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My hands get pretty beat up on a regular basis.  When I’m at work in the hospital, I have to wash and/or disinfect my hands (what feels like) every 5 seconds.  When I’m home, I’m usually in the kitchen either cooking or playing around with all kinds of projects so that means I’m washing my hands constantly.  My hands routinely get so dry that they crack and bleed (ouch!).  Needless to say, I’m kind of a lotion junky.

I’ve found lots of nice lotion recipes online that seem to work well for a lot of people but I’ve generally been disappointed with their ability to really nourish (and even penetrate) the scaly skin on my hands and even when I have dry skin everywhere.  Because of that, this lotion was born and I’m pretty sure I’ll never be without it again.  I keep a bottle next to the sink in my kitchen so that it’s always on hand (pun intended!) and another in the bathroom so that I can slather it on routinely.

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  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil (you can substitute any other liquid-at-room-temperature oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil (about 3 capsules if that’s all you have)
  • 2 tablespoon emulsifying wax (this allows the water and the oils in this recipe to mix to make your lotion look and function like really nice store-bought versions)
  • 1 cup distilled water, freshly boiled
  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera juice (optional, you can use water instead)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (can also substitute with vegetable glycerin…both act as humectants and no, the honey doesn’t make the lotion sticky)


1.  Place the emulsifying wax, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and vitamin E oil inside a small pot like this:

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2. Place the pot over very low heat, stirring occasionally.  The emulsifying wax will be the last thing to melt.

3.  While the oils heat and melt, pour your hot water, aloe vera juice, and honey (or vegetable glycerin) into a pyrex measuring cup (or any other mixing bowl) and stir until everything is combined.

4.  I then freed up my pyrex measuring cup by pouring the water, aloe vera juice, and honey mixture into a large cup like so:

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5.  Once the oils and emulsifying wax have melted and combined, pour them into the pyrex measuring cup or whatever mixing bowl you’re using.  It’s very important that you add the water to the oils and not the other way around…that’s why we’re going through the trouble to place the oils/e-wax into the mixing bowl before you add the water.

6.  Slowly start pouring the water/aloe vera juice/honey mixture into the oils.  It’ll turn the whole thing white like this and be very liquid-y:

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7.  Keep stirring and adding more liquid until all the liquid is incorporated into your (almost-ready!) lotion.  It’ll still be very liquid-y but will thicken up as the mixture cools and over the next 24 hours or so.  Here’s a picture of it as it starts to thicken:

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8.  Once the lotion starts to cool but isn’t completely thickened (this lotion is designed to be very rich so will not pour well after it thickens), transfer it to whatever container you’ll be storing it in.  I normally use a disc-top bottle for thinner lotions but since this one is supposed to be a powerhouse, I used a large plastic container so that I could scoop out the lotion (I hate not being able to get the last bits of a lotion out of a bottle! I know you’re in there!).

I’ve also adapted this DIY lotion recipe for several other purposes.  A very light version of this lotion can be found in my DIY Liquid Mineral Foundation recipe (goodbye, pore-clogging, store-bought foundations!) and a fun version of this lotion in my DIY Sunless Tanner recipe.