If you’ve ever made a smoothie, you can make lotion. Hell, even if you haven’t, I’m pretty sure you can make lotion. It’s a simple emulsion, and you can use a blender to do most of the work.

Homemade lotion is really fun to make. The sort of lotion in this recipe—a beeswax/borax emulsion—is going to be much heavier, greasier, and waxier than the lotions you are likely used to using. This is because beeswax is quite heavy and waxy, and because our oil phase is really quite large. The oil phase has to be large for this sort of emulsifier as a beeswax/borax emulsion cannot support a larger water phase—and a large water phase is a big part of what makes most lotions feel light, and absorb into the skin quickly.

This lotion is more of an old-style cold cream than the sorts of lotions you’re likely familiar with, and that can be a great thing. The beeswax means this lotion is quite occlusive—it helps trap water in the skin. You might find you enjoy a small amount of this lotion as a night cream!

Basic Homemade Lotion

60g grapeseed oil
40g apricot kernel oil
16g jojoba oil (USA / Canada)
4g virgin coconut oil
20g beeswax (USA / Canada)
4g Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)

116g distilled water
2g borax
4 g vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)

Essential oils of choice

Broad spectrum preservative of choice (why?)

Tins, pots, or shallow mason jars

Combine the oils in a small saucepan, and melt together. Take care not to over-heat, and remove from the burner the moment the beeswax melts. Combine the water ingredients in a second pan and heat, stirring, until the glycerin and borax have dissolved, then remove from heat.

As the oils cool, stir them with a silicone spatula to keep the beeswax integrated into the oils. Once both parts are cooled to room temperature (use your finger to check, though the oils should be semi-solid when you do or you’ll torch yourself).

Scrape the cooled oils mixture into the bottom of the blender. Remove the plug from the blender lid, cap the blender, and start running it on medium. Slowly pour in the water solution, little by little, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender and make sure the bits under the blade are getting involved. Continue this until everything is all combined, lovely and creamy and such. Whir the essential oils and preservative in last. Use a spatula to scrape the lotion into tins or pots.

Now, to clean up the blender. It’ll take a lot of soap, hot water, and scrubbing, and I’d highly recommend running it through the dishwasher after you’ve done the best you can by hand.

Voila! That’s it. Moisturize away! It’s hard to say how long this lotion will last, but because this lotion is super thick we have to keep it in an open jar, which increases chances of contamination (aka shortens the shelf life) because you’re likely dipping dirty fingers into it (yes, even with a preservative—they aren’t infallible!). If you see any colour or consistency, notice a shift or scent, or see mould, chuck it and make more.