Today we’re mixing up a simple, fragrant Cranberry Orange Body Oil that I devised to give beautiful cranberry seed oil a chance to shine. Since it’s a new-to-me ingredient, I wanted to get to know it in a simpler formulation. I’ve used it neat on the skin, and that’s lovely, but I wanted to step things up a bit to create a fragrant, lightweight body oil that’s lovely to use right after a bath or before bed on a cold winter night.
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Cranberry seed oil is our star oil, and you’ll be seeing a lot of it in the run-up to Christmas as part of this year’s Cranberry Orange theme. It’s the liquid oil pressed from the seeds of cranberries, and it is said to be anti-inflammatory and good for sensitive, irritated skin. I find it has a lovely tangy, fruity, fresh scent that I haven’t encountered elsewhere in plant-based oils—that scent will be pairing with orangey elements to create the scent blend for this series. My cranberry seed oil was a gift from Essential Wholesale, and it is absolutely lovely. I’ve also found it for sale in the USA at Lotion Crafter, Ingredients to Die For, Mountain Rose Herbs, From Nature with Love, and Making Cosmetics. Voyageur in Canada has it, and in the UK you can find it at Gracefruit and The Soap Kitchen.
The bulk of this body oil is a blend of two carrier oils; cranberry seed (of course) and apricot kernel. This blend makes for a satiny, lightweight base, and since apricot kernel oil doesn’t smell like much of anything, the tangy scent of the cranberry seed oil can shine.
To that blend, I’ve added a bit of C12-15 alkyl benzoate for an even lighter finish. I first tried C12-15 alkyl benzoate in a body oil in The Chemistry Brand’s Retin-Oil, and I really liked its lightweight, dry-touch finish.
A touch of vitamin E oil helps extend the shelf life of the oil, and some juicy sweet orange essential oil complements the cranberry seed oil beautifully to create a fresh and fruity scent for the body oil. Since everything is liquid the whole thing comes together in a flash; choose a pretty bottle and perhaps some washi tape to make this simple DIY highly giftable. Enjoy!
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Cranberry Orange Body Oil
24.375g | 48.75% apricot kernel oil (USA / Canada)
10g | 20% C12–15 alkyl benzoate
15g | 30% cranberry seed oil
0.25g | 0.5% Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
0.375g | 0.75% orange essential oil
Weigh all the ingredients into a small beaker, or straight into your bottle. Stir or cap & shake to combine. That’s it!
I used a 50mL (1.69fl oz) frosted glass zelo bottle from New Directions Aromatics with a dispensing pump cap.
To use, smooth the oil over any skin that could use a bit of extra love!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this body oil is 100% oil based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 50g, which fills a 50mL (1.69fl oz) bottle nicely.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this recipe, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed for the apricot kernel oil.
- Isopropyl myristate would work well instead of C12-15 alkyl benzoate. You could also replace it with more apricot kernel oil, but this will make for a heavier/oilier end product.
- I don’t recommend substituting out the cranberry seed oil (click that link to go to the encyclopedia article for my first list of suggestions), but if you have to I would choose something special that is lightweight and will pair well with whatever scent you’re using—plum oil could work well!
- You can use a fragrance oil of choice instead of orange essential oil. I used cranberry salsa in a version and it worked beautifully!
- You could also use orange wax instead of orange essential oil; this swap is best suited to orange waxes that are quite thin/liquidy.
The C12–15 alkyl benzoate and cranberry seed oil were gifted by Essential Wholesale.
Marie, you’re killing me with these lovely oils! I got plum oil last year – it’s absolutely divine, I can’t believe I had never heard of it before – and now it looks like I’m going to need some cranberry oil, too! I’m endlessly fascinated and in love with oils and butters that have their own scent (unsurprisingly, cocoa butter and macadamia oil are favorites), they’re so fun to blend with and especially to create dessert-y scents.
Ooooh, you have good taste 😀 I think you’ll love the cranberry seed oil… and I’m thinking it’ll pair beautifully with plum, too!
You’re seriously feeding an addiction to fruity oils! While I wait for the cranberry seed oil to arrive I made this up with blueberry seed oil which smells just like -,well blueberries! My head is spinning with all the combinations this great recipe will enable. At last a body oil that doesn’t make you feel like an oil slick! (And as I just couldn’t get a stockist of the plum oil last year this series is going to be fun!) For those followers of the blog in Australia, New Directions Australia have the C12-15 alkyl benzoate.
Muahahahahahaha 😀 And oh my gosh—blueberry seed oil!?! I am an absolute blueberry fiend and now I must have it! Thanks for the stockist suggestion for AU—where did you order your cranberry seed oil from?
On your email, right under the picture of the Cranberry Orange body oil, it says Cranberry Orange Christmas soap, but I couldn’t find any information on how to make the soap? Is that recipe coming later? Thank you, I love your emails and recipes.
Hey Rhonda! If you search “cranberry orange christmas soap” here on the blog it will pop right up 🙂
Oh sod it – Cannot get Cranberry Seed Oil here in New Zealand – typical! I’m wondering if MCT oil would work….I’d love to make some body oils for my Christmas stock but I don’t want my customers complaining about greasy skin all Summer haha.
What did you end up using? And just remember, that just because one person finds an oil quick absorbing, doesn’t mean everyone will get the same results!