Homemade Holiday : Bath & Body Gifts : Avocado Hand Cream

Welcome to Homemade Holiday! Today is the second in a four week series of homemade gifts, hosted by MAK, MAM, Plus Other Good Stuff, and Road to 31. Each week of the series, the host site will post a unique gift idea and multiple links to other homemade gifts in the same category.

Last week, Jill at Modern Alternative Kitchen shared a great tutorial on homemade Herb-Infused Vinegar.

This week, I'm sharing a recipe for Avocado Hand Cream! I've given this lotion as gifts for at least three years, and it has received high praises. It softens and hydrates rough, dry, chapped winter hands like nothing else!

But before I show you how to make it, here's what you have to look forward to in the next two weeks:
Now let's get started!

Notes on ingredients: 
  • Mountain Rose Herbs is an excellent source for almond oil, avocado oil, beeswax pastilles, essential oils, and metal tins.
  • I get a good deal on Extra-Virgin Organic Coconut Oil by buying it through Soaper's Choice by the gallon. You can also find coconut oil at health food stores. For this purpose, you want unrefined oil that smells like coconut, as it is more healing to the skin. 
  • I bought my Grapefruit Seed Extract at my local health food store. It's expensive, but a little goes a long way and I will get many batches of lotion out of this little bottle!
  • You can choose other essential oils to scent this cream. I chose lavender and spearmint because lavender is excellent for dry or neglected skin, and spearmint can alleviate the itching that comes with dry winter skin. And they smell so good together!

Avocado Hand Cream (with lavender & spearmint)

(adapted from Better Basics for the Home)

First, gather your ingredients. You will need:

1/3 c. Coconut Oil
1/3 c. Sweet Almond Oil
1/3 c. Avocado Oil
2 T. beeswax (pastilles or grated from a block)
1 c. Distilled Water
2/3 t. Grapefruit Seed Extract
essential oils of your choice (I chose lavender and spearmint)

Then gather your equipment. You will need:

A saucepan
A glass bowl that can rest in the saucepan - it doesn't have to fit completely. (I used a 2.5 qt. Pyrex bowl) (Note: you can also use any type of double boiler or glass measuring cup inside a pot. I chose to use the bowl I'd be mixing in to save on dishes)
A wooden skewer (optional)
A hand mixer
Measuring cups and spoons
Tins or Jars to put lotion in (I like these 4 oz. tins, or 4 oz. ball jars)

You'll want to make sure your supplies are very clean so no bacteria is introduced into the lotion.


Fill the pot about two thirds of the way with water, and rest the glass bowl on top. (You may have to adjust the amount of water so it touches the bowl but isn't going to overflow once it boils.) Turn the stove on to medium heat.

Add 1/3 c. coconut oil.

Add 1/3 c. almond oil and 1/3 c. avocado oil.

Add 2 T. beeswax.

I like to stir it with a skewer to help the wax melt. Then I don't have to worry about cleaning wax off of utensils.


Once the wax is melted (this may take a few minutes), turn off the heat. Remove the bowl from the pan and set it on the counter. Poor in 1 cup of distilled water at room temperature.


Mix with a hand mixer until the lotion is thick and creamy.

Measure 2/3 t. of grapefruit seed extract. (I eyeballed it.) Add it to the bowl and mix again.

At this point I chose to remove some of the unscented lotion for a family member who is sensitive to scents. Then I added the essential oils to the rest. For a full batch, add 30-50 drops. I scented about 3/4 of the batch with 20 drops of lavender and 15 drops of spearmint. This gave it a light and not overpowering scent. Rub a little into your skin and smell it to test the amount of essential oil.

Mix again to incorporate the essential oils, and then pour into tins or jars.  

 The avocado oil gives it that crazy color!

Let cool to room temperature, and then close the jars. Store in the refrigerator if you will not be giving them away right away.  The shelf life is about 6 months, but tell the recipients to discard if it starts to smell funky. We want to make sure our homemade beauty products are safe!

You can also make a cute label! I just use rectangular labels, trace the shape of the tin, and cut them out. Then my husband uses his artistic skills to make a super-sweet label. Then I cover it with laminate paper to make it a little more waterproof.

More Bath & Body Gift Ideas from the Modern Alternative Mama Team

Are you planning on making any homemade bath & body gifts this year? Tell us about it in the comments!

This is part of: Natural Living Monday, Make Your Own Monday

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Does this need to be stored in the fridge all the time?

    1. No, it doesn't! I put this batch in the fridge since I'm not giving it away until Christmas. I don't usually keep it in the fridge. It will last longer if you do, but it should last at least 6 months without it. :)

  2. Hi Joanna, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (http://annesfunnyfarm.blogspot.com), and I’m visiting from Natural Living Mondays.

    What a great gift idea! I could really use this for myself, too. I'll have to show the idea to my dtrs, along with a big ol' "hint, hint!"

    Anyway, thanks for posting this. If you’ve never visited yet, I hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

  3. This looks super easy to make for someone new to making homemade toiletries.

    I would love for you to share this at Frugal Thursday Rewind on my blog!

    1. It is quite easy, especially since you melt & mix in the same bowl. I'll stop by on Thursday!

  4. What an awesome looking cream! My hands are begging for a slather right now.
    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!