How to make natural cinnamon soap with pure essential oils, cocoa butter, clay for natural color, a simple swirl decoration, and a dash of cinnamon spice for decoration #lovelygreens #soaprecipe #naturalsoap #soapmaking
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All Natural Cinnamon Soap Recipe + Instructions

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How to make natural cinnamon soap with pure essential oils, cocoa butter, clay for natural color, a simple swirl decoration, and a dash of cinnamon spice for decoration

Imagine soft holiday spices wafting in from the kitchen and Christmas tunes in the air. Just the thought puts a smile on my face, and I hope yours as well. If so, I think you’ll enjoy my latest soap recipe and tutorial. It’s a natural Christmas soap made with a gorgeously scented essential oil blend and natural colorants. Cinnamon, ginger, citrus, with natural clay and spice to decorate. It’s also amazingly easy to create the swirly decoration on top.

Over on Lovely Greens Handmade, you’ll see a lot of Christmas scented products this time of the year, including the perennially popular Gingerbread Candle and the new Mince Pie candle. I wanted to make a handmade soap that matched so that I could give them out as handmade gifts. They can be used as an ordinary bar of soap or left out to sweetly scent the room (or Christmas stocking).

How to make natural cinnamon soap with pure essential oils, cocoa butter, clay for natural color, a simple swirl decoration, and a dash of cinnamon spice for decoration #lovelygreens #soaprecipe #naturalsoap #soapmaking
The swirl texture is very easy to recreate. All you need is a wooden skewer

What’s in this Cinnamon Soap Recipe

The oils I’ve chosen for this recipe create a beautifully hard bar with lots of fine lather. The main oils are olive and coconut and they’re joined by moisturizing shea butter and castor oil. The beeswax and cocoa butter used add their own warming scent to the essential oil blend.

For color, we’re going to be using Red Clay and there’s just a dusting of cinnamon spice on the top for decoration. The scent itself comes from ginger, lemongrass, and cinnamon essential oils. Traditionally you’d use orange in a Christmasy blend but it doesn’t last very well in handmade soap. Lemongrass does its job just as well in this case.

Cinnamon Essential oil

Before we get started you need to know a little about cinnamon essential oil. I think some people assume that just because an ingredient is ‘natural’ that it’s harmless. Not true, especially with some essential oils.

In soap, cinnamon essential oil can be a skin irritant and sensitizer. That means that people with sensitive skin may have a reaction to it, especially if you use too much. There are two main types of cinnamon essential oil and both should be only be used in tiny amounts.  The more common cinnamon essential oil is derived from the leaves and twigs of the tree and it has a deep, spicy, and musky scent. The other type comes from the bark and smells more like the yummy cinnamon that you’re familiar with. Both should be used at 0.5% or less in any wash-off skincare product.

How to make natural cinnamon soap with pure essential oils, cocoa butter, clay for natural color, a simple swirl decoration, and a dash of cinnamon spice for decoration #soaprecipe #naturalsoap #soapmaking

Cinnamon bark essential oil safety

You’ll find more soap recipes using cinnamon leaf oil than bark oil because the latter is more dangerous. Using too much can cause skin irritation and it can even burn your skin if you use it un-diluted. That’s why you must be precise with how much you use and not add any more than 0.5% in your soap. When you make this recipe, please do not be tempted to add any more than what’s directed.

Treat cinnamon bark essential oil like you would your lye water in this recipe – with respect. Always wear gloves when using it and avoid inhaling directly from the bottle since it can cause dizziness. If you accidentally spill some on your skin rinse it off immediately with clean water. If you’re worried about using it, then just skip it altogether. Alternatively, you can substitute it for a skin-safe fragrance oil that smells like cinnamon. They’re not 100% natural but may be easier to use.

The spice cinnamon can be just as dangerous, believe it or not. Several years ago the Danes were worried that the European Union would be banning traditional Christmas cinnamon rolls. Based on food regulations they had too much cinnamon in them to be safe. I bet you’re thinking about that cinnamon challenge from a few years back now too.

Natural Cinnamon Soap Recipe

Lovely Greens
454g / 1lb of soaping oils — makes six bars. The total weight of this soap recipe with the lye and essential oils is actually 580g. For the cinnamon essential oil, use either type as described above as per personal preference.
If you’re unsure about using cinnamon essential oil, don’t worry! You can also use a skin-safe fragrance oil blend that smells like cinnamon instead of the blend I provide. It’s not considered ‘Natural’ but may be a better option for you. Search for fragrance oils on websites in your region — I give some links to soap making suppliers over here. Bramble Berry has a few that you might want to check out if you’re in the USA.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Curing time 28 d
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients
  

Lye water

Solid oils

Liquid oils

Ingredients to add after Trace

Special Equipment Needed

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • I always advise getting everything prepared and measured before starting to make soap. Get your equipment set out, measure out all the ingredients -- this includes the water into the heat-proof jug, lye into a jar, solid oils into the pan, and liquid oils should be in a kitchen bowl or jug.
    You should also be wearing closed-toe shoes, a long sleeve shirt, hair pulled back, and wearing eye protection and rubber/latex/vinyl gloves.

Mix the Lye Water

  • Soap making is chemistry so this step needs particular care. Making sure that you're wearing eye protection and gloves, pour the lye crystals into the water in a well-ventilated place. Outdoors is best. Stir immediately and thoroughly with a stainless steel or silicone spoon until dissolved. 
    Next, add the clay powder and stir again until well mixed. Allow to cool outside or place it in a basin of water to help it cool down. There will be steam and heat when you mix them together so be prepared.

Melt the Solid oils

  • Just after you mix the lye water, put the pan of oils over low heat. Stir while they’re melting to speed things up. After they’re mostly melted, take the pan off the heat and stir until the last few pieces of oil melt. When fully melted, stir in the liquid oils (but not the essential oils)

Taking the Temperature

  • The ideal temperature for this recipe is 100°F / 38°C. Using a thermometer, or better yet a digital temperature gun, take the temps of both the lye water and the pan of oils. They should be within 10 degrees of one another and around the temperature mentioned.

Blending

  • When the temperatures are just right, pour the lye water into the pan of oils through a sieve. It will catch any bits of undissolved lye or chunks of clay. Now stick blend. You're going to alternate stirring and pulsing until you reach 'Trace'. Trace is when the consistency of your soap batter is like warm drizzly custard.
    I’ve included a video at the bottom of this piece for lemongrass soap and it shows my technique for stick blending. Have a watch to see what to look for.

Essential oils & molding

  • When you’ve hit the right consistency, add the essential oils in and stir quickly but thoroughly. It will firm up fast. Next pour the batter into the molds, spooning it in if you need to.

Decorating

  • To create the swirly pattern on the tops of your bars you’ll need a wooden skewer. Once your soap is thick enough to hold a peak you can begin working. 
    Dip it into the soap batter in one corner of the mold and move it in tight circles like you’re drawing a spring. The end of the skewer should only be just below the surface of the soap. Finish at the other side and then repeat the pattern, but in reverse, all the way back.
    Sprinkle your soap with a touch of cinnamon (optional) and leave it in the mold for 48 hours. After that point saponification is complete and you can pop them out. Let the soap dry out for four weeks before using it. This process is called ‘Curing’ and I have a great piece on what to do over here.
    If you’d like to give your soap as gifts, I also have some ideas on how to naturally wrap soap for gifts.

Video

Keyword cinnamon, soap, soap recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to make natural cinnamon soap with pure essential oils, cocoa butter, clay for natural color, a simple swirl decoration, and a dash of cinnamon spice for decoration #soaprecipe #naturalsoap #soapmaking

32 Comments

    1. Really sorry, but none of the oils or wax can be omitted since the amount of lye (sodium hydroxide) is formulated specifically for the total amount of each specific oil used. What you could do, is use the base recipe of one of my other 1-lb soap recipes (the main soaping oils and lye), and use the clay and essential oil amounts from this recipe. Changing the base ingredients in a soap recipe can be complicated but if you’d like to learn how to do it, read this piece.

  1. 5 stars
    Hello thank you for your excellent resources,
    I am sorry to ask you annoying questions
    I wonder if you can help me, because I don’t have all the ingredients?
    Can I use French Green clay or fullers earth instead of Red Moroccan?
    Can I replace cocoa butter with more shea butter?
    I don’t have ginger or lemongrass, but I do have bergamot, citronella, cinnamon, franknesses, lavender, chamomile, tea tree, lemon, carrot, could I use any of these instead?
    And I saw that you used honey in one of your other recipes. Can I please use honey?
    Thank you so much for your generosity in offering us these amazing recipes!
    Bless you
    Angela Marie

    1. Hi Angela, and the short answer is that if you do not have the exact ingredients for a soap recipe, then as a beginner, you should look for an alternative soap recipe. Color, like the clay you can change relatively easily, and essential oils you can leave out completely. Do not change anything else though, and I think that this piece that I wrote last year will answer your questions why. There are many other soap recipes on my site though, including some very simple ones, so do try those ones first 😊

  2. Your soap recipes are so easy and so varied. Thank you! My problem however is that I am forever getting the ash residue on my soaps. It’s not the top (that I spray the with 99% rubbing alcohol), it’s the sides and bottom where the ugly ash residue appears after setting aside the bars to cure. I have made about 15 batches of soap (1 lb/ 454g each) using different recipes that I follow to the ‘T’, but the end results in a coating of ash residue. Although harmless, it is truly unsightly. Any suggestions to combat this would be greatly appreciated.
    With thanks!

    1. Hi Gerty, soda ash tends to appear on soap within three days of it being made. I suggest that you leave your soap in the mold until after this time before you cut it. I sometimes leave my soap as loaves for a week or two before slicing them and with my recipes, at least, there’s no issue in them becoming too hard to cut.

      Other things that can help — water discounting (most of my recipes have that already built-in), working at a slightly warmer temperature (mixing small batches of soap around 120F), and only pouring soap into molds when they’re medium trace. Light trace can mean a higher percentage of unsaponified lye and it’s that main issue that causes soda ash.

      1. Thank you so much for your response. I shall follow your advice.
        I made this soap and used individual silicon molds. However, after 4 hours, the soap was hard as rock and popped out easily. If I would have used a loaf pan mold, I’m worried that the soap would have been impossible to slice as it would harden to quickly.

  3. Hi, I am a beginner, never made soap, but have been reading a lot about how to. Since soap take such a long time to cure and such a hassle to clean after making it, is it possible to double or triple your recipes?
    Also, do you have pumpkin spice recipe with cinnamon and clove powder?

  4. One more question—I already have some Lemon essential oil. Would it work to simply use this instead of purchasing Lemongrass essential oil?
    Thank you! I am a beginner, so am trying to learn as much as I can and not end up wasting ingredients on a batch that doesn’t turn out!

    1. Lemon essential oil virtually disappears from soap within a couple of days. It’s better to save lemon, mandarin, and sweet orange essential oils for other beauty recipes like bath bombs.

  5. Hi,
    Looking forward to trying this recipe. I was wondering if it is possible to substitute the cinnamon bark EO for cinnamon leaf EO?
    Thank you.

    1. Yes, you can do that. Please be aware that cinnamon leaf eo must also be used in the same tiny concentration and that it does not smell like cinnamon. It’s deep and woodsy but without the characteristic scent of the spice you are familiar with.

  6. Thank you, I can’t wait to use this soap! But can you recommend a different essential oil to substitute the ginger?

  7. Hi,

    I’ve accidentally used way more cinnamon bark essential oil than planned. Due to a mistake I can’t even tell how much, but probably between 5 to 8ml for a similar recipe.
    The other ingredients were quite costly so I’m bummed as to what to do with the soap (it’s currently drying). Would you have any advice for a clumsy soap-maker?

    Thanks !

    1. Oh no..that sounds like a skin-irritating amount of cinnamon bark oil. You can salvage it though! Make another batch of the soap, but this time don’t add essential oil. Then, grate up both batches with a cheese grater, pop them together into a slow cooker/crockpot. Add enough distilled water to wet all the soap, and cook on low for an hour. Give it all a stir, smoosh any lumps, then cook another hour. Repeat, until the soap is soft enough to pour/smoosh into molds. Let it harden, cut into bars, and cure as normal. Rebatched soap looks a lot more rustic than smooth cold-process, but in essence, it’s the same exact thing. Good luck.

  8. I was wondering if the red clay could be added right at trace instead of in the lye? Is there a reason you put it in with lye?
    thanks!

  9. Hello!
    At what level do you superfat your soaps? I am looking at making the cinnamon, turmeric, citrus and calendula and possibly the rosemary. Thanks!

  10. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I would love to try it :)
    I recently made soap with 2% white beeswax pellets, and noticed white spots on my soap bars when they started to cure. I’m wondering if I wasn’t supposed to soap at a higher temperature.
    Could you please advise me before I try this recipe?
    Regards

    1. Beeswax has a much higher melting point than other oils you work with in soap making. When making beeswax soap you need to be mixing it from 65-70C (149-158F). Any lower and the beeswax might not melt completely and higher than 85C (185F) and the beeswax might discolor. So to answer your question, your experience with making beeswax soap is way different from this recipe :)

      1. The beeswax link to Amazon seems to come up not valid anymore. I havn’t used beeswax before. Can you buy any beeswax. Also I see you need to melt to 65 to 75 degrees Celcius and no higher than 85 degree Celcius. At what point then do you add to other oils in cinnamon receipe ? It doesn’t mention in the receipe where to add it . If you could help that be wonderful as feel not sure do to differing temperature

        1. Thanks, Lolita and the beeswax link is updated now. Yes, beeswax has a higher melting temperature than many other oils/waxes. Once it’s melted and combined with the liquid oils, the combined melting temperature is lower. The timing of when to add the liquid oils is in the section on melting the solid oils.

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