Homemade Body Lotion

Image shows a close up of a jar of white homemade body lotion sitting on a wood table. Text reads "Homemade Body Lotion"

**Updated Picture from more recent batch**

I’ve been an on-again, off-again homemade lotion maker for a long time. Ever since I found and fell in love with homemade baby lotion, that’s kind of been my go-to. But then there’s the stretch mark cream recipe, and I like that one as well.

Recently though, I wanted to make a bona fide homemade body lotion. One that’s heavier than homemade baby lotion but still contains some of the skin-nourishing aloe vera gel – But with no beeswax.

Rather than being a bar, this is something you store in a jar to dip your finger in. (although it could be made into a bar, I think, by leaving out the aloe vera gel and liquid oil.)

I love being able to pump lotion right onto my hand (which the aforementioned baby recipe is great for), But folks, my toddler sucks on the pump bottle and eats lotion! It’s gross, and I wish I were kidding, but I’m not.

Photo, taken from above, shows a small blue jar of off-white lotion in it. Next to the jar on a wooden table sits the lid.

So this lotion is going into a mason jar with a tight lid and probably up on a very high shelf.

What I love about this homemade body lotion is that it incorporates all of the major skin-nourishing oils and butter, and I can customize the small amount of liquid oil, from olive oil to jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado.

The scent is customizable as well. This time, I went with the relaxing smell of lavender, but I think my next batch will be spearmint (that’s my favorite scent ever!). I would also highly recommend orange, peppermint, and rosemary.

Photo shows a clear, shallow jar with white lotion in it and a lid balanced on the side. The jar sits on a wood table with flower petals nearby.

Homemade Body Lotion


  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a small saucepan or heat-proof bowl.
  2. Heat gently over very low heat (use the double boiler method using a bowl) until the ingredients are almost completely melted.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in olive oil and grapefruit seed extract.
  4. Let cool for several minutes – up to half an hour, depending on the temperature of your house, until the mixture is just starting to solidify.
  5. Stir in essential oil and cold aloe vera gel.
  6. Beat vigorously to incorporate everything as it quickly begins to solidify, thanks to your cold aloe vera.
  7. Store in an air-tight container – 4 oz. mason jars are perfect for this recipe!
  8. Enjoy your new lotion!
Image shows a jar of white facial scrub in the background, two fingers with scrub on the tips are posed above the jar, text above reads "Baking Soda and Coconut Oil Facial Scrub with Essential Oils"

Baking Soda Face Scrub

Photo shows a close up of a clear jar with grey powder in it. Text above reads "Homemade Tooth Powder"

Homemade Tooth Powder

Recipes everyone can make!

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  1. I have a large aloe Vera plant, could I open up a branch from that and use the pulp in lieu of aloe Vera gel?


    1. Yes. The grape seed extract is a preservative. If you don’t use it, you will probably want to keep the lotion in the refrigerator just to be on the safe side.

  2. Dear Elise How much exactly does this recipe make?
    And, did you price it… how much did it cost you to make this one recipe? Thank you, SisJane

    1. Hi Jane, this recipe makes about 3/4 of a cup.

      I did not price everything out. I buy pretty much everything in bulk, and it lasts a long time. I do know that the aloe vera gel costs $0.26/oz, and the shea butter was $0.54/oz. I think the coconut oil, which we buy in 5 gallon pails was somewhere in between. The essential oil costs 5-1- cents per drop.

      It all depends on what brands you use, and where you buy them. 🙂

  3. I have a question….I’ve made this….it isn’t whipped & creamy like your picture? Do I need to let it chill more? I even used my whipping beaters on my mixer…still looks like oil? Any help u can offer? I used sweet almond Oil & then used olive oil in place of the grapefruit seed extract

    1. I’m so sorry you’re having trouble!

      The cocoa butter and shea butter should make it creamy even at room temperature, so you could either try adding more of those, or chilling it to see what happens.

  4. Hello! Excited to try this recipe! However, I’ve recently read some pretty scary stuff about grapefruit seed extract (it’s made with some very nasty chemicals) and would like to avoid using that ingredient since I am 16 weeks pregnant. Do you have any suggestions for any other substitutions beside olive oil? Thank you!

    1. You could add several drops of an antibacterial essential oil (lavender, rosemary, peppermint, tea tree, etc.) instead, or you could make a smaller batch so that you’ll use it all before it spoils – in my experience, it takes quite a long time to spoil.

  5. Could this be made with something other than coconut oil? We have a critical allergy to it in our family. What might be a good substitute?

  6. I jab been looking for this recipe….but are you able to put it in a squeeze bottle or pump bottle for traveling, and will it stay “thin” at room temperature?

    1. It’s not hard, but doesn’t flow, so you’d have to squeeze it. I’d say put a little extra olive or sweet almond in it if you want to make sure it’s thin enough.

  7. Do you have a recipe for face cream by any chance you can share? I ran out of mine and would prefer to make my own than buy. Thanks in advance! Regards, Mary Ann

  8. I’m not sure what I’ve done wrong mine sure didn’t thinken at all still I oil form.lol any ideas what I can do to fix it?

  9. Hi Elise, what is the purpose of the aloe vera gel in it? Also how long is it until it spoils at room temperature? Also how long in the fridge? Thanks

  10. Grapefruit seed extract is not a proper preservative for any lotion as it will still allow microbes to grow and you may not be able to see them.

      1. I have made this following the recipe. It is AWESOME! Thick and creamy. It was left in fridge 1 hour instead of 30 mins. Thank you so much. I think the COLD aloe gel is essential to the creamy consistency.

      2. This recipe turned out AWESOME for me. I feel the COLD aloe gel is essential. I also left in fridge 1 hour instead of 30 mins. Thank you for sharing this CREAMY recipe:)

  11. I read the reason you don’t put lotion in a pump bottle, but I just wanted to ask can you put it in one? Will this work in a pump bottle as well as small jars?

    Thank you

  12. Thank you for your message I’ve been trying to understand how to work from Home your information as opened up my eyes a whole lot thank you I will try some of those steps and keep up the good work

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  14. Hi! Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve been trying out different, homemade body butter and lotion, recipes and yours looks like the perfect mix! Was just curious if you could replace the coconut oil with anything? I’m not the biggest fan of how it leaves my skin feeling, but also don’t want to leave it out if it helps to create the final texture. Thanks again!

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