If you’re trying to avoid harmful chemicals in your beauty products, this homemade glycerin lotion recipe is the solution to many of your problems! Glycerin is an all-natural moisturizer for all skin types, making it the perfect ingredient for this homemade lotion recipe.
What’s In Face and Body Lotion?
Reading the ingredient list on a bottle of commercial lotion is scary! Our skin is our largest organ, and it deserves as much care as anything else. Actually, many studies suggest it needs even more attention than some of our other body systems.
Our digestive system can at least partially break down chemicals and toxins that we ingest orally. But substances that enter through our skin enter directly into our bloodstream. This means it’s super important to make sure that everything we put on our body is as safe, healthy and beneficial as what we put in our body.
But when it comes to skin and beauty products, most of what you’re going to find on store shelves contains harmful additives and preservatives. These include parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances, to name a few.
In fact, even seemingly harmless ingredients can cause problems. For example, you’ll probably notice that water (aqua) is one of the number one ingredients in most conventional face and body lotions. Seems harmless, doesn’t it? But the presence of water means that there are likely preservatives added in order to keep the lotion from growing mold.
So, what’s the solution to ridding your skin and beauty products of harmful ingredients? Make your own glycerin lotion!
What is Glycerin?
Glycerin is an organic compound derived from plants and animals.
Animal glycerin comes from animal fats (like lard and tallow) and is typically used in bar soaps. Vegetable glycerin is made from vegetable oils like soy, palm, coconut and corn oils and is typically used in liquid cleansers and lotions like the glycerin lotion recipe I’m about to share with you.
Benefits of Glycerin:
- It’s an extremely effective skin moisturizer
- Helps combat both dry and oily skin
- Helps fight wrinkles and fine lines
- Is suitable for sensitive skin
- All-natural product free from harsh, synthetic chemicals
Glycerin is a humectant, which means it’s very effective at drawing in, retaining and preserving moisture. It’s also an emollient, which means it provides a protective, moisturizing layer on the skin. The combination of these two things makes glycerin an extremely effective skin moisturizer.
Glycerin also has a naturally long shelf life, which means you don’t need to add preservatives. And it doesn’t oxidize easily (which means exposure to air and light will not damage it).
DIY Glycerin Lotion Recipe
You can even customize it with your favorite essential oils. Some good essential oils for skincare include lavender (soothing), frankincense (healing and restorative), and chamomile (calming).
This lotion is even suitable for babies! My daughter has a patch of eczema on her cheek, and this lotion is the only thing that helps it. I love knowing exactly what I’m putting on my baby’s delicate skin.
Homemade Glycerin Lotion Recipe
(Makes 30 ounces)
- 4.5 oz Coconut Oil (Where to Buy)
- 1.5 oz Emulsifying Wax (Where to Buy)
- 16 oz Distilled Water*
- 8 oz Glycerin (Where to Buy)
- 10-15 drops Essential Oils (optional)
* It’s important to use distilled water instead of regular tap water in this recipe because distilled water is less likely to mold and more likely to give your lotion a longer shelf-life. Keep this lotion in the refrigerator when it’s really warm to keep the coconut oil from liquifying and to help prevent possible mold and degradation.
- Combine the coconut oil and the emulsifying wax in a double boiler on the stove (or in a microwave-safe bowl if you prefer) and heat until melted.
- Add the distilled water, glycerin and essential oils if using. Stir thoroughly.
- Pour into the desired jar(s) or bottle(s). (I divide mine up into a few 4-ounce mason jars, then store the rest in a bigger jar in the refrigerator).
- Use daily in place of store-bought lotion to help moisturize dry skin!
If you like this, you’ll love these:
If you’re looking for a wonderful source for oils, I highly recommend Rocky Mountain Oils. After careful consideration of all the companies selling essential oils, I’m happy to share that Rocky Mountain Oils has become my main source of oils for many different reasons.
Did you know how to make homemade lotion before today? What else would you like to learn how to make at home? Let me know in the comments below!
This Homemade Glycerin Lotion Recipe was originally published on Little House Living in March 2013. It has been updated as of January 2019.