DIY Essential Oil Scented Lotion

This month’s recipe is a simple one that can be very useful. Essential oils are fantastic for so many things, not to mention just smelling great too. The vast majority of essential oils should be diluted before using (all should be in fact, with the exception of lavender and tea tree) before using on the skin since most oils are too strong to be used topically without dilution and can cause skin irritations.

A 2% dilution is generally recommended as safe for adult use on a daily basis, whereas a 1% dilution is recommended for use on children.

Essential oils are usually diluted with a carrier oil, but the downside of that is that using oils on the skin can feel “oily” which is not something everyone likes. Mixing essential oils with a prepared unscented lotion is a wonderful and simple way to dilute oils for use on the skin, as well as naturally scenting a lotion to your exact scent preference.

We have a great unscented lotion at the store by the brand Everyone that comes in a 32oz. pump bottle. For a 2% dilution of 32oz. of product you would need 2 tsp. of essential oils. I wanted to use spice oils in my blend, which are known to be possibly irritating to the skin, so I decided to use 1 ½ tsp. in the blend I made, which I still felt was plenty strong enough (which worked out to be a 1.5% dilution).


Supplies Needed:

32oz. bottle of unscented lotion (I used the Everyone brand)

5 teaspoons of essential oils (any combination of oils equaling 5 teaspoons)

Gallon zip lock bag

Gallon sized container (optional)



It’s handy to have a container that a gallon zip lock bag fits over the edges of, though you can just do it with a plain gallon zip lock bag. It’s recommended to gather all the materials before starting so everything is at your fingertips.


Remove the pump from the container of lotion, and pour the entire container of lotion into your gallon zip lock bag.

Add whatever combination of oils you desire to your mixture, totaling 5 teaspoons of oil. I used a combination of patchouli, cinnamon, clove, and orange- a blend of essential oils I really enjoy. Since I love patchouli, I did one teaspoon of that and then used half teaspoons of oils for the rest, which equaled a total of five tablespoons.


Stir the mixture inside the ziplock bag until the oils are fully incorporated into the lotion.

When the mixture is mixed, seal the top of the bag and snip the edge off of one of the bottom sides of the bag and gently squeeze the lotion back into the original bottle. Make a smaller cut off the corner that you think, since if the hole is too big it will make it difficult to squeeze the mixture back into the lotion container.

When you’ve squeezed all the lotion back into the container, screw the pump top back on and give the bottle a vigorous shake.

That’s it!  This is my first time making a DIY scented lotion, and I absolutely love it and will definitely be doing it again. Another benefit is that I think the scent lasts on the skin much longer than standard scented lotions, even naturally scented ones. I am really happy with how this lotion turned out since so many of the lotions regularly available are flowery or fruity scents, which are not my favorites, so it’s nice to make a custom blend.

Some other ideas for lotions are:

Lemon oil + rosemary

Lavender + spearmint + bergamot

Lemon + bergamot

Cedarwood + atlas cedar

Pine + balsam fir

Tangerine + clove + anise

…the possibilities are endless!