Making your own lotion gives you the ability to customize it to your own needs. In this article I wanted to go over the basics of lotion making.
A lotion, at its core, is a water part and a oil part emulsified together. Lighter lotions have more water in them, and thicker creams contain less water and more oil. Ingredients classified as “water parts” include water, honey, and glycerin. Ingredients classified as “oil parts” include oils, butters, and waxes.
A lotion is made by emulsifying your oil part and water part together, however oils and water don’t blend well. That’s where Emulsifying Wax comes in. Beeswax is not a suitable substitute for emulsifying wax. There are many emulsifying waxes available on the market today including, Polawax, Emulsifying wax NF, Btms-50, and Ritamulse. (The ones I have listed are complete emulsifying systems, there are also incomplete emulsifiers that require a co emulsifier, but complete emulsifiers are a lot easier to work with.
Any product that contains water is susceptible to mold and bacteria. Yuck. Thats why even in homemade lotions, a Preservative is required. Many people recoil at the word “preservative”, but in reality it isn’t all that bad. A preservative is heavily diluted in your lotions and prevents potentially harmful bacteria from growing in your lotion. With that said, do your research as to which preservatives you feel safe using in your lotions.
Here is a basic overview as to how a lotion is made.
- If you do not have distilled water at hand, heat some water to boil. Then remove from heat after it has just begun to boil.
2. Weigh your oil parts and water parts separately on a gram scale in heat safe containers.
3. Place your oil and water parts in a makeshift double boiler (I use a frying pan with an inch or two of water in it) over low to medium heat.
4. Wait until they are both parts thoroughly melted.
5. Pour the oil part into the water part.
6. Remove from heat.
7. Mix thoroughly until cooled down to a temperature at which you can add
your preservative. ( I use a makeshift hand mixer, a power drill with a whisk attachment, I have seen others use a fork as well!)
8. Mix in essential oils.
9. Continue occasionally mixing it until completely cooled.
10. Scoop into a container. I find silicone spatulas very helpful here.
11. Avoid contaminating your lotion as much as possible to extend the shelf life, and enjoy!
Hope this was helpful!