liquid should appear a little cloudy. If needed, use the spatula to squeeze the liquid from the oats. Set aside 1/4 cup of the oatmeal water. Discard or eat the oats.

Fun Fact: Oatmeal helps fight dryness in skin by leaving a fine protective film on the skin. It also is full of healthy lubricating fats that help to moisturize the skin. The proteins in oatmeal help maintain the skin’s natural barrier function and are filled with natural cleansers that gently remove dirt and oil from the pores of the skin.1

Extra Idea: Since our goal is to get a thin lotion that works in these acrylic lotion pumps, we soaked the oatmeal to try to get many of the natural cleansing properties in the water. If you want a thicker lotion and all the benefits of the oatmeal, try blending the oats to a powder and using 1/4 cup distilled water and 1–2 Tbsp. of the oat powder. Let the oat powder and water soak for a little bit before mixing all of it with the oils.

Mix Oils Together

Step 3. Combine 1/4 cup jojoba oil, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1 1/2 Tbsp. beeswax pellets, 1/2 Tbsp. vitamin E oil, and 1/2 Tbsp. honey in a glass bowl.

Melt Oils

Step 4. Melt the oils in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan filled with an inch of simmering water (creating a double boiler). Heat until completely melted. The beeswax will take the longest, so make sure to use pellets or grate finely.

Heat until completely melted

Step 5. Once completely melted, pull the glass dish out of the pan with a hot pad. Grab a towel, and fold it around the bottom of the glass dish. Place towel and glass dish in the refrigerator to cool off for 10 minutes before placing in the freezer (towel and all) for 10–15 minutes. If you have time to wait, you can leave it in the fridge for an additional 35 minutes instead of placing it in the freezer.

Note: Some glass dishes can break if the temperature change is too drastic, so use caution. Wrap a towel around and under the dish, and then let it cool first in the fridge before placing it in the freezer. The towel keeps the glass from touching anything really cold.

Texture after cooling oils

After the oil has cooled, it should have a texture like in the picture above. You don’t want it to be too solid so that you can’t blend it. If you let it cool for too long, you will have to melt it and cool it again.

Whisk Oils and Water Together

Step 6. Mix together the cooled oil mixture, 1/4 cup of oatmeal water, and 4–6 drops of essential oil with a handheld or stand electric mixer. Whip for a few minutes until thickened and lotion-looking. (This is the emulsion process!)

Lotion consistency when done

Step 7. Pour the lotion into a plastic bag. With scissors, cut off a corner of the bag just a tiny bit, and squeeze the lotion into an empty lotion bottle. You can also use a tiny funnel to make this process easier.

Pour Lotion into Containers

This recipe makes about a cup (8 oz.) of lotion. If you use the 30ml Acrylic Lotion Pump Bottles, this recipe will fill 5 bottles. If you use the 50ml Acrylic Lotion Pump bottles, this recipe will fill 4 bottles. Any other lotion pump bottle will also work.

The acrylic pump bottles are unique because they operate on a vacuum principle instead of using a stem or tube. When you pump, it first releases air pockets; then as you pump more, the bottom piece pushes the lotion up and out the hole. This allows you to not only see how much lotion you have left but also to enjoy every last bit of your homemade lotion!

Store this lotion at room temperature (75 degrees Fahrenheit) or less. If you know it will be hotter than 75 degrees, you can store it in the fridge to keep the oil and water from separating. However, if stored in the fridge, it may need to be brought back to room temperature before using in a pump bottle.

All-Natural Moisturizing Lotion

All-Natural Moisturizing Lotion with Essential Oils

  • Servings: Yield = 8 oz. of lotion
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients and Materials Needed:

  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1/8 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup jojoba oil or almond oil (olive oil would work too)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. beeswax pellets (use more if you want a thicker lotion)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. vitamin E oil (for its benefits to the skin as well as for preservation of the lotion)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 4–6 drops essential oil of your choice.
  • Lotion Bottle(s): We recommend a bottle with a lotion pump, such as the Acrylic Lotion Pump Bottles, since this recipe makes a thinner lotion.

Instructions:

  1. Combine the old fashioned oats and distilled water. Cover, and let soak for 12 hours (starting this the night before works great!). Distilled water is needed to inhibit mold growth. If you don’t have distilled water, you can use regular tap water as long as you boil it and allow it to cool before mixing it with the oats.
  2. After the oats have soaked for 12 hours, use a spatula to strain out the oatmeal water. This liquid should appear a little cloudy. If needed, use the spatula to squeeze the liquid from the oats. Set aside 1/4 cup of the oatmeal water. Discard or eat the oats.
  3. Combine the jojoba oil, coconut oil, beeswax pellets, vitamin E oil, and honey in a glass bowl.
  4. Melt the oils in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan filled with an inch of simmering water (creating a double boiler). Heat until completely melted. The beeswax will take the longest, so make sure to use pellets or grate finely.
  5. Once completely melted, pull the glass dish out of the pan with a hot pad. Grab a towel, and fold it around the bottom of the glass dish. Place the towel and glass dish in the refrigerator to cool off for 10 minutes before placing in the freezer (towel and all), or just leave in the refrigerator for another 35 minutes until mixture is soft and cool.
    Note: Some glass dishes can break if the temperature change is too drastic, so use caution. Wrap a towel around and under the dish; then let it cool first in the fridge before placing it in the freezer. The towel keeps the glass from touching anything really cold.
  6. Mix together the cooled oil mixture, 1/4 cup of oatmeal water, and 4–6 drops of essential oil with a handheld or stand electric mixer. Whip for a few minutes until thickened and lotion-looking.
  7. Pour the lotion into a plastic bag. With scissors, cut off a corner of the bag just a tiny bit, and squeeze the lotion into an empty lotion bottle.

Store this lotion at room temperature (75 degrees Fahrenheit) or less. If you know it will be hotter than 75 degrees, you can store it in the fridge to keep the oil and water from separating. However, if stored in the fridge, it may need to be brought back to room temperature before using in a pump bottle.

This recipe makes about a cup (8 oz.) of lotion. If you use the 30ml Acrylic Lotion Pump Bottles, this recipe will fill 5 bottles. If you use the 50ml Acrylic Lotion Pump bottles, this recipe will fill 4 bottles. Any other lotion pump bottle will also work.

Sources:
1 http://www.sharecare.com/health/skin-hair-nail-beauty/article/why-your-skin-craves-oatmeal

29 thoughts on “All-Natural Moisturizing Lotion with Essential Oils

  1. I did not like this at all!
    followed recipe except omitted the oatmeal water for fear of mold. Was way to greasy and then when the oil did soak into my skin they had a shiny sticky sheen from the honey.
    first time trying my hand at this sort of thing. Maybe the next time will be better 🙁

  2. Thank you for this! I have the basic recipes in my head, but it’s always nice to see things spelled out more accurately – they say a good chef follows the recipes exactly and I have been known for just winging it and then having to correct my mistakes which costs time and money!

    • We used vitamin E oil for its natural preservation properties. The jojoba oil or olive oil also help inhibit mold growth. You can also add anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and/or anti-fungal essential oils to help preserve the lotion. If you want additional preservatives, you can try boiling the distilled water and add a little bit (around 1/8 tsp.) of citric acid and/or potassium sorbate (less than 1/4 tsp.) and dissolve before soaking the oats. Note: We haven’t tried adding these preservatives, so if you do please let us know how it goes! Also, lotions without water tend to keep longer, so you could just do without the oatmeal water and create a thicker lotion.

  3. I made this lotion last week. Loved it, BUT it got moldy and I had to throw some out. I kept some in the fridge and some on the night stand. I suggest if you make it, you store it in your fridge.

    • Courtney, did you remember to use distilled water? I’d like to know before I make it and give it away to friends if it tends to become moldy.

    • The oats actually soak up a lot of the water, so in order to make sure you will have 1/4 cup of oatmeal water for the lotion, you need to have 2 Tbsp. of oats and 1/2 cup of water.

  4. Vitamin E is an antioxidant not a preservative. I would keep your eye on it. It looks like a great formula though! And any water used can cause mold growth. I would research it more if you were to give it away or sell it. It does help that it is in a container that you don’t have to put your fingers into though! I love the bottles!

    • As an antioxidant, vitamin E oil acts as a preservative because it helps reduce the rate of oxidation that occurs naturally in oils. Using essential oils with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties may also extend the life of the lotion.

  5. I have fresh goats mild. If I wanted to use it what would I take out to put it in? Also what would need to be used to preserve it so it didn’t mold, etc?

    • We haven’t tried using fresh goat’s milk in this recipe. If you did want to use it, try substituting the oatmeal water for the goat’s milk. To preserve the lotion, I would suggest including the vitamin E oil and possibly using essential oils with antimicrobial or antibacterial properties such as melaleuca, lavender, lime, rosemary, or an antibacterial blend. (See Modern Essentials for more oils with these properties.) Please let us know how it turns out if you do make this lotion with goat’s milk!

  6. I have been looking for a good natural lotion recipe! What kind of coconut oil would be best? Fractionated or the more solid extra virgin?

        • The reason for using distilled water is because it has all contaminants and minerals removed that may cause mold growth. Since reverse osmosis water is essentially the same thing just obtained through a different process, I believe it would have the same effect as distilled water and work for this lotion recipe.

          • Thanks so much for the reply–I have a reverse osmosis unit, but had heard that the distilling process, especially of the product that is bought in regular stores, is somewhat erratic, and does not always result in a high-quality distilled water.

      • thank you for this. I just emailed this very question…how to prevent mold growth without any use of preservatives at all. And maybe given that it’s only 8oz at a time, it won’t sit too long? (at least not in this house. )

    • I was so excited to make this lotion, and I loved how it turned out — BUT IT MOLDED within a few weeks!! I followed the recipe exactly (using distilled water). I had to throw it all away, for fear of spreading mold on my body. Any suggestions as to how to make this lotion without it getting moldy? I am so disappointed! 🙁

      • When you are making lotion, make sure all your equipment (dishes, spoons, blender, etc.) are clean, your hands are clean (always wash your hands before touching the lotion), and that you are using fresh ingredients. Some ingredients only have a 2 year shelf life and can go rancid or help mold growth if used longer than their shelf life. After you make the lotion, you may want to store it in the refrigerator to inhibit mold growth.
        Another thing to try is skipping the oatmeal step and just using distilled water instead of the oatmeal water. I wonder if the oatmeal is introducing minerals or something into the lotion causing it to mold.

Leave a Reply to Marsha Cancel reply