All About Infused Oils

Today I wanted to do a little introduction of sorts that has to do with infusing oil and why many people do it.

I am in no way an expert in the art of infusing oils but I have done it upon numerous occasions in many different ways and have collected a few insights into how a beginner might experiment with it.

First of all if you are new to the term infused oils, it is simply a carrier oil of your choosing, such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, and so on, that has been infused or steeped with herbs and spices.

Infusing Methods | Two ways of infusing oil is solar infusing and stove top infusing.

Solar infusing is the age-old method of infusing oils and takes quite a bit more patients and time than the other method mentioned.

Once you have formulated your infusion, put it in an airtight jar and place it on a window seal where sunlight shines often to allow the suns gentle heat to slowly infuse your oil over the course of a few weeks or even months.

To infuse over a stove top place your jar of oils and herbs in a water bath on a stove top on a very low setting for several hours over the course of a few days.

Take care that you do not overheat or get water into your infusion while using this method.

Some prefer to use a crock pot over the stove top method which also works very well.

Why Infuse? | There are several reasons why someone might decide to make an oil infusion but I will only list a few of them.

Many decide to infuse a carrier oil with herbs and spices for their beneficial properties. Whether that be chamomile and lavender for relaxation, peppermint and eucalyptus for stimulation, or white willow bar for its healing properties.

Another reason that some will infuse oil is to extract a certain scent, this is more commonly used for spices such as star anise, cinnamon, clove. But can also work for herbs such as rose, lavender, and spearmint.

Those who make soap even occasionally infuse their oils to extract a certain color but this only works for certain herbs such as alkanet and green tea.

Using Infused Oil | Now that we have talked about the ways to infuse and why you may want to infuse its time to talk about the ways that you can use your infused oil.

Infusing is a wonderful way to get a fragrant and beneficial massage oil to help ease the tension of the day that you are storing in your muscles or to create a relaxing, winding down habit before bed with a calming infused oil.

If you enjoy experimenting with your natural skin care, infused oils just might be your next obsession.

Perhaps you want to make an infused oil for acne you might choose herbs such as calendula and rosemary. If you are looking for an infusion to help with those pesky scars perhaps try infusing some marshmallow root and lavender.

Infused oils are even good on your hair to promote healthy, growing hair. Herbs such as horsetail, rosemary, peppermint, and stinging nettle are a good option for an infused hair oil.

How To | To create your own personalized infusion simply pick out your choice of oil and your desired herbs and spices according to what you plan to use it for.

Put your dried herbs or spices into a sealable jar, like a mason jar, and pour your oil over the top making sure to have at least an inch of oil covering the top.

Once you have done that and have infused with whichever method you prefer, you can strain and bottle your infusion until further use.

 

Skin Care Basics | Fresh Ingredients

When someone mentions using fresh ingredients in skin care everyone in the room will automatically think of the banana and honey hair mask or the cucumber and papaya face mask that they saw on Pinterest.

Though I’m not saying that either one of those options is bad, they are also not the most pleasant skin treatments that come to mind.

I will admit that this post was inspired by my recent venture into adding fresh fruit and vegetable puree’s into my soap recipes but I have been using fresh ingredients in my skin care for much longer.

Fresh | Probably the most obvious but also most important reason why fresh ingredients are good for your skin is because they are fresh.

They are at their truest form without having been damaged by preservatives or other, less natural products.

Fresh ingredients are loaded with vitamins and minerals that your skin will love and each fruit or vegetable offers its own unique benefits.

Hydrating | Fresh ingredients are extremely hydrating in a way that lotions and oils will never be.

All fruits and vegetables are composed mainly of water, a great example of that is cucumber and watermelon. Our skin loves that kind of vitamin rich hydration that comes in its most natural form.

Indulgent | Having fresh ingredients in your skin care routine will always be an indulgent treat that is not only better for your skin but will always be more effective than a preservative laced, product in a jar.

You get to experience the beauty of each unique ingredient from the exfoliating seeds and sweet scent of the strawberry to the decadently  moisturizing avocado.

Once you begin to experiment with your own natural skin care creations you will never be able to go back to the artificial brand name products that pale in comparison.

And if you needed any more convincing, fresh ingredients equal less expenses, less packaging, and an amazingly less amount of waste in the long run.

 

 

 

Skin Care Basics | Essential Oils

Essential oils are very ‘in’ right now and though I’m not one to follow trends or fads, I do fully support the promotion of more natural living.

The addition of essential oils into my skin care routine has been a slow journey and a cautious one since essential oils are very potent oils that need to be handled with care.

They are fun and wonderful ingredients to introduce into your skin care routine and with enough education and a light hand, they can be utterly harmless.

Lavender | Though I tend to stay away from most floral oils because of personal preferences, I do always have a bottle of lavender essential oil on hand.

It’s fragrant and has the amazing ability of calming irritated skin as well as reducing redness. It is also a very moisturizing essential oil which makes it a perfect match for dry skin.

Chamomile | Chamomile just might be one of the most expensive essential oils to buy but if you are really interested in incorporating essential oils into your skin care here are a few reasons why it might be worth the expense.

We all know that chamomile tea is amazing at calming irritation whether that be internal or external, when you use chamomile essential oil you multiply that by ten.

It is very potent and fragrant with a brightening and lightening effect on the skin as well as calming any redness or irritation. It is a fantastic option for those who suffer from acne or skin conditions similar to eczema.

Tea Tree | I have saved the best for last because this essential oil is by far my most used and favorite oil.

As someone who has chronically red and inflamed skin, this oil is my go to almost everyday because of its antibacterial properties.

It has the amazing ability of reducing redness and healing cuts or irritated skin blemishes almost overnight. For those reasons it is very popular as a spot treatment.

As a word of caution, tea tree oil is toxic if taken internally so always keep it away from your mouth and eyes.

Though I have only listed but a very few essential oil options, there are hundreds to choose from and experiment with but as always, you must do so with caution.

When you take charge of your own skin care you must also take charge of the safety measures. Never take essential oils internally unless you have properly researched the oil first and always be light handed with the amount you use even externally since anything can become irritating with too high of a dose.