Today’s DIY is a beautiful Passionfruit Coconut Conditioning Body Lotion. This rich emulsion is not only a great hand and body lotion, but it also makes a fantastic hair conditioner! Depending on your hair (and how much you use), it can be anything from a hair mask to a rinse-our cream conditioner to a leave-in conditioner. Starring luxurious passionfruit oil and fragrant virgin coconut oil, this lotion has a really lovely powdery dry-down that leaves skin and hair feeling divine ❤️
Want to watch this project instead of reading it?
The oil phase for this lotion is predominantly silky, lightweight passionfruit oil and a gorgeous ultra-fragrant virgin coconut oil. I’ve also included a small amount of cetyl alcohol for its lightweight, silky thickening. If you don’t have cetyl alcohol you could use cetearyl alcohol instead, but that will make for a fluffier end product. You could also replace the cetyl alcohol with more coconut oil, but this will make for a thinner end product.
I chose BTMS-50 as the emulsifier for this formulation because I love its luxurious, powdery skin-feel. BTMS-50 (INCI: Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol) is cationic, meaning it’s positively charged. Our skin is negatively charged, and since opposites attract, that means cationic formulations (aka ones made with BMTS-50) have really lovely staying power on the skin in addition to leaving skin (and hair!) feeling fantastic. You could absolutely use this body lotion as a hair conditioner, though whether or not you use it as a rinse-out or leave-in will depend on your hair. I have type 1B hair and this would be a rinse-out conditioner for me, but I think 3 and 4 type hairs could really love this as a leave-in hair conditioner!
The water phase is pretty darn simple. It’s mostly distilled water, with some sodium lactate for humectant-y, moisturizing goodness. Sodium lactate is a great humectant—stronger than glycerin, and second only to hyaluronic acid when it comes to water-holding abilities! That’s impressive. It’s also non-tacky, which can be an advantage over glycerin. I do love a hefty dose of glycerin in lotion formulations, but in the interests of keeping this lotion more summer-friendly (aka I don’t want your legs to stick together in hot, humid weather after using this lotion) I’ve chosen sodium lactate instead. If you don’t have it you could easily use glycerin or propanediol 1,3 instead.
Our cool down phase is also pretty dang simple. There’s our preservative, of course, and a dash of Essential Wholesale’s natural passionfruit fragrance oil. That gorgeous, mouth-watering scent blends beautifully with the rich, summery virgin coconut oil to create a body lotion that you just might want to add a shot of rum to (needless to say that only sounds like a good idea…). If you don’t have the fragrance oil you have a few options. You could use a tropical fragrance oil or essential oil you think works well with the theme (remembering the pre-existing coconut scent from the coconut oil), or you could also choose to just let the coconut oil shine and replace the fragrance oil with more distilled water. I also included a bit of hydrolyzed baobab protein for added moisturizing goodness, but it’s easy to substitute—see the list at the end of the formulation.
The finished lotion can be packaged in a squeeze tube or jar; both work, but if you’re planning on using this in the shower as a rinse-out conditioner I’d recommend the squeeze tube over the jar. Enjoy!
Want to watch this project instead of reading it?
Passionfruit Coconut Conditioning Body Lotion
Heated water phase
75.9g | 75.9% distilled water
5g | 5% sodium lactate (USA / Canada)
Heated oil phase
4g | 4% BTMS-50 (USA / Canada)
5g | 5% passionfruit oil
5g | 5% virgin coconut oil
2.5g | 2.5% cetyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
Cool down phase
2g | 2% hydrolyzed baobab protein (USA / Canada)
0.3g | 0.3% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
0.3g | 0.3% passion fruit natural fragrance oil
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 the heated water phase into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Weigh the entire lot (measuring cup + ingredients) and note that weight for use later. Weigh the heated oil phase into a second heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place both measuring cups in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
After about 20–30 minutes the oil part should be completely melted and the water part should be thoroughly dissolved (I find BTMS-50 can be a bit stubborn to melt; zap your heated oil phase for ~30 seconds in the microwave if that’s the case for you).
Working quickly, remove the water bath from the heat and weigh the water phase. Add enough hot distilled water to the heated water phase to bring the weight back up to what it was before heating, and then pour the water part into the oil part. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.
Grab your immersion blender and begin blending the lotion, starting with short bursts so the still-very-liquid lotion doesn’t whirl up and spray everywhere. Blend for about a minute, leave to cool for ten, blend for another minute or two, and repeat this blend-cool-blend cycle until the outside of the glass measuring cup is barely warm to the touch and the lotion is thick and creamy.
When the lotion is cool it’s time to incorporate our cool down ingredients. Because cool down ingredients are typically present at very low amounts you’ll need to use an accurate scale—preferably one accurate to 0.01g. As these more accurate scales tend to have fairly low (100–200g) maximum weights you won’t be able to put the entire batch of lotion on that scale without blowing it out. So—grab a smaller dish. Add a scoop or two of lotion, and then weigh the cool down ingredients into that, using the more accurate scale. Stir to thoroughly incorporate, and then stir all of that back into the master batch of lotion. Doing it this way minimizes the amount of cool down ingredients lost to the secondary container.
Once you’ve incorporated the cool down phase, you’re done! For packaging, I’d choose a squeeze tube/tottle or a wide-mouthed jar—this product is thick enough that it won’t do terribly well in a pump-top bottle. If you want to use this as a hair conditioner please use a squeeze tube so you don’t have to dip wet fingers into a jar in the shower. I used a 120mL (4 fl oz) squeeze tottle for the blog batch and a 120mL (4 fl oz) amber glass jar for the video batch.
To use: this works beautifully as a body lotion for dry skin, but you can also use it as a hair conditioner! Type 1 & 2 hair will probably appreciate it more as a rinse-out hair conditioner or hair mask, while types 3 & 4 hair may find it works nicely as a leave-in conditioner. Enjoy!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this lotion contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative, this project may eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 100g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this formulation, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You can use glycerin or propanediol 1,3 instead of sodium lactate.
- You can use a different emulsifying wax instead of BTMS-50. Polawax, Emulsifying Wax NF, and Olivem1000 will all work nicely, but you will lose the cationic/conditioning element as they are all non-ionic.
- You can replace the passionfruit oil and/or coconut oil with different liquid oils or soft butters that you love, but this will change the feel of the end product.
- You can try cetearyl alcohol instead of cetyl alcohol, but this will make for a fluffier end product. You could also replace the cetyl alcohol with more coconut oil; this will make for a thinner end product.
- You can use a different hydrolyzed protein like silk, oat, or rice.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this FAQ and this chart.
- You can use a different fragrance oil or essential oil, or replace it with more distilled water.
The passionfruit oil was gifted by Mystic Moments. The passion fruit natural fragrance oil was gifted by Essential Wholesale.
This sounds so good, and I love products that multi task 🙂 Thanks for another great recipe Marie 😀
Thank you so much, Pauline!
I made this today for my daughter! She has long, beautiful blonde hair but she doesn’t have time to take care of it properly as she has 2 (adorable) kids and runs a dog walking business. She claims her hair soaks up conditioner, so let’s see how she goes with a more natural formulation. If she manages to use some on her body, even better!
I used a Bramble Berry cocoa scent as I don’t really like the passionfruit one I have. Chocolate conditioner is yum, and I expect my grandkids will love it too.
It came out super thick and lovely. Posted it off right away. I can’t see them right now due to COVID restrictions, so I try to send things as much as I can.
Can you substitute the BTMS 50 with Varisoft EQ65?
In theory yes, though keep in mind the pH requirements of Varisoft EQ65… and also that it doesn’t perform nearly as well as BTMS.
I’d love to make this but can only get BTMS-25 in the uk at the moment. Shall i replace both the BTMS-50 AND the cetyl alcohol with BTMS-25?
Thank you x
You can use Emulsifying wax NF or Olivem 1000 instead of the Btms50, Pennie 🙂
Marie did mention that you’d loose the conditioning effect of we switched it so I thought maybe the BTMS 25 might work
That sounds like it should work beautifully to me!
I made this the other day and LOVE it! Unfortunately I didn’t have the passionfruit oil nor the passionfruit fragrance oil, so I used sweet almond oil in place of the oil and used some blood orange hydrosol and orange and mango essential oils. It feels awesome as a conditioner AND a lotion! I would like to maybe make a version that is even more conditioning/frizz taming/smoothing for my super dry and thin hair….would you have any recommendations on some ingredients that I could add that would accomplish this? Thanks in advance for your help! I love your recipes so much and I spend way too much time on your site every day, hahaha! 🙂
I made this this weekend.
I used hazel nut oil instead of passionfruit and exotic fruit fragrance oil.
Feels so beautiful.
Just used it as a leave in conditioner for my daughter as her hair is SUPER frizzy.
Hope it helps. Thanks for sharing your recipe xx
I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! ❤️ Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
Your haircare formulas, esspecially conditioners (rose argan body conditioner and this one) has made my hair routine so much easier. Just quick shampoo’ing afterwards! Other bonus is that Btms50 is washed off so no scalp itching.
I’m considering of investing on hydrolyzed protein (perhaps keratin and rice protein, I used them years ago). I’d be nice to compare them to inulin and betaine, which are effective according to some data at quite high usage rates (4-5 %).
YAY! I am so thrilled to hear it ❤️ And I can’t wait to hear what you think of a hydrolyzed protein at this point in time—I really need to use that bag of betaine I brought home from the UK!
Hello Marie, I made this cream today for my neighbor who is a hairdresser. Over the years she has become allergic to the synthetic perfumes that are in almost all hairdressing products and she is now looking for a product for herself without synthetic perfumes. That is why she is going to test the product as a leave in conditioner.
(don’t worry, she ain’t gonna sell it, that’s not supposed to)
I have used it as a body cream and it is simply blissful.
My neighbor Pascale, the hairdresser, is delighted with this conditioner. She will be making it for personal use from now on. It is incomprehensible that there is no professional hairdressing line here that makes such products. The professional products here are full of phthalates and synthetic perfumes and that causes health problems for people who have to use them professionally every day.
In any case: thank you very much for this versatile lotion!
Hooray! I am so thrilled to hear it ❤️ Your neighbour is lucky to have you as a friend 🙂
Thanks, Marie ❤
Thank you for the recipe!
I have been working with 2 cationic surfactants/conditioning agents recently: ProCondition ²² and Emulsense HC. Have you ever tried those?
I am wondering if I can use one of them to substitute BTMS-50.
Have a nice day!
I’ve used Emulsense HC and I hated it. It is easily one of the worst ingredients I’ve ever worked with, especially coming from the wonderful-ness of BTMS-50. It was like comparing a brown crayon to high-quality chocolate. Yuck. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend you spend your money on it.
I haven’t tried the other one. That said, every natural cationic emulsifier I’ve ever used has paled in comparison to BTMS-50. They have ranged from “meh” to “BLECH”.
You can certainly try it, but if you are disappointed in the final product I would blame the swap. Happy making!
Thanks for sharing your experience. I considered that emulsifier at some point. I’ve enjoyed this a lot as lotion… skinfeel is stunning and cationic charge does wonders. My hair has been doing so well that I barely need any other conditioner than bar (the one with blue tansy + hemp lately). Your ice palace bar is brilliant! But still, I’m making new conditioner lotion when I get more pineapple extract! I confess that I buy it simply because of the scent. 😛 One needs quite lot of it to get recogniseble scent though. I also decided to get preserved hydrosols even though selection isn’t as broad. And rice protein. I’m thinking of giveing it a go in this one!
So I made this with rice protein, 4 % pineapple extract and sunflower oil (and another preservative). It’s different than my ealier one with betaine and inulin… right now I like this more. It helps with porosity (hair doesn’t turn brittle afterwards and dries quickly after washing). It looks amazing, more matte on skin and feels more powdery. What else? It feels more conditioning – I find myself needing less product.
I like to have both betaine and rice protein on hands. I need to see if it helps with hair volume in long run – based on research and my ealier trials years a go it does. I’d perhaps try swap sunflower oil to hair coating oil (oil that doesn’t penetrate as much). Yummy stuff – thanks
Oh, I can’t believe how potent stuff that rice protein is! After few more applications (2 %, before shampoo’ing) it gives amazing volume, bouncy movement and more shine. Difference is noticeable (we both agree) so I’m definitevly making Adam’s next shampoo bar with rice protein. Skinfeel is really matte too (but not in drying, silica microspheres way). I was worried that this would be too sticky (pineapple + proteins) but it’s actually more powdery and pleasant than my ealier versions (check the end of my comment). Such delicious scent – unisex if you ask me!
For naturally curly dry hair or really dry skin I’d like to combine it with betaine or B5 (there’s still some static flyaways and signs of dehydration). I know I already mentioned about this but it’s so amazing stuff. What a difference in a conditioner! We have pretty fine straight hair and we live in dry climate (not as cold as Canada though). Hopefully this helps!
I’m talking about this formulation with sunflower oil, 5 % pineapple and either:
– 2 % rice protein
– 1,5 % blend of betaine + B5 + prebiotic or
– 1,5 % betaine + inulin (I’ve tried higher concentrations too but they aren’t neccessarily any better)
Sorry about long message(s). Feel free to delete other ones or combine ’em. xx
Excelent, I have made creams with Olivem 100o and I tried your recepie with BTMS 50 and is owesome, I used silk protein and cacao butter instead of the passionfruit oil and turned out realy nice, I love it. Thanks for sharing your knowledge