DIY Lotion - Everyday Essentials

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DIY Lotion

There are so many situations in which a lotion is a better choice than a carrier oil to apply your essential oils to your skin. Plus, you have the added benefit of being able to customize the scent – especially if you just want a nice scented body lotion to apply after showering or bathing. I have tried several recipes over the years and this is one I like because it’s very simple, doesn’t require a lot of time and lasts for several months! If I make a larger batch – then I can share it with family, friends and neighbors! Join me in making your very own, customizable lotion!

What you’ll need:
  • 1 cup Carrier Oil ~ choose oils like olive oil or Grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil ~ the solid kind, not fractionated (liquid)
  • 1/2 cup beeswax pearls
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil (or 4-5 capsules pierced and squeezed out)
  • 20 drops essential oils of your choice (see below for blend ideas)
What you’ll do:
  1. Add beeswax pearls to a glass jar
  2. Add olive or grape seed oil and coconut oil
  3. Place jar (on a mason jar ring to discourage cracking) in a pan of water on the stove. Keep trepan on low or med-low.
  4. Allow mixture to heat and melt the beeswax, stirring if needed
  5. Once melted, remove from heat
  6. Stir in the Vitamin E oil along with your essential oils of choice.
  7. Allow to cool, capped, on the counter
  8. Store in a cool, dry place. Best used within 6 months. Refrigeration increases shelf life. I keep a small jar in the bathroom and the rest in the refrigerator for later use.


This is a thick lotion, and should be stored in a lidded jar. If you want to make a pump-dispensing lotion omit 2 tbsp of the beeswax pearls. Measure out the 1/2 cup recommended above, then remove 2 tbsp. This creates a looser version of the lotion and should be fine to dispense in a pump!

Blend Ideas for your lotion: 

These formulations are per ounce of unscented lotion. Use desired amount of lotion and scale up appropriately. 

  • Pain/Inflammation blend {great for sore muscles, sprains & strains} mix 4 drops Rosemary , 4 drops Black Pepper 2 drops Vetiver
  • Sweetly Floral blend {a nice everyday scent, for use after bath/shower} 2 drops Chamomile Roman , 2 drops Lavender, 1 drop Neroli
  • Good Night blend {have a relaxing nights sleep} 4 drops Chamomile Roman, 2 drops Sandalwood
  • You can always use one of our synergies, which are pre-blended for certain purposes, to add to your unscented lotion.

You can also keep your unscented lotion on hand for when you need a carrier to blend in certain situations like upset stomaches, chest colds, etc. Scoop out desired amount, generally 1 ounce, and mix oils into the lotion. Apply as needed to area of concern.

Don’t forget, we have aromatherapists on-staff to answer your questions or concerns!! Please email us at [email protected] or join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes.


35 thoughts on “DIY Lotion”

  • I want to add aloe Vera gel that this. I already did a small test batch and loved it. My question is how much vegetable glycerin to add? And what preservative and how much?

    1. Because neither of these things are included in our recipe, we cannot advise on how much to add as we haven’t tested it personally.

  • Love this article! Thank you much for writing it. I have been struggling with this for so long. Really hoping this will help. Will share with my 200K insta followers.

  • I’d like to make this but do not have vit e. Is it ok to leave it out? Would fco be ok to use? I still don’t understand how you can have a bar of lotion. How does it turn into lotion?

    1. You can leave the vitamin e out. Yes, you can use Fractionated Coconut Oil. As for “lotion bar” it’s a word to describe a balm-like bar that people apply as lotion. As your hands warm and melt the butters, you can massage into the hands as a lotion.

  • Finally an ACTUAL recipe for homemade lotion. I’ve been looking for something like this all over the web. Everyone else just says to buy unscented lotion and add to it. Thank you!!!

  • I have made this with olive oil and coconut oil and it too came out greasy. Could I use arrowroot powder to make it less greasy? How about shea or cocoa butter instead of coconut oil? Thank You.

  • I made this last night and it’s a little greasy. Is there anything I can add to it to make it less greasy? Thanks.

  • Hi. I order a commercial lotion by the gallon that is wonderful on my skin. I want to add essential oils. Containers will be 4 oz What are some popular ideas and how many drops per 4 oz

    1. Autumn, for a 4 oz lotion, you will want to use about 48 drops of essential oils. This makes a 2% dilution, which is just perfect when you want to apply essential oils topically. As for popular ideas, feel free to search our blog (you can type in “lotion” in the blog search bar, or type any particular essential oil into the blog search bar and it will bring up recipes with that oil), or contact our certified aromatherapists at [email protected] if you have some specific concerns you are wanting to make a lotion for. Hope this helps, and have fun!

  • Can you help me understand the relationship between ounces and cups? This recipe makes 2 cups, and it looks like there should be 20 drops of EO in 2 cups. Does 2 cups = 16 ounces?

    The suggested oil blends look like 5-10 drops EO per ounce. So for this recipe, wouldn’t that be 10 drops per ounce x 16 ounces = 160 drops? Not 20?

    1. Stephanie, that is an excellent question! You are correct about each cup being 8 oz. The 20 drops for 2oz recipe is a little bit different as you are making your own lotion. The other recipes for the 5-10 drops will be used for adding to purchased, unscented lotion.

  • How many ounces does this recipe make? I plan on making multiple types of lotion. I was considering making one with vein aid. Would I dilute to the 3% like it says on the bottle of vein aid?

    1. This recipe makes approx. two cups and the dilution is very low, under 1%… For lotions, since they usually are applied to a larger area of the body, we recommend just a 1% dilution.

  • Is there anything I could substitute for the Vitamin E oil? I am trying to make gifts with what I have on hand for Mother’s Day, no time to get that delivered (we don’t have nice stores around here 🙁 ) Thank you!

    1. I would recommend using a carrier high in vitamin e. Sesame Seed is a great option that is high in vitamins B, E, and K.

  • Also, in making lotions, you can wait until the finished product has completely cooled (perhaps overnight) and then use a stick blender to emulsify and add air. It makes it creamy and soft and more like the texture of store bought lotions!

  • Can you give a weight on the beeswax pearls? I order my beeswax in block form, from a local beekeeper, and can’t measure out 1/2 cup! Thansks

    1. Just guessing, but you can either grate the beeswax and measure 1/2 cup of shavings or get at least 4 ounces since 4 oz. = 1/2c.. But if you have a large block or odd shaped pieces, I would go with the grate & measure method. HTH

  • I have the same question as a poster above, but I think maybe it was misunderstood. I have fractionated coconut oil as well as virgin coconut oil (the kind that solidifies). Can I use the FCO as the carrier oil in place of the suggested olive or grapeseed oil? This will be in addition to the virgin coconut oil that is used to solidfy the final lotion.

    1. You can use any combination of oils you’d like, but if you use more “liquid” ones add a bit more beeswax to firm the final product.

  • Help me out with some calculations / dilutions — looks like a total of 2 cups lotion/salve. Could you divide this into the little 4oz jelly jars and make 4 DIFFERENT kinds of lotion? And if you did that, what is the total drops of EO that you would put into EACH jar (rather than into the whole recipe of lotion). In the blend ideas, it says the formulations are “per ounce’, so does that calculate that for the pain/inflammation I would be putting a total of 40 drops in a 4 oz jar???! I’m confused because the beginning “what you need” has 2 cups of ingredients and 20 drops of oil….am I getting too technical and worried about using the correct amount of EO — All the talk about proper dilution has me paranoid!!

    1. You can split the lotion into smaller jars! Just follow the safe dilution of up to 18 drops per ounce for a 2% dilution (for therapeutic use) If you are just looking for a “smell good” lotion, use less oils! 🙂

  • Can I use fractionated coconut oil as the carrier oil? I have virgin coconut oil for the solid and the only carrier oil I have is coconut!

    1. In this case, the solid form on the coconut oil goes a long way toward solidifying the final lotion. If you want a good substitution – use shea or mango butter.

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