essential oil body lotion

How To Make Body Lotion With Essential Oils

Are you sick and tired of spending a fortune on ineffective beauty products? If so, perhaps it’s time you thought about making your own.

You can make your own moisturizing and body lotion that nourishes your skin. There’s nothing like a homemade recipe instead of store-bought, chemically induced creams. It only takes few minutes and some simple ingredients to make your own natural, ecological and customizable moisturizer. And making your own lotion is also more economical. A homemade body lotion costs up to 60% less than the products available in market.

Why use essential oil for skin

It is still difficult to find rigorously scientific studies proving the benefits of essential oils, however a certain number of properties are commonly admitted. And the use is spreading in the medical world with the opening of university degrees specialized in aromatherapy and reserved for health professionals.

Essential oils are known to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that are beneficial for your skin. If you want to get rid of certain imperfections or regain a radiant complexion? Essential oils are your best allies. Extracted from plants or fresh flowers, these essences have many beneficial properties. Thanks to the low molecular weight of their aromatic components and their affinity with the skin’s lipids, essential oils are able to penetrate the epidermis as far as the dermis.

They act in the heart of the skin tissue and can effectively treat various beauty problems: restore radiance to a dull skin, soothe small redness, smooth irregularities, erase skin spots, balance excess sebum, fight against wrinkles.

Read also: Best essential oil for wrinkles

The Basics of Body Lotions

Pampering your skin with a great, soothing balm is one of life’s small luxuries. We’ll look here at how to make body lotion with essential oils.

If the thought of concocting a body lotion from scratch scares you, shelve those fears and read on…

Once you have the fundamentals of lotions under your belt, you can start to play around with different oils. Make the lotion that you really want not the one that happens to catch your eye on the shelf at the store.

There are 3 main components to a body lotion:

  1. Oils
  2. Emulsifier
  3. Water

The different proportions of each of these elements will affect the texture of the lotion.

There are also variations where, for example, body butter skips the water completely and is a mixture of oils and emulsifier only.

4 extras can be added to this core:

  1. Thickeners
  2. Glycerin
  3. Color
  4. Fragrance

In general, water is the principal ingredient and makes up between 70% and 80% of the recipe. The more water you use, the lighter and thinner your lotion will be. Max out the butters and oils and the lotion will end up both thicker and heavier.

Anywhere from 10% to 25% is oil or butter with a small amount of emulsifier to finish things off.

What Oils Should I Use?

Generally, most of the oil in a body lotion is a carrier oil. This is a base oil that is used to cut neat essential oils when they’re applied to the skin.

4 of the most common oils for this purpose are avocado, sunflower, sweet almond and coconut oil.

  • Avocado Oil: This oil is medium weight and has almost no smell or color to it. The ease with which it absorbs into the skin makes it an obvious choice for lotions. Avocado oil is rich in oleic acid helping it to condition your skin beautifully
  • Sunflower Oil: Lightweight and incredibly moisturizing, sunflower has plenty of vitamin E along with oleic fatty acid. It does tend to have a slightly more greasy feel so bear this in mind before using sunflower oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil: If you want a lightweight lotion, sweet almond oil is a smart choice. With a high concentration of oleic fatty acids alongside linoleic acids, it will hydrate your skin without leaving it feeling greasy
  • Coconut Oil: Smelling very faintly of coconut flesh, this mild oil has high levels of saturated fat. Coconut oil softens the skin wonderfully and smells divine

In addition to these carrier oils, add in 5-15 drops of the essential oil of your choice.

There is no right or wrong choice here. Choosing an essential oil is really a matter of personal preference. With over 200 to choose from, you are truly spoiled for choice!

Why You Need An Emulsifier

We all know that oil and water don’t mix. The role of the emulsifier in your lotion is to bind them together nicely. Separation of oil and water is the last thing you want.

These emulsifiers vary in strength and properties so focus on the type that best suits your recipe.

  • Bio-Mulsion Wax: This great wax comes from olive oil. The wax is off-white and composed of medium flakes
  • Polawax Emulsifying Wax: Use these white pastilles for 3-6% of your recipe
  • BTMS-50: If you want a vegetable-based emulsifier, roll with this non-greasy conditioner. It’s often used for hair care as well as body lotions. Depending on the particular lotion you are making, you can use as little as 1% BTMS-50 rising to as high as 15%

Co-emulsifiers like cetearyl alcohol or stearic acid can be added as optional extras. These help to thicken up your lotion if desired.

What Type Of Water Works Best?

Distilled water is the smart choice for your lotion.

Rose water also has a delightful, subtle fragrance while aloe vera liquid also works well.

Avoid milk. This tends to go rancid much like a carton left on the counter. If you insist on using milk, keep your lotion refrigerated and expect it to last no more than a month or two.

Read also: Best Essential Oil Diffusers

Some Extras

Do you want to give your lotion a lovely shot of color?

If so, head to this awesome site and choose what takes your fancy to liven up your lotion.

The water-soluble colors will mix into your lotion a treat.

Extracts – these come from vegetables or plants – inject a shot of raw and organic material into your lotion.

Is A Preservative Necessary?

In a word, yes.

The high percentage of water present in lotions means that mold and bacteria can easily proliferate.

Using a preservative is by no means essential in the actual making of your lotion. The crucial part it plays is in making that lotion last. Why go to all the time and trouble of making your own glorious recipe only for it to spoil before you can use it?

For an array of different preservatives, this site has plenty of affordable ways to add staying power to your body lotion.

A General Recipe Suggestion For Body Lotion

There are so many variables, as outlined above, that you are better off to bear in mind these guidelines then simply experiment.

  • Distilled Water 70-80%
  • Emulsifier 3-6%
  • Co-emulsifier 3-5%
  • Preservative 1%
  • Fragrance 1%

Make up the balance with the oils of your choice.


A huge part of the fun in making body lotions with essential oils is the tweaking and testing to create your very own blend.

With such an enormous number of choices, if you start with the above base recipe, you can inject your own touch of individuality by focusing on the oils that you love best.

It might seem like a complicated process but it’s not. Once you get started, your confidence will grow and you’ll soon be embracing the indulgent luxury of a homemade body lotion with essential oils.



I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It