Last month my friend Jay dropped a hint that winter was ravaging his hands. I said I could help. Now, Jay is an electrician, a Burner (as in Burning Man attendee), and an industrial DIY genius of jaw-dropping proportions (you should see his epic chandelier and his double bike!). So, needless to say, Jay doesn’t really strike me as the kind of guy who wants to smell of roses and vanilla while he’s out building stupendous stuff with a blow torch (yes, Jay, that’s how I picture your DIY endeavours. I have a spatula; you have a blow torch, and maybe a chainsaw.).


So, I set out to create a lotion worthy of the epic-ness of Jay and his lime green chandelier. Due to his general handiness, cedarwood essential oil came to mind. He confirmed that this was a good idea as he’d become familiar when re-finishing his cedar deck (see? Epic.). And, as an added benefit, cedarwood is supposed to be great for eczema and dry skin. Excellent.

I love it when you can just dump everything into the same pot. So few dishes!

I love it when you can just dump everything into the same pot. So few dishes!

I chose grapeseed oil for the oil in the recipe to ensure it would sink in quickly (greasy lotion is never popular). And then, for added moisture and longevity, I added silk peptide and vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada). Both are natural humectants, meaning they attract and retain moisture from the air, boosting the moisturizing power of the rest of the lotion.



I swapped out some of the water for aloe vera juice, which is pretty much the world’s favourite natural skin care ingredient, especially when it comes to sunburnt or otherwise damaged skin.

All emulsified.

All emulsified.

Lastly, a drop of vetiver essential oil for its wonderful smokiness. Mmm. Half a drop might be a good idea, actually—vetiver is potent stuff.

Adding the silk powder.

Adding the silk powder.

Manly Winter Lotion

100g | 3.5oz aloe vera juice
265g | 9.3oz water
10g | 0.35oz vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
1 tsp hydrolyzed silk peptide

35g | 1.23oz emulsimulse/ritamulse (or other complete emulsifying waxnot beeswax!)
87g | 3oz grapeseed oil
3g | 0.1oz Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)

40 drops cedarwood essential oil (I used a blend of Himalayan and Atlas)
1 toothpick swirl vetiver essential oil (dip a toothpick in your bottle of vetiver and stir it into the lotion; that’ll be more than enough!)

Broad spectrum preservative of choice (why?)

Weigh the emulsifying wax, grapeseed oil, and Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada) into a small saucepan and melt over low heat.

While the emulsifying wax mixture is melting, combine the aloe vera juice, water, glycerin, and silk in a small measuring cup and gently warm.

Once the emulsifying wax mixture has melted, add the water mixture. Heat through to ensure everything is melted before removing the pan from the heat.

Whisk the mixture as it cools—it will thicken into a nice white cream (the thickening may take a few days if you are using a different emulsifying wax than emulsimulse/ritamulse). I love these tiny wire whisks, I use them all the time for DIY projects 🙂

Whisk in the essential oils. Add your preservative (though do check the instructions for your specific preservative—some have special instructions for adding to concoctions) and decant the mixture to a 120mL/4oz pump-top bottle or wide-mouthed jar. Enjoy!

Remove from the heat and whisk to combine. Let cool, whisking occasionally. Add the essential oils and preservative once it is relatively cool. Then decant to a four 120mL/4oz pump-top bottles and enjoy!

This makes about 500mL of lotion, which is quite a lot, so you might want to consider reducing the batch 🙂

New to lotion making? Watch my basic lotion how to video!

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