See how to make an aromatic cinnamon soap recipe! Homemade cinnamon soap bars make fantastic holiday gifts to share with family and friends. You also learn about different cinnamon essential oils and find out how to safely use cinnamon in skincare recipes.
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DIY cinnamon soap
You are going to love this natural cinnamon soap recipe! Not only is this a fun and easy skincare project, but the resulting soap has an aromatic cinnamon scent and gorgeous marble. The soap starts out with a melt and pour base and is infused with cinnamon powder and essential oils.
I love to give beauty gifts at Christmas time, and this cinnamon bar soap is one of my favorite ideas. Some other homemade Christmas soap recipes are layered candy cane soap, pumpkin spice soap, moisturizing winter soap, cranberry soap, and my DIY pine soap.
Cinnamon soap benefits
Cinnamon is a popular ingredient in baking, but did you know that cinnamon is also beneficial for skincare? The spice is a natural source of active plant compounds. These compounds are called phenols and include cinnamaldehyde, cinnamate, cinnamic acid, and flavonoids. (source)
So, what is cinnamon soap good for? Here’s a quick overview of the potential cinnamon soap bar benefits:
- Antioxidant: The natural compounds in cinnamon boast anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that help to combat cell-damaging free radicals.
- Improved skin elasticity: Studies have shown that cinnamaldehyde may promote collagen production, skin firmness, and hydration. Cinnamon’s antioxidant properties further improve skin elasticity by protecting the collagen in your skin from degradation by free radicals.
- Mild exfoliation: Ground cinnamon provides a gentle exfoliating action as your rub the soap bar between your hands.
- Disinfectant: Cinnamon possesses antibacterial properties, which could help to clear acne and skin blemishes. The spice has also shown to speed up wound healing.
- Cozy scent: Cinnamon powder and essential oils lend the soap a sweet, slightly spicy aroma that smells festive and warming.
- Handmade gift: This project is a beautiful homemade holiday gift idea for everyone who appreciates natural skincare products and handmade soap.
- Beginner-friendly: Melt and pour soap recipes are perfect for beginner soap makers as you won’t have to handle lye.
Good news, the shopping list for cinnamon hand soap is pretty straightforward. You only need 5 ingredients (with 2 being optional). Let me walk you through the materials:
- Soap base is a ready-made soap that can be re-melted and customized in near endless way. Any type of melt and pour soap will work. If you want your soap to look exactly like mine, use a white soap base like goat’s milk or shea butter.
- Ground cinnamon is a powder made from dried cinnamon bark and provides natural fragrance and color. The delicate spice granules have an exfoliating effect, too. We talk more about cinnamon powder in soap in a second.
- Jojoba oil (optional) is an excellent moisturizer and great to care for dry, chapped hands.
- High-proof alcohol (e.g., rubbing alcohol or Everclear, optional) helps to create a marble effect. The alcohol evaporates as you mix it in the warm soap base and won’t be present in the finished soap. If you prefer not to use high-proof alcohol, you may swirl the ground cinnamon directly into the soap base.
- Essential oils add a natural fragrance and additional skincare benefits. You can find 6 different essential oil blends in the next section. Cinnamon essential oil can be irritating – be sure to read through my safety tips below!
- Cutting board + paring knife to chop the melt and pour base.
- Large glass measuring cup for melting.
- Silicone mold to shape the natural cinnamon soap. I used a round soap mold to pour individual soap bars.
- Spray bottle with a high-proof alcohol (optional) to disperse bubbles.
Essential oils for cinnamon soap
I don’t know about you, but mixing essential oil blends is my favorite part about making soap at home. And cinnamon is a particularly delicious fragrance to play with. Here are a few cinnamon-tastic combinations to scent your soap:
- Pure cinnamon: 40 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil
- Blend for sensitive skin: 50 drops copaiba oleoresin + 35 drops botanical vanilla extract
- Cinnamon roll soap: 60 drops botanical vanilla extract + 35 drops copaiba oleoresin + 25 drops cinnamon leaf
- Citrus cinnamon: 60 drops copaiba oleoresin + 30 drops sweet orange + 15 drops cinnamon leaf
- Cinnamon hot chocolate: 50 drops cacao absolute + 20 drops cinnamon leaf
- Holiday spice: 55 drops copaiba oleoresin + 20 drops cinnamon leaf + 10 drops clove bud
The amounts above are intended for 1 lb / 450 g soap, making approximately 4 soap bars.
Cinnamon and skin safety
Besides its purported benefits, cinnamon essential oil is a controversial skincare ingredient as it can cause severe skin irritation, redness, rashes, and burning.
To prevent these effects, follow my safety tips:
- Stick to cinnamon leaf essential oil. Cinnamon bark and cassia aren’t safe for skin care.
- Never apply the oil undiluted.
- Don’t add more than 0.5% to your cinnamon soap recipe. That’s 40 drops / 2 g / 0.07 oz essential oil per pound of soap.
- If you’ve never used the EO before, perform a small patch test. Dilute 1 drop in 1 tsp carrier oil, and dap onto your arm or elbow. Wait for 24 hours. You can safely use the oil if no reaction occurs.
Please read through the FAQ section at the end of the article for more safety tips!
How to make cinnamon soap
I know that making soap can seem a little intimidating if you’re new to the craft. But this cinnamon melt and pour soap recipe is really easy, and you’ll be so pleased with the outcome. Just follow the steps closely and trust the process!
Step 1: Dilute cinnamon powder (optional)
- Add the ground cinnamon and 1 to 2 tbsp high-proof alcohol into a small glass jar. Stir until the spice is thoroughly dispersed in the alcohol.
- Pre-dispersing in alcohol helps to distribute the cinnamon throughout the soap base. This step is optional. You can also stir the powder directly into the soap base if you don’t mind a few blots of cinnamon.
Step 2: Melt soap base
- Divide the soap base into small cubes.
- Place the soap cubes into a microwave-safe container or glass measuring cup. Melt in the microwave in 30-second intervals.
- Stir between each burst and be careful not to burn it.
Step 3: Add jojoba oil and essential oils
- Add the jojoba oil and essential oils. Mix thoroughly until the oils are well incorporated.
Step 4: Divide soap
- To create the marbling effect you see in the photos, pour half of the soap mixture into another measuring cup.
Step 6: Stir in cinnamon slurry
- Next, add the cinnamon slurry. Stir to combine.
Step 5: Cool soap
- Allow the soap to cool and thicken slightly. If you pour while the soap base is too hot, the cinnamon will bleed into the white soap and create a uniform brown color.
Step 6: Pour soap
- Pouring both soap mixtures at the same time, fill the mold.
- Optionally, spritz the top with alcohol to dissolve any bubbles. Decorate each soap bar with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Step 7: Let solidify
- Allow the soap bars to cool and harden in the mold.
- You can let the soap sit at room temperature, which will take 1 to 2 hours, or in the refrigerator to shorten the cooling time to 30 minutes.
Step 8: Unmold
- Once solidified, release the soap by gently pulling back the mold to break the airlock.
- Then pop each piece out of the mold.
Step 9: Package and store
- Wrap your cinnamon soap bars tightly in plastic wrap to protect them from moisture. Enjoy!
- Cinnamon honey soap: Dissolve 1 tsp unpasteurized honey in the warm soap base.
- Cinnamon coffee soap: Sprinkle 1 tbsp coffee grounds into the soap. Let cool slightly before pouring into the mold.
- Turmeric cinnamon soap: Prepare the soap recipe with 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder and 1/2 tsp ground turmeric.
- Oatmeal cinnamon soap: Mix 1/4 cup / 45 g / 1.6 oz rolled oats into the soap. Stir until the soap has slightly thickened before pouring into your mold.
- Package: Wrap your soap bars tightly in plastic wrap/cling film to prevent your handmade cinnamon soap from absorbing moisture from the air.
- Gifting: Download free printable soap labels to wrap your soap for gift giving.
- Store: Keep at room temperature in a dark place, where the soap isn’t directly exposed to sunlight.
- Shelf life: Cinnamon hand soap will last for 1 to 1.5 years.
FAQ & Tips
Types of cinnamon oil
3 types of cinnamon essential oil are available: cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, and cassia. As the names suggest, these oils are made from different parts of the cinnamon plant and vary in potency.
- Cinnamon leaf essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves of Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum). It’s the mildest form of cinnamon oil but still strong.
- Cinnamon bark essential oil is derived from the bark of Ceylon cinnamon and stronger than cinnamon leaf.
- Cassia essential oil is made from the bark of cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia). This variety is the most potent form of cinnamon and should never be used in bath and body products.
How much cinnamon essential oil can I use in soap?
Cinnamon essential oil is incredibly potent, and it’s easy to add too much. Use it sparingly and stick to the recommended usage levels.
- Cinnamon leaf up to 0.5%, which means you can add up to 40 drops / 2 g / 0.07 oz to 1 lb / 450 g soap.
- Cinnamon bark up to 0.1%*
- Cassia up to 0.01%*
*I would avoid cinnamon bark and cinnamon cassia altogether for skincare recipe because it is easy to exceed the recommended usage rate. These two are best for aromatherapy and diffusing.
Is cinnamon safe for sensitive skin?
No, sensitive skin types should avoided cinnamon. Even cinnamon leaf is too powerful for sensitive skin and can lead to irritation.
Can I use cinnamon soap to cleanse my face?
No, cinnamon soap isn’t suitable for the face because the spice can irritate the facial skin. The soap is best for hand washing and cleaning your body.
What can I use instead of cinnamon essential oil?
Copaiba or a mix of copaiba and clove is the best substitute for cinnamon essential oil.
Cinnamon powder in soap
Now that we’ve covered cinnamon essential oil, let’s discuss the use of cinnamon powder in soap. You will find 2 types of ground cinnamon: cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon.
- Cassia cinnamon comes from China and is the most common type of cinnamon.
- Ceylon cinnamon grows in Sri Lanka and is sometimes called “true cinnamon.”
The difference between the two is the presence of coumarin. Cassia contains coumarin, Ceylon cinnamon does not. A high coumarin intake may have an adverse health effect.
Although you can prepare the soap with both types, I recommend Ceylon cinnamon. Although it’s not fully clear if coumarin absorption via the skin has the same negative effect, it’s best to limit your exposure to coumarin.
Ceylon cinnamon also offers more skincare benefits because it contains higher amounts of phenols and antioxidants than cassia.