Lotions are prepared by blending an oily and a watery ingredient, with an emulsifier such as lethicin or various waxes to keep the oil particles in suspension in the water. A typical combination might be almond oil, rosewater and beeswax, but the resulting lotion will be of a lighter and more fluid consistency than a cream made from the same ingredients, and the proportion of rosewater much greater. Essential oils are added both for their perfuming ability and as a treatment for a variety of skin problems.
Lotions are much more difficult to make without professional equipment than creams and few aromatherapists attempt to make their own, though they are better suited to the treatment of certain skin problems than the more easily made creams. Fortunately, there are a number of very good lotions made from pure plant ingredients, and lightly perfumed or unperfumed, which can be bought commercially, and it is quite practical to add your own choice of essential oils to these as needed.
You may find lotions better tolerated than creams when treating eczema, and in skincare they are best for dry and sensitive skins.