The first time I made lotion around four years ago and it was a disaster :D. First of all I was all for "green and natural" so I made lotion with beeswax and borax as emulsifiers. It did not work for me :( . Then I made body butter using only oils and butters and whipped them. It was nice I think, but I prefer non greasy one. Then I went to chemical store to buy emulsifier because at time I already knew water and oil did not mix, they needed emulsifier to emulsify. The store gave me cetyl alcohol which ofcourse did not work as emulsifier because it is not....
Finally I bought emulsifier online :D. Until now I have used 4 different kinds of emulsifier:
1. Colzamulse (behenyl trim ethyl ammonium methosulfate and cetearyl alcohol)
The usage rate : 2-5 %. This can be for hair and skin products. I found this to be a bit draggy...
2. Emulsifying Wax (Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60)
The usage rate : 1-10% . This also can be used for hair and skin products. I love it because you don't need much
3. Lexemul cs-20 (ceteareth-20, cetearyl alcohol)
I couldn't find the usage rate so according to Jane Barber from making skincare, the general rule of emulsifier is 25% of your total oils
4. Polawax gp-200 (cetearyl alcohol, PEG-20 stearate)
The usage rate : 2-10%), can be used for hair and skin products. It can stand heat up tp 150 C for two hours.
While I love making lotion as much as making soaps, making lotion is fussier, I think. In soapmaking, you need to clean your workspace, but in lotion making you need to sanitize your work space and equipments.
You also need thermometer, pH meter, accurate digital scale, hand blender, non reactive container, lots of alcohol :D. Right now I own 3 hand blender : one for making soaps, one for making lotions, the other is for cooking :D.
Lotion pH is between 4-5, more on the acidic side. It's different with handmade soap. Certain ingredients are temperature sensitive, so you need a thermometer to be correct.
While I'm sometimes hesistant to use expensive oil in soapmaking, not with lotion because it is a leave on product, you get the benefits more than the wash off product, Imho :)