This powder-pink Watermelon Mint Hand & Body Lotion is a bit of a departure from the heavier designed-for-winter lotions I’ve shared lately (I might be dreaming about warmer weather!). It’s lightweight, with gorgeous slip and fast dry-down, and it’s pump-bottle friendly. The scent is a soft and fresh blend of peppermint and watermelon that lingers lightly on the skin. I’ve also kept this lotion more on the natural side of things, using a new-to-the-blog natural silicone alternative and one of my favourite ECOCERT emulsifying waxes. Let’s dive in!
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In order to keep this lotion pumpable, I’ve kept the oil phase fairly small, at 20%. Lotions need to be on the thinner side to work well in a pump-top bottle—thicker ones will often do well for a while, but as you empty the bottle it’ll eventually stop pumping out, leaving a lot of lotion in the bottom of the bottle with a hollow core where the pump tube was. A 20% oil phase doesn’t guarantee a pump-friendly lotion, though. I’ve used mostly liquid oils, kept the thickener percentage low, and I’ve also taken advantage of something our preservative (Optiphen™ Plus) does. Optiphen™ Plus tends to thin emulsions, and I’ve used that to our advantage to keep this lotion pumpable. If you decide to use a different preservative keep that in mind!
Our oil phase is mostly lightweight watermelon oil, with a bit of additional thickening from silky-powdery cetyl alcohol and some added slip and emolliency from daikon seed extract. This is the daikon seed extract’s first appearance on the blog, though I’ve had it for a while now. It’s a lightweight natural emollient made from daikon radish seeds—Ariane and Cheryl introduced me to it—and it’s sometimes called a natural silicone alternative. It’s really lightweight and slippy—if you don’t have it you can easily swap it out (see the substitutions list at the end of the post), but if you prefer to keep your creations more on the natural side of things I think you’ll enjoy having daikon seed extract in your DIY pantry. I’ve selected Ritamulse SCG as our emulsifier, though you could easily use a different emulsifying wax if you don’t have it. Ritamulse SCG has a really lovely, lightweight, powdery skin feel that I’ve loved ever since I first used it years ago.
I’ve kept the water phase pretty simple with just three ingredients. It’s mostly distilled water, with a good dose of peppermint hydrosol for a soft, minty scent, and some moisturizing sodium lactate. I initially thought I’d let the peppermint hydrosol be the sole scent in this lotion, but after I blended in the cool-down phase I realized it needed a bit of a fruity hit. For that, I included a wee bit (0.1%) of a watermelon fragrance oil. The soft mint and fruity notes mingle beautifully, creating a softly scented lotion that is fresh and pleasant (and not at all candy-like). The fragrance is optional; (see the substitutions list at the end of the post), but I love how the mint and melon mingle (say that 10x fast!).
A touch of pink mica gives this lotion its colour. I had a bit of on-theme fun with the labelling, putting the pink lotion in a translucent bottle and then using a black permanent marker to draw little “seeds” all over the bottle for that black-seeds-on-pink watermelon-y look.
The finished lotion is deeply moisturizing, with a great balance between slip and dry-down time—it moves for long enough to easily spread it across the skin, but sinks in fast enough not to feel greasy. The scent is fresh, clean, and subtle, and I’m in love with how this lotion makes my skin feel. If you love a lightweight, fast-absorbing lotion I think you’ll love this one. Happy making!
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Watermelon Mint Lotion
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. 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 the cool-down phase has been incorporated you can package up the lotion! I used a funnel to fill a 120mL (4 fl oz) bottle with a pump-top (you could also use a large syringe to fill the bottle). Enjoy!
When made as written the pH of this lotion is aound 4–5, which works for both our skin and our preservative (Optiphen™ Plus works best below 6). If you make any changes I highly recommend testing the pH of the lotion and adjusting it if needed.
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 recipe, 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 (Ritamulse SCG, watermelon seed oil, cetyl alcohol, sodium lactate) please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You can use peppermint essential oil instead of hydrosol; simply replace the hydrosol with 29.5% distilled water and add 0.5% peppermint essential oil to the cool down phase.
- You could use dimethicone 350, a natural dimethicone alternative like LuxGlide 350, or a liquid oil of choice instead of daikon seed extract. I think Neossance® Hemisqualane would be a great alternative!
- The pink mica is optional; you can replace it with more water to remove the colour, or use 0.01% red dye or carmine and 0.49% distilled water.
- You can replace the watermelon fragrance oil with more distilled water or a different fragrance or essential oil you think will pair well with peppermint.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this page.