How to make hand lotion-THIS IS SO EASY!!

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DIY Lotion

Making lotion can be very rewarding but it can also be very frustrating.  It’s hard to find the right ingredients that don’t compromise your lotion’s effectiveness, and it’s really hard to get the right consistency.  I’ve done A LOT of experimenting and wasted A LOT of good product.  I’ve tried so many other blog’s recipes and even brushed up on my chemistry (my worst subject) just to get the perfect consistency that will work for the hands.  I had originally posted this same DIY hand lotion recipe but with way more emulsifying wax.  I have since done research on emulsifying wax and there was just way too much in the previous recipe.  Emulsifying wax has very little benefit for the skin.  It mainly binds water and oil.   So, I would rather use as little as possible to still get the binding action.

This DIY hand lotion is very nourishing for the hands.  Olive oil is very moisturizing, and contains vitamin A and antioxidants.  Lavender soothes, heals and moisturizes while being antiviral and antibacterial.  Vitamin E is optional but it is very nourishing as well as a natural preservative.  Feel free to mix different essential oils into your cream!   I add lavender to mine because I love the smell of olive oil mixed with lavender-simply heaven!

DIY Hand Lotion

1 cup distilled water

1 tsp. NeoDefend (find it HERE)

2 TBSP Emulsifying Wax (find it HERE)

1/4 cup Olive Oil (find it HERE)

1 tsp Vitamin E Oil (find it HERE)

20 drops Lavender Essential Oil (find it HERE)


  1.  Fill a medium sized pot 1/2 way full with water.
  2.  Place a glass pyrex bowl with a spout in the pot.
  3.  Turn stove top on medium heat and melt emulsifying wax and olive oil.
  4.  In another “double boiler” (medium sized pot, 1/2 way full of water with a glass bowl placed in the pot) heat you water and neodefend.
  5.  Once the emulsifying wax is melted and once neodefend has dissolved, you must get your oil mixture and water mixture to be around the same temp before mixing-This is imperative or your water and oil will not bind.  I use a thermometer like THIS to monitor my mixtures.
  6. **As a rule of thumb, both mixtures need to be about the same temperature when mixed.  This temperature is typically around 130 degrees.**  
  7. When you’ve got both mixtures at the proper temps, remove from heat and add your water into your oil!  Voila!!
  8.  Take a hand blender and mix your water/oil mixture for about 1 minute.   Let stand for 15 minutes then mix for about 30 seconds again.  Once you notice that the water isn’t separating at the bottom of your bowl after not mixing for a few minutes, you are done mixing.  I would say this process should take about 1 hour.  You can’t mix it too much.
  9.  Once your mixture is no longer hot, add your essential oils and vitamin E, mix one more time, then pour into containers.
  10.  Let containers set for 24 hours.  Your cream will thicken in this time.

stove topThis recipe makes about 12 ounces.

Distilled water must be used in order to keep your cream fresh longer.  I have included a preservative with this recipe.  NeoDefend is considered certified organic and non-GMO.  It is antioxidant and very gentle to the skin.  Those of you weary of using a preservative must remember that it only makes up .75-1% of your product.  You can read more about and purchase NeoDefend HERE.  Your cream should always be stored in glass bottles preferably dark glass.  This will also keep your cream bacteria free longer.  Any container that allows you to pump out your lotion is a good idea-this keeps you from depositing bacteria from your hands into your lotion.

*One more tip-Do not store in the fridge during those 24 hours that it is setting up.  I made this mistake thinking I could speed up the process and it’s consistency was inconsistent!  I ended up having to mix it with my hand mixer the next day and managed to salvage it but avoiding mixing was the whole point of this recipe!

xx, Jenni



DIY Hand Lotion


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Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 7 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on living a natural lifestyle.

33 thoughts on “How to make hand lotion-THIS IS SO EASY!!”

  1. I would say around 3 mos. It is risky once you add water. The citric acid does help prolong the life. I prefer to put lotions in pumps because that will reduce the bacteria. NeoDefend is a certified organic, non GMO preservative that will work with the citric acid to help preserve your cream properly. I hate using a preservative but it only makes up 1% of the lotion, plus it’s better than smearing bacteria all over your skin!

    1. There is some concern that Sodium Benzoate, one of the ingredients in NeoDefend, in combination with L-Ascorbic Acid in products can form Benzene, a known human carcinogen. The presence of ascorbic acid and benzoates alone does not lead to the formation of benzene. Certain additional conditions are required for trace levels of benzene to form, including heat, ultraviolet light and metallic ions in the mixture. Therefore, a product containing ascorbic acid and benzoates will not necessarily contain any detectable levels of benzene. The use of EDTA, which chelates metallic ions can therefore be of assistance in the inhibition of benzene formation. However, because of the potential to form benzene, we recommend that NeoDefend not be used combination with L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). I realize the comments I am referring to here are from 2013, however, I recently found this blog (2018), so I wanted to make sure that this information is available for any new readers who may be adding citric acid to products containing Neodefend. The following excerpt is taken from the article on LotionCrafter’s site regarding Neodefend:
      “Citric Acid is not thought to induce significant benzene production in combination with Benzoic Acid, but some evidence suggests that in the presence of ascorbic acid and benzoic acid, citric acid may accelerate the production of benzene. Therefore, the use of NeoDefend and L-Ascorbic Acid and Citric Acid in the same cosmetic formulations should be avoided.”

    1. Jana, this comment slipped through the cracks-I just saw it! I’m afraid I have no history with colloidal silver but it stands to reason it would be a great substitute! When mixing oil and water, anything you can do to preserve and kill bacteria that isn’t a chemical is a good thing! If you try it, check back in and let me know how it goes!! Thanks!

  2. Jenni, is there any way (you’re probably working on one, I bet), when combing water & oils, we don’t have to use these ingredients: Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, PEG-150 Stearate & Steareth-20..?

    thx & much peace,


    1. Pam-I’m not sure what you mean-I never use those ingredients. I have had great results from Citric Acid for preservation and emulsifying wax gives a great texture. The ingredients you mentioned aren’t necessary at all! Hope this helped!

    1. Charlotte-I have omitted citric acid. I have added Neodefend which is a preservative. Citric acid only lowers pH while neodefend helps preserve as well as lowers pH. It is the safest preservative and also certified organic. My previous recipe that included citric acid made a cream that had a pH of around 3 which is a bit too low for a moisturizer. Thanks!

  3. Good job dear. Since I can’t find Neodefend in my country, can’t I use citric acid or is there any other option and what quantity? Thanks for the good work.

    1. Stella-The problem with using citric acid as a preservative in a cream is that it lowers the pH too low for the cream to be moisturizing. In fact, the lower the pH and you could have an exfoliator rather then a cream. There is nothing special about neodefend except that it’s a more natural preservative. Maybe you could find a different preservative that is formaldehyde free and derived from more natural ingredients.

  4. How do you know how long NeoDefend works? Or what the actual expiration date will be when it is used in lotion? I emailed the company that makes NeoDefend but haven’t heard back yet. I didn’t know if there was any scientific data to show how long a product will last with it….or if 3 months is just a guess. Thanks so much for any feedback!

    1. Sandra-I actually think it’s more like 6 mos. if you use the suggested amount in your lotion but I like to stay on the safe and fresh side and usually only make enough to last me a couple months. Did you contact Lotion Crafter? They are awesome at responding-I bet you hear back soon!

  5. If I want to make a lotion using neodefend or optiphem plus how do I calculaye exactly how much to use in my recipe?? Having trouble with the percentages since you don’t have percentages listed in recipes

    1. Simone-I just use 1% of the whole product. So if a lotion is going to make 8 ounces then I would use .08 ounces of preservative. Then I go to google to find how to convert .08 ounces to teaspoons.

    1. Ali-will you be using a pump or dipping your fingers in? I believe it will last 3 mos. It’s so much safer if you can put it in a pump. If you are making a large batch and putting some in an air tight jar to use later I would suggest storing it in the fridge-you will get an even longer shelf life that way!

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