Easy Buttercream Lotion

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This Easy Buttercream Lotion is a super simple homemade moisturizer with a lovely vanilla smell. It’s the perfect all body moisturizer with a high proportion of aloe vera gel for extra hydration. The avocado or jojoba oil sinks into your skin well and there’s a touch of coconut oil too for deep moisturizing. This easy DIY is perfect for at home spa days and as a homemade gift.

Easy Buttercream Lotion in a glass bottle on a wooden board with white flowers on the side and two hands pushing lotion from the pump handle.

This is my favorite all-purpose lotion! It’s a mid-weight lotion that works well throughout the seasons, and it really moisturizes my skin without being greasy. I’ve been using it for many years (at least 15 years now!) since I first discovered that my skin hates almost any product I’ve ever purchased.

Out of desperation, I developed my own lotion recipe. This might sound crazy at first, but when you consider constant rashes and skin reactions to store-bought products, it doesn’t seem quite so radical! Especially when there didn’t use to be very many natural products to buy. And it’s so much more affordable to make your own. It also takes just a few minutes to make as well.

Lotion in a glass bottle with a gold pump handle on a wooden board with small white flowers in the background.

A little while ago I had a request for a lotion containing shea butter, but after all kinds of testing and several batches of homemade lotion, I scrapped the shea butter and went back to coconut oil in my old standby recipe. Every lotion I’ve made so far with shea butter has been really unstable.

After a couple of days, it seems to start separating a bit, and little bits of shea butter create a gritty texture in the lotion. Even though it melts when it touches the heat of your skin, I decided to go with something a bit less fussy. That being said, you can replace the coconut oil in this recipe with shea butter for an ultra moisturizing lotion that’s perfect for the winter months!

Let’s get started by talking about the ingredients for this Easy Buttercream Lotion!

  • Jojoba or avocado oil I like to use either of these 2 oils because they’re easily absorbable for the skin. Jojoba is my favorite since it’s the closest to our own skin’s oil and absorbs well for me. Also you can get vanilla infused joboba oil that gives this lotion a nice ‘buttercream frosting’ smell.
  • Coconut oil – adds body to this lotion as well as deep moisturizing as well.
  • Beeswax – is what emulsifies the aloe vera with the oils and makes this lotion stable.
  • Aloe vera gel – adds the perfect amount of hydration to this lotion. I don’t personally use fresh aloe vera gel in my lotion because it spoils too quickly, and would need to be refrigerated.
  • Essential oils – are optional here and I rarely add them. I love the light vanilla smell from the vanilla jojoba oil mentioned in the recipe notes.
Coconut oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera gel, and beeswax measured out on a wooden cutting board.

There are 3 critical things you need to know to make it super easy to make your own lotion!

1. It’s really important to make sure you’ve completely melted the wax into the oil. If there are any bits of unmelted wax it will make you lotion gritty with bits of wax floating around in it.

2. It helps to have all the ingredients at room temperature before starting. After the oil and wax have melted together, you add the aloe vera gel, and if it’s cold it can cause your lotion to seize up. If this happens, just rewarm it until it liquefies again.

3. I like to place my lotion over an ice bath and whisk constantly for a couple of minutes until it thickens up, which really helps the lotion stay completely emulsified!

Now let’s make this recipe step by step!

The coconut oil, jojoba oil, and beeswax in a small saucepan.

Step 1:

First up add the oils and beeswax to a small saucepan.

The oils melted together with the beeswax in a small saucepan.

Step 2:

Next melt the oils and wax together. In this picture, you can see the oil and the wax have been completely melted together. At this point the liquid should be clear.

Adding the aloe vera gel to the melted oil and beeswax mixture.

Step 3:

Then whisk in the aloe vera gel. It’s a bit loose at this point, but it’s definitely emulsified.

Whisking the lotion over an ice bath to emulsified.

Step 4:

Next whisk your lotion over an ice bath until it thickens up and becomes a paler shade of yellow. It will become much thicker and you’ll notice it will start to leave ‘lines’ of lotion around the edges of the pan. When it’s first made it’s so loose it just falls back down the sides.

Buttercream Lotion in a glass pump bottle on a wooden cutting board with two hands pumping lotion out.

Step 5:

Once the lotion thickens, pour it into a clean container or pump dispenser. Use a funnel to make this part easier.

I really like using some sort of pump dispenser which lengthens the life of any homemade product. I bought the one you see in the pictures at Target (where else right?). It’s important to keep your hands out of the lotion as much as possible because there are no preservatives in it.

Tip 1: Beeswax can be a pain to work with when you’re grating it! I’ve found the best way to clean your grater after is to pour boiling water right onto the surface where the wax is. It’s the only thing that cleans the wax away with ease!

Tip 2: You can also buy beeswax in little pellets now. I’ve included both the ounces and grams in the recipe so that you can simply measure out the pellets. That way there won’t be any grating involved!

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Buttercream Lotion in a glass pump bottle on a wooden cutting board with two hands pumping lotion out.

Easy Buttercream Lotion

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5 from 2 reviews


This Easy Buttercream Lotion is a super simple homemade moisturizer with a lovely vanilla smell. It’s the perfect all body moisturizer with a high proportion of aloe vera gel for extra hydration. The avocado or jojoba oil sinks into your skin well and there’s a touch of coconut oil too for deep moisturizing. This easy DIY is perfect for at home spa days and as a homemade gift.



1/2 cup jojoba or avocado oil, see notes

3 Tablespoon coconut oil

2 Tablespoons grated beeswax – weighing 1/8 ounce or 7 grams

6 Tablespoon aloe vera gel, at room temperature, I use the Desert Lilly brand


Melt the avocado oil, coconut oil, and beeswax together in a small sauce pan. Make sure all of the beeswax is dissolved or there will be bits of wax in the final product.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the aloe vera gel. At this point the mixture will be very loose.

Next place the saucepan over an ice bath and whisk for 3-5 minutes until the lotion cools and starts to thicken. You’ll notice that it will start to leave lines of lotion on the edges or the pan instead of being totally liquid.

Pour the cooled lotion into a clean container using a funnel, and use within 2 months. A pump type of container is best for keeping homemade products so they don’t get contaminated from our hands.


I like to use vanilla jojoba oil for part of the jojoba called for, anywhere from 2-4 tablespoons is a nice balance. Vanilla jojoba oil is pure vanilla essential oil diluted in jojoba oil as a carrier oil. It’s much more affordable and has an incredible smell. I find mine at our local health food store.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 mins

This post was originally published in 2015, but has been updated with new photos, prep photos, and more tips and information.

50 thoughts on “Easy Buttercream Lotion”

    • There’s 2 things that could have happened, either the emulsification process didn’t fully happen which can leave a greasy feeling or the oil may be too heavy for your particular skin type. I would try out my Cooling Aloe Mint Lotion next, you don’t have to make it mint, but it has a greater ratio of aloe to oil than this buttercream lotion which is more deeply moisturizing. I hope this helps, and please let me know if you have any more questions!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! I haven’t tried to make a face cream without any type of oil in and wouldn’t know where to begin. You may look into using aloe vera gel or something along those lines if you’re looking to not use any oil at all!

  1. I just made this today and I love it so far. Not too greasy like Most lotions. Thank you for this recipe. The only thing I added was essential oils for a nice fragrance.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, it’s my favorite lotion mostly because it’s just the right consistency to keep my skin well moisturized but not too greasy like you mentioned!

  2. Dear Kari,

    I came across your recipe and I’m about to try it. I read all the comments here as well as under the cooling aloe vera gel and shelf-life was asked many times. Since I’ve been making my own products as well, i just wanted to suggest wheatgerm oil as well as E vitamin as a natural preservative. My very first basic cream years ago was calendula petals infused in coconut oil for 3 weeks at the end i have drained it and for 500ml ive put a tablespoon of wheatgerm oil in it. Kept it in a freezer and i used the very end of it approximataly after 1.5 years and it was still absolutely perfect! Thank you for the recipe.

  3. hi, I really want to try this recipe – If I want to use emulsifying wax, should I use the same weight as the beeswax you have mentioned in your recipe? If not, what would you recommend? thanks

    • I’m sorry but I really can’t say how to sub emulsifying wax for beeswax since I’ve never used it so I don’t know how it acts in recipes.

      • I think you should be fine using a regular kitchen whisk, I just prefer the flat bottomed whisks for their ease of use!

  4. Sorry.. just thought of another question. Do you recommend keeping this refrigerated? How long does it last refrigerated versus left at room temperature?

    • No problem at all with another question, I just hope you enjoy this recipe! I’ve never refrigerated any of my lotions, I would guess that it would extend it’s shelf life, but I don’t know for how long.

  5. Hi again! Just realized that I don’t really understand what an ice bath is.. does that mean putting the pot into a bowl of ice and mixing contents while it’s in there? Also, what do you call that cute little round type whisk you have that looks like a frother?

    • Yes, an ice bath is exactly that, placing the pot into a bowl of ice water and whisking to cool it down. I’m not sure what this type of whisk is called, I originally got mine from Pampered Chef and they called it a mini whisk. I absolutely love it and use it for everything, but I heard they quit making it.

  6. Would this be the best of your lotion options to use on my face? I have very sensitive skin and am allergic to anything in the daisy family so I’m trying to make my own facial moisturizer 🙂 Thanks!

    • I do think this buttercream lotion is probably the best option to use on your face if you’re looking specifically for a lotion. I also have really sensitive skin, and I prefer to use the Oil Cleansing Method which cleanses and moisturizes at the same time. Then at night time, I use straight jojoba or coconut oil if I’m needing a bit more moisturizing. I’ll include a link below so you can read about it in case you think that might be better for your skin.


  7. Thank you for this great recipe! One question, when you remove the melted oil from the stove, do you let it cool a little before adding the Aloe vera gel or do you add it straight when the oil is hot? Also, does it help with emulsification to heat the aloe vera gel slightly? Lastly, is it ok to add essential oils to this mix? Thank you kindly!

    • I don’t let the oil cool, but I try to be careful to not let it get too hot. If the oil is boiling hot, it will splatter when liquid, (aloe vera) is added. So you want to heat it just long enough to melt the grated beeswax. I always just let my aloe vera come to room temperature, and it works great, but you could lightly warm it as well. And you can definitely add any essential oil you love the smell of. I hope this helps, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!


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