How to Make a Hand and Body Cream - For Beginners

I thought I’d create a nice basic beginner-friendly hand and body cream recipe. Use this as it is or as a starting point for making it your own.  I've written a bit about the ingredients below.

Method and formula for a 100g Batch

Phase A – Oil Phase

10% (10g) Cocoa butter (use deodorized if you don’t want too strong of a scent)

10% (10g) Safflower oil

5% (5g) Emulsifying wax

2% (2g) Cetyl Alcohol

Phase B – Water Phase

62% (62g) Distilled Water

5% (5g) Glycerine

Phase C – Cool Down Phase

3% (3g) D Panthenol

2% (2g) Saliguard PCG

0.5% (0.5g) Essential Oil (I used sweet orange, check IFRA for usage of your selected oil)

0.5% (0.5g) Vitamin e


  • Weigh out all the ingredients for phase A and add to a heat proof beaker.
  • Weigh out all the ingredients for phase B and add to a heat proof beaker.
  • Weigh out all the ingredients for phase C.
  • Tare your scale and weigh your water phase.
  • Heat Phases A and B individually until the oil phase ingredients have melted.
  • Take off the heat, tare scale and weigh water phase. Replace any water that evaporated during heating phase.
  • Pour the water phase into the oil phase.
  • Blend with a stick blender to create your emulsion.
  • Leave to cool, coming back to blend occasionally until cooled to 40 degrees C or less and thickened.
  • Add cool down phase C ingredients and blend well to incorporate.
  • Check pH – You want a pH between 4.5 and 5.5 to be gentle on the skin
  • Jar up and label.


About the ingredients and substitutions:

Cocoa Butter – Deeply hydrates the skin and replenishes the moisture barrier. Use deodorized if you do not want an overpowering chocolate scent. This is one of the harder butters. You can replace it with any butter of your choice, but you may need to adjust the oil/butter ratio to get the texture you desire.

 Safflower oil – An emollient oil that is extremely hydrating to dry skin and also soothes irritation, rashes and inflammation. It can also improve the appearance of the skin. – Sub with any skin-loving oil you wish. Sweet Almond, Grapeseed or Avocado are lovely or use a combination. To reduce the greasiness and improve skin feel, you can add in an ester emollient like Isopropyl Myistrate or C12-15 Alky Benzoate.

 Emulsifying wax – A good all-in-one vegetable-based emulsifying wax for lotions and creams. – BTMS-50 is a lovely conditioning substitute, but note that the per cent usage rate may be different. Also, Ecomulse (Ritamulse) is a lovely emulsifier.

Cetyl Alcohol – A fatty alcohol thickener and stabilizer that improves skin feel. – Any fatty alcohol or fatty acids such as Cetearyl alcohol or stearic acid, however, check the emulsifying wax ingredients aren’t being duplicated and note usage rates and effects on viscosity.

Distilled Water – Our solvent. Always use distilled as it is the purest water available. – sub with a hydrolat that compliments the butter. If using cocoa butter I might you orange water hydrolat for a chocolate orange-type scent and omit the fragrance oil.

 Glycerine – A humectant to hydrate the skin – sub with Propendial if you prefer a lighter weight humectant.

 Essential Oil – For scent. You can leave this out if you wish, or replace it with a fragrance oil (check IFRA for usage levels). I’ve used orange to compliment the cocoa butters natural chocolate scent.

D Panthenol – Used in the cool-down phase this is an intensely moisturizing ingredient to soothe and repair damaged skin, help maintain the elasticity of the skin and deeply moisturize dry skin. You could use Saccahride Isomerate Plus instead if you prefer.

 Saliguard PCG – A stable, easy-to-use broad-spectrum preservative that is effective in a pH range of 3 to 10. Use in the cool-down phase. Especially good for lotions and creams. Any other broad-spectrum water-soluble preservative that works with the pH of the product can be subbed.

 Vitamin e – An antioxidant that also helps with cell regeneration. – no substitution, but you can leave out if you wish.



If you want a more advanced hand and body cream recipe then I have one on my Patreon along with lots of formulation help and other recipes.

The key to creating a recipe is reading up on your ingredients. Know what they do and how they work together. Check the pH range that actives are effective at and the % at which products work as emulsifiers or solubilisers. Too little can result in unstable products.


When creating a formula of your own:

* Decide on the purpose of the product and what you want it to achieve and choose your ingredients accordingly.

* Check the suggested and safe usage rates of your ingredients.

* Ensure that you calculate enough emulsifier and co-emulsifier/stabilizer for your emulsion.  Usage rates for the ones that you choose should be listed on the manufacturer's website.  Usually, emulsifiers are around 20-25% of the total oil phase.

* Check the charge of your products.  Are they cationic?  Make sure they work together.

* Check the pH stability of your actives and ensure that the pH of your product is adjusted correctly for the actives.

* Check whether your preservative will be effective in the pH range and the solubility.

* Calculate your oil phase last - it will be the remaining percentage after you have deducted all of your other ingredients.

Disclaimer: These formulas and recipes are experiments created for the purpose of sharing on Patreon and YouTube. Revega does not make any claims as to their qualifications or the efficacy of the formulations which are listed here for entertainment purposes and accepts no responsibility for how you use these. We are self-taught and offer these videos from our years of knowledge and experience in making our own cosmetic products.

Remember that if you intend to use one of these formulations for your own product range, do your own research, experiments, adjustments and tests before using, gifting or selling.

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