Now that it is well and truly winter here, this lotion is helping me remember that there are places in this world where the warmth of the sun still reaches the ground. Made from tropical Monoi de Tahiti and mango butter (USA / Canada)s, it smells of palm trees and sunshine, and leaves me dreaming of sandy beaches and ocean breezes.
Monoi de Tahiti is a luxurious and highly fragrant oil. Originating in Tahiti, it’s coconut oil that’s been macerated with the petals of the tiare flower, or the Tahitian gardenia. After the flower petals have been strained out you’re left with a fine, floral scented coconut oil. Take care to ensure you’re getting the real stuff, though—it’s very easy to end up with coconut oil that’s just had artificial fragrances added to it. I got mine from Saffire Blue but I’ve also found it on Amazon.
Mango butter is a thick, creamy butter derived from the seed of the mango fruit. Sadly the stuff I have is refined and doesn’t smell at all of mangoes, but it’s still a wonderful moisturizer, rich in antioxidants.
For essential oils I’ve selected C02 extracted ginger. The CO2 extracted stuff smells far better than the steam distilled, and is worth the added cost. The spiciness of the ginger helps cut the floral sweetness of the Monoi de Tahiti, and the two smell wonderful together.
The final lotion is light and creamy, reminiscent of days spent in the sun. I wouldn’t blame you at all if you wanted to pair it with a pina colada 😉
Ginger, Monoi, and Mango Lotion
7g | 0.25oz complete emulsifying wax (not beeswax!)
5g | 0.17oz monoi de tahiti
13g | 0.45oz mango butter (USA / Canada)
70g | 2.5oz water
2g | 0.07oz raw honey
3g | 0.1oz vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
¼ tsp silk peptides (wondering about substitutions?) (optional)
25 drops CO2 extracted ginger essential oil (the CO2 stuff actually smells like ginger, where the steam distilled doesn’t)
0.5g | 0.017oz Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate [why?])
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
Weigh out the the emulsifying wax, Monoi de Tahiti, and mango butter (USA / Canada) into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
Weigh the water, honey, vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada), and silk (if using) into a small glass measuring cup, cover it with a sheet of foil to prevent evaporation, and place that measuring cup into the hot water bath as well.
Leave the measuring cups in the water bath for half and hour to heat and hold.
Once 30 minutes have passed, add the water mixture to the oil mixture. Heat through to ensure everything is melted before removing the measuring cup from the heat.
Using an immersion blender, blend the lotion together. You’ll want to start with short bursts, working up to a constant blend. Blend for about three minutes, and then leave it for ten minutes before coming back to stir it with a flexible silicone spatula and blending it some more. You will notice some thickening at this point, but it’ll still be pretty thin.
Leave the lotion for another ten minutes, and then stir and blend it again—at this point, it should’ve thickened into a nice white cream and should be relatively cool to the touch.
Whisk in the essential oils and your preservative, and decant the mixture to a 120mL/4oz pump-top bottle. Enjoy!
New to lotion making? Watch my basic lotion how to video!
To add some more mango scent, can I add mango extract? If so, what quantity will should I use?
There is no mango scent in this recipe as I’ve never found mango butter that hasn’t been refined and ends up being totally scentless. In my experience, mango extract (the powdered botanical) has very little scent, and I cannot imagine it would stand up to the monoi and ginger, both of which are quite strong scents. Honestly, I would save your money and leave out the mango extract.
This looks awesome. Made your moca body lotion last night and I love, love it. So excited to know that I can make this stuff at home. I am very happy to have learned about the difference between beeswax for lotions and vegetable emulsifiers. Are you familiar with WEN hair shampooing products? I was wondering if you thought your Bamboo and Broccoli Shampoo might be an equivalent.
Hi Dale! I’m so glad you’re enjoying your homemade lotion 🙂 I’ve heard a lot about WEN products, but have never tried them as they are dumb expensive. From what I’ve seen my Bamboo & Broccoli Hair Conditioner is more or less the same thing, but you may want to water mine down a bit as I’m not sure theirs is as rich.
I really like the things you make. They are fun.
However, I would like to be able the make my own at home but don’t want to buy obscure things that few have heard of. It is nice to know about these things, like Monoi de Tahiti, but it would be helpful to have a resonable substitute for them. Thanks. Continue to inspire us!
Hi Cheryl! I have about 700 recipes up here, so I’m sure you can find a recipe that uses ingredients you do have, or that you would want to invest in 🙂 I also have a series of articles on substitutions here.
I can’t find the monoi on Sapphire Blue or New Directions site. Did it come from somewhere else?
I got mine from Saffire Blue, but I see they don’t have it listed anymore. I went and checked other sites I know about and couldn’t find it anywhere else :/ Hmm.
Try Ingredients to Die For, Brambleberry, and From Nature With Love. I can vouch for all three, I’ve bought from them. Marie, I think you’re in the UK, right? I’m not sure if any of these companies ship internationally.
Thanks, Brigitte! I’m in Canada, and cross-border shipping is horrendous, even if the company will do it… and our dollar is very weak right now, making everything quite a bit more expensive than it would be otherwise 🙁 Alas.
Out of interest, have you, or anyone else, managed to source unrefined mango butter from anywhere at all? I only ever come across ‘ultra refined’ varieties (crumbly, white, scentless) and given how healing and magnificent the butter is said to be when in its raw state, I just want to get my hands on some of that good stuff!
I haven’t! I am always on the lookout, though. I would be really interested to see what the unrefined stuff is like as the refined variety is pretty indistinguishable from refined shea butter.
Try Essential Depot for unrefined mango butter. They have organic mango butter and it does not specify that it is refined. They have great sales and a times free shipping. I have been very please with the products I have purchased from them.
This looks like HEAVEN! Can’t wait to try it!
Thanks, Brigitte! Enjoy 😀
everything is better with mango
Hi Marie ! Love your site and love all your recipes. ThankYou for posting pics of the different stages of the process too. The visual really helps beginners like me. I have 2 questions. If i don’t add the ginger essential oil will the lotion smell just as good? (i am biased towards flowery smells) and secondly do you conduct workshops in Calgary. If you don’t please think about it!
Hi Fatima! If you love the scent of coconut and monoi you can definitely leave out the ginger for a final lotion that will be quite sweet/floral smelling 🙂 And I do teach workshops sometimes, I recommend following me on Facebook as that’s where I usually announce and promote them 🙂
Is this a good coconut scent? My daughter wants things coconut scented but I don’t want to use artificial fragrances, any tips?
The scent is really only as good as the coconut oil you use, as that’s the only source of coconut scent 🙂 My organic virgin coconut oil from NDA is fantastic, so mine smells great!
I notice that the shelf life of this lotion is very short, is that due to the oils/butters or something else?
It’s because of the water—check out this article for more info 🙂
I am so glad, Marie, that you posted a lotion recipe, I was thinking what kind of lotion to prepare for tomorrow, I am out of my body butter and was thinking to make a lotion 🙂
I have a question though, do you heat the water phase at high temperature? And should the oils and water phase be at the same temperature when combined together?
Thank you for your wonderful recipe! 🙂
Hi Cristina! The reason I have you combine the water and oil phases and heat them through it to ensure everything is the same temperature before you remove the mixture from the heat. They don’t have to be the same temperature when you combine them, but it’s best if the water part isn’t too cold as it can cause the oils to re-solidify.
I just made this lotion with some substitutions and it’s divine! I substituted cocoa butter for the mango buter because it’s what I had and regular coconut oil for the same reason. I used Trader Joes Candy Cane tea for the water base and then scented with lavender and peppermint essential oils. Smells great and thickened right up on cooling. Finally, I added a pinch of copper mica for a subtle shimmer. Great recipe and thanks for what you do. I’ve been lurking for a while and am pretty new to making my own products, but I love it!
Beautiful! It sounds like you almost made my candy cane lotion in the end (another fave of mine) 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing & DIYing with me!
Hey Marie! So happy to have come across your site 🙂 Many useful and fun bath recipes to try, can’t wait!
Btw: I also shop at NDA! It saves me money on shipping, as I just go directly to their warehouse here in Toronto.I haven’t tried Saffire Blue yet. What is their shipping method?
Also, where did you get those crafty sticker labels for your products???
Hi Eva! Thanks so much for reading and DIYing with me 🙂 I’m so jealous of your easy access to NDA (though my pocketbook likely thanks me, haha).
OMG…my mom would have loved this. My aunt who just passed would have killed for this. I think I’m going to make this for my other aunt, who will absolutely adore this. She’ll appreciate the scent and the memories. Definitely a winner for my family. And for me- it’ll be a good way to bring back good thoughts and perhaps be less of the black sheep of the family. LOL
Enjoy it 🙂
I’ve been hunting high and low for the bottles and pump top that you have in this picture. Can i ask where you purchased them from please?
They’re both from New Directions—links in the big box above the comments 🙂
Are these the bullet bottles or the boston round? I buy the bullet and this bottle looks bigger. Sorry to be a pain 🙂
240mL Boston Round 🙂
Marie what a treat- just gorgeous thank you!!! You are such a gift thank you soooooo much for sharing. Remember that offer of a free hot yoga class in Cochrane is always open to you
Thanks so much, Cari! I will be sure to look you up the next time I’m in the far NW 🙂
Just wanted to give you a big thanks for this one. Like all the rest of your lotions, this one is fantastic but the mix of the ginger with the gardenia is heavenly. Everyone that has smelled it, loved it – including my picky 20 year old son. Thank you!
Awesome! I’m so glad you like it 🙂
Hello! I am new to your site and already LOVE it! The question I have about your lotions is about preservatives. Do you use them in any of your lotions to prolong shelf life? Is there any you could recommend? Thank you!
Hi Kim! The preservative I’m using right now is this one, and so far it’s the least dodgy one I’ve found as well as being quite effective so far 🙂
Hi Marie, made a lotion following this recipe but didn’t have everything so used ricebran oil and mango butter, aloe vera juice instead of water and regular enulsifying wax minus the silk peptide, also different essential oil blend. Best lotion I’ve ever made and I have made many. Thank You for your expertise.
Wonderful, I’m so glad you’re loving it!
I just used this recipe to make mango and papaya cream for my mum. She lives in Fiji and because she loves gardening she has sun damaged skin with brown spots.
Is there anything else that you can suggest for ageing and sun damaged skin?
I substitued papaya oil for monoi because I needed something that would hopefully dull brown spots. I am very pleased with the results as it absorbs rather quickly without any greasy residue. But will have to see over time how effective papaya seed oil is for my purpose. I will be using your recipe as my base for other variations.
You are truly amazing and an inspiration!
Hi Maria, I have been following you for a while now and I love your blog. My DIY forays have stuck with non-emulsified items so far. I am wanting to branch out into lotions but I am at a loss as to what ingredients to start out with. I have mango butter, shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, apricot kernel oil and rosehip seed oil. Which other “must have” ingredients would you recommend I purchase first to start making lotions? Cost is a consideration, so I can’t go crazy. Thanks
Your must-haves would be an immersion blender, a complete emulsifying wax, and a broad spectrum preservative 🙂 You can use the oils and butters you already have for the oil/butter part. Have fun!
Marie! It’s snowing buckets here today! I literally just made this lotion. I have been following your blog and making your recipes for some time now. I absolutely love, love, love your work. Keep on inspiring 🙂
Maria, Middle of No where, Wisconsin, USA
Yay! Enjoy the lotion, and I hope you’re keeping warm indoors 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and happy making!
This lotion is just gorgeous Marie. Monoi de Tahiti is on my top favourites list as I’m partial to florals. I keep a private stash for myself to play around with. I made a double batch and left one half straight up without the ginger. Both are intoxicating to me. Its been a lotionpalooza making kind of weekend as I spent much of it in my workroom thouroughly enjoying myself 🙂
Thanks once again for your more than generous efforts in sharing your knowledge and recipes with us..
OOoooh, lovely! That’s my kind of palooza haha 😛 Happy making and thank you for reading!