Novice Lotion Maker's Shopping List

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    This is my second post here. I’m very interested in learning to make lotions and other toiletries … until I found Marie’s site, I was put off by the “makes 8 bottles of body wash, 24 tubes of lip balm” recipes — that would supply me for the rest of my life, or until the stuff went bad. I’m very happy Marie’s recipes are “personal size”.

    I want to make so many things!

    I’m going to be moving across the country in a few months, so I’m doing my planning now (spreadsheets! I’m an ex-spreadsheet wizard). But I don’t want to spend $$$$ on ingredients when I may only use 1 gm of one, 0.6gm of another. So, I’m asking for the help of the experts here in coming up with a beginner’s shopping list.

    I’m mostly interested in lotion type things and body washes. Aside from hair balm, waterless things don’t interest me. So Marie’s DIY email course isn’t my thing. I have made soap, and have several decades of cooking and baking experience. I know how to use a scale, math doesn’t scare me, I’m a web developer by trade, and know when it’s important to be a perfectionist. I don’t need “beginner” recipes.

    What’s your advice on what to buy to get started? Feel free to explain your choices, so for example, why you would choose a particular emulsifying wax over the rest.

    Thanks in advance!


    I was fortunate that my start in this hobby involved buying another crafters ‘Destash’ on eBay. I still have ingredients I have no idea what to do with, LOL. But, that was a small blessing. After a year, I do have ‘favorites’ and I make lotion regularly, usually by tweaking one of Marie’s formulas for amounts and subbing out for the desired end result.

    IMHO, I would invest in BTMS-50, since you want to do hair stuff, and a favorite butter and liquid oil. Cocoa & Shea butter and Sweet Almond and Avocado oil would be my ride or dies. Water is an excellent ‘water’ though I myself LOVE aloe vera juice. Preservative I’d go Liquid Germal Plus, or Optiphen if you want a more natural one. 2 wide one cup measuring cups (I love Pyrex) and a whisk or a second hand stick blender, if you can find one. That’s LITERALLY all you need to start out. Oh, a scent if you want. I’m partial to grapefruit and lemongrass.

    TL;DR-I’d check out the encyclopedia and go from there. See what ingredients have properties that sound like what you want an end product to have, and start there.

    Also, has pretty much EVERYTHING in ‘sample’ sizes, so if you want say, 6g of Allantion to try it out, they can hook you up! IIRC, Lotioncrafter and Brambleberry have similar sizes to try things out.

    Have fun.

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