If you're like me (Lindsay) and have been looking to DIYs at every opportunity in your quest to evict plastic from your bathroom, you likely hit a wall when you decided to attempt making lotion. Because lotion, by its very definition, contains a mixture of oils and water (usually mostly water), you will need a substance to allow the two to mix (emulsifiers) and a substance that keeps bacteria from growing in your water-heavy formulation (preservatives). Neither will be easy to source, and both will be nearly impossible to find without plastic packaging.
Fear not - the culprit in lotion's lack of DIY-ability is easily identified and eliminated. See ya later, WATER!
Instead of trying to figure out how to make lotion sans-plastic, we highly recommend trying a water-free body butter!
Here's a recipe that we love.
- 2 parts shea butter
- 1 part coconut oil
- 1 part almond oil (or jojoba or sunflower)
- Essential oils (optional)
- Measure the volume of your container by filling it with water then pouring the water into a measuring cup
- Divide the volume by 4 to get 1 "part"
- Melt solid ingredients in a double boiler (or a mason jar suspended in water)
- Remove from heat and add liquid oil and essential oils* (if using)
- After mixing, allow to cool in the fridge for roughly 30 minutes until chunky
- Blend with a hand mixer or stick blender
*If using essential oils, we recommend not exceeding a 2% dilution rate, which is generally considered safe for a whole-body product. That would be about 18 drops of essential oils for every 1 oz. of body butter.
If you have a favorite oil or butter for your skin, try it out! Get creative. If you're trying to figure out which oil would be just right for your body butter, read our guide to Choosing the Right Oil for Your Skincare DIY. There are a lot of variations of this recipe out there, and it's pretty hard to get it wrong. If you make this recipe, or an altered version of it, we'd love to hear about it! Reach out on Instagram, drop us a comment, or send us a picture!
For lotion loyalists, there are plastic-free options out there for purchase that we highly recommend. Our favorite is this Hand & Body Lotion. Or if you love body butters, don't care to make your own, and want to find one that is plastic-free, this body butter is pretty much the gold standard!