All summer I used straight aloe vera gel as my face moisturizer. It is fabulous stuff. Aloe is so light and breathable, yet moisturizing at the same time. And the aloe faded a sun/age spot that I had near my eye.

With the arrival of some fall feeling weather in Pennsylvania, I needed a more intense moisturizer. Based on a recipe from Better Basics for the Home, that called for 1/2 cup aloe vera gel and 1/8 cup glycerin, I did a little experimenting. I came up with the perfect formula for my skin and for the current weather. One great thing about making your own products is that you can adjust them as needed. Another thing is this recipe is so cheap. People spend gobs of money on facial moisturizers.

Facial Moisturizer

  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel (drinkable kind)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
  • 3 drops jojoba oil
  • 6 drops lavender oil

Place all ingredients in a small glass jar. Shake before each use. After washing your face while it is still damp, apply with your fingers. It will feel wet at first, but as it dries and absorbs, you will be left with silky soft skin.

You can adjust this formula to meet your skin needs. Use less glycerin if it makes your skin feel sticky. Use more glycerin to increase the moisturizing ability. You can eliminate or increase the jojoba oil or try a different oil (I like jojoba oil because it never goes rancid). You can also eliminate/change the lavender oil (I like lavender because it is antiseptic and antibacterial and it smells great).

Better Basics for the Home describes a similar recipe for homemade baby lotion. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup aloe vera gel and 1/2 tablespoon glycerin. So if you invest in buying aloe and glycerin – they have multiple uses.

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85 comments untill now

  1. Try this: Homemade Lotion Recipe for Dry Skin
    With this recipe, you can make an excellent lotion for hands which have become dry, either due to the weather or any other reason. According to me, this is the best lotion for dry skin. Click to read on dry skin care .


    * Almond Oil ¾ cup
    * Cocoa Butter 1/3 cup
    * Lanolin 1 teaspoon
    * Beeswax (grated) ½ oz
    * Rosewater 2/3 cup
    * Aloe Vera Gel 1/3 cup
    * Rose Oil 2 drops
    * Vitamin E Capsule 1


    * Melt almond oil, cocoa butter, lanolin and beeswax over low heat.
    * Let it cool to room temperature.
    * In a bowl, mix rosewater, aloe vera gel, rose oil and contents of the Vitamin E capsule.
    * Add the rosewater mixture to the almond oil mixture and whip together until the lotion resembles butter cream frosting.
    * Store in a covered container.
    Natural Homemade Cosmetics

  2. Not winter yet….or again LOL but what face moisturizer do you mix up then…and do you have a body lotion recipe?

  3. I use this recipe for my face in the winter and for my body year round.

  4. Thank you Kathy… :)

  5. wow – thank you so much for posting this moisturizer recipe – I’ve recently been aware of so many toxins in the creams we use and thought ‘Why don’t I just make my own? Then I Know the ingredients are natural.”

    thanks again!

  6. Can you use the lily of the desert aloe gelly for this recipe?

  7. Jacqi – The ingredients of the gelly are as follows: 99.5% Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Carbomer 940, Vitamin A, C, and E. I am not a fan of extra ingredients. Carbomer 940 sounds a bit crazy; it is “a polyvinyl carboxy polymer used as a viscosity enhancer.” I think the gelly will work fine, but the gel may be a bit more natural.

  8. Mrs. Bee @ 2011-09-07 15:38

    All I can say is wow! I have extremely sensitive, acne-prone skin and have spent a great deal of time and money trying to find a moisturizer that keeps my skin moisturized while keeping my skin clear. After trying it for over a month now, I know this is it (minus the lavender oil as I’m not a fan of the smell)! Not only have I found a moisturizer that works for me and is all natural but this mixture costs about 1/4 of the majority creams/gels/serums I used in the past. Thanks a lot Kathy!

  9. Mrs. Bee – I am so happy to hear that the moisturizer is working well for you! Yay!

  10. veronica @ 2011-10-30 00:02

    Hi Kathy – Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. I have a few questions hope you could help me.
    1. I have oily and sensitive skin, do I need to reduce the amount of the glycerin?
    2. Could I use tea tree oil instead of lavender oil? Because I still have a bottle of it.
    3. Is there any brand of the lavender oil that you could please recommend? Do I need to get the organic one?
    4. By any chance, you have a recipe for the shampoo and conditioner, if not is there any recommendation?
    Thanks so much for your kindness.

  11. Hi Veronica,
    For oily skin, it may be necessary to reduce the glycerin and jojoba oil, especially during warmer months. Start by using half of the recommend amounts and see if your recipe provides enough moisture for you, if not, add more.

    Tea tree oil can be harsh. I use a drop or two in my face wash in the summer, but I would not put it in my moisturizer. People who are prone to acne may find it help in a very diluted amount. You actually do not need to add any essential oil to this recipe. It will work without the lavender oil. I like lavender because it is antiseptic and antibacterial and it smells great.

    I purchase most of my essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs online. They have organic options. It does not need to be organic, but I like to use organic whenever possible.

    Shampoo and conditioner are very difficult to master. I have not found a recipe that works for me. Currently, I am using Desert Essence Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner.

    Good luck,

  12. veronica @ 2011-10-31 23:36

    Hi Kathy,
    Thanks so much for your prompt response and the advise. I am really appreciate.
    Best wishes,

  13. Hello there!

    We recently discovered your blog, and we love your whole concept. We are a brand new magazine, aimed at the vegetarian and vegan market, and we are looking for a writer who would write about skin care and food recipes for this market, It is not paid at this time, however you are able to have a link to your blog.

    It would be lovely to hear from you.

    Kindest Regards

  14. Thanks for the interest. I am a busy teacher, and I don’t have spare time to write. Good luck with your new magazine.

  15. Just found your blog and I’m really excited to make the moisturizer. Is there anything I should add for mature skin? Also, someone mentioned dry patches. Is this good for eczema too?

  16. Leanne,
    This is a very mild, general moisturizer and seems to work well for a lot of skin types with small adjustments. I would guess that increasing the oil and glycerin slightly would be good for both mature skin and eczema, but I am not positive about that. Good luck!

  17. I made this over the weekend and am really enjoying it. I live in Canada and found most of the ingredients at Planet Organic for pretty cheap. I did decide to use the avocado oil and no essential oil due to scent issues.

    Do you put it in the fridge? I tried to but the oil became hard so took it out and hoping it doesn’t go bad?


  18. Make little batches and keep it out of the fridge. Lavender oil works as a mild preservative for at least one month. Not sure how long it keeps without it though.

  19. Great post! I did a whole blog series about the dangerous in various cosmetics and beauty products. I just got an aromatherapy kit and now I make my own!

  20. […] Face Moisturizer […]

  21. veronica @ 2012-02-21 00:32

    Hi Kathy,

    How are you? Thanks so much for your advise, I have been using the modify recipe for my oily skin, and it works so great. Wrinkle around my eyes improved, and faded sun spot near my eyes. Also, it saves me lots of money to buy vegan lotion from wholefood which is not as effective as this one. It is very easy to make, I use a small baby food prune jar, so I could reuse the jar.

    I have one question, and hope you would help me with. I like to use soap to wash my face, my face is very oily. I found a natural hand made soap which is just olive oil, laurel oil, lye, water, and salt. Do you think it is good to use on skin. Because I am not sure if lye is safe to use on skin. Or do you know any brand of the natural soap that I could use?

    Thanks so much for your great help!

    Warmest regards,

  22. Hi Veronica – I am so glad to here that the modified recipe is working well for you. I believe that people need to use lye to make soap and after the chemical reaction, the lye is not present in the soap. I use Dr. Bronner’s liquid in my my face soap recipe (, and I am very happy with it. The soap you are using is probably fine too. ~Kathy

  23. veronica @ 2012-03-02 23:59

    Hi Kathy,
    Thanks so much again for the recipe. I would love to try this homemade face soap. And I will go to Bath and Body Works to buy the pump bottle. Thanks a lot.
    Best wishes.

  24. Veronica – you are very welcome. Maybe you can find a friend that already has a pump bottle? When I first started, I ask a few people, now I have more than I will ever use. I would not want to use the B&B soap myself. It feels good to reuse something that someone else would just toss in the trash. Just a thought. Hope you like the soap. :)

  25. Hi all,
    I’ve recently been training in aromatherapy and would just like to add a few thoughts: For mature skin rose essential oil is very good. You can use rosa mosqueta to reduce scarring. Lavender is good for balancing combination skin and also for healing, so will be good for sore acne. Avoid citrus oils on the face because they cause photosensitivity, i.e. you may burn in the sun. However, lots of oils should not be used on the skin before going in the sun, rosa mosqueta included. Also, it is much better to spend a tiny bit more on essential oils to ensure quality. Cheap oils won’t be as effective and are extracted in a less than optimum way, so try to find a company who talk about the high grade quality or go for professional quality oils. They might sound like a fair bit more money but they will last you a year or so. Remember they are concentrated so use no more than a few little drops total in a teaspoon of carrier oil. Adding more will not make it better for you, and end up costing you more.
    One more point, this time about oily skin… If you use soap to wash your face to dry out the oil, you will encourage your skin to overcompensate and produce more sebum, perpetuating the cycle. One trick is to fight like with like: I had oily skin and began to wash with just water. I now use a natural cleanser cream and rinse off in the shower. I then use a no nonsense method of toning too… straight from the shower I pat face dry and spray toner using an atomizer – no wasted cotton wool pads! Then I use a natural essential oil blend or oil based moisturizer and no longer have problems with over oily skin. It’s smooth and clear without clogged pores as the cleanser and the oil keeps the pores cleaned out. Diluting the grease if you like. Just make sure you use an oil that does not leave a greasy residue and one that absorbs easily.

    I hope you have found this useful. I love the blog, and thanks for the recipe!

    Wales, United Kingdom

  26. I have alot of sun damamge. Do you recommend adding anything to this moisturizer to help lighten it.

  27. It has been my experience that the aloe helps to lighten sun damage on its own. Maybe other readers can offer further suggestions??

  28. I love how simple this is but I have a couple of questions. I know it needs gel and not juice but I can’t find edible gel anywhere in England, there’s a 99.9% aloe gel in my local shop only two other ingredients which I assume are stabilisers or a preservative, would this be ok? It wasn’t a paraben preservative anyway.
    Also does lavender oil mean lavender essential oil? Thanks!

  29. Hi Fern, I am sure the 99.9% aloe gel will work. I just like the purity of the drinkable kind. And yes, the lavender oil is essential oil. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

  30. I have used aloe vera many times without any reaction. Yesterday two of us we tried Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gelly and we both had allergic reactions – bright red skin. I thought I would share that in case any other of your readers are thinking of using it.

    Have you heard of any additives like the polysaccahride-rich Aloesorb that could be causing that?

  31. Elen – That is very strange. I am sorry that you had a reaction; I have not heard of that. I use the Lily Aloe because I thought it was the most pure that you could buy. Hmm. I hope you can find another brand that will work for you.

  32. […] Aloe and essential oil face lotion – This is my favorite DIY product and I now use this lotion on my face everyday before bed. I’m still tweaking the ratios that I like best, but something like 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel (the kind you can drink), 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin, 1/4 teaspoon body oil (I use grapeseed, but do some research and see what you might like best based on your skin type), and 6 drops of essential oil (I use sandalwood, but there are so many other options). I first found this recipe here. […]

  33. […] routine, here’s a recipe for a simple face moisturizer that was originally posted on the Health Vegan blog. I like this moisturizer because it that can be easily tailored to your skin and it’s […]

  34. I’m going to make this today,I have all the ingredients I need. Thank you so much for sharing.

  35. Just made this and love it. I used regular Aloe Vera gel cause that’s what I had. It’s really more like a Serum and I really think it’s great. I used Frankincense and Rose hip EO’s in mine.