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Moisturizing lotion with passionfruit oil

Dec 23, 2022 | Face care, Formulations

As the weather is getting colder and colder I wanted to share a facial moisturizing lotion formula that could protect skin better. To make this lotion we will use a water in oil (W/O) emulsifier.

Cold face lotion with passion fruit oil


So, if you are familiar with making lotions, you have probably made a lotion with oil in water (or O/W for shorter) emulsifier. These are a lot more common emulsifiers and we use these lotions in a warmer weather. These lotions are usually very lightweight as our skin does not need a lot of oils during summer.

However, when we hit the colder weather our skin needs some additional protection from wind, cooler temperatures and changes in humidity. This is when we start using heavier, moisturizing lotions that could look like a cream (but not necessarily).

So, to make a more moisturizing lotion we should change the type of lotion we are making. Instead of oil in water (O/W) emulsions we should make water in oil (W/O) emulsions.

And to make this type of lotion, we need another emulsifier that has low HLB (hydrophilic-lipophilic balance). HLB value shows the balance of hydrophilic and lipophilic moieties in a surfactant molecule. And depending on that value, the surfactant (in this case an emulsifier) could make W/O or O/W emulsions.

moisturizing lotion-in-a-jar-diy


This is a checklist with essential equipment for making DIY cosmetics to help you get everything you really need.


The lipid phase is quite small and contains several ingredients that could be easily substituted.


In this formula I am going to use a natural emulsifier Olive protection nr. 2 (INCI Olive oil polyglyceryl-6 esters, polyglyceryl-6 pentaoleate). It is also known as Olivatis 12C and you can read more about it here.

Olive protection nr.2 is a liquid emulsifier that could be used in cold or hot processes to make a W/O emulsions. This emulsifier comes from olive oil fatty acids and palm-free vegetable glycerin and it is an ECOCERT, COSMOS approved emulsifier.


2.2. OILS

As this formulation will not be heated I have chosen to add some heat sensitive oils such as passion fruit oil and borage oil. To create a nice spreading lotion we need to consider absorption rate and spreading ability of oils. Passion fruit oil absorbs quite fast into the skin while borage oil is a heavier oil.

Also, emulsifier itself still feels a bit heavy to me, so to balance things out I have added a bit of isopropyl myristate which is a very light ester.


2.3. SCENT

My borage oil is unrefined and has a weird scent – it does smell like egg whites. And when I use it in higher amounts it makes me nauseous. However, this oil has amazing abilities for healing, calming and soothing the skin.

So, due to the overwhelming scent I have limited its amount to 3% and added some essential oils to mask it. I quite like the cananga and lavender combination and it blends well with other ingredients.

As I was making a very small amount of the lotion, I have merged both essential oils into one blend. The cananga essential oil is very strong so I have used one drop and the remaining amount was left for lavender. But if I made bigger batches I would definitely need to sort the ratio of these scents to make it reproducible.

However, if you have a refined version of borage oil, you are lucky and you don’t have to deal with its characteristic scent. So, you don’t really need to add essential oils or any fragrance if you don’t want to as passion fruit oil itself has a wonderful scent.



The water phase will be quite simple with several humectants such as glycerin, sodium PCA and sodium lactate. I also wanted to test a Centella Asiatica extract, so I have included it as well.

Also, as my preservative is water soluble, I am including it in the water phase as well. One important thing to keep in mind is that using Olivatis 12C (Olive protection nr.2) emulsifier it is not possible to add a preservative after emulsification. This is why it is included here and the pH should be tested as well.



For a better stability of the lotion we need to add an electrolyte, in this case magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) also known as epsom salt. 

And for even better stability and viscosity I have added a bit of magnesium stearate. The not so good part about magnesium stearate is that it does add some dragginess to the lotion, but the used isopropyl myristate does balance things out.


Phase A

32.35 g | 64.7 % Water

0.5 g | 1 % MgSO4 (Epsom salt)

1.5 g | 3 % Glycerin

1 g | 2 % Sodium lactate

1 g | 2 % Sodium PCA

0.5 g | 1 % Centella Asiatica extract

0.5 g | 1 % Biogard 221

Phase B

0.15 g | 0.5 % Olivatis 12C (Olive protection nr.2)

5 g | 10 % Passion fruit oil

1.5 g | 3 % Borage oil

3.5 g | 7 % Isopropyl myristate (IPM)

0.15 g | 0.3 % Cananga, lavender essential oils

0.5 g | 1% Magnesium stearate

This makes 50 g of the product.

6. Making moisturizing lotion

  1. Weigh water, sodium lactate and magnesium sulfate into a beaker. Stir until everything has dissolved.
  2. Weigh the rest of phase A ingredients and stir everything well. Check the pH and adjust it if needed.
  3. Weigh all phase B ingredients and mix them well.
  4. Slowly add phase A to phase B and blend on high speed. And slowly means adding 1-2ml at the time to mix everything very well. Repeat this until both of the phases are combined.


  •  You can use other liquid oils if you want.
  • You can use other humectants if you want or just reduce them and use water instead.
  • You  cannot use another emulsifier. This formula is specially designed for this emulsifier.
  • Please use magnesium sulfate and magnesium stearate for stability reasons.
  • You can leave the lotion unscented.
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