Lotion bases are great to use when you don’t want to get into making lotion from scratch
. Sometimes emulsifying and preserving handmade lotions can be tricky. Using a base that is tested, tried and true can save you money and time!
Choose Your Base
There are many types of bases available ranging from basic lotion to thicker cream, and some have fun additives incorporated like Goat Milk and Honey. Bases available include:Basic Lotion Base
- This lotion base contains Sunflower Oil and Allantoin. Native Americans were the first to discover the healing properties of Sunflower Oil, which is rich in Vitamin E that helps moisturize and regenerate skin. Allantoin is thought to have the ability to help heal wounds, sores and stimulate growth of healthy tissue. It is a skin softener and anti-irritant.Gentle Face and Baby Cream
- Very lightweight, non-greasy feeling cream that contains Sunflower Oil, which is rich in Vitamin E, that helps moisturize and regenerate skin. Goat Milk & Honey Lotion
- This lotion contains Goat Milk, Honey and Shea Butter. Goat Milk is high in protein, triglycerides, Vitamins A, B6, B12 and E making it an excellent natural moisturizer that helps hydrate and nourish skin. Honey is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is high in Vitamin C and promotes collagen formation in the skin. Shea Butter is well known in helping moisturize while providing a silky protective barrier to all skin types. This base does not contain Mineral Oil.Head to Toe Lotion
- This lotion contains Sunflower Oil and Allantoin. Native Americans were the first to discover the healing properties of Sunflower Oil, which is rich in Vitamin E that helps moisturize and regenerate skin. Allantoin is thought to have the ability to help heal wounds, sores and stimulate growth of healthy tissue. It is a skin softener and anti-irritant.Luxury Hand and Body Cream
- Contains Lanolin, Allantoin, and Aloe Vera. Lanolin is popular in skin care because of its skin softening & emollient properties. Allantoin is thought to have the ability to help heal wounds, sores and stimulate growth of healthy tissue. Aloe Vera has long been considered to be a premier product for moisturizing and healing the skin. Moisturizing Lotion with Evening Primrose
- This lotion contains Evening Primrose, which has been recognized for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some people believe that Evening Primrose relieves joint swelling. This base contains Mineral Oil. Mineral Oil is non-irritating and has long been considered a premier skin protectant because it moisturizes and protects the skin without suffocating it. Satin & Silk Lotion -
This lotion contains Shea Butter, Aloe, Silk Amino Acids, Sunflower & Coconut Oils. Shea and Aloe are well known in helping moisturize and repair skin damage. Sunflower Oil is rich in Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant. Silk Amino Acids provide a protective barrier and silky note to the lotion. Coconut Oil contains the natural antioxidant, Vitamin E. It does not clog pores and has been shown to protect, hydrate and nourish the skin. This lotion does not contain Mineral Oil.Shea Butter & Aloe Lotion
- This product is an amazing combination of Aloe Vera and Refined Shea Butter. Aloe has long been considered to be a premier product for moisturizing and healing the skin while Shea Butter is thought to aid dry skin. This lotion does not contain Mineral Oil and is paraben-free.
Most of the gallon size bases come in gallon buckets. To get some tips on how to open them, check out this video
Lotion Base Additives
Fragrance or Essential Oil:
The typical usage rate for both is about 1-2% of the total lotion base but double check IFRA guidelines to make sure you comply.Liquid Color:
Liquid colors, such as liquid dye mix easily with lotion bases. Start with 1 ml per 16 oz. of lotion and go up from there.Powdered Color:
Powdered colors can clump easily if dumped directly into lotion. It is best to mix with a bit of liquid glycerin first, and then incorporate into the base.
*If you are making an eye cream, make sure that your color and fragrance are suitable to use around the eye. What NOT to add to lotion bases: Carrier Oil:
It is not recommended to add additional carrier oils or butters to lotion bases as this can break the emulsion and change the preservative percentage.Water
: It is not recommended to add additional water to bases, as contamination can occur. If you want a thinner lotion, you can purchase a thinner base
It is not recommended to add liquid goat milk, as the base is already preserved to max. You can try incorporating powdered goat milk instead.Perishable Liquids:
Do not add any other perishable liquids such as fresh milk, beer, wine, fruit juice, vegetable juice, etc. as they will spoil the lotion.
Containers for Lotions and Creams
There are many types of containers that you can use to package lotions and creams. Some common containers include:Bottles with Pumps or Disc Caps:
Bottles come in a range of sizes and colors to hold lotion. Pumps allow you to easily pump lotion out of the container and disc caps allow you to squeeze lotion out of the container. Jars:
Jars are great for thicker creams that would be hard to pump or squeeze out of a bottle. You can get glass or plastic jars ranging in many different sizes and colors.Malibu Tottles
: Tottles are another great way to package lotion. They are a style of bottle that comes with a flip top cap that allows you to squeeze the lotion out.
*You should not have to sanitize containers directly from a manufacturer. Sometimes by trying to clean containers, you are actually doing more harm by introducing water containing harmful bacteria and mold. Keep your containers sealed up tight in the plastic bags that they come in.
The Basic Process
Sanitize Your Workspace & Equipment
Before you begin your lotion-making session, you need to sanitize your workspace, mixing utensils and mixing containers. To do this, spray everything down with a bleach solution (1.5 tablespoons bleach in 2 cups distilled water). Let set for 5 minutes to kill contaminates. Wipe up with paper towels.Heat the Lotion Base
Lotion bases accept additives such as fragrances and colors better if heated. It helps to emulsify them into the mix. Heat your base to 120°F. Heating to higher temperatures will inactivate the preservative.
To heat your base you can use two methods:
- Microwave - Heat your base in a Pyrex or other microwave-safe container using 30-minute increments until the temperature reaches 120°F. Be sure to stir often while heating to get rid of any hot spots. Overheating in the microwave can easily occur, so monitor closely.
- Double Boiler - The better method is to use a double boiler setup. Add your base to a double boiler on low heat. Heat until temperature reaches 120°F. Be sure to stir often and check the temperature as you heat.
You can use an infrared thermometer
to monitor temperatures closely when heating. When taking the temperature, be sure to mix the base prior to checking the temperature as the infrared gun takes surface temperatures only.Incorporate Additives
While the lotion base is warm, you can now incorporate your fragrance, colorant, and other additives. Mix well to blend until fragrance and color are evenly distributed.Package
Once your additives are fully incorporated, you can now package your lotion. Do not cap your containers until the lotion or cream has completely cooled.
Condensation can get trapped in bottles and jars and cause mold to grow.
Once completely cooled down, cap your containers.
Depending on how thick your lotion is, it might be hard to get it into a bottle. Here are a few options for bottling:
- Scoop lotion into a freezer bag, cut a corner of the bag and squeeze into bottles. You can also use a piping bag or a Decorator Pro.
- Warm the base to a thin consistency, being careful not to overheat it, and pour directly into the bottles. Pouring slightly above the bottle makes this easier. Watch the Simple Secrets video Filling Lotion Bottles to see more.
*Sometimes bottling lotion can get messy. Wipe your filled bottles with alcohol to remove any mess.
Recipes Using Lotion Bases: