Calendula Lotion Bars

lotion bars on a wooden board surrounded by fresh calendula flowers

Calendula lotion bars are an exceptional treatment for dry, cracked skin and make wonderful gifts for those you love.

The basic recipe requires only three ingredients, and is a super simple DIY to whip together!

If you can melt chocolate, you can make lotion bars!

For this recipe, the oil portion is infused with calendula flowers for extra skin healing power. You can resize the recipe by increasing or reducing the amounts as you wish, keeping in mind an overall ratio of 1 part butter to 1 part beeswax to 1 part oil.

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small plate of fresh calendula flowers and leaves


Directions to Make Calendula Infused Oil:

First, you need to make an infused oil, to transfer all of the skin soothing goodness of calendula into a form that’s easy to incorporate into a lotion bar. To do so, fill a heat proof jar about one-fourth to one-half of the way with dried calendula flowers. Pour a light oil, such as sunflower or avocado, into the jar of flowers until it almost reaches the top.

Cover and store for around four weeks, shaking occasionally. If you’re in a hurry, you can set the uncapped jar down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water. Heat the water over medium low heat for about two to three hours. This creates a makeshift double boiler of sorts and helps speed up the infusing process. Once your oil has sufficiently infused, strain, and store in a cool, dark place. Shelf life for the finished oil is about one year.

If you want to skip this step, you can buy ready made calendula infused oil from an online organic herbal vendor such as Mountain Rose Herbs.

Directions to Make the Calendula Lotion Bars:

Combine the shea butter, beeswax, and calendula oil in a small, heatproof glass jar. Set the container down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water. Heat the pan over medium-low heat, until the beeswax and butter have melted from the indirect heat. Once melted, remove the jar from the water.

If you’d like to add essential oil for scent and sea buckthorn oil for a stronger yellow color, do so now.

Once the essential oil and/or sea buckthorn oil is stirred in, pour the liquid mixture into molds. You can use candy molds, silicone muffin cups, or other such flexible, non-stick objects of the sort.

Let the bars set up until firm enough that they easily pop out when you turn the mold upside down. If they’re reluctant to leave the mold, try placing it in the freezer for several minutes. If you find that they’re too soft for your taste, remelt everything and add a bit more beeswax.

Storage & Use:

Store individual lotion bars in small tins for gifting or carrying in your purse, or use a mason jar to store several at a time. Be sure to keep lotion bars away from heat sources and direct sunlight, as they can melt quite easily.

How To Use:

Rub the lotion bar over your skin wherever it feels dry. The heat from your skin will melt the bar just enough to leave behind a thin moisturizing layer. Use as often as needed.

Looking for more creative ways to use flowers and herbs? Check out my Big Book of Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home!

Available from your favorite bookstore or the following book sellers:

lotion bars on wooden boards with fresh flowers

Jan Berry is a writer, herbalist, soapmaker, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, and Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her family and a menagerie of animals, where she enjoys brainstorming creative things to make with the flowers and weeds that grow around her.

  • Southern Angel says:

    I literally just made honeysuckle/cedarwood lotion bars! I love being able to make this stuff at home and know exactly what is in it.

  • Adrienne says:

    Would grapeseed oil be a good oil to use for the calendula infusion?

  • Denise Everett says:

    I have just dried the last of the calendula flowers. Your recipe for the infused oil says to fill the jar 14/-1/2 full of dried flowers. Is this loosely i the jar or packed down. Second when you fill it up with the oil is it just over the flowers or almost to the top of the jar. Have you ever used coconut oil for this recipe? Thank you in advance, I love your site! :)<3

    • Jan says:

      Hi Denise, I’m happy you like the site! :) I put my flowers loosely in the jar. You want to at least cover the flowers with an inch or so of oil, but I usually fill to the top. Coconut oil will work for infusing and in this recipe as long as you substitute the liquid oil with coconut oil. You still need the butter and beeswax to keep it firm.

  • renea says:

    I love your blog!! Made these calendular lotion bars on the weekend and have infused dandelion oil ready to go! Christmas is looking good, thank you!

  • Constance R. Pottener says:

    In case you ever need calendula flowers – we grow them here in Brown County Indiana. We also manufacture calendula healing products made from local ingredients. Would love a chat with you about your darling website! I am subscribed to your newsletter and you have a great talent!

  • Lynette says:

    I love lotion bars and all the wonderful oils you can use.
    I use deodorant tubes round or oval to put my product in.They also have sample sizes. I love your website.

  • Karen says:

    I made the above lotion bars. I added some lemon essential oil, but not enough. Can I melt the bars down and add more essential oil?

    The Shea butter I used has quit a strong scent, which I find unpleasant.

    Thank you for your blog. I enjoy reading it.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Karen! Yes, you sure can melt them down and add more scent. I agree, some batches/brands of unrefined shea butter do smell too strong and unpleasant. You can buy refined/unscented shea butter from that works really well in this recipe too.

  • gemma says:

    I love your site, its really inspiring. I have never made anything like this before but your recipes make me want to try them all. I thought I would start off with these lotion bars. I think i’ll use cocoa butter, but wondered what essential oil you would suggest would work well for the fragrance.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Gemma! When I use unrefined cocoa butter, I like to pair peppermint with it. (Because then it smells like a peppermint patty!) I most often use the unscented/refined type though and with that, you have a lot of flexiblity – lemongrass is one of my favorites because of it’s bright, clean, citrus fragrance.

  • Tori says:

    OK so I am planing to make sweet Orange honey lotion bars do u think that would smell good and allso how much do you think I should use for the honey and sweet Orange essential oil?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Tori, Those sound like they would smell wonderful! I’ve not tried putting honey in lotion bars, so I can’t really say how it’ll do. I know in lip balm and salves, water based honey tends to want to ooze out, but if you stir, stir, stir and stir some more while it’s cooling, then it often will stay incorporated quite a while. For scent, I usually add essential oil until it smells good, then add a little more since the scent will fade out as the product ages. I hope you have successful experiments!

  • Melissa says:

    I made these last weekend. I love the way they feel & smell! My co-workers like it too!

  • Annie R says:

    Thank you for the extra advice. I saw such a difference on my old hands the following day and even though I don’t love the taste, I’ve even been putting it on my dry allergy lips. I will be making more for sure.

  • Barbara says:

    Hello Jan, I’m all set to go except that my poor beeswax is over 10 yrs old & quite dark now. Should I replace it before making this? I was hoping to try this recipe today, so I’m wondering if I can use tucuma butter in place of it, along with the mango butter (not a fan of shea) & calendula oil as written. I have two of your books, they make me happy. 🤗

    • Jan says:

      Hi Barbara! From what I understand, beeswax has an almost indefinite shelf life. Does your still smell nice? If it does, I’d use it!
      If you were to leave out the beeswax though, you’d want a really high ratio of butters even with the tucuma.
      You’d have to experiment some – but maybe just 10 to 20% calendula oil at the most. Place the filled molds in the freezer to firm up better, then let the bars come to room temperature to test.
      If too soft, melt again and add more tucuma. If too firm, melt again and add more oil. They should be very nice to use! 😊

  • Butique says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge that is so beneficial for all your readers. I will use it for my own lipbalm. More power!

  • Rachel Fauteux says:

    The handmade lotion course. I’d download pdf. I notice their is no cost to the course. Could you tell me if their is one price to the course.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Rachel, Thanks for writing! The lotion course is currently closed to new students while I’m updating it and moving it over to my website.
      Once everything is all tidied up and ready to go again, it will be available for purchase once more. I’ll be sure to announce it in my newsletter & subscribers always get a discount for new products too.
      Stay tuned, it will hopefully be ready some time before Christmas! :)

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