How to Make a Moisturizing Lotion with Only 3 Ingredients

Ever wondered which ingredient makes up the largest percentage in lotions? Water! If you look at the ingredients list on product labels, you will notice that water is almost always listed first, meaning it is the most predominant ingredient in the product. And, it is also ‘free’ and readily available. So what all are you paying for?

For less than a dollar and using common kitchen equipment, I want to show you how you can make a 12 oz batch of moisturizing lotion. That’s even cheaper than your Wal-mart petroleum-based generic brand. Best of all, it is easy and fun!

Skin care lotion is nothing more than an emulsion of oil and water. As an introduction to this wonderful and useful craft, let’s make a simple lotion with just olive oil, water, and emulsifying wax. Here’s what you need to make approximately a 12 fl oz batch:


  • 1-cup glass measuring cup
  • 2-cup glass measuring cup
  • saucepan just large enough to fit the 1-cup measurer

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup emulsifying wax, available at some craft stores or online.


  • Fill a small saucepan with water and set it on medium low to use as a water bath.
  • Combine the oil and e. wax into the heatproof 1-cup measurer and melt the mixture in the water bath.
  • Fill the 2-cup measurer with water and heat it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes or until it boils. Alternatively, boil water on the stove and pour it into the measurer.
  • When the oil/wax mixture has melted, pour it into the water. Your lotion should now have the consistency of skim milk.
  • Let it cool slightly, stir with a spoon or chopstick and pour the lotion into a bottle while it’s still warm and pourable. Otherwise, it would be hard to get the lotion into its container. If you’re using a wide mouth jar, then this is not an issue.
  • Leave the cap off to let it cool completely, but occasionally cap the lotion and give it a quick shake to help blend the mixture.

That’s IT!!!

As is, this plain, scent-free lotion is great for babies and people with sensitive skin. But this recipe is very forgiving and you can easily vary it. Here are some suggestions:

  • Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the water with glycerin to make a hydrating lotion.
  • Substitute or combine the olive oil with other oils such as almond oil or coconut oil
  • Add essential oils. Use 1 – 2 drops per fl oz of lotion

Previously, I had recommended 3 months shelf life based on my own personal experience over the last several years. Noting the many factors that can affect shelf life and that I cannot guarantee the ingredients you use and the cleanliness of your equipment, I am no longer recommending a shelf life. Instead, I will only present what I do to get my lotions to last three months. Your results will vary. Click here for up to date shelf life information and click here for more in depth discussion.

This entry was posted in baby care, Popular posts, skin care and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Emma
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I had the same problem as Kirsten. I now have a pile of coconut oil/beeswax balm which is lovely, but I had no emulsification happen at all!

  2. amju
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 1:02 am | Permalink


  3. wendy Ingram
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    how do i make apricot creme for my lotion bottle, that’s my 1 ingredient I need . where do i find this product cheap or do I by the lotion base and add apricot kernal oil. please help me.

  4. Choi Min Mi
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    well…..I’m looking for an organic one….but this one can help….I can change Ewax into a lemon and with scent….I dunno I it’ll work….kayanga IP e

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>