Handmake Your Lotion…

Orange Blossoms with Bee, by Clownfish

Orange Blossoms with Bee

Photo by Clownfish, published by attribution through CC

** ETA: If you cannot access vids, let me know in the comments!***

Okay, I won’t go on (too much 😉 ) because this is a portion of a more thorough post I have in the works on handmade lotions.

This is the bare bones basic hand and body moisturizer. It is rich and luxurious, but not cloying, too thick, or heavy-scented. It is extremely easy and cost efficient, utilizing only three ingredients, and quite deceptive in its simplicity!

Once you try this you will never want to spend the ridiculous amounts of money required for lotions! You’ll be making your own versions, hence. AND, these make fantastic gifts for men, women, and children — what Mom wouldn’t appreciate handmade lotion for Mother’s Day? I think any Mom-to-be would appreciate a handmade lotion, made especially for her and baby?!

You can add your special touch, of course to these with various additions for what you want, such as some aloe vera; glycerine, maybe; hydrosols; ptisans; herbs; and, of course, essential oils.

I modified the basic recipe slightly for Carrie, a fellow ETLer over at Dr. Fuhrman.com. She’s an orange-head (if I recall correctly!) loves ’em. So I thought immediately of one of my favorite scented waters, orange blossom water. I have used it often in my products so know it’s lovely.

To follow the recipe without the orange blossom water, simply use 1 1/4 C pure distilled water. Three ingredients, one of which is water is pretty darned good, don’t you think?! Best thing — you know what’s in it! And there’s no unnecessary junk.

~ * ~


Carrie’s Orange Blossoms Lotion

3/4 C Orange Blossom Water,*warm-hot

1/2 C Pure Water, boiled hot

1/4 C Emulsifying Wax

1/4 C  Olive Oil,** organic

* The orange blossom water, is, again, optional; so for a basic, unscented lotion, use 1 1/4 C pure water. You can try using all Orange Blossom water. You must heat it, however so that it is at least slightly hot — it does not need to be boiling hot. I find that using boiling water with the orange blossom water works fine.

Orange Blossom water is different from Orange Blossom hydrosol. You can use whichever you wish, the hydrosol being more expensive, of course, as it is distilled professionally for cosmetic purposes. It (hydrosol) actually has less orange blossom scent than the water. You can find Orange Blossom Water at many markets in the specialty foods sections. Every Whole Foods I’ve been in has it, as well as many supermarkets. Indo European brand is the one I find most often. I have used it for years in my recipes and cooking! It smells gorgeous. As well, you may substitute Rose Flower water which will most likely be right next to the Orange Blossom water. 🙂 Whichever brand you find, it should smell really nice.

**Any plant oil will do, but good-quality olive oil is easy to find nowadays. It also makes a great buttery lotion. It’s used in a lot of effective and quality products; so don’t think it’s lesser than any fancy-sounding oil. If you want to substitute another vegetable oil you find, feel free, but take into consideration its texture may effect a different lotion texture — usually not a big deal, though; and you may want that  :). Almond is good, as well as an organic grapeseed oil. Avocado oil, I’ve seen in markets also makes a good lotion. Carrie, if you decide to buy an oil, calendula oil would be great for a baby lotion 😀 Oh, and it’s wonderful for Moms and adults too! You’ll find it is often olive oil as its base 🙂




You can add essential oils to further fragrance or specialize your lotion, if you like. The above is a very light orange blossom scent. It comes through because there are so few ingredients. Luckily, the olive fragrance doesn’t muddle it. If you use a non-fragrance oil, such as grapeseed, it will be a stronger scent, but still not overpowering (or obnoxious!) I personally prefer light scents. Nothing worse than having to breathe in someone’s body perfume odor or cologne — especially the cheapy chemical stuff! Simple, is often the most beautiful.

If you want to intensify the orange blossom scent, then the essential oil, Neroli is what you would use.

The first demo video is using olive oil and water; and, to further demonstrate how simple this is to do —  no fancy equipment needed —  I even used just a fork to stir the lotion! You can use whisk  or anything you have, really.

~ * ~

Okay, enough! On to the instructions and pictures.

What You Need:

A Double Boiler: (Picture here)You can makeshift one as I have in the picture below — last thing I need is MORE pots and pans added to my overload of “stuffs” I no longer use! It’s just a pot placed within a pot of water. If you need more on this, see this blog entry on a makeshift double boiler — super easy, anyone can do it with what they have at home). This is to gently melt your wax in the oil. (I’ve read that some people microwave  ~cRiNgE~ so that may be an option — ack! if you must!)

A Jar: Or other suitable container (glass is best if using essential oils) with a tight-fitting lid to store your lotion. This lotion has the texture suited for a jar or a squeeze-type bottle. I save a lot of jars, especially the unique shaped ones. Even old lotion jars or squeeze bottles — save ’em! Just wash them out. The worst that can happen is the scent of the previous cream will remain on it; but it won’t really affect the lotion once you put it on you. Just wash it well, using vinegar helps a bit. Although, I do recommend glass for creams and lotions. Mason jars are excellent!

This is an old salt jar! It is a nice, thick glass.

This is an old salt jar! It is a nice, thick glass.

Utencils:, fork ;), or whisk, measuring cup, blender, optional (see “Below”)

Okay, don’t make me take a picture of a fork! 😛

Orange Blossom Water, warmed to just hot;

OR boiled, or hot Pure, distilled Water:


Emulsifying Wax: Other waxes do not work (for this recipe); I tried. This is a vegetable-based wax.


Olive Oil:



Instructions (finally! I know, I know…:P )

  1. Combine the emulsifying wax and olive oil in a receptacle in a double boiler. Remove from heat when just melted.


2. Pour hot water/liquid into the hot wax emulsion. You see, it immediately emulsifies on contact — not even requiring stirring! But do mix a bit.

That’s it!

Here’s a demo: First a little set up so you know where it’s starting — you see here the Pyrex which contains the wax-oil emulsion, just taken off the heat …

then just add water!


All you do now is just let it sit to cool, stirring occasionally.

Add essential oils when cooled to warm, if using; do not add to hot mixture, it will “cook” the oils and diminish, not only its benefits, but also its fragrance.

Here is a video of the just mixed emulsion and its texture right after combining, just like above:

So don’t worry, it’s supposed to be watery 🙂 It will thicken as it sits.

Here it is after sitting a bit; it’s a more pourable texture:

Later, getting thicker…

And here it is, final texture:

Place lotion in your clean, sanitized, if desired receptacle and label with name, ingredients, if you wish, and date. Then…enjoy! 😀


“Below” 😉

This is totally optional:You can use a blender on the mixture and it will create a thicker, richer “cream.” It will be more voluminous as well.

Blend it after it has cooled to warm. I used my little Personal Blender; so no power blender needed:


Here is a pic of how rich and thick it gets:


Here is how it finishes:

As you see, it’s much thicker and it got lighter in color.

I know the vids aren’t the best, but it’s hard to hold the cam and stir at the same time 😉 Lol. It’s so incredibly easy, though, I wanted to show it: You simply heat then mix!

~ *** ~

Once you make this basic recipe, as I said, the possibilities are limitless! As well, you can adjust the texture quite simply without any additional ingredients, by using more or less liquid.
Have fun! Pick up an essential oil every now and then when you can, and let the creative juices flow 😉



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  1. Robin said,

    April 24, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Thank you, again, for a great post! In general, how long would you say it takes you to prepare it from start to finish? Do you by chance have a lotion recipe with a “Rose” fragrance? I really do love the smell of roses.

    • poxacuatl said,

      April 24, 2009 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks, robin 🙂 for this basic lotion, it takes no more than 10 minutes. It’s mostly just the time it takes to melt the wax and oil; then you just add the hot water. that’s it. Then it’s just waiting till it cools and thickens.

      All you have to do for this recipe, is add Rose Essential Oil — the good stuff is not inexpensive; Chinese is less expensive — or a Rose Absolute works. You could also add other oils to complement the rose. You would do this to taste, really. Though, I’d err on the side of less; oils “ripen” a bit over time. Then, if you want to add more all you do is add more :). It’s best to add essential oils when your recipe (lotion) has cooled to warm so as not to destroy its delicate structure. And storage in glass is best, too, especially with an expensive oil like rose!
      Oh, and, as I mentioned in my ramblings, you could use the food-grade rose water for the liquid. It has a nice scent. A rose hydrosol is better on a skin-care level; but as far as scent, the store bought rose water is stronger.

      • Robin said,

        April 25, 2009 at 3:52 am

        Thank you. I do still have quite a bit left of my current lotions now but as soon as I run low I’m definitely going to try making it myself.

  2. CACC said,

    April 24, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    I can see the videos now! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

  3. gon2be said,

    May 2, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Hi LL
    Do you store your lotions in the fridge? My grandma used to make creams and always insisted they needed refridgeration or they would go funky.

    • poxacuatl said,

      May 3, 2009 at 12:51 pm

      Hi gon2be 😀

      I’ve not had to fridge mine…but I also use mine up. I don’t make several batches and store, in other words; if I were to do that, I’d most likely add some vitamin E as a preservative or store smaller amounts in the fridge. So far, none have gone bad…

      so, if someone is worried, either store the bulk of a batch in the fridge and keep a small jar of a portion out for every day use.
      Alternatively, purchase some vitamin E oil (in the supplements section; or from Mountain Rose Herbs) and use 2 vegetable-based gel caps of it in a batch. Solgar brand is ubiquitous and has vegan gels of Vitamin E. Just cut open and pour the oil into the lotion and mix well.

  4. CACC said,

    May 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Finally got my ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs today. Can’t wait to boil up some chemical-free lotion! I will let you know how it turns out. I also ordered some cocoa butter and shea butter just for fun, but I am not quite sure what to do with them. They are hard as rocks.

    • poxacuatl said,

      May 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm


      Well, you can make some lip balm 😀 (or more complicated creams, too). You have the wax, oil, and butter to do it! Take a look at my earlier post “Lip Whip”; it will give you an idea on lip moisturizer. That recipe, thought, is for a very soft lip cream; you would need to adjust ingredients to get it firmer. Let me know when you’re ready, and I’ll get you some info on that.

  5. Lil said,

    May 21, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I can’t see the vids. Also would coconut oil work?

    • Strix said,

      May 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      Hi, Lil,

      Hmm. I’ll check on the videos.
      You could use coconut oil, but it would be greasy-ish (well, I find it so). If I wanted to use some, I’d use a small amount combined with another oil.
      Let me know how it comes out whatever you choose 🙂

      • Strix said,

        May 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm

        Click on the “YouTube” icon on the lower right corner. That should take you to YouTube to view it. 🙂

  6. kassie said,

    June 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    All of the utube videos, aside from the first one, say private video when I try to view them…

    • Strix said,

      June 15, 2012 at 5:53 am

      You know, I don’t know what the problem is 😦 I have tried to fix it, but cannot. Hopefully, the pictures are enough.

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