Is Your Homemade Lotion Sticky? Here’s What To Do.


If making homemade lotion is something you recently started. Ending up with a sticky result might be something you may encounter a few times. And finding out why this happens might not be an easy task.

Why is my homemade lotion sticky? The most common causes of sticky homemade lotions are: Using too much oil, using glycerin, too much beeswax, or stearic acid. However, there can be numerous other reasons; in most cases, testing out different measurements can solve your problem.

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You may have recently started making your own lotions and end up with something that is not even near to what those commercial lotions feel or look like. Even though homemade lotion is not really that hard to make, ending up with a sticky lotion may occur more often than you’d want to.

One of the main problems is finding the right measurements or finding out which ingredient caused this in the first place. Trying to find the answer online may make you even more confused. But, no fear cause Musti is here! I have done some research on this topic, and here is what I have found out.

Why is my homemade lotion sticky?

Having sticky lotion can be caused by many factors. Usually, to find out where your problem lies, you would need to test out different measurements with each ingredient one by one. This not only will take some time, but it would also cost you (in case you cannot remelt) in the long run, this is especially the case if you are using a lot of ingredients.

So, isolating the problem might be not only a difficult task but also an expensive one. However, I have gathered some of the most commonly known problems most people encounter and made a list, with the hope it might help you.

Here is a list of common causes of sticky homemade lotion:

  • You have used too much oil: Using too much oil
  • You are using the wrong type of oil: Experiment with different kinds of oils.
  • Beeswax: Try reducing the amount of beeswax, that may solve your problem.
  • The wrong type of butter: Some use cocoa butter which may be the cause, try to use softer butter like shea or mango butter.
  • Your skin is not compatible with the oil: Some oils may have a different effect on your skin compared to someone else. So trying out other oils might solve your problem.
  • Glycerin: Even though Glycerin is a great moisturizer, if you leave it on your skin, it will feel sticky.
  • Stearic acid: Although stearic acid gives more body to the lotion, it is also one of the biggest causes for your lotion to be sticky (or waxy). Instead, use shea or cocoa butter, especially if you want to use the most natural ingredients possible.

As you may have noticed, there can be so many reasons for your homemade lotion to be sticky; it is hard to pinpoint it. The best thing to do is to test. Either with different oils or ingredients or simply with the measurements you are currently using.

How do you make lotion less sticky?

An excellent way to find the perfect balance or the right type of oil for your skin is to do some tests. Like, if you would drop some oil on your skin, how does it feel after 5-10 minutes? Does your skin absorb it?

How does it feel overtime? If it feels sticky, heavy, or greasy to you, putting all of them in a lotion will most likely not work. You see, the purpose of a lotion is to be able to spread the fats thinner and evenly over your body, but in this process, the essential nature of the fats does not change. Even if the layer of oil or fat feels greasy on your skin, putting them in a lotion will not change that fact.

Once you have checked each oil or fat one by one, try blending the oils or fats in various ratios and see how the mixture feels on your skin.
Do not blend a big amount; just a few drops is more than enough. There is no need for that.

At this moment, you are only testing if the mixture is good or not. If the blend does not feel right without adding the other ingredients, you are most likely using the wrong fats.

Sweet almond, avocado, and shea all have one thing in common: greasy and a non-absorbent feel on your skin. However, this might not be the case for everyone; it may vary from one person to another. So changing them out for a lighter or more absorbent oil or fat would be the best solution.


For example, fractionated coconut oil (FCO), apricot, safflower, cocoa butter, and meadowfoam seed are mostly inexpensive to moderately priced fats with a lighter, silkier feel and they are more absorbent than other fats.

If you are ok to pay a little more, you could go for squalane, but if you are in the testing phase, I would instead stick with the cheaper option, and once you are comfortable making lotions and with the measurements, you can give it a try.

Glycerin is another common problem.
Even though it is an excellent moisturizer, if you leave it on your skin, it will feel sticky after some time. You can quickly rinse Glycerin; therefore, it is an ideal ingredient for products like scrubs, soaps, and shampoos, but when it comes to lotion, not at all. An alternative to it is Hydrovance.

Not would this option make it feel less sticky, but it also leaves a soft powdery feeling, and on top of it, it lasts through one or two hand washes. Unfortunately, Hydrovance is more expensive.

If you are going to pay this much for making your homemade lotion, you are better off buying a lotion with natural ingredients, which will cost you a little more compared to the generally commercially sold ones.

How can you fix sticky homemade lotion?

You do not have to throw away each batch that ended up sticky or too hard. Most of the time you can simply remelt it and add one of the ingredients to balance it out.

For example, if you are making lotion bars and it’s too hard, you can remelt it and add a little more oil. If it’s too sticky, and if you know the reason is too much butter. You may be able to solve it by adding a little more beeswax.

So, as mentioned a few times, it is only by testing that you will be able to get the ideal measurement for your lotion. If you are making lotion bars, and if the weather is cold, your bars might need a little more oil. So, the weather might play a role in some cases, so keep it in mind.

Using a calculator for the right measurements.

If you are entirely new to this and feel a little lost, try to follow the exact recipe you can find online. There are many recipes online, and mostly they are made by people who already tested the measurements, so in most cases, you do not need to adjust anything.

This does not mean it will be ideal for your skin, as I mentioned earlier, it differs from one person to another. In some cases, a calculator might be helpful so you can figure out before making anything, it gives you a recommended amount to use for whatever ingredients you want to use.

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