DIY very lightweight body lotion (no heat required)

(edited shortly after publishing because i gave you ounces in the formula and mL in the directions)

lotion can get quickly get pricey, depending on what ‘green’ brand you’re buying it from and what oils they’re using. it can be cheaper to make – and more fun.

so here’s a DIY. and no, this ain’t your average shea butter and beeswax blend. this is much more lightweight and doesn’t require heat to create.

please do not sell this. this is my personal formula and blending process.

before we start, please note a few things:

  • this is much more involved than most of my DIYs and took me years to perfect. don’t get down on yourself or frustrated if it’s not perfect. you can do this!
  • you will need a preservative. if you don’t want to use a preservative, do not make this, and stick to oil blends. i have a nice body oil blend DIY here and a nice body butter DIY here.
  • again, do not make this without a preservative. you will have nasty bacteria growth within 48 hours. don’t believe it if you’re told otherwise 😉

alright, let’s begin.

Screen Shot 2018-12-29 at 9.07.45 AM.png

photo credit: the sage blog (recipe mine)

this formula does not call for waxes or butters for two reasons – 1. they require heat and i wanted this to be a completely cold-processed lotion. 2. waxes and butters can leave a greasy feel.


  • 1 small glass or stainless steel mixing bowl
  • powerful electric mixer, but preferably an immersion blender
  • 2 beakers that hold 100 mL  – one to measure oils and one to measure waters
  • two 1 tablespoon or two 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoons (whichever you have)
  • one 1 teaspoon or one 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon (whichever you have)
  • spatula
  • funnel
  • 8 ounce glass lotion pump bottle
    • there are smaller plastic ones available for you to use when traveling that are carry-on friendly
    • amazon is a great resource. i found the cutest black glass pump bottle… i may just have a thing for black glass containers.


  • aqueous base
    • i prefer a floral hydrosol, but aloe juice is also suitable
  • your favorite lightweight oil or oil blend
    • what you choose will make the lotion more/less expensive
  • emulsifier
    • i prefer lecithin because it can be used solely as a dietary supplement and you can cold process it – no heat required, like with butters and waxes (which are not actual emulsifiers anyway)
    • there are vegetable-based emulsifying waxes. research what you think will be best for you and your skin type.
  • emulsion stabilizer
    • this will help your emulsifier so much in stabilizing the blend of your oils and aqueous base. without it, your lotion is very likely to separate after a few weeks. this would be totally okay for a lightweight face formula that you can shake, but i doubt you’d want to shake an 8 ounce bottle of a thicker product.
  • essential oils, if you’d like
    • only a few drops. be sure to start small, blend, sniff, and see if you need more.
  • preservative
    • the spectrum of what people deem an acceptable preservative in ‘natural’ skincare is very broad. for this reason alone, please research a few types and reach out to the manufacturers. you’ll need to talk to them anyway to get the proper percentage use for your formula to safely prevent bacterial growth. vitamin e and/or rosemary antioxidant extracts are NOT acceptable preservatives. 


you know i love to empower my readers, so here is a rough formula guide for you to customize. it’ll involve you doing some research, but you’ll be learning! my personal blend is below if you’d rather just use that.

  • 2 parts aqueous base
  • 1.25 parts oil/oil blend
  • x% emulsifier
    • check with the manufacturer on the appropriate amount. varies drastically.
  • x% emulsion stabilizer
    • check with the manufacturer on the appropriate amount. varies drastically.
  • a few drops of your essential oils, if desired
  • x% preservative
    • will depend on which you choose and what the manufacturer tells you is the appropriate amount. varies drastically.
    • whichever you choose, you will add the preservative very last and blend evenly, careful not to over-blend and cause the emulsion to break.

MY PERSONAL BLEND – the links provided are not affiliates. feel free to swap the hydrosols and oils for your favorites, but the measurements provided for the emulsifier, emulsion stabilizer, and preservative are unique to this blend and cannot be applied to other formulations if you choose to use other ones.

FUN TIP: try adding a tiny pinch of hibiscus powder when you add the powdered preservative to give the lotion a pink hue. you can also try matcha for a green tint. any other ideas?

HOW TO (using my blend)


  1. in your first beaker, measure out 75 mL of rose water and put into the small mixing bowl.
    • add slightly more than 1/2 tablespoon liquid lecithin. no need to stir.
  2. in the same first beaker, measure out the other 75 mL of rose water.
    • very evenly sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum over top of the rose water in the beaker. do not stir. do not add to the bowl.
  3. let both of these aqueous bases sit separately for 4 hours at room temperature. both the lecithin and the xanthan gum need to hydrate and swell, so they can properly marry the hydrosol and oils.


  4. after 4 hours, with the electric blender, blend the aqueous phase with lecithin in the same medium bowl until it turns thicker and milky. if you notice your lecithin still has dark spots that have not hydrated, give it a little more time alone and then come back to finish blending.
  5. slowly add the other half of your aqueous phase from the beaker, which should now be a gel, into your medium mixing bowl and blend well with the electric blender. this should only take a few seconds max – do not over blend.PHASE 2 – OIL
  6. in your second beaker, measure out 45 mL marula oil, then another 45 mL of monoi de tahiti oil.


  7. VERY SLOWLY and WHILE THE BLENDER IS RUNNING, add your oil blend from the beaker into your aqueous phase that’s in the medium mixing bowl. you really want to add the oil gradually so it doesn’t ‘shock’ the lecithin and cause the emulsion to break into a chunky-looking mess. you can’t recover it if that happens.
    • you should now be looking at lotion – congratulations!
  8. sprinkle in your powdered preservative and lightly blend again.
  9. using the spatula and funnel, put your fancy lotion into your pump bottle.

>> store in a cool, dry area, away from direct sunlight. 

>> toss after 6 months or if the smell takes a turn.


enjoy, loves!


Published by

alexraye //

3 thoughts on “DIY very lightweight body lotion (no heat required)”

  1. Hey Alex! Can I use this technique to make a face lotion too? Just sub the oils for more face-friendly ones?

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