I have been in the process of learning a lot about natural skincare. Something I have learned is that you should be able to pronounce every ingredient, you should be able to eat those ingredients, and it should not have chemical fragrances, petroleum, or synthetic ingredients. This eliminates a lot of products that are on the shelves once again…. but don’t fret, there are a lot of organic options. Yet being the crafty person that I am, I had to find a way to start making this stuff on my own!
First thing I started off with is an infused oil. Herbal infused oils can be used alone. They can be used to make salves and balms, in bath salts, lotions and other care products.
In the next month I plan to post a few recipes using the infused oil. Check below for some new recipes!
An herbal infused oil is a quality organic carrier oil such as virgin olive oil that has been steeped with an quality organic herb or combination of organic herbs for a period of time until it takes on the properties of the herbs. It is important to use organic herbs and keep your oil and products free from pesticides. I chose to begin with Chamomile and Calendula for it’s gentle but healing properties for mine and my son’s skin care needs.
Calendula has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It reduces inflammation and redness, stimulates production of collagen to cover broken skin and helps prevent infection. This gentle, soothing, and healing oil is perfect for cradle cap, diaper rash, chapped or chafed skin, bruises, and sore or inflamed muscles. It’s excellent for help with stubborn wounds, ulcers, bed sores, varicose veins, bruises, rashes, and eczema.
Chamomile has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This herbal oil prevents weeping from cuts and scrapes, prevents itching stings and bites, reduces inflammation, treats burns, gentle for diaper rash, is an antioxidant and regenerative to damaged skin. A few drops of the essential oil can be added to a warm bath to remove weariness and ease pain in any part of the body. It can treat skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, and eczema.
- 1/4 cup Organic Whole Chamomile Flowers (I ordered these, bulk is the best buy)
- 1/4 cup packed Organic Calendula Petals
- 1/3 cup Organic Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Organic Hemp Oil (learn more here about why it’s so great)
- a coffee grinder
- a crockpot
- wash clothe
- a glass jar with lid
However, because hemp oil can go rancid you can not solely use this oil for infusing if you plan to have it sit around. Combining the hemp oil with the antibacterial properties of the olive oil and herbs will help to prevent the herbal infusion from going bad.
There are a few different infusion methods you can choose. Cold-infusion, Sun-infusion, and Heat-infusion. The Cold-infusion method involves no heat, just your herbs and oil in a jar shaken daily for 2 – 8 weeks in a cool dark place. The Sun-infusion method involves placing your jar of herbs and oil onto a windowsill to allow the warmth of the sun to infuse the oil for 2 – 6 weeks. If you choose this method, it would be best to place the jar into a paper bag to prevent damage from the sun’s UV rays to the herbs and oils. The Heat-infusion method can be done in one afternoon using a double boiler or crockpot and heating the herbs and oil slowly on low heat (100F to 140F) for 2 – 5 hours.
I chose to use the Heat-infusion method.
1. After measuring your herbs, place them in a spice grinder. Gently grind for 1 – 2 seconds. Just enough to break down your herbs a bit more and help more of their natural oils infuse into the carrier oil.
4. Place a wash cloth onto the bottom of the crockpot to prevent the jar from coming in contact with the heat from the pot. Place the jar in the crockpot and fill the crockpot about halfway with water.
5. Heat on low for 2-5 hours until the oil takes on the color and scent of the herbs. Swish the jar to loosen the herbs a few times during this period as well.
6. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
7. Once the oil is ready you can strain it using a cheesecloth and place in a sterilized bottle. Store in a dark and cool place.
The other option, which I am currently doing, is to keep your herbs in the oil after the infusion has cooled. Store in a dark and cool place. This way you get the best of two options. After Heat-infusion, your oil will continue to Cold-infuse. I shake it around every once in a while. When I need to use it, since the herbs are usually settled at the bottom, I just pour what I need into a separate container. If I need to use the whole jar for a recipe
(coming soon) then I strain the herbs completely with the cheesecloth and squeeze every last drop of oil from the herbs.
Enjoy using this healing oil!