Hand lotion is an emulsification of water and oils. It is applied to the skin mainly to moisturize the skin. However, it can have other benefits such as helping with rough hands and making your hands smoother. Hand lotion can be applied to other parts of the body as well such as the feet, arms, legs, chest, back, and hands.

What Is An Emulsification:

Have you ever tried to mix oil and water together when you were a kid? You would keep stirring and stirring trying to get the water and oil to mix together. It seemed impossible, didn’t it?

Well, it’s not really impossible, you just need an emulsifier to mix it together. Emulsification is when you get oil and water molecules to bond together.

The most popular emulsifier is an emulsification wax. However, another popular emulsifier is Candelilla wax and beeswax.

Candelilla wax is a vegan alternative wax that is made from a shrub found in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Candelilla wax is denser than a beeswax emulsifier and therefore not as much is needed. This type of wax is also used in vegan-friendly hand lotions. The emulsifier is always around 2-5% of the hand lotion depending on the formula.

How Hand Lotion Is Made:

Hand lotion is made of around 70% water and 30% oils. However, this can change depending on the formula used.

Some of the most common oils added to hand lotion are:

Coconut oil
Jojoba oil
Almond oil

The choice of oil is heated and hot water is mixed in with it.

The lotion is made by combining all ingredients together. This includes the water and oils. Water and oil will not naturally mix therefore, an emulsifier is needed. That is heated up and added next.

After that, the mixture is cooled down and scents are added.

Have you ever smelled a lotion and wondered how it gets its scent?

Scents are added and they can either be fragrance oils or essential oils. Many people think the fragrance oils and essential oils are the same. However, they are not. Scents are one of the main things that someone will notice when first using hand lotion.

The two main scents added to hand lotion are:

Essential Oils:

Some hand lotions have essential oils added for scents. Some examples of essential oils that are added to lotions can include lavender, lemon, and ylang-ylang. These essential oils can have other benefits to the skin as well as adding a scent.

Lavender is well known to help calm the skin in low amounts. Other essential oils are also known to help the skin.

Fragrance Oils:

Fragrance oils are synthetically made and therefore not natural. The scent will last longer in the product compared to essential oils.

Companies get very creative and spend thousands of dollars trying to get the perfect scent for a product.

Adding Dye To The Hand Lotion:

The normal finished product is a white color. But, just because your lotion is white doesn’t mean that no dyes were added to it.

Dyes can be both naturally and synthetically made and added.

Preservative Is Added:

After all the ingredients are combined a preservative will be added to prevent bacterial growth. A lot of talk on the internet says that a preservative isn’t needed for cosmetic products. But when facts are given to them; they are silent.

A preservative will prevent bacterial growth in the lotion. Without a preservative, mold will be able to grow. Mold will thrive in wet environments such as lotion. It is possible that you could be spreading mold spores across your body if you are using lotion without a preservative.

Grapefruit seed extract and Vitamin E oil are not preservatives. Both of these ingredients can help extend the shelf life of hand lotion but should never be used alone as a preservative.

The preservative will be around 2-5% of the lotion’s ingredients.


After that is all done the lotion is ready to be bottled. The entire process of making lotion can take from 2-6 hours depending on what temperatures everything is added at.

Benefits Of Using Hand Lotion:

There are a lot of different kinds of lotion that you can buy. Some are for sensitive skin, diabetics, eczema, and age spots. All of these will have different ingredients.

They are just not meant for your hands. You can apply them all over your body if needed. They are great for dry hands, feet, and elbows.

For example, hand lotion for sensitive skin and eczema could have oatmeal and honey to help sooth skin.

The main benefit is to moisturize the skin. Applying the lotion regularly will keep your hands moisturized, soft, and can even help with wrinkles. Some are meant to help calm the skin as well.

The lotion can also have a natural smell that will keep your hands smelling good throughout the day.

How To Store Hand Lotion:

All cosmetics should be stored according to the label’s instructions. Most lotions say to store the container in a cool dark place. It is recommended to keep it away from any windows and preferably in a drawer.

The reason you want to store it in a cool dark place is because
Sunlight could change the texture.
Temperature can change the product.

How Often To Use Hand Lotion:

Most hand lotion can be used daily. Some can even be used a couple of times a day. You should always check the label on for the exact directions and follow those.

To use, take a liberal amount and rub it into your hands. Rub in until the lotion is absorbed. It is fine to use it on other parts of your body as well. Apply multiple times a day for extremely dry skin and just once a day for maintenance.

I always like to apply mine first thing in the morning right after I take a shower. You can apply it at any time of the day. Just remember that it could wash off when you wash your hands. You don’t want to apply it right before washing your hands.

Hand Lotion Containers:

A Pump Container:

A pump container is really easy to get out since you don’t have to unscrew a lid. However, when your bottle is empty it will be hard to get every last bit out.

A Container With A Lid:

A container with a lid is what I recommend. You can control how much lotion you put into your hands and don’t have to worry about getting too much.

Both of these containers are the same and you should not buy one container over the other. It’s just personal preference on what you prefer. The main advantage with a container with a lid is that the product easily comes out.

You may have a harder time emptying the pump bottle since you cannot get your hands or fingers inside the bottle to get every last bit of lotion out.