Oil infusions are the process of adding plant material to a carrier oil and allowing the properties of the plant to “infuse” into said oil. Uses of oil infusions for bath and body include but are not limited to: salves, massage oils, soaps, lip balms, etc.
There are a couple of main ways to go about this process and we will cover these below. There are some variations depending on which oil/method/plant is being used and some experimentation may be needed in order to get the results you are after.
Olive oil, Sweet Almond and Jojoba are long lasting oils with a decent shelf life, and the most popular used for infusions. All oils have their benefits and certainly explore whether there are other possibilities for your concoctions. Add Vitamin E for extra benefits and longevity.
Solar infused method
Using a wide mouthed mason jar or equivalent (make sure it has been cleaned and completely dried), add dried and crushed herbs/plants/flowers that have the properties you are hoping to infuse into the oil (ex. Calendula, rose, dandelion, plantain, etc). Fill the jar at least halfway with the selected plant material, and cover with oil at least an extra inch above the botanicals. Sit the jar in a bright windowsill, shake jar and rotate it at least once a day for about 4-6 weeks. Strain with cheesecloth to remove all sediment and store in dark cool place (ideally in a glass amber jar or equivalent). Should last at least a year if properly stored.
Fill the jars the same way as with the Solar method. Add enough water on the bottom of a slow cooker (that is NOT used for food) so that it goes up the sides of the jars but NOT coming into contact with oil. It also helps to have a small towel on the bottom to keep the jars and slow cooker from chipping. Be sure to keep the heat consistently low in order not to cook the herbs, around 100°F, or lowest setting likely being “warm”. Some recommend using different oils when using this method (such as avocado or coconut oil) as it is claimed they react better when heated. Allow the oils to infuse for 8-12 hours always being sure that the water is replenished. Once cooled, strain with cheesecloth and store in glass amber bottles (or equivalent) and enjoy!
The benefits of infused oils are numerous and it is a beautiful way to apply the many plant benefits into your skin care routine. Click here for our Botanicals section and here for our Oils. Please comment below with any tips or suggestions, and especially your results!