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Ingredients to Make Skin Lotion

Ingredients to Make Skin Lotion

Your skin is your body's largest organ, according to Medline Plus. It covers and protects a network of tissues, nerves and body organs. For the skin to perform its tasks, you must keep it healthy, supple and resilient. Skin lotions help to soothe the skin and protect the surface from the elements, extreme temperatures and even indoor pollutants. Making your own skin lotions requires only a few ingredients. It also reduces your costs and allows you to customize your skin-care products.


Water is often the main ingredient in skin lotions. It adds moisture that helps skin remain supple. Most lotion recipes use distilled water. To distill tap water at home, bring it to a boil then let it cool. Most large grocery stores also sell distilled water. The proportion of water that you will need to make lotions depends on your preferences. The water content can be as high as 80 to 90 percent in some recipes.


Use high-quality vegetable or fruit oils to make homemade skin lotion. Olive, apricot, sunflower and grape seed are oils that you can find easily in most cities. If you purchase lotion ingredients online or from a health-food retailer, you may be able to find oils such as macadamia nut, coconut, jojoba or palm oil. Use a single oil or customize your skin lotion by combining two or more.


Pioneer Thinking's website has a simple skin lotion recipe that uses liquid lecithin as the emulsifier, which helps you blend water and oil. You can substitute emulsifying wax as a binder in lotion recipes that call for lecithin, if desired. Washing soda, commercially known as Borax, makes a good emulsifier when you prepare skin lotions with ingredients that you heat, according to the Dollar Stretcher website.

Optional Ingredients

Mayo Clinic suggests that you tailor your lotions and moisturizers to your skin type. If you have extremely dry skin, consider substituting a few ounces of glycerin for some of the suggested amount of water or adding an emollient like lanolin to your formula. The best lotion formulas for oily skin have a higher percentage of water or may use aloe vera gel instead of oil.

Herbs and essential oils allow you to change the scent of your lotion or add ingredients that can improve the condition of your skin. The Pioneer Thinking basic lotion recipe only adds a few drops of essential oil to a recipe that makes 8 oz. Some essential oils are antioxidants, while others improve blood flow or decrease stress. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is a good starting point for researching the properties of essential oils and herbs before you add them to your lotion.

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