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.

 

Calming Herbs for Sensitive Skin

There are a lot of people out there who either have sensitive skin, myself included, or have sensitive skin conditions.

Many commercially made skincare products are not fully designed to cater to skin sensitivities since they are often loaded with synthetic ingredients and preservatives which are not always as skin friendly as they claim to be.

Making your own gentle skincare for your skin’s specific needs is much more productive and much less expensive in the long run and its completely customizable.

Calendula | Calendula is a bright, yellowish orange colored flower that is widely used in skincare for those with sensitive skin.

It is anti-inflammatory which makes it a great option for those who suffer from allergic reactions on their skin or even for sunburns and bruising.

Calendula helps to produce collagen which makes it useful for any cuts or acne since it reduces scarring and softens dry or thin skin.

 

Lavender | Lavender is also a herb that is widely known for its skincare abilities and is usually a crowd pleaser amongst everyone.

With anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties lavender is soothing to wounds and helps the process of skin healing. It is anti-aging with its ability to stimulate skin and tone pigmentation.

It plays well with all skin types, specifically oily skin and helps to treat skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

It also helps to calm irritated, red skin or breakouts.

If you’d like to learn more about what lavender can do for you and your skin, you’ll want to check out my last post specifically about

 

Chamomile | This herb isn’t only good as a nighttime tea it also has several benefits for skin, specifically irritable skin.

Like lavender, chamomile is an amazing option for those with skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, eczema, and psoriasis since it is calming.

Chamomile helps to gently ease pain and irritation in acne sufferers, boils, skin wounds, and rashes or allergic reactions including sunburns.

It is a great option for all skin types and is the most widely used herb in skincare when it comes to sensitive and easily irritated skin types.

 

Green Tea | Though green tea might not be specifically thought of as a herb I decided to include it anyway since it also has many positive qualities for those with sensitive skin.

Like the other herbs on this list, green tea is anti-inflammatory and is soothing to skin conditions such as acne and rosacea and psoriasis.

Green tea fights against free radicals and sun damage on skin and is anti-aging because of the natural antioxidants that it contains. It promotes skin cell reactivation which helps to reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles, age spots, and skin sagging.

It is also a natural astringent which makes it a great toner as well as an option for those with oily skin.

As with all natural skincare it is important to always do a spot test with the herbal products that you are trying out to ensure that you will not have an allergic reaction to any of them.

 

Licorice and Peppermint Face Mask

 

It has taken me a long time to really get back into skincare after losing my passion for it in the midst of health issues and the hustle and bustle of life.

I stopped making time for one of my favorite things because it felt unproductive when I could be doing more important things than just lounging around with a green face mask on.

Finding the realization that not everything we do in life needs to be productive and time managed is incredibly important. Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, setting aside time to do the things that you love is never a waste.

With that being said, I wanted to share this herbal face mask with all of you.

There are only three ingredients in it which make it a breeze to throw together and all of the ingredients are relatively easy to find if, like me, you buy everything online.

Peppermint is antibacterial, anti inflammatory, and very healing which is great if your suffering from any break outs or unsightly redness.

Licorice root is one of my favorite herbs for reducing redness and for skin lightening, it is also very good for those with sensitive skin.

Matcha is an amazing purifier for the skin since it is very concentrated. It is also anti inflammatory and helps to reduce redness while still being gentle for those with sensitive skin.

You can see that I went with a theme here since this mask’s main characteristic is its ability to reduce redness while being anti inflammatory and gentle.

I usually use equal parts matcha to peppermint leaves with just a pinch of licorice root. You will want to grind all of the ingredients together to get a loose powder.

For your own convenience, buying licorice root that is already ground is a must in order to avoid a long grinding process that will usually result in splinters.

Make as much as you want then combine a teaspoon of the mask in enough water to create a loose paste and store the rest of the mask in a container.

This face mask is a bit cold and tingly so if your sensitive to that you might want to add more matcha than peppermint leafs.

Leave the mask on for fifteen minutes or until dry.

Let me know in the comments if any of you try out this mask and if you would like to see my last blog post where I talked about my thoughts on creating balance, click here.