Lotions made with essential oils are luxurious, smell amazing, and come packed with benefits for the skin. However, many of these high-end creams and body butters come with hefty price tags, and wouldn't you rather be using natural products? But, by using our simple guide, you can create creamy, spa quality lotions customized to your unique skin concerns for a fraction of the cost!
The Skin Benefits Of Essential Oils
Diffusing with essential oils like cedarwood, lavender, clary sage, and tea tree have been shown to help soothe dry skin. But did you know that applying essential oils directly on the skin can yield even greater benefits? It is not advised to put essential oils onto the skin undiluted, as this can sometimes lead to allergic reactions or photosensitivity. Making lotions with essential oils is the perfect way to apply them to the skin gently and safely.
Certain types of essential oils such as thyme, rosemary, caraway, and oregano have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, while other types, such as peppermint and tea tree oils, have antimicrobial and antibiotic properties. When applied to the skin, these oils can reduce inflammation and redness, as well as kill acne-causing bacteria, leaving you with soft, clear, radiant skin.
Importance of A Carrier Oil
Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils before they are applied to the skin. They are all natural and made from plants. However, they are not as potent as essential oils, so they can be applied directly to the skin safely. Most carrier oils are unscented, gentle, and won’t interfere with the benefits of your chosen essential oil.
Carrier oils can be nourishing and soothing on their own and help to keep the essential oils from evaporating when applied to the skin. Essential oils are volatile and evaporate quickly when undiluted. When a carrier oil and an essential oil are combined, the carrier oil keeps the essential oils on the skin longer, so your skin can absorb all the amazing benefits.
When choosing a carrier oil for cosmetic purposes, it is recommended to buy therapeutic-grade carrier oils that are cold-pressed, 100% pure, additive-free, and preservative-free. This ensures that the best quality products are being used on the skin and helps to limit allergic reactions or breakouts.
There are many different types of carrier oils, and each come with their own unique textures, scents, and skin benefits. Some of the examples that work well for usage in lotions are listed below, although there are other popular options like avocado oil and grapeseed oil.
Coconut oil is natural, and made from the meat of coconuts. When selecting a coconut oil to use, make sure to select an unrefined variety. Coconut oil contains fatty acids and polyphenols, which have been shown to nourish and moisturize skin. Coconut oil can also help to reduce inflammation and soothe acne, making it a perfect carrier oil for lotion.
Jojoba oil is naturally derived from the seeds of jojoba plants. Jojoba oil isn’t technically an oil at all but is actually a wax. Jojoba oil is a great choice for a carrier oil since it is absorbed easily by the skin, doesn’t clog pores, and may help reduce oil production in acne prone skin. Jojoba oil has a very subtle, nutty scent, making it ideal for pairing with essential oils like chamomile and sandalwood.
Olive oil is usually known as a cooking fat and can be found in most people’s kitchens, but did you know it is commonly used in aromatherapy and skincare products? Olive oil is great for cleansing and moisturizing skin and is easily found at any grocery store. It does, however, have a stronger scent, which may overpower the chosen essential oil. When making lotions or other skincare products with olive oil, make sure to select an extra-virgin variety.
Argan oil is made from the kernels of argan trees and has a variety of nourishing properties. Argan oil is rich in vitamins A and E, as well as monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help to treat dry skin. It has a light nutty aroma and makes a great carrier oil for skincare products.
Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil is a less commonly known carrier oil, but it offers a wide variety of benefits and has been shown to help with skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It is packed with both unsaturated and saturated fatty acids and is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Once you have selected your chosen carrier oil based on your skin concerns and scent preferences, make sure you perform a patch test before applying it on a large area of skin. As a disclaimer, some essential oils can irritate certain skin types. To do this, place a small amount of oil on an inconspicuous area, like the inside of the wrist or behind the ear. Then cover the area with a bandage. If you don’t notice any redness or irritation after 24 hours, you should be good to go!
For this recipe, we’re going to be using a combination of coconut oil and another liquid carrier oil since coconut oil is solid at room temperature and will help the lotion solidify.
Choosing The Correct Essential Oil
Now that you’ve selected your carrier oil, you can move on to selecting your essential oil. There are many essential oils that provide great skin benefits, and we’ve listed a few below to get you started!
Vitamin E oil works great in skincare products, as it is an antioxidant and helps to protect the skin from the sun and other types of damage. It also helps the cells regenerate, leading to younger, healthier-looking skin, and is a natural preservative, so it may help your lotion last longer.
Lavender essential oil is commonly used for relaxation because of its soothing scent, but it is also anti-inflammatory and can help balance the skin’s moisture, making it a perfect choice for skincare products and moisturizers. Lavender can help reduce redness, while also moisturizing the skin without leaving it feeling greasy.
If you’re struggling with oily skin, clary sage is a great choice. Oily skin is caused by the presence of too much sebum, and clary sage contains active compounds linalyl acetate and geranyl, which can help to control sebum production, as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles and control acne.
Frankincense is great for sensitive skin, as it is gentle while still helping to control excess oil. Frankincense also contains lipids that can help reduce the look of wrinkles and is also great for helping to alleviate acne.
Lemon oil is wonderful for acne-prone skin. It is naturally derived from lemon peels and can help to kill-acne causing bacteria on the skin. It is also anti-inflammatory and can help fight puffiness and redness caused by acne. When you use citrus oils on your skin, however, be extra careful about using sunscreen, as these can lead to increased photosensitivity.
Tea tree oil has powerful antiseptic properties, making it great for fighting acne and killing bacteria on the skin’s surface. It also helps to fight inflammation and reduce redness on the skin.
Peppermint oil contains natural menthols, which can be extremely soothing to red, itchy, irritated skin. It also has a numbing effect, which is perfect for hot rashes or burns.
There are so many other amazing essential oils packed with benefits for the skin. Others to consider include grapefruit oil, sweet almond oil, and more. Once you’ve selected your essential oil, you’re ready to start the process of making your own lotion at home!
Gathering Your Ingredients
For this recipe, you’ll need ¼ cup of coconut oil, as well as ½ cup of your selected liquid oil, like jojoba oil or argan oil. You will also need ¼ cup of beeswax or emulsifying wax, as well as 10-20 drops of any essential oils you want to include (you can use more than one!).
You can also include 2 Tbsp. of shea butter or cocoa butter for a creamier consistency, but these are completely optional. You can also add extra soothing ingredients like aloe vera or rose water. Now that you’ve gathered all the ingredients together, it’s time to make your body lotion!
How To Make Your Lotion
Lotion making is surprisingly easy and comes together in minutes with very little equipment! To make your small batch lotion, start by combining your ¼ coconut oil, your ½ cup liquid carrier oil, your ¼ cup beeswax (which will act as an emulsifier), and your 2 Tbsp. shea butter or coconut butter, if using.
Then, place your glass bowl over a simmering pan of water. This creates a double boiler and allows the steam from the water to gently melt and combine your ingredients. Stir occasionally until all the ingredients are melted and combined.
Now, it’s time to add your essential oils! Add 10-20 drops of your chosen essential oils. Don’t be afraid to combine a few different essential oils for maximum skin benefits. You can use up to three different oils in each batch, and feel free to experiment with the lotion recipe. And you’re all finished! Pour your liquid lotion into a glass mason jar or pump bottle. Once your hand lotion cools and solidifies, it is ready to use!
You can use similar methods to create DIY lotion bars, conditioner, and lip balm. It just takes some playing with the proportions. There are plenty of tutorials out there that will be helpful.
How to Use your DIY Lotion
This lotion is extremely rich and thick, so a little bit goes a long way! Apply a small amount daily anywhere on the body, including the hands, face, neck, arms, and legs. All the ingredients in this lotion are shelf-stable and don’t require refrigeration, so it can be stored anywhere at room temperature! For the best results, the shelf life is about six months.
Homemade lotions are easy-to-make, customizable to your unique skin concerns, and cost-effective! You most likely have most of the ingredients you need right at home! Make sure to visit the rest of our site for other essential oil uses, and shop our range of diffusers to discover all the amazing health, wellness, and beauty benefits essential oils can bring to your life.