This is my first attempt at making a hand lotion, inspired by this recipe by Humblebee and Me. As I did not have the exact same ingredients, I substituted the ingredients with whatever I had. The outcome was quite close to what I would consider a hand lotion to be (texture-wise), although I didn’t quite like the scent. My mum whom I gifted it to seemed to like it though.

First bottle of lotion I ever made

First bottle of lotion I ever made

Original recipe Ingredients I used
10g emulsimulse emulsifying wax
15g safflower oil

73g water
2g vegetable glycerin
1 tsp raw honey or ½ tsp honey powder

To be added during cooling phase
5 drops French lavender essential oil
2 drops benzoin essential oil
1–2 drops litsea cubeba essential oil

I used olive-derived e-wax
Safflower oil was substituted with macadamia oil

About 70g of rosemary tea instead of water,
Accidentally put too much glycerin – 4g
1tsp of raw honey

Cooling phase
5 drops of lavender
3 drops of rosemary


Original instructions:

Melt the emulsifying wax and safflower oil together in a small saucepan over low heat. While they melt, warm the water, vegetable glycerin, and honey in the microwave a little and stir to combine.

Once the oils are melted, add the water part and heat everything through. Remove from the heat and whisk as the mixture cools, until is is thick and creamy.


I basically followed the instructions to a tee and the whole process of making the lotion took me less than 15 minutes. The outcome was about 75ml of hand lotion, probably due to the evaporation of liquids and also some waste while using the funnel to pour the mixture into a pump bottle.

Later on I read that you should “heat and hold” the water and oil mixtures for 20 minutes so that things would emulsify better and you would kill the nasties inside the raw materials. Here’s more information about heating and holding.

As you can see, there were no preservatives added to the lotion – which I’m a little wary about. I don’t want to go into the preservatives vs. non-preservatives debate but it seems that contamination is a real concern (and the anti-preservatives people seem a little alarmist), so I think it is better to preserve than not. At least when I make my own concoctions I know exactly how much preservatives go in and how they work.

As a result I’ve told my mum to finish the lotion within 1 month, or as quickly as she can – and I’ll make her more later on if she likes. I’ve ordered a broad spectrum preservative in my next batch of raw materials, hopefully it will arrive safely as it’s a supplier I’ve never bought from – and then I should be able to make safer products.

Check out also the new Cosmetics Science section in the website.