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 ❤️
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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!
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Passionfruit Coconut Conditioning Body Lotion
Heated water phase
75.9g | 75.9% distilled water
5g | 5% sodium lactate
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.