How to Use Citric Acid As a Lotion Preservative

By Jamie Conrad

Nothing is worse than having to toss out your favorite lotions before they're used up. Homemade lotions have a shorter shelf-life as they tend to be made of fresh and natural oils and ingredients. They will go bad if you don't use them quickly enough. You'll need a preservative to make them last longer, and one effective method is a citric acid solution.

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Citric acid extends the life of homemade lotions naturally.

Homemade Lotion with Citric Acid

Step 1

Heat 10 oz. water until almost boiling, then add 1 tsp. citric acid and allow it to dissolve into the water. Set aside.

Step 2

Add all oils, glycerine, waxes and butters to a heat resistant mixing bowl.

Step 3

Fill another cooking pot with water and bring it to a boil, then place the mixing bowl into the pot. This is called a double boiler, which is a gentle way to melt your oils for your lotion.

Step 4

Stir the oils to combine them, and remove the bowl from the double boiler.

Step 5

Blend the oils using an emmersion blender. As you blend, slowly add the water with citric acid.

Step 6

Add the stearic acid. Keep blending. Your lotion should begin to get creamy and form stiff peaks.

Step 7

Transfer the lotion to a clean, lidded storage container. Your lotion should last three to six months or longer if kept in the refrigerator.