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    September 11, 2018 5 min read

    Lotion Making Part 2

    Lotion Making (part 2) is back by popular demand as we’ve had countless people asking for more recipes. If you are new to making your own creams and lotions, or want a refresher, please have a look at Lotion Making 101 for all the basics. Part 1 discusses emulsifiers and preservatives as well as the basic chemistry of lotions and creams, and includes some easy to follow recipes.

    Here we pick up from Lotion Making 101 and explore some more advanced recipes and focus on tailoring your creams and lotions to suit dry or mature skin, since these were the most requested recipes. The key to combating both dry skin and wrinkly skin is in moisture. In the recipes below, we've incorporated some excellent moisture attracting elements such as hyaluronic acid, vegetable glycerine, aloe vera, and highly emollient oils and butters. Honey and floral waters are great additions to combat dry skin too.

    Spotlight on: hyaluronic acid

    You've seen it in conventional skin care creams and serums and it is advertised in commercials, so what is hyaluronic acid?

    Sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid, is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in our connective tissues and skin. It is a wonderful storer of moisture and lubricates tissue layers. The amount of hyaluronic acid present in the body sadly declines with age, but luckily there are ways to incorporate it back.

    Hyaluronic acid is a natural humectant, attracting and binding moisture to the upper layers of the epidermis (our skin). It can absorb 600 to 1000 times its weight, the highest humectant known. Hyaluronic acid is hydrating and moisturizing and smooths and softens the skin giving it a plumper look. It also improves the appearance of wrinkles and aids tissue regeneration and wound healing. Hyaluronic acid is famous for good reason, and it is natural!

    Hyaluronic Acid Youth Activating Serum

    Here is a more advanced cream recipe using hyaluronic acid, anti-aging oils, vitamins, frankincense and even a hydrosol - this is the perfect serum for mature skin, or to keep skin looking young and fresh.

    Tip: remember that percentages can be directly converted into whichever unit of measurement you are using, just keep it uniform (don’t mix milliliters and milligrams for instance, unless you know what you are doing with conversions!).

    Oil phase

    5% emulsifying wax such as Eco E wax or polawax)

    6% carrot root extractsea buckthorn berry oil or pumpkin seed oil or use a combination of oils

    5% refined shea butter

    2% pomegranate seed extract

    Water phase

    75.5% frankincense hydrosol

    4% Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) or use D-panthenol (Provitamin B5)

    Cooling phase

    0.8% Vitamin E

    1% preservative - Geogard 221

    0.5% hyaluronic acid

    0.2% frankincense essential oil

    Weigh the oil phase ingredients (the emulsifier, oil, shea butter and pomegranate seed extract) into a bowl.

    Weigh the water phase ingredients (the hydrosol and Vitamin B3 powder or D-panthenol, if using) into a second bowl.

    Create a water bath and heat both bowls until they reach 70 degrees C.

    Once both phases reach the same temperature remove them from the heat and slowly pour the oil phase into the water phase, stirring at the same time with a manual hand whisk. Do this for about 3 minutes until the mixture whitens and homogenizes as it cools.

    While it is cooling add the hyaluronic acid powder (note: this could also be added to the water phase).

    Once cool, add the preservative, Vitamin E and essential oil and stir thoroughly. Pour into a jar and store in a cool place.


    Anti-aging Frankincense Facial Lotion

    This water-in-oil lotion recipe is quite advanced. It has many ingredients and makes use of the ‘hot process’ of making creams (just like in soap making, lotion making can be made hot or cold process). Only try it if you feel comfortable making lotions. But it is a wonderful lotion containing hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, a range of skin-loving oils and anti-aging frankincense.

    Heated water phase

    17.67g | 32.14% distilled water

    10g | 20% hyaluronic acid

    10g | 20% aloe vera gel

    1.5g | 3% vegetable glycerine

    1g | 2% D-panthenol (Provitamin B5)

    Heated oil phase

    2.5g | 5% Olive M1000

    3.5g | 7% macadamia nut oil

    1.5g | 3% refined shea butter

    2g | 4% abyssinian seed oil or argan oil

    1g | 2% cetyl alcohol

    Cool down phase

    0.03g | 0.06% vitamin E oil

    0.25g | 0.50% frankincense essential oil

    0.1g | 0.20% bergamot essential oil

    0.1g | 0.20% mandarin essential oil

    0.25g | 0.50% preservative - Geogard 221

    Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3 cm of water to just simmering over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed pan.

    Weigh the 'heated water phase' into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or bowl.

    Weigh the 'heated oil phase' into a second heat-resistant glass measuring cup or bowl.

    Place both measuring cups in the water bath to melt everything through for about 30 minutes.

    After about 20-30 minutes the oil part should be completely melted and the water part should be thoroughly dissolved. Remove from the heat then pour the oil part into the water part. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate (silicone is easier to clean but you can use anything to sir).

    Use an 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 the 'cool down phase' ingredients. Stir well to blend together. And that’s it! Transfer to a 50ml jar and store in a cool place.


    We’ll end off on a slightly easier recipe so this blog doesn’t seem totally overwhelming! This is a lovely recipe for a spicy-floral moisturizing body lotion for dry skin using rich mango butter, rose water and honey.

    Rose Cardamom Body Lotion

    7g emulsifying wax such as Eco E wax or polawax)

    7g mango butter

    10g sunflower seed oil

    30g rose water

    43g water

    2g raw honey (or vegetable glycerin, an excellent moisture retainer)

    3 drops benzoin oil

    1 drop coffee bean oil

    4 drops cardamon essential oil

    1g rose essential oil

    1 g broad spectrum preservative such as Geogard 221

    Combine the emulsifying wax, mango butter and sunflower seed oil in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat.

    While the emulsifying wax mixture is melting, combine the rose water, water and honey (or glycerin) in a small measuring cup and gently warm.

    Once the emulsifying wax mixture has melted, add the water mixture. Heat through to ensure everything is melted before removing the pan from the heat.

    Whisk the mixture as it cools - it will thicken into a nice white cream (the thickening may take a few days to fully work, this is normal).

    Whisk in the cardamom essential oil, rose oil and benzoin oil. Add your preservative and decant the mixture to a pump-top bottle or wide-mouthed jar.



    We hope you find these cream and lotion recipes helpful on your journey to chemical free and natural skin care.

    13 Responses


    March 24, 2021

    Thanks for the advice Juliette! :-)


    March 23, 2021

    Hi Melanie, perhaps the bubbles formed during your mixing stage? Sometimes blenders can whisk in a bit of air and then a lotion can have some bubbles in it. This doesn’t affect the microbial activity though.

    If it is microbial growth you should notice it within a few weeks. If you’re worried, why don’t you dissolve some extra Geogard Ultra in a very small amount of water, like a tablespoon, and blend this in for extra protection


    March 23, 2021

    Hi Juliet, I made anti-aging Frankincense facial lotion and it is wonderful! However, I noticed small bubbles after a few days. It doesn’t smell off but I was wondering whether I need to add anything else. I used Geogard Ultra and added it only at the end – should I maybe have added it to the water phase?

    Kind regards


    March 09, 2021

    Hi Melanie, as of now I don’t have an ETA for the Geogard 221, but we are getting in a direct substitute for it soon so stay tuned :) otherwise you can try Euxyl 940 as an alternative.

    You are welcome to substitute the shea butter. Unrefined shea tends to have a stronger scent so it may impact your final result a little.


    March 09, 2021

    Thank you for the wonderful blog – it is very useful! I have the following two questions though:
    1. When will the Geogard 221 be in stock again or alternatively what can I use instead as a preservative in the anti-aging Frankincense facial lotion?
    2. Can I substitute shea butter with the unrefined version in the same recipe?

    Kind regards


    February 01, 2021

    Hi Sharon, the aloe vera we stock is a liquid gel and is very liquid (not too sure why the supplier calls it a gel but we keep their name for it). I use it in all my recipes where it is called for so it doesn’t impact the end product. You can also use it in place of/partial replacement for the water component ;)


    February 01, 2021

    Afternoon, Thank You for your wonderful newsletters. Just a question that I have about Aloe Vera Gel I have ordered from you and it is a liquid not a gel that I am use to, will the thinner liquid make a difference to your creams that you make? Regards


    January 26, 2021

    Hi Michelle, you include the Geogard Ultra in the water phase

    Michelle Dunn
    Michelle Dunn

    January 26, 2021

    The preservative I use is Geogard Ultra. At what point of lotionmaking do i include this?


    July 22, 2020

    Hi Ida, yes you can convert directly from % to millilitres. Just keep the units uniform and you shouldn’t have any problems.
    You can add in squalane if you wish. I would use it either in place of, or partially substitute, for the oil component of the recipe. Have fun!

    Ida van den bergh
    Ida van den bergh

    July 22, 2020

    first question: if says 5% can I divert it to 5ml. 2 can I use squalene and what amount . thank you for coming back. I ll send my order the end of the month. Kind regards. Ida


    June 22, 2020

    Hi Vanessa, yes you will need the aqueous component (you can make a purely oil-based product but then it won’t really be a lotion, it will just be a body butter) as well as an emulsifier to emulsify the oils and water together. I would suggest you follow one of the recipes in the blog – they are all natural! You can easily adjust the amounts to whatever quantity you want.


    June 22, 2020

    Hi, I have a question that I would like some assistance with please:
    If I already have the oils that I want to use for my body butter/ lotion i.e. Olive oil being the carrier oil + the essential oils, how do I go about making the body lotion? I have read through the notes and have come to the understanding that I would have to add an emulsifier and the aqua component.I prefer the the Olive emulsifier because I want to keep the body butterlotion 100% natural.
    I would appreciate it if you could help me with the quantities for a 50/100ml container.

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