Lotion Percentages – Simple lotion making instructions

Many different oils can be combined in varying percentages to create an endless variety of lotion blends, each with their own qualities benefiting your sking in different ways.

To read about the oils we commonly use and their beneficial qualities, read Ingredient and Oil Properties for Soap, Lotion, Serums, Bath and Body.

For our basic lotion recipe, we generally follow these percentages:
74% liquids of choice
Chose liquids based on the qualities you wish to add to your lotion. Lotions can be made using distilled water, milk, hydrosols or teas.

12% oils of choice
Oils should be chosen for their qualities. To help chose, spread a little oil on your own skin. If it feels good, try it. Try one oil, or a blend of oils to create the perfect blend for your skin needs.

5% glycerin (a humectant)
5% emulsifer (blends the oils and water)
3% stearic acid (thickener)
1% fragrance of choice (optional)
Unscented, qualitity fragrance oils, essential oils, or let your hydrosols scent it naturally.

Preservative used in recommended percentage, usually .1%-1% (chose one specifically for water-based products)

Simple instructions for making lotion:
– Combine all ingredients, except fragrance and preservative, heat to melting.
– Blend with mixer or stick blender until cooled.
– At approximately 120 degrees or so, add fragrance and preservative.
– Pour into sterilized containers.

Soft & Silky Handmade Lotion Recipe provides specific ingredients and amounts.


  1. What are some choices for the emulsifiers? I tried to make a lotion with 50% water and it turned out very oily. That must be because I didn’t use 74%.

  2. For lotions and creams, try EMULSIFYING WAX NF is a common, easy to use, choice. Or NatraMulse.

    Lotion should have a liquid percentage range somewhere around 70-85%. For a thicker cream, try a percentage range of 60-70% liquid.

  3. Hello there! Quick question, from what company do you buy your oils?

    • I purchase oils from several different companies. You can google whichever oil(s) you are looking for as “bulk” or soap making supplies. I try to purchase from places close to me so the shipping isn’t quite at high, or from places where I may be able to pick it up from. I also try to purchase in large quantities to reduce shipping.

      Doing a quick google these soap making suppliers came up:
      Snow Drift Farms
      Soapers Choice
      Rainbow Meadows

      There is also a list of soap calculators – and a few of the places that provide a calculator also have supplies for sale, so check this page too: Soap Making – Lye Calculator List

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