Crafting Plant Infused Beauty Oils (PART I): Beautiful Basics

THIS IS PART I IN A THREE PART SERIES ON CRAFTING YOUR OWN INFUSED BEAUTY OILS. THIS POST COVERS THE BASICS IN MATERIALS, INFUSION TECHNIQUES AND WAYS TO ENJOY YOUR FINISHED OILS.

Infused oils are a wonderful support to healthy, glowing skin.  They can be used on their own as a nourishing, protective and regenerating massage, facial, body or bath oil or used in other goodies such as lip balms, salves, creams and lotions. They are very easy and a joy to make. They are also a wonderful option for those with sensitive skin or those who may not be able to tolerate products containing essential oils.

Several types of oils and plants can be crafted into an infusion, but to keep your preparation fresh longer, it is a good idea to choose a more shelf-stable oil, such as coconut, olive, sweet almond, jojoba or hazelnut. PART II of this series will cover more in-depth, various oils, their benefits and which ones may be most appropriate for you.

While beautiful infusions can be made with fresh plants, I prefer to use plants that have been allowed to dry on their own for a few days, or gently wilted in a dehydrator or oven to remove some of the moisture. Removing this moisture lessens the chance of your infusion becoming moldy (which is very sad to have happen to beautiful plants and oils). You can use your own plants from your garden, locally grown or wildcrafted plants or even purchase them in bulk online or at your local natural foods store.

While there are no real rules for the amounts of plant-to-oil that you use, you always want to make sure you have enough oil to cover the plant material fully. If you are looking for more consistency in the finished product, a good general rule is to use 1 parts plant to 3 parts oil by weight for each of your infusions. 

There are a few options for infusion techniques and, after trying a few, you will likely develop a preference for one or two...

CROCKPOT METHOD - For a no-fuss infusion.

  1. Place the plants and oils in a clean, dry glass jar with a tight fitting top (you can either boil or use a hot dishwasher to clean the jar).
  2. Use a chopstick or end of a wooden spoon to poke the mixture and let out any air bubbles.
  3.  Place in a crock pot full of water on the "WARM" setting for several hours. If it is too warm, you can elevate the jar off the very bottom of the crock pot with another bowl resting inside.
  4. Allow to warm for several hours.
  5. Strain into a clean glass jar, cover tightly and label.

SOLAR METHOD - For a beautiful, sun-kissed, highly luxurious and energetic infusion.

  1. Fill a clean jar with plants and cover the material fully with the chosen oil. 
  2. Use a chopstick or end of a wooden spoon to poke the mixture and let out any air bubbles.
  3. Cover tightly and label with the date of preparation, type of oil and plant.
  4. Let the jar sit in the sun for 3-4 weeks, shaking daily.
  5. Strain into a clean glass jar, cover tightly and label.

STOVETOP METHOD - For a quick and easy, tried-and-true infusion.

  1. Place plants in a double boiler on the stovetop and cover fully with the chosen oil.
  2. Warm for several hours on low heat for up to a few days.
  3. Strain into a clean glass jar, cover tightly and label.

DEHYDRATOR METHOD - For a simple, straightforward infusion.

  1. Fill a clean jar with plants and cover the material fully with the chosen oil. 
  2. Use a chopstick or end of a wooden spoon to poke the mixture and let out any air bubbles.
  3. Warm in your dehydrator at 110 degrees for several hours.
  4. Strain into a clean glass jar, cover tightly and label.

To strain and enjoy your oil:

  1. Pour the mixture through a funnel lined with cheesecloth into a clean jar with a tight fitting lid. You may need to do this a few times to remove all plant particles. Squeezing the filled cheesecloth can help to extract more oil.
  2. Label with the date bottled, type of oil and plant(s) .
  3. Enjoy your infusion within 6-12 months.

You can experiment with infusing single plants in single oils or a blend of plants in a blend of oils. Some of my very favorite oil infusions are:

  • Violet leaf in coconut oil (very soft, soothing and cooling to skin tissues, especially sensitive skins)
  • Rose petal and vanilla bean in jojoba (wonderfully sweet and fragrant and makes an excellent toning facial oil)
  • Mint leaf in coconut oil (fresh and cooling - great added to minty lip balms)
  • Calendula in olive oil and sweet almond oils (very soothing and healing - excellent for salves)
  • Lavender and vanilla bean in coconut oil (deliciously fragrant and healing)

STAY TUNED FOR PART II IN THIS SERIES: CRAFTING PLANT INFUSED BEAUTY OILS: ALLURING OILS