DIY: Homemade natural body cream

What about a special Christmas present this year? Something done by yourself? 🙂 Today, I would like to give you one of my recipes for body cream.

Some years ago, I decided to start doing my own body cream due to several reasons:

  •  I realized that many body care products we buy are full of controversial and potentially harmful ingredients (neurotoxins[1], endocrine-disruptors[2, 3], potential carcinogens [4], etc),  for us and the environment, such as aluminium, parabens, phthalates, ethylene oxide, microplastics, etc. Also, besides aluminium, heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and nickel have been detected in various types of cosmetics (colour cosmetics, face and body care products, hair cosmetics, herbal cosmetics, etc.) [5]. The truth is that we are all exposed everyday to a high amount of chemicals, and while some of them we cannot avoid, there are others that we can certainly control – like the ones we buy and put on our skin or in the air of our house. And these chemicals are not only bad for us but also for the environment [6, 7].
  • There is absolutely no need to have that on my skin. There are so many natural ingredients which are super hydrating and good for the skin [8-15]. And actually the big cosmetic industry knows it and uses some of them in their creams, but unfortunately together with many other controversial ingredients…not to mention that these creams are normally super expensive. The raw oils I buy for making my lotions/creams are not cheap as I try to buy high quality raw materials, but these are still cheaper than the bought ones.
  • It is soooo easy to make my own creams! As you will see, it won’t take you more than 20min!
  • It is actually a lot of fun doing my own body care products!


There are some companies selling more natural body lotions, but they are normally really expensive and you always have to check the ingredient list as some “natural” creams still contain ingredients that might not be so good. In general, if it contains any ingredient that you cannot pronounce, don’t buy it as it is likely a chemical you don’t want in your body.

My rule of thumb for skin products is: if I cannot eat it, I also cannot put it on my skin. Because the skin will absorb the majority of chemicals you put on it.

When I make a body lotion / cream, I normally do a large amount so that I can store it for a few months. You can do that or just divide it in small glasses and offer them for Christmas, for example :).

Below I give you one my the body and face cream recipes I have been making. I try to buy all ingredients organic, the most unprocessed version possible and cold-extracted.

If you want an even simpler and super fast version, here’s my tip: just mix some coconut oil with one essential oil. There you have it. No need for creams with artificial ingredients. I like to include some other oils as they have been shown to be very good for the skin as well. Concerning the essential oils, I’m a total fan of those, they have so many health benefits (which I will go through in more detail in another post). In this cream, I use lavender, frankincense and chamomile essential oils.


Preparation time: 20min


– 150g extra-virgin organic raw coconut oil (on or

– 150g organic shea butter (on or

– 50g organic jojoba oil (on or

– 50g organic almond oil (on or

– optional: 10g organic argan oil (on or

– optional: 10g organic apricot kernel oil (on or

– 50 drops organic lavender essential oil

– 20 drops organic chamomile essential oil

– 20 drops organic frankincense essential oil


1. Add a little bit of water to a pot and boil it. Put a metal bowl on top of the pot.

2. Add the shea butter to the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon. Make sure the steam is not too strong, we don’t want to heat up the shea butter more than it really needs.

3. When about half of the shea butter is melted add the coconut oil. Stir well while these both oils melt. Again, be careful not to heat up the oils too much – the heat should be just enough to melt them.
Note: The coconut melts much faster than the shea butter, which is why I just add it after the shea butter.

4. Turn off the stove and remove the metal bowl from the pot. Place it on a wooden plate, for example. Wait some minutes until it cools down a bit.

5. Add now all the liquid oils and stir well.

6. Add the essential oils and stir well.

7. Transfer the mixture to a small glass jars and store them in the fridge until the oils get solid.

There you have your super healthy body cream! 🙂

You can keep it in the fridge for conserving it during a longer period and avoiding oxidation. But you will notice that it’s quite hard when is stored in the fridge. So what I normally do is to keep a very small glass jar outside the fridge for daily use, and the other(s) in the fridge. When the cream in the small jar is finished, I then refill it with the cream stored in the fridge.

This DIY body cream was also published in the article “The most creative DIY gift ideas for Christmas” by Ackermann magazine. For other interesting DIY ideas check out the article here (in german).

Live healthy 🙂

Ana Coito, PhD



  1.         Exley, C., What is the risk of aluminium as a neurotoxin? Expert Rev Neurother, 2014. 14(6): p. 589-91.
  2.         Maipas, S. and P. Nicolopoulou-Stamati, Sun lotion chemicals as endocrine disruptors. Hormones (Athens), 2015. 14(1): p. 32-46.
  3.         Bledzka, D., J. Gromadzinska, and W. Wasowicz, Parabens. From environmental studies to human health. Environ Int, 2014. 67: p. 27-42.
  4.         Konduracka, E., K. Krzemieniecki, and G. Gajos, Relationship between everyday use cosmetics and female breast cancer. Pol Arch Med Wewn, 2014. 124(5): p. 264-9.
  5.         Borowska, S. and M.M. Brzoska, Metals in cosmetics: implications for human health. J Appl Toxicol, 2015. 35(6): p. 551-72.
  6.         Dhanirama, D., J. Gronow, and N. Voulvoulis, Cosmetics as a potential source of environmental contamination in the UK. Environ Technol, 2012. 33(13-15): p. 1597-608.
  7.         Sharma, S. and S. Chatterjee, Microplastic pollution, a threat to marine ecosystem and human health: a short review. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2017. 24(27): p. 21530-21547.
  8.         Carvalho, I.T., B.N. Estevinho, and L. Santos, Application of microencapsulated essential oils in cosmetic and personal healthcare products – a review. Int J Cosmet Sci, 2016. 38(2): p. 109-19.
  9.         Agero, A.L. and V.M. Verallo-Rowell, A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Dermatitis, 2004. 15(3): p. 109-16.
  10.       Burnett, C.L., et al., Final report on the safety assessment of Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil and related ingredients. Int J Toxicol, 2011. 30(3 Suppl): p. 5S-16S.
  11.       Pazyar, N., et al., Jojoba in dermatology: a succinct review. G Ital Dermatol Venereol, 2013. 148(6): p. 687-91.
  12.       Meier, L., et al., Clay jojoba oil facial mask for lesioned skin and mild acne–results of a prospective, observational pilot study. Forsch Komplementmed, 2012. 19(2): p. 75-9.
  13.       Akihisa, T., et al., Anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive effects of triterpene cinnamates and acetates from shea fat. J Oleo Sci, 2010. 59(6): p. 273-80.
  14.       Honfo, F.G., et al., Nutritional composition of shea products and chemical properties of shea butter: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2014. 54(5): p. 673-86.
  15.       Kunicka-Styczynska, A., M. Sikora, and D. Kalemba, Antimicrobial activity of lavender, tea tree and lemon oils in cosmetic preservative systems. J Appl Microbiol, 2009. 107(6): p. 1903-11.

2 Responses to “DIY: Homemade natural body cream

  • Cynthia
    5 years ago

    Hi Ana, I just discovered your blog (just submitted another question). I think making your own natural lotion/cream is a great idea. Do you have information about adding natural preservatives? I read somewhere months ago that even if homemade cream is stored in the refrigerator, pathogens multiply and within 10 days, the cream needs to be thrown away. What natural preservatives can we use and how much do we need? Obrigada!

    • Ana Coito, PhD
      5 years ago

      Hi Cynthia,
      I’m sorry for the late reply! If you don’t add water, the oils should conserve very well for several months in the fridge. You can also add high vitamin E rich oils such as wheat germ oil to be sure the oil will be preserved long. If they spoil you will smell it anyway.
      De nada! 🙂 (all articles are also in portuguese in case you prefer you just have to switch the language 🙂 )

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