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DIY Orange Cinnamon Lotion Bars

With Christmas just around the corner and winter on its way, there’s nothing more comforting than the sweet scent of vanilla paired with the zesty smell of sweet orange and the warming scent of cinnamon. These Lotion Bars smell like the holidays too! Plus, they’ll leave your skin feeling as soft as a new babe’s bottom. Let’s get started!

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Cinnamon Skin Benefits

There is nothing more reminiscent of Christmas than cinnamon cookies. I grew up snacking on these buttery, spicy cookies and still have a soft spot for them today! But did you know cinnamon is also great for your skin?

Naturally anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, cinnamon is believed to improve skin elasticity and firmness and contribute to healthy-looking skin by fighting free radicals when applied topically. Plus, its spicy, warm scent instantly makes us feel cosy and relaxed. No wonder it is added to so many homemade beauty products. 

Cinnamon Essential Oil vs Cinnamon Infused Oil

While cinnamon essential oil offers wide-ranging therapeutic properties, helping maintain and improve overall health, it is a potent extract that can cause skin irritations as it contains a high level of eugenol.  

So, if you’re looking for an alternative, I found cinnamon-infused oil a gentler option. Even though you’ll need to prepare it six weeks before the holiday season begins, the smell is well worth the wait. 

DIY Cinnamon Infused Oil Recipe

I followed the traditional sun-infusion method, which involves macerating ground cinnamon in sunflower oil for six weeks. By doing this, I knew the result would be a wonderfully rich, warm cinnamon-scented oil.

To prepare: Add a tablespoon of ground cinnamon into a 250ml glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover it with the oil of your choice (sunflower, jojoba or almond oil are great picks), and leave it in a sunny location for about six weeks. Sun will gently heat the oil, releasing cinnamon’s aroma and curative properties into the oil. Strain the oil and store it in a dry, dark cupboard. It will last a year at least. 

DIY Orange Cinnamon Lotion Bar Ingredients

First, we’ll start with our base ingredients: unrefined cocoa butter, shea butter, cinnamon-infused, and carrot-infused oil. They help to create an effective barrier between the skin and the environment, restoring its natural moisture levels and conditioning it.

Then, we’ll combine these with vanilla oleoresin, cinnamon essential oil and sweet orange essential oil for that true holiday-time aroma. 

Lastly, we’ll add vitamin E, a well-known antioxidant that helps improve the skin’s health.

DIY Orange Cinnamon Lotion Bar Recipe

DIY Orange Cinnamon Lotion Bars

Recipe by Kay GuptaDifficulty: Beginner Formulator


Prep time


Formulating time


Total time



Soothing, nourishing and easy to prepare, these lotion bars are a perfect DIY project for the holiday season. They make for great Christmas gifts too!



  • Bring 2-3 cm of water to a simmer over medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
  • Weigh cocoa butter, shea butter, cinnamon-infused oil, and carrot-infused oil in a heat-resistant glass beaker and place in the hot water bath.
  • When fully melted, remove the mixture from the hot water bath, allowing it to cool down a little. Stir gently and continually to avoid graininess. 
  • Once the temperate of the mix drops below 40°C, you can blend in vitamin E, sweet orange essential oil, vanilla oleoresin, and lemon essential oil. Keep going until the blend appears opaque.
  • Now pour the mix into a mould of your choice and let the bars set for 12hrs at least, preferably overnight, allowing them to firm up nicely.
  • Once firm, remove the bars from the mould and wrap them in greaseproof paper or an aluminium jar to keep them handy in your bag.

How to Video


  • Although the ingredients included in the recipe are natural and generally safe to use on the skin, some people may be sensitive or allergic to some of them. Apply a small amount of the product onto a clear patch of skin. Somewhere you can leave it alone for 24-48 hours. If your skin turns red or itchy or you experience any irritations, discontinue using the product.
  • If you are pregnant or have any medical condition, please contact your healthcare professional before incorporating essential oils into your skincare regimen.


high-precision scale

glass beakers



silicone mould


Please remember that swapping the ingredients in the formula will alter the final product. Consider how the ingredient you switch will affect the final product’s texture and smell when making changes. 

Butters: Cocoa butter is a unique butter that is hard to swap. You could try using illipe butter instead. You can trade shea butter for mango, mafura or sal butter. 

Oils: When infusing oils, pick highly stable oils such as jojoba, sweet almond or macadamia. 

Essential oils: As mentioned above, cinnamon essential oil can irritate the skin. However, feel free to add it to your formula and/or use it with the infused cinnamon oil (0.05g will be more than enough). For more info about working with essential oils, visit https://ifrafragrance.org.

Shelf life and storage

Lotion bars can keep up to a year if stored well. Keep them away from direct sunlight in a dry, cool room or a draw. If they change colour, smell or texture, dispose of them and prepare a new batch.


My lotion bars are too soft.

Here in the UK, we are blessed with a mild climate; hence these lotion bars hold nicely here. If you live in a much warmer country, you might find them a bit soft. You can fix it by reducing the percentage of soft butter or oil in the formula and replacing it with cocoa butter or by using harder wax, such as beeswax, instead of berry wax. 

My lotion bars are gritty.

As much as I love shea butter, it is sensitive to temperature changes which can sometimes result in very gritty lotion bars. You can rectify that by remelting the bars and gently stirring to a trace. When the blend appears opaque, pour it into the moulds and leave it on the counter to set overnight. 


Can I use lotion bars in the shower?

Although these lotion bars are super moisturising, I wouldn’t recommend using them in the shower as they don’t include a preservative to prevent contamination. If you wish to use them in the shower, replace 1g of oil or butter with an oil-soluble preservative, such as preservative ECO, and add it during the cooling phase.

How do I use lotion bars?

To apply, rub the bar between your palms for a minute to soften it and then glide it over your skin, massaging into your skin in a circular motion. Oil released from the bar will help to moisturise your skin, leaving it soft and smooth.

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