Warm your sense with a sweetly scented DIY sugar cookie lotion. This festive body lotion recipe moisturizes and nourishes your skin while leaving it scented with the delicious gourmand scent of freshly baked cookies. A wonderful addition to your holiday skincare regime!
Homemade sugar cookie lotion
I am so excited to share this sugar cookie body lotion with you because it’s just so lovely! The lotion not only packs a punch of moisturizing ingredients, but is scented with a decadent essential oil blend that smells like real sugar cookies, sweet and homely.
We have been sharing treat-inspired skincare DIYs for a couple of years now. After pumpkin spice, candy cane, and gingerbread collections, it was about time we tried our hand at another holiday favorite, the humble sugar cookie!
This sugar cookie lotion is the absolute perfect body lotion for everyone loving sweet gourmand scents. It has a silky-smooth texture that just sinks into your skin and provides nourishing moisturization and hydration.
And the rich sugar cookie scent is so luscious and delicious! It will fragrance your skin with sugary goodness and the smell stays on for several hours. If you enjoy sweet scents, this lotion is perfect for you!
- Deep hydration: Cookie body lotion hydrates and nourishes from neck to toe, leaving your body soft and smooth. As you massage it into the skin, it will moisturize dryness and protect from dermal moisture loss.
- Nourishing ingredients: The moisturizing and hydrating abilities of this lotion come from nourishing ingredients like cocoa butter, glycerin, and Olivem.
- Natural scent: The festive and decadent sugar cookie fragrance is created with a combination of naturally derived aromatics and essential oils.
- Gentle and skin-friendly: Since every ingredient is natural and plant-based, you can rest assured that the lotion is good for your skin. It is completely free of synthetic compounds and artificial fragrances found in many commercial skincare products.
- Cute holiday gift: Create skincare gifts by filling the lotion into small jars or travel-size bottles and hand them out at Christmas. You can find printable labels to decorate your gift below!
Materials & tools
Don’t let the ingredients list intimidate you. These materials are easy to find, and you may even have some in your beauty pantry already. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact measurements!
- Distilled water is the main liquid in this sugar cookie scented lotion recipe. It provides hydration and lends the formula a light, cushiony texture.
- Glycerin is a humectant that helps bind and lock moisture into your skin.
- Cocoa butter acts as a moisturizer. The plant butter is rich in fatty acids, which are touted to nourish and hydrate the skin. I used raw cocoa butter as I find the subtle chocolate scent very pleasing. You can also use deodorized cocoa butter, which will not interfere with the sugar cookie scent.
- Olivem 1000 is the emulsifying agent in this recipe. The emulsifier is needed to stabilize the lotion. The ingredient gives a cushiony, soft feel and helps condition the skin.
- Vitamin E nourishes and protects the essential oils from oxidizing. I used pure vitamin E, but you could also use the content of liquid vitamin E capsules.
- Geogard ETC (Preservative ECO) is a natural, broad-spectrum preservative. A preservative is required to inhibit the spoilage of microbes and yeast in the lotion. Geogard ECT has a marzipan-like bitter almond scent that perfects the sugar cookie fragrance.
- Essential oils: A blend of vanilla, copaiba, tonka bean, Peru balsam, and real butter essential oil provides a seductive sugar cookie scent. We’ll talk about this more in a moment.
- Gold mica (optional): A touch of gold mica tints the lotion in a warm dough-like color and will leave a subtle shimmer on your skin. The colorant is optional. Without it, the lotion will have a light cream color.
Along with these ingredients, you want to gather the following pieces of equipment:
- Digital scale to measure the ingredients. I’ve included measurements in cups and tablespoons for convenience, but a scale will deliver more accurate results.
- Large, heat-resistant glass jars to heat the ingredients, e.g., lab beakers or mason jars.
- Saucepan to set up a water bath.
- Stick blender to mix the water and oil phase and create the emulsion. This tool is essential. You can’t create an emulsion without it.
- Disposable piping bag or large zip-lock bag to squeeze the lotion into the storage container.
- Pump bottle to store and apply the skincare recipe.
Sugar cookie scent
The authentic sugar cookie scent is based on Irena’s sugar cookie essential oil recipe. Last year, Irena invented a unique sugar cookie blend that uses tonka bean and butter CO2 extract to create an authentic and sumptuous cookie scent.
Before she published her post, we had never seen a sugar cookie essential oil blend made with tonka bean and real butter essential oil (butter CO2 extract). You will not believe how realistic and delicious this scent smells!
- Botanical vanilla extract is the main component and dominant scent in this natural sugar cookie blend. Alternately, use vanilla absolute or vanilla oleoresin.
- Copaiba oleoresin lightens up the scent and balances the sweetness with a woodsy, slightly spicy aroma.
- Tonka bean absolute provides a decadent, caramel-like note. It accents the scent and gives the striking aroma of baked goods.
- Butter CO2 extract has a buttery scent reminiscent of classic sugar cookies. It’s the best oil to replicate the aroma of buttery cookie dough. The fatty acids further moisture and replenish the skin. Butter CO2 is animal-derived, not made from plant materials, unlike all other oils in this list.
- Peru balsam essential oil lingers on the skin with a sweet, vanillic note. Peru balsam is a fixative and increases the scent’s tenacity, making it long-lasting.
How to make sugar cookie lotion
Sugar cookie lotion feels so luxurious and velvety when you rub it on your body and can help improve your skin’s appearance. And be prepared to fall in love with the delicious cookie scent- it’s such a delightful aroma! Here’s a breakdown of the lotion recipe step-by-step:
Step 1: Prep work
Prep. Measure everything out and gather your tools. You want your supplies at hand because making body lotion is a time-sensitive process.
Step 2: Heat water and oil phase
Water phase. Add distilled water and glycerin into a tall heat-resistant glass beaker or mason jar. This is the water phase.
Oil phase. Add the cocoa butter and Olivem 1000 into a separate jar. This is the oil phase.
Set up a water bath. Fill a pot 1 in / 3 cm with water and place both glass jars in the water bath.
Warm water and oil phase. Heat over low to moderate-high heat on the stovetop until the cocoa butter and Olivem have melted. Once the ingredients are liquid, continue to warm both phases for 3 minutes.
Step 3: Blend lotion
Dry melting jars. Take the water phase out of the water bath. Place it on a kitchen towel to catch any water dripping down from the sides of the jar.
Mix it up. With your immersion blender ready, pour the oil phase into the water phase. Be careful when handling the jars as they might be hot to touch. Blend in short bursts to combine the oil and water phase. Continue blending until the mixture looks white and you no longer see any traces of the oil phase, for about 3 minutes.
Cool. Let the lotion cool for 10 minutes. Then blend for another 1 to 2 minutes.
More blending. Continue this cycle until the outside of the jar feels barely warm to the touch. The lotion thickens as it cools and reaches its final consistency after 30 to 40 minutes.
Step 4: Cool down phase
Add cool down phase ingredients. Add the essential oils, vitamin E, preservative, and gold mica. Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute until everything is evenly distributed throughout.
Step 5: Package
Store lotion. Transfer the sugar cookie lotion into a pump dispenser or amber glass jar and seal the vessel airtight.
Tips for success
Before you get going, I hope you’ll check out these helpful tips for the best sugar cookie body lotion. Making lotion is a rewarding craft, and each tip can help achieve great results.
- Sanitize equipment. Before getting started, it’s a good idea to sanitize your equipment and storage vessel. Spray all tools with 70% isopropyl alcohol and let air dry.
- When you combine the water and oil phases, they must be at the same temperature. Separation usually occurs when the water and oil phases have different temperature. The easiest way to achieve this is to heat both phases in the same pot for the same amount of time.
- Take your time to blend the emulsion. Don’t rush this step! Mixing the mixture for several minutes is crucial to disperse the cocoa butter and emulsifier throughout the water and form a stable emulsion.
- Reheat if the lotion splits. Not all is lost if separation happens; chances are you can salvage the batch. Gently reheat the lotion in a double boiler, constantly stirring, until liquid again. Re-blend the mixture until the cream cools and stabilizes.
How to use sugar cookie lotion
Simply massage a dollop of lotion into your skin using gentle, circular motions. Wait for a few moments until the lotion has absorbed before putting on clothes. Apply the lotion anytime throughout the day to moisturize and nourish your skin.
Packaging & label
Package sugar cookie lotion
DIY sugar cookie lotion is best packaged in a pump bottle or airtight glass jar. I recommend a pump bottle because it’s convenient to take out lotion without directly touching it. Another idea is to fill the lotion into bottles with flip-top caps.
If you plan to make this lotion as a homemade holiday gift for your friends and family, fill it into travel-size flip-top cap bottles. You can find these mini bottles in the travel-size toiletries area of the beauty section at Walmart and beauty supply stores.
Most pump bottles have a tiny opening. So, how do you get the lotion into the container? Easy! Transfer the lotion into a large disposable piping bag or zip-lock freezer bag. Then snip off one end and squeeze it into the storage vessel.
Sugar cookie lotion label
As a finishing touch, decorate your lotion bottle with a printable label. I created the labels in different sizes so they fit various bottles. I recommend printing it on vinyl sticker paper to protect the design from smudging.
In case your pump bottle is fluted like mine, you can also use the label as a tag and attach it with a piece of twine or string.
Storage & shelf life
How to store sugar cookie lotion
Keep your Christmas cookie lotion in a dry, cool location that is not exposed to direct sunlight or humidity. If possible, avoid the bathroom because the high moisture and temperature fluctuations can affect the lotion’s quality. A cabinet or drawer in the bedroom is a better option.
How long does sugar cookie lotion last?
Properly stored, sugar cookie lotion will be good for 6 to 9 months. If the ambient temperature is warm, separation may occur. You can continue to use the cream as long as you don’t notice a change in smell or color.
Of course, if you intend to sell the lotion recipe, you should have it challenge tested to ensure the preservative is effective.
- 1/3 cup / 60 g / 2 oz melted cocoa butter (raw or deodorized)
- 1 1/2 tbsp / 9 g / 0.32 oz Olivem 1000 (emulsifier)
- 1/4 tsp / 2 g / 0.07 oz vitamin E
- 1/2 tsp / 3.5 g / 0.1 oz Geogard ETC (Preservative Eco)
- 1/8 tsp gold mica (optional)
- 30 drops botanical vanilla extract (or vanilla absolute)
- 15 drops tonka bean absolute
- 4 drops copaiba oleoresin
- 3 drops butter CO2 extract
- 2 drops Peru balsam essential oil
- digital scale or measuring cups and spoons
- heat-resistant glass jars or beakers
- large pot
- glass stirrer or spoon
- immersion blender
- kitchen towel
- glass pump dispenser
- Prep. Measure everything out and gather your tools. You want your supplies at hand because making body lotion is a time-sensitive process.
- Water phase. Add distilled water and glycerin into a tall heat-resistant glass beaker or mason jar. This is the water phase.
- Oil phase. Add the cocoa butter and Olivem 1000 into a separate jar. This is the oil phase.
- Set up a water bath. Fill a pot 1 in / 3 cm with water and place both glass jars in the water bath.
- Warm water and oil phase. Heat over low to moderate-high heat on the stovetop until the cocoa butter and Olivem have melted. Once the ingredients are liquid, continue to warm both phases for 3 minutes.
- Mix it up. Take the water phase out of the water bath. Place it on a kitchen towel to catch any water dripping down from the sides of the jar. With your immersion blender ready, pour the oil phase into the water phase. Be careful when handling the jars as they might be hot to touch. Blend in short bursts to combine the oil and water phase. Continue blending until the mixture looks white and you no longer see any traces of the oil phase, for about 3 minutes. Let the lotion cool for 10 minutes. Then blend for another 1 to 2 minutes. Continue this cycle until the outside of the jar feels barely warm to the touch. The lotion thickens as it cools and reaches its final consistency after 30 to 40 minutes.
- Add cool down phase ingredients. Add the essential oils, vitamin E, preservative, and gold mica. Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute until everything is evenly distributed throughout.
- Store lotion. Transfer the sugar cookie lotion into a pump dispenser or amber glass jar and seal the vessel airtight.
Can I use another scent?
Of course! Feel free to scent the body lotion with another scent. Just be sure to keep the ratio at 1% to 2% and follow each oil’s recommended usage rate.
And if you plan to add a citrus oil, make sure it is steam-distilled, not cold-pressed. Cold-pressed citrus oils such as lemon, lime, and bergamot react photosensitizing when exposed to the sun and burn your skin.
And as for spice oils, cinnamon bark, cassia, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and most other spices oils are highly irritating. I recommend avoiding them all together.
Do I really have to use an emulsifier?
Yes, an emulsifier is needed to bind the water and oil phases together. Without one, you would have a watery part with an oily phase sitting on top – a far cry from the glorious, soft texture of this sugar cookie lotion.
For a simple body moisturizer without an emulsifier, try this luxurious whipped sugar cookie body butter from Heidi of Happiness is Homemade.
Can you create this DIY lotion recipe without a preservative?
Sadly, no. This cookie-scented lotion contains a lot of water, a breeding ground for bacteria and microbes. Adding a preservative is the only option to ensure the product is safe to use and free of those nasties.
More lotion recipes
Once you start making your own body lotions, you’ll want to make them all the time. Here are a few more of my favorite lotion recipes. There is something for every season and skin type!