Lotion base is what's left of the lotion, once the colorings and scents are removed. This base consists of an emulsifier, oil or butter, and water. Water and oil do not mix, and the types of oils used in lotions will turn rancid if left out over time. The role of the emulsifier is to keep the oil and water from separating, to stabilize it, and to prevent the mixture from becoming rancid.
Emulsifying wax, such as beeswax, is often used as an emulsifier in lotion bases. The wax is usually derived from vegetables or animal products. Conditioning emulsifying agents are also commonly used as a moisturizer in face, hand, and foot lotions.
A variety of essential oils are available for use in making a lotion base. Some oils popular for use in lotions are almond oil and olive oil. Shea butter and cocoa butter are common butters often used in lotion bases. The choice between oil and butter is often a personal preference, and they can be mixed together. The oils and butters are heated and mixed with the emulsifier before adding water.
Water is used in a lotion base to provide the desired consistency. Some people prefer a thicker lotion with more concentrated moisturizers, while others like a thinner lotion that isn't as heavy. The water is heated to a lukewarm temperature then added to the emulsifier and butter or oil.
Any base sold commercially must have a material safety data sheet (MSDS), which may be known by other names outside the US. Its main purposes are to inform consumers of any health risks and safety measures required for working with the ingredients, and full contact information of the company selling the lotion base. The information on an MSDS for a lotion base often lists the supplier's full business name and contact information, along with a list of ingredients in the lotion base, and any hazard warnings. Next, it usually lists first-aid measures, fire-fighting tips, and handling and storage information. Information on proper disposal, the shelf life, and toxic information is often included for consumers.
Purchasing a wholesale lotion base is one alternative to making one from scratch. The lotion base can be transformed into a fragrance lotion by adding scents, such as fragrance oil, as desired. Some entrepreneurs make a living creating lotion bases and selling them online or locally. Anyone considering such a venture should review any local and regional laws that may impact sales.