Calendula Lotion Bars

Calendula Lotion Bars are easy to make, are perfect for treating dry/cracked skin, and make wonderful gifts too!

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 super simple 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.



Step 1: 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 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 HERE.

Step 2: 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. Overheated butters can become grainy, so keep a close eye as the mixture melts. Once melted, remove the jar from the water. If you’d like to add essential oil for scent, do so now.

Step 3: Once your scent 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. 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.

Calendula Lotion Bars are easy to make, are perfect for dry/cracked skin, and make wonderful gifts!

This recipe was originally published in the July 2014 Calendula issue from Natural Herbal Living Magazine.

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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:

    Jan, Are you weighing the oils and butters in the lotion recipes? I wasn’t sure so I weighed an ounce of each and it made a lot of little hearts and flowers. My batch is very greasy feeling on my skin. Maybe this recipe is for extremely chapped or dry skin?

    • Hi Annie R! I measure these by volume, instead of weight. If your batch is greasy, then you can melt the bars and add a little more butter and beeswax. (Too much butter will make your bars feel sticky though.) Another good thing to cut the greasy feel is to add a pinch of arrowroot, cornstarch or tapioca powder and stir it in very well while the mixture is hot. You can also choose an oil that absorbs into your skin easily. You’re right though, lotion bars by nature are best suited for very dry, chapped hands, feet, knees, etc.

  • 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.

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