Cotton Tail – Inexpensive Lotion for Kids – Free Formulation

For Christmas this year, I am making each child (ages 8 to 16) on my list their very own 8 ounce bottle of lotion.   They will also be getting 1/2 dozen bath bombs and other miscellaneous sundries.

Because kids aren’t frugal with their products (they tend to slather it on, and some of it get spilled or wasted), I didn’t want to spend a fortune formulating a complicated lotion for them.  I did, however, want to include some nice oils and ingredients that are great for kids skin (well, anybody’s skin for that matter).

For kids, you don’t have to load up with a lot of things that older skin needs to have.  Those can quickly raise the production price.  You only need to formulate a product that will be gentle and moisturizing.

I thought I would share this formula in case anyone one else would like to treat some children on their gifting list.

Cotton Tail – Inexpensive ($2.22) Lotion for Kids


Follow the instructions for making a lotion on this page (scroll down on the page to find it).

Your price may vary, but with the ingredients I have used, I estimated the cost to be about $2.22 for the ingredients (the bottle is extra).

Makes 8 ounces / 250 millilitres of lotion

Water Phase

Percent Grams
Distilled Water 63.0% 158
Aloe Vera Liquid 10.0% 25
Allantoin 0.5% 1
DL-Panthenol (Powder) 2.0% 5
Vegetable Glycerin 2.0% 5
Sodium Lactate 2.0% 5

Oils Phase

Cetyl Alcohol 1.5% 4
Cetyl Esters NF 1.5% 4
Babassu Oil 3.0% 8
Rice Bran Oil 3.0% 8
Macadamia Nut Oil 3.0% 8
Polawax 4.0% 10

Cool Down Phase

Liquid Germall Plus Preservative 0.5% 1
Fragrance Oil 0.5% 1
Aloe Extract (Oil Soluble) 2.0% 5

Notes on Substitutions:

For the oils, you can use any oils you like.

  • Babassu is very penetrating, so it will thicken the lotion and make it sink in quicker.  It will feel less greasy.
  • Rice Bran Oil is very silky feeling.
  • Macadamia Nut Oil can be substituted with just about any other carrier oil without changing the lotion too much (unless you use a very oily one like Coconut).

If you want to use Emulsifying Wax NF instead of Polawax, use 5% / 13 grams and reduce your water amount by 3 grams.

If you want to omit the Aloe Extract, just add 2% / 5 grams more of one of your other oils.

Same with the Cetyl Esters (just replace its % /gms with one of your oils).

If you want to omit anything in the water phase (Panthenol, Allantoin, Aloe Liquid, Glycerin or Sodium Lactate), just add their %/gms into the water total.

Instead of Cetyl Alcohol, you could use another fatty alcohol like Behenyl or Cetearyl.  You could also use stearic acid.   Changing this ingredient may affect the thickness and feel of your lotion, though.

If you have a different preservative, make adjustments to the water amount to accommodate the difference between what I have used for the Liquid Germall Plus, and with what you will need to use for your specific preservative.

Removing or substituting some of these ingredients will further reduce the cost.  You could make this lotion for as little as $1.00 per bottle without all those extras.


I scented the lotion with 0.5%  (just 1 millilitre) of Brambleberry’s “Energy” fragrance, which smells like Sweet Tarts candy.  It is a scent that kids will love, but it won’t be too annoying for the adults around them — especially in this small amount.

Optionally, you could add a very small amount of a skin safe mica or liquid colorant to make it colorful and more fun for the kids.

You could even divide the lotion into two (sanitized) bowls and color one of them, then use a sanitary piping bag to do a two color piping into the lotion bottle for a two-toned product.

The pH of this lotion tested out at about 5.2.   That is well within the “skin-safe” range (skin likes products that are slightly more acidic than “neutral” (pH7).)


I used a little bit of the left-over lotion and it felt great!   It is creamy, velvety, moisturizing and non-greasy.  It feels very “soft” like a bunny’s tail – thus the name “Cotton Tail”.  It is a lighter lotion than the ones I typically use on my older skin, but it will be great for the kids!

Hope this inspired you to make some for the kids (over 8 years old) on your gift list!   I would not recommend giving any handmade product to kids under that age as the potential exists that they might ingest it.



4 thoughts on “Cotton Tail – Inexpensive Lotion for Kids – Free Formulation

  1. Thank you! Yes, 8 ounces is a lot for a kid. It’s a “grown up size”. If you were to give them 4 ounces they would feel like it’s a “baby size”. 🙂 I never make less than 8 ounces / 250 grams, for the reason you stated. It gets too small to measure below that.

    Liked by 1 person

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