Calendula Lotion Bars
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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- 2 tablespoons (29 g) shea butter (or mango or cocoa butter)
- 2 tablespoons (17 g) beeswax pastilles
- 2 tablespoons (22 g) calendula infused oil (buy from Mountain Rose Herbs or see how to make below)
- optional: 2 or 3 drops sea buckthorn oil for color and skin-reparative benefits
- optional: 2 to 5 drops essential oil for scent (I like sweet orange and/or lavender)
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.
- dried calendula flowers
- oil of your choice (sunflower, rice bran, or sweet almond are nice)
Fill a heat proof jar about one-fourth to one-half of the way with dried calendula flowers. Pour your favorite oil 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.
I linked to some of the molds I like using for lotion bars in my Amazon store.
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.
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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.
Oh, those sound lovely!
Would grapeseed oil be a good oil to use for the calendula infusion?
Hi Adrienne, That should work too!
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
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.
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!
That’s wonderful to hear! :)
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!
Thanks Connie! :)
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.
Great idea – thank you for sharing! :)
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.
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 brambleberry.com that works really well in this recipe too.
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.
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.
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?
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!
I made these last weekend. I love the way they feel & smell! My co-workers like it too!
I’m so happy to hear that! :)
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.
So happy that it helped. Lotion bars are wonderful! :)
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. 🤗
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! 😊
Thank you for sharing your knowledge that is so beneficial for all your readers. I will use it for my own lipbalm. More power!
Hi Butique, Thank you for the kind words and I’m so happy to hear you found the information helpful! 😊
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.
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! :)
Is there a substitute that would work in place of beeswax in lotion bars? I have a propolis allergy and so have to avoid beeswax and honey in skin products, but would love to try and make some of these beautiful lotion bars.
Hi Jessica! Yes, you can use candelilla wax instead. Usually the rate is about half as much candelilla as beeswax. So if a recipe calls for 1/2 ounce beeswax, try using 1/4 ounce candelilla wax instead. You may have to experiment with amounts and remelt a few times to get them just right! I buy candelilla wax from Bramble Berry. :)
Thank you! Trying this week.. looking forward to it!
hi. In the paragraph that reads Before you go…here’s a special offer for Thursday…
The link for special offer is not working. I’ve tried it several times
Hi Cathy, Thanks for letting me know it was doing that! It shouldn’t be a link right there, the offer is when you scroll down the page below.
I went in and changed the text so it doesn’t look like a link any more. I’m so sorry for the confusion and really appreciate you letting me know about it so I could fix that! ❤
Always looking forward to try your recipe. Made the lotion with rose and jasmine fo. Beautiful on the skin.Thank you, Jan. I’ve used olive oil to infuse the calendula, feel a bit greasy on my skin. Might try with grapeseed or apricot kernel next time
Hi Indri! The lotion sounds like it turned out wonderful! ❤ Grapeseed or apricot kernel would be great choices for a lighter feel.
Another idea is to combine some of the infused oil with some fractionated coconut oil to lighten the overall feel up.
I made several batches of the Calendula Lotion Bars this week for my coworkers and myself. Everyone loved them. Thanks so much for the recipe. I enjoy your newsletters!
That’s wonderful to hear! So glad you like the recipe & happy you enjoy the newsletter too! :)
I recently found a bottle of calendula tincture that I made a couple years ago. How long do tinctures usually last? And do you think I can infuse the old with some new calendula to make it stronger?
Hi Melody! I keep most tinctures around 2 years. By that time, I’ve usually made a fresh batch up and I just discard the old one as I replace it.
If you have new calendula to infuse, I’d probably just make up a fresh batch so that way you know it’s good to go for another year or two! 😊
Hi Jan! Do you think it could be replaced beeswax for soya wax for a vegan version? Thanks🌺
Hi Sensi! I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I’ve heard that if using soy wax in lotion bars, you should increase the amount of wax in the recipe, since it feels softer & melts easier than beeswax.
I would try a small test batch, then melt it down and add more soy wax if it feels too soft. :)
Hi Jan….just bought your soapmaking book a week ago and now I’m in love…was so afraid of making soap because of the lye “scare” and my first batch turned out beautiful….even if I never made a bar of soap, I would love your book just to look at all the gorgeous pictures! They make me happy! NE way, I digress…my question for this lotion bar is: Can the mango/shea/cocoa butter be replaced with tallow? I have been rendering the heck out of some grass fed beef fat I was given and now I have literally quarts of beautiful white unscented tallow. I made soap from it and some balm, but would love to make these calendula lotion bars for gifts. If I can substitute tallow, would I have to adjust any of the other ingredients? Thank you so much….
Hi Patty, I’m so happy to hear you like the soapmaking book and hooray for making your first batch of soap!! ❤
How wonderful to have such a great supply of tallow to enjoy!
I would probably start with a recipe made just for tallow:
You can infuse any coconut oil or plain oil in a lotion bar recipe with calendula first, then use it to make the tallow lotion bars.
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