DIY Coconut Aloe Skin Lotion

My hands get pretty beat up on a regular basis.  When I’m at work in the hospital, I have to wash and/or disinfect my hands (what feels like) every 5 seconds.  When I’m home, I’m usually in the kitchen either cooking or playing around with all kinds of projects so that means I’m washing my hands constantly.  My hands routinely get so dry that they crack and bleed (ouch!).  Needless to say, I’m kind of a lotion junky.

I’ve found lots of nice lotion recipes online that seem to work well for a lot of people but I’ve generally been disappointed with their ability to really nourish (and even penetrate) the scaly skin on my hands and even when I have dry skin everywhere.  Because of that, this lotion was born and I’m pretty sure I’ll never be without it again.  I keep a bottle next to the sink in my kitchen so that it’s always on hand (pun intended!) and another in the bathroom so that I can slather it on routinely.

DIY Coconut Aloe Skin Lotion



  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil (you can substitute any other liquid-at-room-temperature oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil (about 3 capsules if that’s all you have)
  • 2 tablespoon emulsifying wax (this allows the water and the oils in this recipe to mix to make your lotion look and function like really nice store-bought versions)
  • 1 cup distilled water, freshly boiled
  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera juice (optional, you can use water instead)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (can also substitute with vegetable glycerin…both act as humectants and no, the honey doesn’t make the lotion sticky)


1.  Place the emulsifying wax, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and vitamin E oil inside a small pot like this:

2014-04-15 18.21.58

2. Place the pot over very low heat, stirring occasionally.  The emulsifying wax will be the last thing to melt.

3.  While the oils heat and melt, pour your hot water, aloe vera juice, and honey (or vegetable glycerin) into a pyrex measuring cup (or any other mixing bowl) and stir until everything is combined.

4.  I then freed up my pyrex measuring cup by pouring the water, aloe vera juice, and honey mixture into a large cup like so:

2014-04-15 18.28.26

5.  Once the oils and emulsifying wax have melted and combined, pour them into the pyrex measuring cup or whatever mixing bowl you’re using.  It’s very important that you add the water to the oils and not the other way around…that’s why we’re going through the trouble to place the oils/e-wax into the mixing bowl before you add the water.

6.  Slowly start pouring the water/aloe vera juice/honey mixture into the oils.  It’ll turn the whole thing white like this and be very liquid-y:

2014-04-15 18.32.32

7.  Keep stirring and adding more liquid until all the liquid is incorporated into your (almost-ready!) lotion.  It’ll still be very liquid-y but will thicken up as the mixture cools and over the next 24 hours or so.  Here’s a picture of it as it starts to thicken:

2014-04-15 18.53.50

8.  Once the lotion starts to cool but isn’t completely thickened (this lotion is designed to be very rich so will not pour well after it thickens), transfer it to whatever container you’ll be storing it in.  I normally use a disc-top bottle for thinner lotions but since this one is supposed to be a powerhouse, I used a large plastic container so that I could scoop out the lotion (I hate not being able to get the last bits of a lotion out of a bottle! I know you’re in there!).

I’ve also adapted this DIY lotion recipe for several other purposes.  A very light version of this lotion can be found in my DIY Liquid Mineral Foundation recipe (goodbye, pore-clogging, store-bought foundations!) and a fun version of this lotion in my DIY Sunless Tanner recipe.


25 replies

  1. Sounds wonderful. I love that you have yet another use for coconut oil. BTW, if you have never tried it before emu oil is a superb restorative for skin.

  2. I made this lotion and love it! Does it need to be refrigerated? I’m guessing not since you said you leave it by the sink.

  3. I made some of this lotion as gifts for my family. Most of them seem to have turned out fine, but a few batches seem to have separated. Although it hasn’t been 24hours yet. Do you know what I might have done wrong? I did use different essential oils in each batch. Not sure if that makes a difference. One of that batches that separated was un-scented. Have you ever had that happen? Is it fixable?

    • Sorry to hear you’re having a issue with them. Fun gift idea though, I’ve given them out as well 🙂 They set over 24 house so I’d just keep mixing them. It’s usually because there wasn’t enough mixing as the two mixtures cooled and it seems to happen more when the lotion cools too fast (like when I’ve tried to cool it faster in the fridge). But I’ve never had one that didn’t set eventually…

      • Thanks! That’s a relief! They look so cute! I used glass bottles with the stoppers that attach with wire. They look like small milk bottles. Then I put black labels with the scent written with chalk marker. Glad to know if I keep mixing them they’ll set. Next time I’ll mix them longer before putting them in containers. I love this lotion and I know my family will too. Thanks!

      • Oh my goodness, that sounds so adorable! What a great way to bottle them up! I’ll have to remember that for myself 🙂 I’m so glad you like the lotion recipe.

  4. First, thank you so much for this wonderful lotion, but I have a question please, Can we use it on the face after removing the makeup ? Coz I know that all these ingredients are face friendly,and they give moisture to the skin..

    • You definitely can! I found it a little to heavy on the skin of my face but I tend to have that happen with a lot of products so you could give it a try!

  5. Where’s the preservative? It’s extremely important to use a proper preservative. FYI: vitamin E is not a preservative. I only mention that because that seems to be a popular and dangerous misconception with a lot of beauty bloggers who have no real training or experience. They either leave out a preservative entirely OR they think that vitamin E oil is a preservative, which it is not. It’s an antioxidant, not antibacterial, antimicrobial or antifungal. I usually use Liquid Germall Plus.

    • Yeah you’re right. I leave it out because I make a batch size that I use quickly. Otherwise, I store it in the fridge to stretch it a little further. Otherwise, I usually use something like grapefruit seed extract 🙂

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