A DIY Lover’s Guide on How to Make Lotion
Have you ever struggled to find beauty or skincare products that work for you?
It can be frustrating and expensive to try out different products from the store. Or how about when you finally find something that sort of works for your skin, but the store stops carrying it?
The thing is, it’s actually quite easy to make homemade lotion. It also gives you control over what goes into it, so there are no heavy-duty preservatives or chemicals.
Why buy from the store when DIY lotion is easy to make, puts you in control, and saves you money? If you’re thinking, “Good point,” then read on for tips on how to make lotion at home.
What Goes Into Homemade Lotion?
The basic ingredients in lotion are water, oil, an emulsifier, and a preservative compound. On top of this, you can add whatever additional components you want for vitamins and minerals.
Water is the base for a lotion and the ingredient that distinguishes lotions from body butter. Adding water makes the lotion absorb better and feel less oily than body butter. It also creates a more supportive environment for bacterial and fungal growth (hence, the preservatives).
Oils add nutrients and antioxidants to the mix. They also add to the skin-moisturizing properties of the lotion. You can select from a variety of different oils depending on what properties you want your final product to have.
Since oil and water don’t like to mix on their own, you also need to add an emulsifier (often called emulsifying wax). These compounds have both water- and oil-loving characteristics, so they help the lotion gel.
Not all waxes are created equal, so do your research before deciding that you’re going to pick beeswax because it sounds wholesome.
Finally, even if you’re going all-natural, you should consider putting some preservatives in your lotions. There are natural options that are milder than what you find at the store and can extend the lotion’s shelf-life by several months.
Many DIYers who try making preservative-free homemade lotions quickly change their minds when they get mold in their lotions after just a few days!
How to Make Lotion: The Process
Once you’ve settled on a lotion recipe, you’re ready to start. Be sure to begin with clean and disinfected utensils and containers.
Heat the water and water-soluble ingredients to 160-170°F in a pot. In a second pot, do the same with the oil(s) and emulsifier. Once both mixtures are at the right temperature, add the water mixture to the oils and whisk it all together.
Once the mixture is well-mixed, allow it to begin cooling. You’ll want to monitor the pH of the lotion to make sure it will work with the preservative you’ve chosen. If needed, you can adjust the pH by adding lactic acid and mixing it in while the mixture cools.
Once the mixture cools and thickens, you may add your preservative. It’s also a good idea to have a viscosity-enhancing substance on hand, like Carbomer 940, in case you want to make the lotion thicker. Mix everything together, allow it to finish cooling completely, and put it in its container.
Voila! You know how to make your own lotion!
DIY Lotion Tips: The Final Touches
DIY lotion is easy to make, inexpensive, and totally customizable. Now that you know how to make lotion at home, experiment with different ingredients to find the perfect fit for you.
If you found this guide helpful, be sure to check out our Beauty section for more great advice.