DIY Moisturizing Hand and Body Cream



UPDATE (7/24/11) – Make sure to check out my DIY lotion update – this time with no water!

DIY Moisturizing Body Cream

Between diaper changes, garden work and working in the kitchen I find that I wash my hands many times a day. As a result I found that my hands were really dry all the time. In a search for a solution I came across hard lotion bars and found that I really liked how well they worked. They leave my hands almost waterproof, so that constant hand washing doesn’t dry me out. My main pet peeve is that for whole body use a lotion bar can be time-consuming to apply.

Looking though last weeks Simple Lives Thursday posts I came across this post from Prairie Sunrise about homemade bag balm. Her recipe is similar to my hard lotion bar recipe but she adds water at the end and mixes it to make more of a cream. I decided that this might be what I was looking for and that I needed to give it a try, adapting the recipe to my ingredients.

UPDATE – Take a look at the comments for Jennifer’s comment about adding water. She makes a good point in that adding water is adding a medium for bacteria, mold, and fungus, especially if you are dipping your hands into the lotion each time you use it. I wonder if adding tea tree oil or lavender oil would help keep things more sanitary? Hmmm. I do know that I will make my next batch without the water and let you all know how it goes. While you’re at it, click on the link for Jennifer’s blog – she has some great stuff there!

After using this cream for a few days I am a convert. I still love my hard lotion but this cream is the bees knees! It’s much easier to put on my impatient kids and is great for quick application after a shower. All the ingredients are food safe, so you can feel good knowing you aren’t absorbing any nasty chemicals.

I have noticed that after a few days the water tends to separate out. I’m not sure i this is because I mixed it by hand instead of using an immersion blender, but I do know that the water will mix back in if you give it a stir.


1.5 Tablespoons Shea Butter

1.5 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

2 teaspoons beeswax (I use pastilles to make measuring easier)

9 teaspoons water



  1. Melt the shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax together in a glass jar. I melted mine in the microwave in the glass pint jar that I intended to keep my lotion in to save on cleanup. I used 30 second increments until it was melted together.
  2. Carefully remove the jar – it will be HOT – and let it cool for a minute or two on a hot pad on the counter.
  3. As it cools a bit you can begin adding the water and stirring it with a fork or an immersion blender. I used a fork. The cream will solidify more as it cools. I placed my jar (once it cooled a bit) into a bowl of cold water with a small amount of ice to help it cool faster as I whipped the lotion together.
  4. Use liberally!
Here’s the cream while stirring, when it was still warm and not solidified yet
DIY Moisturizing Body Cream
After it solidifies
DIY Moisturizing Body Cream
After a few days of use
DIY Moisturizing Body Cream
Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking. If it’s too oily, maybe use less coconut oil, or if you like it a bit thicker maybe less water or more beeswax. You can also add in essentials oils at the end to scent it to your liking.

This post is linked to the Homestead Barn Hop. Check it out!

8 responses to “DIY Moisturizing Hand and Body Cream”

  1. Miranda Avatar

    Thank you for posting. My poor skin is always dry, so I’ve been looking for a nice thick cream recipe. Can’t wait to give it a try!


  2. Jennifer Avatar

    Hi Katie. I make hand lotion for sale at farmers markets and so have done a lot of research on this subject. Be aware that anytime you add water to a oil mix, you are providing a medium for bacteria, molds and fungus to grow. This is especially true when it is something you put your hands into over and over (rather than a pump). Generally, it is advised that any cream/lotion containing water either contain a preservative or be kept in the refrigerator and used within two weeks. To make a looser cream without the water, try using a liquid oil like olive to replace part of your hard fats (shea, coconut) and/or decrease the amount of bees wax a bit.


    1. Katie Beth Avatar
      Katie Beth

      Jennifer – thank you for sharing! I was wondering about that, especially with the water separating out. Luckily my batch is getting used up pretty quickly but I will change it up for the next one and update my post. I’d imagine keeping it in the fridge would help, but I don’t know that I’d want to put on chilly lotion – brrrr!


  3. Noble Avatar

    So how did you change up your next recipe to not use water?


    1. Katie Beth Avatar
      Katie Beth

      Thanks for asking! I haven’t made more yet (as I’m finishing off the rest of the first batch) but I am going to do it one of two ways. The first would be to omit the water completely and try and whip the ingredients without it. I think since there is considerably less beeswax than oils/butters that this may work. If that doesn’t work I plan on replacing 1/2 of the coconut oil with olive oil. That’s my second choice mainly because I don’t like the smell of olive oil much. 🙂


      1. Noble Avatar

        Katie Beth – thanks for the quick response! I can’t wait to try it! One more quick questions, is there a place online that you buy your supplies from or do you just get them locally? Any direction would be much appreciated 🙂


      2. Katie Beth Avatar
        Katie Beth

        Noble- I originally bought my ingredients from but they aren’t shipping right now. I now order my coconut oil through (where I also get cod liver oil) though I know you can find it at most groceries and walmart. Beeswax could probably be bought at your local farmer’s market, and I have seen it available at Hobby Lobby near the soap making items. Shea butter is harder to find and I don’t know of anywhere right now to send you, as I’m searching myself. When I find a good seller I’ll pass the info along. Thanks for reading!


  4. […] Depth RefrigeratorsAvocado shea butter beeswax lotion bar recipeCrazy ProjectsThe Tech ThrowdownDIY Moisturizing Hand and Body Cream #header { background: url(; […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

At the end of the day,
it’s Really about the pictures

Get notified when new content goes live.

%d bloggers like this: