How to Make a Simple (and Natural) Hand Lotion

homemade natural hand lotion

With the winter months approaching, you might find yourself with dry hands. Indoor heating and cooler weather are notorious for drying out skin.

Keeping a nourishing hand lotion within easy reach is helpful in keeping scaly, lizard-skin at bay.

Most store-bought lotions don’t fit my natural standards, so I find it easier to make my own.

This is a great  project for anyone wanting to try creating natural body care products; simple measuring, melting, and pouring is all it takes.

How to make a simple (and natural) hand lotion

This recipe is adapted from one found in the Natural Beauty Guide by Wellness Mama.

Ingredients

1/2 cup sweet almond oil (or sunflower, or olive)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup beeswax
1 tablespoon Shea butter
Optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil (will help preserve the lotion)
Optional: 20 drops essential oil (such as lavender)

Method

hand lotion ingredients

Measure all ingredients into a heavy jar (like a canning jar).

Place jar into a saucepan and add enough water to the pan so that the water level comes past the ingredients in the jar (don’t put any water inside the jar, just in the pan around the jar).

making lotion in a jar

Place the lid on loosely so some air can escape.

Heat the water on medium heat and allow the ingredients to melt inside the jar. This can take around 20 minutes.

Once melted, remove from heat and place jar on a towel (or other heat-proof surface).

Let cool a few minutes and add essential oils, if using. Gently stir to combine.

Pour into a jar for storage. Will last for up to 6 months.

This will make approximately one cup of lotion. A small, wide-mouth canning jar works very well.
how to make natural hand lotion

Comments

  1. Does this get stiff where you need it to warm in your hands before spreading or is more of a conventional lotion consistency?

    • Kelly,

      It does get a little stiff. Not too solid like some I’ve seen (you don’t have to dig it out). It’s soft enough to scoop out and spread on your hands, but it is not like a conventional lotion.

  2. What essential oils and quantities did you or could you use? What about vanilla and/or cinnamon (like your oatmeal cookie bath)?

    • I would use about 20 drops of essential oil. Sorry I didn’t include that in the recipe. I went back and added it in.

      Vanilla would work, about a teaspoon. You have to stir things like this a few times while they cool when you use real vanilla since it can separate from the oils/lotion.

      Did you mean cinnamon essential oil or real cinnamon? I haven’t tried using powdered spices in something like this. It might work, but I’m not sure.

  3. Yes, how much essential oils did you put in each batch? I was thinking this would be great for those tiny 1/2 pint? (or are they smaller? I can’t remember) size jars. Like jam sample size type. Not full on canned jam/jelly jar size.
    and do you find it needs a preservative of some kind? I know that is the bane of every friend i know who’s made lotions etc ,finding that delicate balance between less chemicals/more natural ingredients/pure ingredients and still have enough preservative (and the right one) so that it’s marketable.

    • I would use about 20 drops of essential oil. The vitamin E oil will help with the preserving, but may not be enough for a super long shelf life.

      It is hard to get natural preservatives! I’m still learning about what works. I know that Grapefruit seed extract can also help, but I have not tried that yet.

      This makes about 1 cup, which fits into a 1/2 pint jar. I use the short, wide mouth ones, like these. You could also get the smaller, 4 ounce jars, and split this amount between both jars.

  4. Is this recipe really oily on your hands or does it absorb quickly, so that it doesn’t leave an oily spot on things you touch afterward. I do a lot of sewing and this dries out your hands, but I have to be careful not to get oil on the things I’m making!!

    • It is a bit oily. Might not be a good option for using when sewing.

      I’m still working on making hand lotion that is not oily. One of the hardest things for me to make so far!

  5. i have all the ingredients except the vitamin e oil. i just checked amazon and found too many options… what IU or concentration vitamin e oil did you use or do you recommend? there is everything from 5,000 IU to 100,000 IU! i would imagine that the concentration would affect the hand lotion significantly. thanks! can’t wait to try this!

  6. I am always surprised when I see recipes for body products and 1. people still believe that Vitamin E is a preservative (sorry, it’s not, though it’s great for the skin) and 2. there is never any mention of using an anti-microbial. People reaching unwashed hands, or wet hands into scrubs or lotions will cause bacteria for form, sometimes infecting the skin and causing scars. Aside from that, your recipes look wonderful. And with the addition of an anti-microbial will make some wonderful gifts.

    • Most Essential oils are anti-bacterial and anti-microbial so that helps to solve that problem. Also since there is no water incorporated into this it is more of a salve than a lotion and should have a rather long shelf life. Water is what causes the bacteria to grow. Adding a few drops of grapefruit seed extract will also aid as a preservative, but don’t use too much as it can irritate the skin.

    • and i am always surprised that someone always mentions adding chemical preservatives on all natural body product recipe posts. always.

      • Can I use Tree Oil (Organic E.O) instead of lavender. I started this and realized I don’t have any lavender! Ackkk! :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Vitamin E oil is an antioxidant that acts as a barrier for the other ingredients in the product. The free radicals attack and start to feed on the most potent molecules in the blend (which in this case is vitamin E oil). The other ingredients are then safer for longer, prolonging the shelf life of the product or oil.

      This destruction of vitamin E oil can take 1.5-2.5 years. The smallest amount of vitamin E oil to add to an oil or product is 0.5% which will prolong the shelf life from 5-6 months to 1-3 years. A cream is prolonged from 6 months to 1.5-2 years. In the destruction process of the vitamin E oil, there are no waste materials created. When the vitamin E oil molecules are destroyed, the other raw materials are attacked, which eventually makes the product rancid.

  7. I just made this and I love it…it smells great and was super easy. I may have been off on the beeswax as I had to grate mine from a bar….thinking it maybe need a bit more, as it’s really soft and doesn’t feel stiff at all. Overall though, this was super simple and I have enough supplies to make several for gifts ! Next project is the lip balm !

  8. Peggy miner says:

    I just made 3 batches of this lotion…. one unscented, one scented with neroli and one scented with ylang ylang. I also used avocado oil instead of almond or olive because it is what I had. Thank you for sharing this recipe….one word describes the lotion…..luscious!

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