Homemade Lavender-Chamomile Sleepy-Time Lotion Recipe

Having trouble falling asleep? Try treating yourself to a calming homemade body lotion, filled with the soothing scents of lavender and chamomile. Put some of this on before bed, tuck a lavender sleep sachet under your pillow for good measure, and you’ll find yourself on the way to a much-needed good night’s rest (and you will have spared your skin many foreign chemicals.)

Homemade Lavender-Chamomile Lotion- for sleep and relaxation.

Ingredients: beeswax, coconut oil, chamomile flowers, lavender buds, jojoba oil, water, essential oil (optional).

Why chamomile: Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties and is wonderful at soothing and healing rough or damaged skin. Its calming scent is almost divine, unmatched by essentially any other herb when it comes to helping you fall asleep.

chamomile

Why Lavender: Lavender has a pleasant smell that reduces anxiety and helps you relax, while it also contains anti-inflammatory properties. Its scent has also been shown to boost mood, as well as cause drowsiness.

lavender

Why Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil keeps skin soft, supple, and elastic and is good for people with sensitive skin. It does not leave an oily or greasy residue and has a longer shelf-life than some other carrier oils such as almond oil), which it can be substituted for.

jojoba oil

Why Solid coconut oil: Also praised for softening skin and keeping it moisturized, coconut oil is solid when below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Starting off with it as a solid makes the lotion whip up a little better and stabilize.

coconut oil

Why Beeswax: This helps stabilize the mixture as well, and prevents separation. Secreted by busy worker bees constructing a honeycomb, beeswax is nutrient-rich and provides a sort of protective barrier for your skin.

beeswax

What you will need…

- A double boiler
- Immersion blender or food processor
- 3 ounces of solid coconut oil
- Cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer
- 6 ounces of liquid jojoba oil, infused
- scale
- lavender or chamomile essential oil (optional)
- 1 ½ ounces grated beeswax
- 8 ounces of distilled water
- 5 teaspoons Chamomile flowers
- 5 teaspoons lavender buds

lavender lotion ingredients

Infuse your oil

In a double boiler, place 5 teaspoons each of chamomile flowers and lavender buds (if using fresh herbs instead of dried double the amount.)  Pour your jojoba oil over the herbs and bring the water to a gentle boil. Over continuous heat infuse your oil for about 2 hours, checking frequently to make sure they do not overheat and stirring on occasion. After it’s thoroughly infused, strain the oil through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer and toss the herbs. Bottle if you plan on using it later. You can substitute the jojoba with grapeseed oil in a pinch.

oil

Directions

Making lotion isn’t all that different from making mayonnaise, and while that’s a horrible comparison, I just mean it uses the same process of emulsifying water and oil to create a thick, smooth, substance. Note that temperature is of paramount importance-the ingredients must be cooled to the correct temperature otherwise the water and oil will remain separated. Jojoba oil has a longer shelf-life than other carrier oils do, and distilled water also helps shelf life. Keep it in a container with a tightly fitting lid for up to 2 months, or 3 if you refrigerate it. Remember though- it’s good that your lotion doesn’t last forever like the stuff sold in stores. That’s just not natural, or good for you.

You’re going to start by setting up a double boiler-this can be as simple as putting a smaller saucepan into a larger one filled about 2/3 of the way with water, or even a bowl resting over the water bath, just make sure you have a lid you can rest over the top. Combine 3 ounces of solid coconut oil with 6 ounces of your infused jojoba oil as well as 1 1/2 ounces of grated beeswax in the double boiler. Let them melt together and thoroughly blend.

melting wax

Remove the top saucepan or bowl and let it cool to body temperature. Stir occasionally while it cools to keep the texture smooth. When the mixture is body temperature, heat 8 ounces of distilled water to body temperature and pour it into a tall container. Turn your immersion blender to low, and slowly, slowly, pour a thin stream of the oil into the water.

emulsifying

After a few minutes a sort of cream will begin to form, don’t panic if it looks like curdled milk at first, with a little more mixing it will smooth out. If you’re using essential oil, add it now a few drops at a time, until it’s as scented as you like. Apply this lotion before bedtime to relax and help you drift off, or anytime you need relief from stress.

lavender lotion

Making your own lotion really isn’t all that hard once you’ve done it once or twice, and it’s terribly fun to say (when somebody asks what lotion you’re wearing) “well, actually, it’s just a little something I whipped up myself.” Feel free to swap out oils and herbs and come up with your own blend that helps get you through the day (or night) and do share below!


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By Claire Goodall

Claire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything :) Meet Claire→

         

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46 Comments

  1. Claire (Everyday Roots) says:

    This always seems so intimidating in the beginning, but there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction you feel after making something (like lotions) from scratch :)

    • Rachael Rudy says:

      Hi Claire! I tried to make this recipe today and about 4 oz of the water did not blend into the mixture :( Is there any way I can fix it at this point? My final product is really oily and if I can’t fix it I will just use it as a hand-cream. But I would rather use it as a lotion!

      • Amanda Riepel says:

        I had the same problem. As my lotion cool to room temperature, the water separated out. It’s still usable and feels great on my skin, but I am a little disappointed that it separated.

        • Amanda Riepel says:

          So I called my father, who is a chemist, and told him the problem I had. We figured out my mistake. I weighed out 8 oz of water rather than measure it by volume. So the proportion was off. Just for the future- make sure you measure out the water!

  2. Margaret says:

    What is the shelf life of the lotion? Should it be refrigerated?

    • Claire Goodall (Everyday Roots) says:

      You can keep it in a container with a tightly fitting lid for up to 2 months, or 3 if you refrigerate it. It’s not going to last as long as anything store bought-but I consider that a good thing!

  3. Janice says:

    Think i will give this a try have all ready made one skin cream and worked great

  4. Amber says:

    Where can I just buy this homemade lavender sleepy time lotion?

  5. wendy says:

    Can one substitute EO’s for the flowers?

    • Trish says:

      Not really, the botanicals will infuse their healing properties into the oil. The EO’s add some of those properties but you would have to add so much that the scent might be overpowering at that point.
      If you don’t have access to an herbal store that sells bulk herbs, you can get these at mountainroseherbs.com

    • Claire (Everyday Roots) says:

      You can, and you’ll still get the benefits of aromatherapy. In that case you’d just skip the infusing step and use plain jojoba oil, and then add in your EO’s in the final mixing step until the lotion is as scented as you’d like :)

  6. Chantawn says:

    Is there a suitable substitute for Chamomile?

  7. Debbie says:

    Where can I get chamomile buds?
    I’m in Ontario Canada
    Thanks Debbie

    • Jessa says:

      Debbie you can get the buds, and all of the other stuff as well at mountainroseherbs.com.
      I just got my first order from them and the things I ordered were top notch. and they ship to Canada.

  8. Debbie says:

    I would also like to know about a substitute for chamomile. I love vanilla lavender, could I infuse the oil with a vanilla bean and the lavender?

    • Claire (Everyday Roots) says:

      You sure could! I bet that would smell lovely. I would just slice the pods lengthwise and then cut them up into roughly even sized chunks so that all their goodness has a chance to fully infuse the oil.

  9. Kristine Sycks says:

    Does this recipe work well if you double or triple it? I like to make one for me and a couple to give away. Thanks for a wonderful recipe. I just bought the D\Chamomile yesterday on a whim..and I had the Lavender jug in my hand and for some dumb reason I decided to pass on it…on the plus side it give me a reason to go to my favorite herb store =)

    • Claire (Everyday Roots) says:

      I haven’t actually tried doubling it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work as long as the rations were correct! And aren’t good herb stores just the best? Its terrible when I go to mine…I just want to try everything!

  10. Shannon says:

    Are the measurements for the oils by volume or weight? I have all of these ingredients but they are pricey around here and I don’t want to mess it up :)

  11. anna hale says:

    do you have a different version without coconut oil, my husband is highly allergic to it?

  12. Michele says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis and Fibro. This sounds like it would help me relax at bedtime; sometimes it is so hard to fall to sleep.
    I actually made some facial moisturizer using your method, and it worked great. I found it to be lots of fun!

  13. Natasha says:

    This might sound silly, but do you have cookware specifically for making these types of things? I have been thinking of making this recipe (as well as my own laundry detergent) but don’t know if I should use my pots and pans that I used to cook with. Thanks! :)

    • Ev says:

      Everything in the recipe is food grade. You have no need for specific cookware. I’ve been making my own creams and lotions for quite some time and have always just used my regular cookware and pyrex measuring cups.

  14. Clara says:

    I feel like this is such a do-able recipe. Your pics make it perfectly clear. Can’t wait to try this.

  15. jody says:

    It sounds like a wonderful recipe. Can you tell me where you get your jars? I have googled glass jars and cant come up with anything that is cute. Would love to know where I can purchase them.

  16. johanne Vestby says:

    hi! looks exciting to try to make, but the last time I used lotion with beeswax it gave me serious hives, as I have a pollen allergy. what can I substitute for beeswax?

  17. Louanne says:

    I LOVE this recipe. I have been looking for a good chammomile cream and this one is great.
    I do have a question however. Everything went well with the recipe right down to the whipping… however, after setting for a spell the water began to separate. What do I need to do differently? I am thinking the water may not have been quite warm enough… or perhaps I need to whip longer. Any tips or suggestions?
    Thank you in advance and thank you for sharing all your great information and ideas. This is one of my favorite websites!!
    Blessings,
    Louanne

  18. konni says:

    Made this tonight. I think I may have an allergy to lavender so I need to use something else. I was nervous about making it, but it came out perfect. At the end I used my Vitamixer on the lowest setting and it blended perfectly.

    • Aibhlinn says:

      An allergy to Jojoba is more likely, it’s not really an oil but a wax. Of course only your doctor can tell you for sure.

  19. uzma musa says:

    hi
    all types skin used this lotion or not?

  20. uzma musa says:

    all types of skin used this cream?

  21. Ev says:

    Jojoba oil can be expensive so I often use a combination of extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil (which is good for oily skin, btw), and jojoba oil for infusing.

  22. Sue says:

    With the water and botanicals, I’d be keeping the cream in the fridge and tossing it after 2 weeks. Botanicals are notoriously hard to preserve and anything with water is begging for contamination. Just because you can’t see the mold and germs doesn’t mean they aren’t there. There’s no way this would still be good after two months as indicated in the comments. Do it and have it tested. You’ll find it full of nasties.

  23. Patti says:

    I made this lotion today and it is lovely! I’ve made lip balm, toothpaste and deodorant but this was my first attempt at a lotion and the instructions are perfect. I was really happy with this every step of the way. I didn’t have jojoba oil so I did substitute and the results are great! Thank you so much for this gift of sharing your recipes and experience!

  24. Carl says:

    Hello, My wife and I are new to this whole craft. I made this two days ago and it has separated. I saw in the comments that the beeswax and coconut oil are weighed and the water and jojoba oil are measured. i measured them all because so many recipes i have read are by weight. So my question is can i save this batch? I would love to not waste the jojoba oil!

  25. Linda Corbinj says:

    sounds so easy and not to expensive. I have dry skin and this seems like it will help w/ that and help out w/ the trip to dreamland!

  26. Aibhlinn says:

    Step 1 is very confusing. An infusion is not made with oil AND water. How would you save the oil after straining if there’s water in there too? Please clarify.

    • Gwyn says:

      I was confused by that too. Then reading and thinking about it a little more I think she is talking about the water in the bottom pot of boiling water that is used to create the heat.

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