DIY Moisturizer For Dry Skin

by Suzan Ferreira
How To Make The Best Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin side view of image of jar of homemade moisturizer on wooden board with gold cover leaned up against the jar

Time to make my favorite DIY moisturizer for my dry winter skin.  Learning to make your own homemade moisturizer for dry skin is so simple you may never want another store-bought option again!


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It’s the time when my skin begins to feel tight, dry and flakey.  As soon as the house is closed up and the wood stoves are cranking out the heat, I know I need to break out my favorite recipe for the best homemade body lotion and moisturizer I’ve come across.

If you are like I am, I am always looking for ways to limit our exposure to chemicals, preservatives, and additives.  I also seek out products that are organically sourced to limit our exposure to pesticides and other unwanted ingredients such as dyes and fragrances.  By making my own, I control what is added and from where it’s sourced.


Our skin is the largest organ in our body.  It’s alive, breaths and absorbs all it comes into contact with.  It protects us.  It’s an organ worth noting and taking the best care of possible.  Keeping your skin healthy and supple, with as limited additional chemical exposure as possible, is the least we can do for our hardworking epidermis!  

Skin acts as a waterproof, insulating shield, guarding the body against extremes of temperature, damaging sunlight, and harmful chemicals. It also exudes antibacterial substances that prevent infection and manufactures vitamin D for converting calcium into healthy bones. Skin additionally is a huge sensor packed with nerves for keeping the brain in touch with the outside world. At the same time, skin allows us free movement, proving itself an amazingly versatile organ.

National Geographic

This lotion recipe absorbs very quickly, unlike other recipes I’ve tried which can leave a greasy residue.  My skin remains soft and supple all winter. 

It makes a great hand lotion throughout my day during the cold months.  I find that I do not develop the deep hangnails when using this lotion as compared to others. 

I also apply this to the soles of my feet.  I don’t know about you, but my feet become very “scaley” during the winter months, especially on the heels.  By applying this after my shower my feet remain soft and my heels don’t crack.

How To Make The Best Homemade Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin pin created for Pinterest showing opened jar of body butter


To save time, I have my “Lotions & Potions” basket that I can just grab on the go which has all the supplies I need to whip up some fantastic brews.

How To Make The Best Homemade Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin

Making lotions is quick, easy and saves money as well as being eco-friendly.  As always, choose your ingredients carefully and note where they are sourced from and how.  Below are the ingredients used for making this homemade body lotion recipe.  

How To Make The Best Homemade Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin

For this batch, I chose to mix the oils used up a bit, as well as I have added Aloe Vera Gel which allows me to emulsify it into a butter.  The printable recipe listed below is for a base recipe and one you can easily change up to suit your needs.  I will describe how I made this batch for you just as an option for you.  The following ingredient list is what I have chosen for my batch.

  • Unrefined Shea Butter (can be found here)
  • Organic Virgin/Unrefined Coconut Oil (can be found here)
  • Beeswax (can be found here) I do not recommend the yellow pastilles as the sourcing is questionable and have been known to contain plastics (I speak from experience).  Whatever beeswax you decide, it should have a strong scent of honey *Note:  experiment using the beeswax to suit your needs.  I use the beeswax during the summer months when the lotion needs a bit “firmer” texture as many of the ingredients will liquify during the hot weather.  You can omit it altogether if you choose
  • Organic Sweet Almond Oil (can be found here) *I prefer Sky Organics Brand over the Mary Tyler Naturals shown in the picture
  • Organic Calendula Oil – Check out my post, “How To Make & Use Calendula Oil” or if you prefer to purchase it can be found (can be found here)
  • Organic Aloe Vera Gel (can be found here)
  • Organic Vitamin E Oil (can be found here)
  • Organic Vanilla Extract (can be found here)

STEP 1You will need a Bain Marie or double boiler to make this easy.  I just place a bowl that fits over a medium-size stock pot with about 2-3 inches of water.  I have a designated bowl that I use only for this purpose, but you can easily use any heat resistant bowl.  Don’t have the right size bowl?  Many use a pyrex measuring cup or something similar and place right in the water as well.  I find the double boiler method easier.

Slice approximately 1/2 Tbl beeswax and put in a bowl along with your butter and place over your stock pot.  Melt over medium/low heat until the beeswax is entirely melted.

How To Make The Best Homemade Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin
How To Make The Best Homemade Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin

STEP 2Once all melted completely, remove the bowl from the heat and let cool for about five minutes.  Add your oils of choice. 

Note: the oils may be added to the butter and beeswax when heating instead if desired.  I usually add the oils after all is melted, just less to have to bring to temperature. 

I’ve added 2 Tbl Sweet Almond Oil and 2 Tbl Calendula Oil as well as roughly 1/2 tsp Vitamin E Oil and 1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract or 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil to scent.  Stir well to combine.  Let cool.  The moisturizer may be placed into a glass container as is or you can whip your body butter up as I have.   

If you choose to whip the butter, place the bowl on a hot pad and put it in the refrigerator for about an hour to cool as well as firm up a bit. 

Once firm, I use an old handheld blender but feel free to use whatever you have on hand to blend.  Blend on medium speed and VERY slowly pour about 1 tsp Aloe Vera Gel (or more as needed to reach your desired consistency) a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

UPDATE: Having received so many inquiries about how I blend and whip my moisturizer, I’ve created a short video below just for you 😊

How To Make The Best Homemade Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin

Whip The Firmed Mixture

How To Make The Best Homemade Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin

Once you’ve reached your desired consistency, use a rubber spatula to get all that creamy goodness into a glass jar for storing.  This recipe makes a pretty small batch, so I always double the recipe as we go through this rather quickly in the winter.  Should you opt to make more at the same time, store additional jars in the refrigerator and they will keep for up to six months.  I use dark colored jars (can be found here) if I am planning on storing long-term.

How To Make The Best Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin image of jar of homemade moisturizer on wooden board with gold cover leaned up against the jar

This versatile recipe is my absolute favorite base recipe to use.  I adjust as needed.  For example, summer months when I want something a bit lighter, I will add 1/2 shea butter and 1/2 mango butter (can be found here).  If I need a bit heavier lotion, I add cocoa butter (can be found here) along with the shea butter.

Although the initial outlay is a bit of an investment, the amount of lotion which can be made is substantial.  I have never actually added up the ounces that can be made but will make for an interesting experiment and will surely update this post with results. 

I can state, that as of the date of this post, the last order I made for shea butter (the one butter I always include when making lotion) was on February 10, 2018.  So the supplies needed last!

One last note, I combine making my lotions along with my other homemade toiletries.  Check out my posts for making homemade deodorant, “How To Make The Best Natural Deodorant & Why”,  as well as my homemade toothpaste, “How To Make The Best Homemade Toothpaste”!

Have a favorite recipe to share?  Love to hear from you!  Want to hear more?  Be sure to join us below to receive ISML’s monthly “Happenings On The Hill”!

Love, Light, & Laughter ~

Signature of Suzan from It's My Sustainable Life
How To Make The Best Homemade Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin top view of mason jar filled with lotion
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5 from 3 votes

How To Make The Best Homemade Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin

This vanilla body lotion is rich, deeply moisturizing and perfect for dry winter skin!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Suzan Ferreira


  • 2 Tbl Coconut Oil Recommended organic, unrefined oil
  • 2 Tbl Shea Butter
  • 4 Tbl Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1/2 Tbl Beeswax *optional
  • 1/2 Tsp Vitamin E Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Essential Oil optional
  • 1 Tsp Aloe Vera Gel (may need more as needed)


  • Place the first 4 ingredients into bain marie or double boiler.  Melt over medium heat
  • Remove from heat and cool for approximately 5 minutes
  • Add essential oil of choice and vitamin E oil.  Stir to combine
  • For whipped butter, place in refrigerator for one hour
  • Remove from refrigerator and blend with hand held mixer adding aloe vera gel very slowly until desired consistency is reached


  •  Vanilla Extract can be substituted for the essential oil
  •  Any oil of choice may be used.  I like to mix Calendula Oil and Sweet Almond
  •  Double the batch.  Store additional lotion in the refrigerator for up to six months
  •  Those in warmer climates may wish to add 1 tsp beeswax during the melting process          


Recommendations and or suggestions made by this blog regarding husbandry and or herbal remedies etc. are not meant to replace solid advice from qualified professionals.  None of the information on this blog has been evaluated by the FDA.  Products or remedies mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.  Please do your due diligence.  Research, talk to qualified professionals and proceed at your own risk.

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Donna B Reidland August 12, 2022 - 5:07 pm

I’ve never tried making something like this but it sounds very interesting.

Carol L December 7, 2020 - 3:08 pm

This looks like a really nice moisturizer. Thank you for the recipe. I’m surprised that no one has asked for a list of the contents of your “Lotions and Potions” basket! I’d like to know!

Suzan Ferreira December 7, 2020 - 3:47 pm

LOL! You are absolutely right! My “lotions & potions basket” holds all my ingredients for making my homemade personal care items. Oils, bowls, essential oils, funnels etc. Thank you for reading, Carol, & have a great day!

Kippi Ohern November 11, 2020 - 2:55 pm

Great idea to make your own natural moisturizer. It would make nice gifts too.
Have a great week,
Ps. Pinned

Pamela November 11, 2020 - 2:36 pm

I hope to get to try this. Sounds so good. I tried a DIY disinfectant when COVID first started and we still use that same disinfectant today. So I know this would be really good as well, I Just have to find the time to make it. Thanks for sharing with us. I love your blog and found you at Grandma’s House link party.

Suzan Ferreira November 11, 2020 - 3:03 pm

Thank you, Pamela! It is something we love to use and sometimes have a hard time finding the time as well. I typically make a double or even triple batch, refrigerate until needed, to save time. Hope you can give it a try & thank you for your kind words!

Jennifer Dynys November 10, 2020 - 10:13 pm

I love making my own products like this! I am going to try whipping it like you did, the consistency looks perfect! Thank you for sharing with us at Embracing Home and Family!

Marielle November 6, 2020 - 6:57 pm

I’ve never made my own lotion. This looks like a great consistency and sounds awesome for the skin. Thanks for sharing! I’m visiting from the Embracing Home and Family linkup today. Have a wonderful weekend Suzan!

Suzan Ferreira November 9, 2020 - 12:00 pm

You are most welcome, Marielle! So glad you could stop by & hope you can give it a try! Enjoy!!

Marilyn Lesniak April 2, 2020 - 12:37 am

5 stars
Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Pleas stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

Linda March 29, 2020 - 3:38 pm

Hello Suzan, such a lovely moisturizer. I do have dry skin, so making your own sounds wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing at Love Your Creativity. Stay safe!

Cherelle | The Inspired Prairie March 26, 2020 - 4:33 am

Hi Suzan!
This recipe looks so luscious for the dry hands. Right now I’ve been washing mine like crazy, and they could seriously use a good moisturizer like this one! Thanks for sharing with us on The Homestead Blog Hop!

Suzan Ferreira March 26, 2020 - 11:06 am

Right? I am making it like mad right now as my whole family is using it, and using it often!

Grandma's House DIY March 23, 2020 - 3:24 pm

Love this! Thanks for sharing with us at the to grandma’s house we go link party. I’ll be featuring you on my blog, instagram, twitter and facebook!

Dee | Grammy's Grid March 23, 2020 - 2:53 am

Looks easy, good to know recipe too! Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 10, open March 1 to 26. All entries shared on social media if share buttons installed. I’d like to invite you to check out my other current link parties!

Joanne March 19, 2020 - 6:53 pm

That looks absolutely wonderful!! Thanks for sharing with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.

Pam March 19, 2020 - 2:08 pm

Wow, this looks like an amazing moisturizer. I have such dry skin in the winter, and yes, my feet get especially bad. I am going to pin this and give it a try. Thanks for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things!

Pam March 26, 2020 - 5:37 am

I’m featuring this wonderful moisturizer at the TFT link party tomorrow. Congrats!

Suzan Ferreira March 26, 2020 - 11:05 am

Thank you, Pam! I appreciate it!

Marilyn Lesniak December 14, 2019 - 11:36 pm

5 stars
Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Happy Holiday!

Jody October 16, 2019 - 2:00 pm

This is really neat.

Cindy October 16, 2019 - 5:19 am

Looks like a great recipe for a moisturizing lotion. I love making my own skin serum. I use it on my face and on neck only. I’ll try this moisturizer for winter!

Suzan Ferreira October 16, 2019 - 12:35 pm

Please be sure and let me know how you like it!

Lisa October 16, 2019 - 3:32 am

I was just talking to my husband about learning how to make my own… this is great!

Lisa October 15, 2019 - 3:07 pm

I am always looking for a good moisturizer this time of year and have not found a lot I can use due to my sensitive skin. I’m definitely going to give this a try.

Suzan Ferreira October 15, 2019 - 5:05 pm

My daughter’s skin is extremely sensitive and has issues with eczema as well. This is one moisturizer that works amazingly well for her. I hope it works as well for you!

Christina Furnival Real Life Mama October 15, 2019 - 2:15 pm

It looks so luxurious! Thanks for this step by step guide!

Margie October 15, 2019 - 2:06 pm

Ok, I am IMPRESSED. Never considered making moisturizer. You make it look fairly simple and straightforward. I love the step-by-step directions with pics.

Suzan Ferreira October 15, 2019 - 2:19 pm

It truly is very simple and works amazing! Hope you can give it a try!

Pauline October 15, 2019 - 12:12 pm

5 stars
This looks great. My husband has the hardest time in winter with dry skin on his legs. My lovely sister in law is going to make him a batch.

Suzan Ferreira October 15, 2019 - 2:20 pm

How wonderful! Let me know how you like it!

Magan October 15, 2019 - 2:28 am

I really wish I was dedicated enough to do this! It looks like it would be a very soothing lotion.

Ramae Hamrin October 14, 2019 - 7:45 pm

Making my own lotions is one of those things I would still love to do. I’m super picky when purchasing these kinds of products, so it would only make sense to make my own. It sounds like a great winter project. I appreciate your step-by-step process here with photos. It will really help!

Suzan Ferreira October 14, 2019 - 10:13 pm

Hope you can give them a try, Ramae. I have found they really make a difference.

Ellen October 14, 2019 - 6:27 pm

I love when I can diy lotions etc. Pinned this one to try on the weekend!

Suzan Ferreira October 14, 2019 - 10:13 pm

Yay! Let me know how you like it!

Karen October 14, 2019 - 6:05 pm

I pinned this to use later.

Suzan Ferreira October 14, 2019 - 10:13 pm

Hope you enjoy it!

Christie October 14, 2019 - 5:52 pm

I must try this. Sure I will save a lot of money if I do.

Suzan Ferreira October 14, 2019 - 10:14 pm

Definitely. Thanks for reading!

jen October 14, 2019 - 4:22 pm

really great article. I am always on the lookout as I get dry cracked hands. This looks like a good project for me to do with my daughter. maybe even for christmas gifts too

Suzan Ferreira October 14, 2019 - 10:14 pm

It makes a wonderful gift! Thanks for stopping by.

Angela October 14, 2019 - 4:06 pm

Another great homemade product idea that I am saving to try myself! thanks

Michelle October 14, 2019 - 3:44 pm

I have always made my own stuff and this recipe looks awesome. I am going to have to give it a try. Thanks.

Kristen Usrey October 14, 2019 - 3:42 pm

Thank you for the step by step and recipe. I am always looking for a good lotion but most of the time they leave my hands oily feeling, so I’m excited to try this. Plus, it’s nice knowing what’s in it rather than trying to figure out what chemical whatever is.

Holly Bird October 14, 2019 - 2:45 pm

I can’t wait to try this..minus the coconut oil..I’m allergic! Thank you, moisturizers are so expensive this will be awesome to have! Thank you!

Lisa April 15, 2019 - 12:06 am

Oh this looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try it!

Suzan Ferreira April 15, 2019 - 11:22 am

You won’t be sorry!

Beth April 14, 2019 - 2:34 pm

This is a great recipe and I look forward to trying it. I know what you mean about needing a good moisturizer – I’m in dry Denver. I appreciate all the process photos and the thoughtful comments and links about the ingredients. Going to check out several of your other posts!

Suzan Ferreira April 14, 2019 - 4:46 pm

Thank you, Beth! Let me know how you like it!

Hillary April 14, 2019 - 2:32 pm

Looks like an awesome and easy process! My skin is always so dry no matter what season, so I’ll have to bookmark this!

Suzan Ferreira April 14, 2019 - 4:46 pm

Super easy and super effective. It is one that I use year-round as well.

Theresa April 14, 2019 - 1:53 pm

I have enjoyed making cold process soap and have been wanting to expand my skill set. I have most of the ingredients you shared so I am super excited to do this! The blog is laid out beautifully and thanks for the recipe. Bonus!

Suzan Ferreira April 14, 2019 - 4:47 pm

I have yet to make my soaps. That’s next on the list. Enjoy the lotion!

Valerie April 14, 2019 - 1:24 pm

I like this recipe… Simple, yet looks to be effective. I’ll have to try it. Especially since being in MN the winters tend to be really rough on my hands while tending to the animals during Polar Vortexes. Quick question… For the tools, do you have separate bowls, beaters, etc that you use for this? I’m assuming you do since you may not want to mix it with your everyday food prep tools. Thanks.

Suzan Ferreira April 14, 2019 - 4:50 pm

I do have separate utensils & bowls that I use. I found a used beater mixer that I picked up on the skinny for this purpose as well. I find if you wipe everything with paper towels well before washing, it all cleans up very easily with no issue. Thanks for stopping by!

Barb December 8, 2018 - 6:05 am

Enjoyed reading this, very good stuff, regards.

Suzan Ferreira December 10, 2018 - 6:18 pm

Thank you so much, Barb! Hope you are able to give it a try!


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