Hand Cream with Essential Oils

Jump right into natural products and learn how to make hand cream with essential oils. Discover reasons to make your nourishing hand cream and its benefits.

Learn what questions you need to ask to design a hand cream perfectly suited to your skin type and lifestyle. Explore combining luscious cosmetic butter with unctuous carrier oils with excellent essential oils. Consider the essential oils' impact on your skin and mood to precisely tailor a hand cream to serve your every need.

Try our tried and tested professional essential oil blends and develop your own. Finally, please find out how long your hand cream will last and the best way to apply it.

Why Make Homemade Hand Cream? 

The Benefits

Kicking Out The Nasties

There are so many benefits to making your hand cream with essential oils that it is hard for some to know where to start. I know exactly where I like to create.

One of the biggest reasons that I advocate making your toiletries and skin care products is so that you can take complete control of the ingredients that eventually end up on your skin and are absorbed into your body.

It allows you to leave the products full of chemicals on the store's shelves. Components like Parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), BHA's, and 'fragrance' are KNOWN to create potential issues in our bodies. Phthalates, for example, can disrupt hormone production. Yet the industry still uses these ingredients daily and allowed them upon our skin.

You can stop this.

Make your own.

Take control over choosing ingredients that you know will cause you no additional harm in the long term.

If you want to know a bit more about the dangers of these ingredients, visit Up Circle and read their article ALL THE NASTIES: TOXIC SKINCARE INGREDIENTS TO AVOID

Making Something Designed For YOU

Our skin types vary. In making your hand cream with essential oils, you choose the right ingredients, like carrier oils and cosmetic butter for your skin type and essential oils to target not only the skin on your hands directly. These, of course, have the added benefit of improving your mood.

Let's start by considering what you want your hand cream to do. How are you going to use it most?

Suppose you apply hand cream in the evening. In that case, consider adding some relaxing and soothing essential oils to encourage blissful slumbers. Alternatively, you might have your hands in and out of the water all day and need a hand cream that acts like a barrier, laced with deeply nourishing skin oils that will also pep you up throughout the day.

The design process can be entirely tailored to your own needs. None of this is standing staring at the store shelves wondering which product will do what you need.

Caring For Your Skin

No one knows your skin better than you, and you are the best person to gauge your skin needs and just how much 'treatment' it needs.

My skin, like most people, needs much more product in the winter than it does in the summer.

However, the summer is when all my vegetables come in from the allotment. They need digging up, cleaning and scrubbing, so my hands spend more time in the water at this time of the year than any other. A light but super nourishing hand cream is perfect for me during the day in between having my hands in water. Still, at night and through the winter, I like something heavier and more nourishing that will repair the damage to my skin.

Consider your needs for the time of day and the time of year. Making a batch to last months and months is no use if you only need that cream for three months of the year. Make just what you need for when you need it.

I will show you have to make both a light hand cream and a heavier hand cream that will act like a barrier cream. You can vary the proportions between the two to create a fantastic range of hand creams with essential oils suited to your needs.

Also Read: How to Make Perfume with Essential Oils

Best Essential Oils for Hand Cream- My Top Five Picks for Hand Health

1. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Brimming with calming and sedative effects, Roman Chamomile promotes relaxation and relieves tension, promoting restful sleep. Its antispasmodic properties can soothe body aches and headaches. It is also widely used to reduce insomnia. I like it here for those among us struggling with stiff, painful joints in our fingers, as it soothes arthritis and joint pain.

2. Calendula Essential Oil

The Queen of healing skin. I could tell you many stories about this rather magnificent Absolute and attest to its efficacy in healing even the most deeply injured skin tissue. If you have hands that are forever getting caught or nicked at work or in the garden, this is the best choice for you. 

3. Myrrh Essential Oil

Myrrh is my next choice next to Calendula for healing skin. My mother has produced hand cream with these two potent oils since immemorial. Its longevity and popularity were simply down to how well these two oils worked together and the healing they brought to the people who used them. Myrrh can also combat swelling and help to relieve joint pain brought on by inflammation.

4. Patchouli Essential Oil

This is another cream that is wonderful for feeding and healing the skin. Known for alleviating dry, cracked skin, it is often used by people who experience dermatitis. Over the years, I have found it a valuable essential oil in my repertoire. The scent lingers beautifully on the hands after the application. Its scent lasts longer than most other essential oils.

5. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Are you like me and constantly have your hands in the soil…or worse? Then a hand cream with a Tea Tree is probably a good choice. Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, fungicidal, and parasiticide. What more protection do you want?

Also Read: How to Make an Essential Oil Necklace

Bonus Feature: My Top Five Picks for Caring for Your Skin AND Your Mood

1. Rose Essential Oil

This is one of my all-time favorites, and whenever I am faced with a client who needs healing of the skin and the soul, it is Rose that I plump for every time. It is one of the best essential oils to feed and nourish the skin. But it is also the oil that will help elevate your mood faster than any other I know besides Palo Santo.

2. Lavender Essential Oil

Perfect for soothing both sore and tender skin and soothing your mood. It can help alleviate skin redness and heal minor cuts and abrasions. It is perfect for busy hands with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. Relax, wind down and soothe yourself in more ways than one with lavender essential oil.

3. Rose Geranium Essential Oil

Beautifully soothing and a great essential oil for balancing your skin, studies show that it can help skin that is either very oily or very dry to balance the production of sebum. It can help to enhance circulation and reduce the appearance of dull skin, encouraging a more youthful and rejuvenated look to the skin. It is my go-to essential oil to feel uplifted and cosseted.

4. Ginger Essential Oil

While we associate Ginger essential oil with its warming properties, it may surprise you to learn that it can reduce redness of the skin. It is lovely for uplifting and warming you through, especially in those cold days of winter. Not just that, but the antioxidant properties of ginger can reduce the signs of skin damage and aging, keeping our hands looking younger.

5. Palo Santo Essential Oil

This is my first pick for any oil to lift your spirit and elevate you from life's mire and chaos. This oil has the vibrational power to transport you and aid you in connecting with more positive energies. Palo Santo essential oil has antioxidant qualities that are beneficial to the skin. It is widely used where there is dry, flaking skin to restore the appearance of youthfulness.

Also Read: How to Make Bath Bombs at Home

How to Make Hand Cream with Essential Oils

The best practice for making large batches of cream is to weigh your ingredients, but for ease, we'll use drops and oz here.


    • Double Boiler
    • Hand mixer/whisk/food processor or stand mixer
    • Stainless steel spoon or stirrer
    • Large measuring jug or a large mixing bowl
    • Measuring spoons
    • Dark amber glass jars and lids
    • Labels


Hand Cream Bases
Makes 1000ml or 34 Fl Oz
Will make 20 x 50ml - 1.75fl oz Jars
Light Base Heavier Base
Very nourishing and moisturizing, suitable for all day use Heavier feel, more waxy - this works well as a barrier cream
Beeswax 6 tbsp Beeswax 9 tbsp
Almond Carrier Oil 2 tbsp Tamanu Carrier Oil 2 tbsp
Argan Carrier Oil 3 tbsp Argan Carrier Oil 1 tbsp
Monoi de Tahiti
Carrier Oil (solid)*
2 tbsp Monoi de Tahiti
Carrier Oil (solid)*
3 tbsp
Shea Butter 3 tbsp Shea Butter 4 tbsp
Glycerine 2 tbsp Glycerine 2 tbsp
Aqueous Cream 750ml Aqueous Cream 700ml
Essential Oils 1- 4% = 10 ml - 40 ml Essential Oils 1- 4% = 10 ml - 40 ml
Preservative of choice Follow the manufacturer's guidelines, as they vary Preservative of choice Follow the manufacturer's guidelines, as they vary

*If you struggle to get Monoi de Tahiti - use Cocoa Butter instead.


    1. Read the instructions for your preservative, if you are using any, and note what part of the method will need to be added and how much to add.
    2. Place your beeswax and carrier oils in your double boiler and pace over low to medium heat, stirring until the beeswax is completely dissolved.
    3. Once the beeswax is fully melted, take it off the heat, and while still hot, add the Monoi de Tahiti Carrier Oil and Shea Butter. Stir very gently to encourage them to melt. Ideally, you don't want to get these oils and butter too hot, so only place them back onto low heat if you have to get them to melt entirely. Let them cool slightly, but they must still be fluid.
    4. While waiting, pour all of your aqueous creams into a large mixing jug or mixing bowl, add the glycerine and stir well to combine thoroughly.
    5. If you have someone to help, it could be more accessible. Start your handheld mixer/ food processor/stand mixer on its fastest setting and whip the aqueous cream and glycerine mix. Very slowly, in a thin steady stream, add the molten oils and butter.
    6. If you add it too fast, it can cool too quickly, and your hand cream can feel 'bitty' as small lumps of oil/butter form and do not get mixed into the cream base. The hand cream is still perfectly usable, in any case. I have sold it as hand cream 'with nourishing butter pearls.' It worked too.
    7. Once you have entirely combined the aqueous cream and oil/butter mix, let it cool very slightly. Also, please give it a good few knocks on the table to try and release some of the air from the mixing process. Too much air can make the hand cream sink in the jar over time as the air escapes.
    8. Measure out your essential oils carefully and, in slow, steady action, using the mixer/processor, thoroughly combine all of the essential oils into the mix. Give it another few knocks on the table to eliminate any excess air from the mixing.
    9. Spoon out into your jars, cleaning the rims of any spillages meticulously because if you screw the lid onto a spillage, it could cause it to mold.
    10. Label your jars clearly with all their ingredients - because life happens sometimes! My kid once ate half a spoonful of moisturizer because he thought it was dairy cream.

Also Read: How to Make Essential Oil Room Spray

How to Make Hand Cream with Essential Oils - My Favorite Blends

There is so much scope for designing your hand cream with essential oils to suit your needs that, for once, I will give you two blends to try. You should have a go at developing some of your blends.

I can only hold your hand for so long.

I will give you three other essential oil blends, but it is up to you to gauge what you need in each blend.

Everything's Coming up Roses
420 drops is just over 2% essential oil content
100 drops 20 drops 50 drops 100 drops 100 drops 50 drops
Rose Essential Oil
(Rosa damascena)
Palo Santo Essential Oil
(Bursera graveolens)
Calendula Absolute
(Calendula officinalis)
Patchouli Essential Oil
(Pogostemon cablin)
Rose Geranium Essential Oil
(Pelargonium asperum var roseum)
Cardamom Essential Oil
(Elettaria cardamomum)
Safety Data: If you are pregnant, avoid all of these blends for the first 16 weeks and rose until 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Give Me a Healing Hand
525 drops is just over 2.5% essential oil content
100 drops 75 drops 100 drops 75 drops 100 drops 75 drops
Calendula Absolute
(Calendula officinalis)
Myrrh Essential Oil
(Commiphora myrrha)
Tea Tree Essential Oil
(Melaleuca alternifolia)
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
(Anthemis nobilis L.)
Lavender Bulgarian Essential Oil
(Lavandula angustifolia)
Black Pepper Essential Oil
(Piper Nigrum)
Safety Data: If you are pregnant, avoid all of these blends for the first 16 weeks.

Bonus Blends and Tips

Here are a few variations. I have given you the amount of a new ingredient to add to the recipe base itself, but the amount of essential oils is now up to you here. Remember to work out and double-check your safety data as you go.

Change to the Original Base Recipe Essential Oil Blend
Stay between 1-4% essential oil of your total volume.
Honeyed Hands
Add 100 ml or ⅓ cup of honey to the base recipe and deduct 100 ml or ⅓ cup of aqueous cream.
Ginger Essential Oil
(Zingiber officinale)
Cardamom Essential Oil
(Elettaria cardamomum)
Frankincense Essential Oil
(Boswellia serrata)
Calendula Absolute
(Calendula officinalis)
Add 100 ml or ⅓ cup of Colloidal Silver.
Colloidal Silver has an astounding reputation as a skin healer and silver is widely used by the medical profession to promote skin healing.

Scotch Pine Essential Oil
(Pinus sylvestris)

Carrot Seed Essential Oil
(Daucus carota)

Eucalyptus Essential Oil
(Eucalyptus globulus)

Grapefruit Essential Oil
(Citrus paradisi)
Cheap but Decadent
Use Olive Oil in place of all the fluid Carrier Oils
Use Cocoa Butter in place of the solid oils and butters.
(Monoi de Tahiti is solid at room temp)
Lavender Bulgarian Essential Oil
(Lavandula angustifolia)
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
(Eucalyptus globulus)
Sweet Orange Essential Oil
(Citrus sinensis L)
Palmarosa Essential Oil
(Cymbopogon martinii var Motia)

Safety Data Guidelines

Your safety guidelines for the percentage of essential oils to use here in these hand cream with essential oils recipes are as follows:

Safety data guidelines for % of essential oils for a leave on skin application for a healthy adult. Based on making 1000ml or 34 Fl Oz of hand cream Equivalent in drops of essential oils


1 - 4 %

1% = 10ml
2% = 20ml
3% = 30ml
4% = 40ml
1% = 200 drops
2% =400 drops
3% =600 drops
4%= 800 drops
If you are using this product for the first time, stick to a low percentage of essential oils and build up from there. Listen to your skin.
For teenagers stick to 1% and avoid the known skin sensitizers. When formulating products for children, always do research on the safety data first as some essential oils are not suitable for children.
If you are pregnant, avoid all of these blends for the first 16 weeks. Do your research, if in doubt get in touch.

Also Read: How to Make Essential Oil Body Spray

Guide to Creating Your Blend

Here are a few questions to consider before designing and producing a hand cream designed for yourself.

  1. What skin type do you have? Your skin type will determine what kind of hand cream you need; drier skin needs a heavier, more nourishing hand cream full of rich moisturizing butter and oils. Oilier skin can reduce the fatty butter and oils and opt for lighter choices, like adding more aqueous cream...
  2. When do you use hand cream the most? If you use hand cream throughout the day, you might want something that absorbs fast. A hand cream used at night can be as heavy and rich as you like to feed your skin overnight. Wearing a pair of light cotton gloves over the top facilitates the absorption process.
  3. What do you want to 'feel' when you use hand cream? Do you want a hand cream that feels like it is caressing you or something that will kick you into life and get you moving? At night, we can choose essential oils that aid sleep and relaxation. Always consider that aspect of essential oils as well, not only how it will affect your skin, but how it will affect your MOOD.
  4. Do you have any existing skin conditions? Suppose you have dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, or other skin conditions. In that case, you need to add this into your planning and be careful and considerate with your essential oil choices. Make sure that you double-check the safety data and do your research. See the section below for another worthy point.
  5. Thinking about hand creams, you have NOT liked in the past - what was wrong with them? Were they too heavy, too light? Did it smell awful? Did they leave your hands in a grease slick? These are all things to remind yourself of, and design a recipe to avoid these issues. If you like a light cream, keep the aqueous base; if you want a heavier cream, add more cosmetic butter, solid oils, and waxes.

    If it is too greasy, you could try adding any of the following:

      • Arrowroot Powder
      • Tapioca Starch
      • Pure Talcum Powder
      • Cornstarch

    Because they are all quite different, it is hard to give exact measurements, but start with a teaspoon and go from there; make sure that it is thoroughly mixed through and you do not leave any clumping from the powder.

    They will all have the same effect of soaking up that extra oil, but they can also leave this beautiful velvety texture behind. My favorite is cornstarch, but you will need to add some preservatives if you plan to add any of these.

    You could also make 25% of the oil content in the recipe with fractionated coconut oil. It will help to reduce that oily feeling.

    1. Why do you like your favorite hand cream? This is the most pertinent - what features of your favorite hand cream do you like best? Many people cite the skin feel and perfume as what they want most. But what do you like, and what can you replicate?

    How to Apply Hand Cream with Essential Oils

      • Always do a 24 hr patch test before ladling it on, please.
      • Always apply hand cream to clean, dry skin.
      • Ensure thoroughly massage the product into the skin to stimulate blood flow and improve circulation. Improving circulation also stimulates new cell renewal, helping your skin appear firmer, plumper, and younger.
      • Massage any areas of stiff or sore joints and work a little extra product into offending knuckles and joints. Massage helps break down the crystallization of lactic and uric acids that build with conditions like rheumatism and arthritis.
      • Always take care of areas of dermatitis or eczema and monitor for any reaction. Over many years of professional aromatherapy practice, I always advise clients that they can very often appear to be getting worse when using aromatherapy products on skin conditions. This is generally expected and indicative of the toxins being forced up and OUT through the layers of the skin. Persistence can be key here, especially with long-standing conditions. It even took me over 18 months to treat myself for nasty dermatitis!
      • Don't forget to include your wrists in the bliss too. Your blood supply is very close to the skin's surface here. It is an ideal place to get those essential oils onto the skin and find their way into your blood supply so they can work their incredible magic from the inside out.

      All the more reason to ensure your hand cream with essential oils and beauty products has the most natural, trusted ingredients that are free from toxic chemicals and components.

      Also Read: How to Make Face Serum with Essential Oils

      How Long Will This Last?

      This depends on if you used preservatives or not.

      Generally, most preservatives will extend your shelf life to 12- 18 months, but this can vary with product and manufacturer. Check the guidelines supplied by the manufacturer of your specific product.

      Suppose you purchase preservatives for the first time; research and consider what kind of products you want to use them in. Are they for yourself, or do you intend to sell them or give them as gifts? I rarely use a preservative for products because I know I will use them quickly. Yet, I would always use them if I intended to gift or sell them.

      This hand cream base recipe is for a significant amount, so I recommend using a preservative here if you make a lot. Remember to note on your label how long you expect it to last once opened.

      Based on the two base recipes above, if you decide not to use preservatives, you could expect your hand cream to last 3-6 months once opened. Keeping it in the fridge will help elongate its shelf life.

      Also Read: How to Make Night Cream with Essential Oils

      Final Thought

      Hand cream is something quite personal. From its texture and viscosity to how it feels upon your skin and to its signature scent. I like something that is absorbed very quickly, and I don't have to wait around for it to feel 'less tacky.' This recipe is so easily absorbed; I designed it for myself several years ago.

      Adding more wax to the heavy base will make it feel like you have a protective layer alongside your skin, which is precisely what you have, repelling water and dirt.

      Putting a good smudge underneath your fingernails and around your fingernail line helps them stop getting ingrained dirt when working in the garden or around the home doing dirty, mucky jobs.

      I love holding your hand through every step, essential oil, and blend, but I am encouraging you to get your training wheels on and have a go at creating a blend just for you. You have what you need.

      As the cost of living crisis tightens and our financial belts are pulled in harder than ever, I have given a wonderfully decadent recipe and reasonably priced. You can make beautiful products on a budget. With careful planning, sourcing, and buying, you can make a range of stunning products for a very reasonable price.

      We could focus on a budget-friendly article in the new year.

      But for now…what are you waiting for? Learn how to make hand cream with essential oils and treat those hardworking hands of yours.

      Also Read: How to Make Body Butter with Essential Oils

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