It is so easy to make your own creams and lotion that once you start you will never look back. The advantages are huge;  you get to control what goes on your skin, be way more eco-friendly and save a whole load of cash. You can make almost anything the cosmetic companies sell but without the palm oil, dodgy chemicals and weird colours. Though you can have all those too if you want.

You will need

  1. To make cream you will need the following
    • Oil, butters & waxes.There are hundreds of vegetable oils.Different skins like different oils and you will have to experiment to find what is best for you. There is an introduction here to fatty acids here.
    • Water There is much talk of using distilled water but I use tap.
    • Cooking thermometer – not essential but VERY useful.
    • Emulsifiers: Water and fat do not naturally mix, you need to use an emulsifier. See below.
    • Preservatives – optional I don’t use it as it cause skin irritations. I have had a (very) few pots of cream go mouldy over a very long time. Can easily do without..
    • Pots to put your cream in.

Before you start you might want to read this introduction to cream making.

The cream making process is simple

  • Mix the oils and emulsifier and heat to a certain temperature.
  • Mix the two together. Ta da.

Except when it is not and you find yourself looking down into a pot of oily soup. And that is down to the emulsifier. It didn’t do it’s job! A combination of VE Emulsifier, MF Emulsifier and Cetearyl Alcohol works every time and can be used to make a wide range of products from thick creams to thin lotions.

  • VE Emulsifier or Glyceryl Stearate is a vegetable-based emulsifier
  • Cetearyl Alcohol is a vegetable based emulsifying wax
  • MF Emulsifier or Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate  can be fermented from lactose (milk sugar)but more commonly comes  from nondairy sources such as cornstarch, potatoes and molasses.

Read more about the above and other emulsifiers here ….

Palm Oil

Please note that all the above may be derived from include palm oil. Be sure to buy from a good practice supplier. For example there should be something this note on Aromantics VE emulsifier “The Palm oil that is used in both in MF/VE emulsifiers comes from suppliers that are either members of the Round Table of Sustainable Palm Oil or a subsidiary company or who are members of FEDIOL which supports sustainability. FEDIOL is a European industry federation based in Brussels”.

You can read more about palm oil here.


  1. Heat the Fat Stage ingredients in a double boiler ( or a metal pot on hot water)  until above 75°C. Use a thermometer to check
    Boil the water add the MF emulsifier and other Water Stage ingredients.
  2. Keep both hot – make sure both liquids are above 75°C.
  3. Take off heat
  4. Pour the Fat Stage into the Water Stage in a slow steady stream before they drop below  75°C.
  5. Mix well – I use a hand blender.
  6. Allow to cool. Whisk occasionally to achieve a nice creamy consistency. As the mixture cools it  becomes thicker and more creamy. It will reach its thickest consistency when it has cooled down to room temperature.
  7. When the temperature is below 40°C you can add active ingredients
    • perfumes or essential oils
    • magical things to make you look years younger.
    • specialist ingredients to your base to make for example sun tan lotion or self tan.

Pour the Cream into jars and label.

Recipes coconut oil featured

Here are some sample recipes.

Supermarket Cream (My recipe)

You can buy all these ingredient from the supermarket.  I cut the olive oil with the lighter almond oil because I find it rather heavy.

Makes One liter of cream – have a big pot ready!

Fat Stage

  • 25 g VE Emulsifier
  • 20g Cetyl Alcohol
  • 70ml Almond Oil Tesco’s or Asian Shop
  • 30ml Olive Oil
  • 20g coconut oil Tescos or Asian Shop

Water Stage

  • 800ml water
  • 40g MF emulsifier

Fancy Aromatics Recipe

To be honest I think this recipe has way to many ingredients but I like this company, I have used their products many times and think that this will probably make a nice cream.

It is also useful to have a recipe that lists by percentages.

You can experiment and use different oils, or even less oils. Just make sure the percentages stay the same. For example you can cut the thistle oil and use 10% Apricot Kernal Oil.

By percentage

Fat Stage (above 75°C)
2% Cocoa Butter
3% Macadamia Nut Oil
7% Apricot Kernel Oil
3% Thistle Oil
2.5% VE Emulsifier
2% Cetearyl Alcohol

Water Stage (above 75°C)
4.5% MF Emulsifier
69% Boiling Spring Water
2% Glycerine

Third Stage (below 40°C)
1% Preservative 12 or Eco
1% Vitamin E Simulated Natural
2% NFF Complex
1% Essential Oils of your choice

From Aromantics

Rich Tropical Delights Cream (My recipe)

Much easier far fewer ingredients. I cut the olive oil with Almond because I find it rather heavy.

Makes One liter of cream – have a big pot ready!

Fat Stage

  • 25 g VE Emulsifier
  • 20g Cetyl Alcohol
  • 70ml Almond Oil
  • 30ml Coconut Oil
  • 20g Shea butter
  • 10g Cocoa butter

Water Stage

  • 800ml water
  • 40g MF emulsifier

Design Your Own

You can adapt the mix of oils for the above recipes based on your personal preference.

If you want to design you own from scratch, follow these guidelines…

  • Emulsifiers 5-8%
  • Oils 12-20%
  • Water, Additives, and Botanicals to 100 %.


If you want a thinner cream add more water at the water stage.

Anti Aging, Sun Tan Lotion & Fake Bake

You can add  specialist ingredients to your base to make for example sun tan lotion or self tan.

Take Care 

  • That everything you use is clean, very clean.
  • Make sure you have enough pots to store your cream in.
  • That you label it – and date it. Believe me you will forget!

Trouble Shoot

Cream too thick? You cannot add more water once the mixture has cooled. This ruins the cream – it will not rub in. You will need to make a thinner lotion and mix your creams to achieve the desired consistency. You can add more oil and mix well. This of course makes your cream more oily.


I store my creams in old jars but for display  I have bought some glass jars with metal lids.

Aromantics is a good and ethical supplier of ingredients but expensive. I buy a lot of stuff in bulk from other suppliers. Ebay is a good source. Prices vary so do shop around.

Plastic Spoiler

Most plastic base ingredients come in plastic bags but I get huge amounts cream out of one small bag of ingredients so I consider it a worthwhile compromise.

Making Personal Care Products Hairspray featured

Its quicker then  trying to choose between a hundred different shampoos and it’s really simple, fun to do, so much cheaper  and  I get to control what goes on my  body, where it comes from and what environmental impact it has.

Lots more info here on  toothpaste and other products  

and making other stuff – here.

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