Say goodbye to dull complexions with this DIY lotion
Has winter left your skin looking a little lacklustre? You’re not alone! The cold and reduced daylight hours over long, snowy months have left many a complexion weary. Good news, though! We have the perfect pick-me-up: Skin ’n’ Tonic, a homemade face lotion featuring a cocktail of revitalizing ingredients to give your skin the boost it needs to glow again.
In developing this natural lotion recipe, we opted for ingredients with toning, revitalizing, and comforting properties—including a skin-brightening orange peel powder infusion and soothing chamomile hydrosol. Xanthan gum and Olivem 1000 combine to give it a delicate gel-like texture that won’t leave a greasy film behind. Between its sunny citrus notes and light, silky feel, this DIY lotion conjures up carefree afternoons spent on a patio.
In short, our naturally alcohol-free Skin ’n’ Tonic gives your skin a healthy glow. Read on to learn how to make your own!
How to make a face lotion for glowing skin
Orange peel powder infusion
- 50.3 g (50.3%) bitter orange peel powder infusion
- 20 g (20%) chamomile hydrosol
- 14 g (14%) demineralized water
- 3.5 g (3.5%) vegetable glycerin
- 0.2 g (0.2%) xanthan gum
- 2 g (2%) vitamin E
- 2 g (2%) elderberry extract
- 1 g (1%) essential oil or aromatic essence of your choosing
- Four small stainless steel bowls
- Basin filled with water (to make a cold-water bath)
- Components to make two double boilers
- Small silicone spatula
- Scale, accurate to 0.1 g
- A few pipettes
- A few ramekins
- Mini-mixer with frothing attachment (the small wheel)
- Fine mesh sieve or coffee filter
- Funnel or Ziploc-style bag and scissors
- Two cosmo bottles (60 ml)
Good to know!
- Olivem 1000 is the emulsifier in this lotion recipe. It’s technically possible to replace it with another emulsifier, but this will change the texture of the final product. It will also mean that you’ll need to adjust the proportions of the other ingredients and run your own tests to determine them.
- We chose xanthan gum because it yields a lovely gel texture and provides this lotion with its silky feel. We advise against replacing it with another gum, as that would change the texture of the final product.
- Bitter orange peel powder is used in this lotion recipe for its toning properties and because it gives your complexion a healthy glow—perfect for the change of season! It’s also astringent.
- Apricot kernel oil protects your skin from drying out. We chose it for its radiance-boosting effects, which, in combination with the orange peel powder, help revive your complexion and leave it glowing.
- Chamomile hydrosol helps calm and protect sensitive skin, offering a restorative boost to skin sensitized by cold temperatures. You can replace it with a different hydrosol that’s suitable for your skin type.
- Vitamin E helps improve your skin’s elasticity and hydration. It also helps prevent the oil from going rancid.
- Elderberry extract is antifungal and antibacterial; it serves as the preservative for the aqueous phase in this DIY lotion.
- For this face lotion recipe, you’re free to choose the essential oil or aromatic essence that best meets your needs and desires. All our aromatic essences are safe for skin use and will impart their scent. Essential oils offer benefits in addition to their lovely scents. You can read up on which essential oils are right for your skin type here. Keep in mind that some essential oils are dermocaustic or photosensitizing and should not be used in this product.
- Vegetable glycerin is an excellent natural emollient and helps maintain your skin’s hydration.
Steps to follow
- Bring 500 g of water to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and add the bitter orange peel powder. Leave for 15 minutes to infuse.
- Strain the infusion through a mesh sieve or with a coffee filter.
- Set 50.3 g of the infusion aside to make your lotion. You can use the additional infusion in the place of water or hydrosol in your recipes for toners or skin creams. Store your remaining infusion in the fridge, where it will keep for about one month.
- Weigh the chamomile hydrosol and demineralized water in a bowl. Heat on a double boiler until the mixture reaches 70°C.
- Weigh the oil phase ingredients (Olivem 1000 and apricot kernel oil) in a bowl. Heat the oil phase on a double boiler until it reaches 70°C.
- While these two mixtures are heating, weigh the cooling phase ingredients (vitamin E, elderberry extract, and scent) in a ramekin using a pipette.
- Weigh the xanthan gum and the glycerin in a ramekin and mix to combine.
- When the aqueous phase is at temperature, remove it from the heat and add the gum-glycerin mixture. Mix immediately and vigorously with the mini-mixer. The mixture should thicken. Continue to mix until homogeneous.
- Add the infusion to the mixture from step 10. Mix with the mini-mixer until homogeneous.
- Gently pour the oil phase (at 70°C) over the aqueous phase, while mixing with the mini-mixer to create the emulsion.
- Place the bowl in a cold-water bath and continue to mix with the mini-mixer until the temperature has cooled to about 45°C.
- When the emulsion has cooled to 45°C, add the cooling phase ingredients, already measured out in a ramekin in step 8. Continue to mix with the mini-mixer until homogeneous.
- Pour the lotion into your two cosmo bottles using a funnel or a Ziploc-style bag. For the latter, cut the tip of a bottom corner of the bag off, and transfer lotion to the bag, holding it over the opening of the bottle.
Your homemade face lotion is now ready to use!
Use and conservation
This homemade toning lotion is formulated for face use and is suitable for all skin types. If you have oily skin, you’ll especially appreciate that this lotion is quickly absorbed by your skin, doesn’t leave a greasy film, and will have a mattifying effect.
When made in optimal sanitary conditions, it will keep for at least three months.