For centuries, humans have been using herbs and spices for a variety of purposes. Whether it be for their taste, their smell, or some other property, these plants make our lives much better. One handy way to reap the benefits of herbs and spices is to put them into skin care products such as oils and salves. There are several ways one can go about this, but the benefits are undeniable. I personally have made my own infused oils, lotions, balms, and toners from a variety of herbs and spices. It’s simple, and a worthwhile pursuit.
Whenever working with plants and carrier oils, please be sure to do your research. Not all oils are skin safe, and many plants can be toxic if used in specific ways. This post is intended to give you ideas for further research, not instructional on how to safely prepare any of these products.
Planning Things Out
There are several ways that one can extract the benefits of a plant for use in topical materials. First things first, however. You need to have an idea what you wish to achieve with the final product. Each plant has its own properties, and much like planning a spell, you want to plan what properties of the herb to focus on. For example:
- When I made my clove oil balm to help my hands from aching, I infused sweet almond oil with cloves for about two weeks. I choose clove for my oil because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
- I’ve made was a shampoo bar infused with rosemary and mint in castor oil. Rosemary and mint were chosen because of their clarifying and antibacterial properties. Castor oil was used to encourage hair growth.
- Lemon oil and witch hazel mixed with water make a great toner. Lemon is refreshing and witch hazel is wonderful for reducing inflammation and irritation.
Write out your goal: what you want to make, what properties you want it to have, and how you want to do this. There are many herbs and spices that have properties that are beneficial.
There are several ways that one can extract the properties of herbs and spices. Creating essential oils is tricky, though they can be used for aromatherapy and diffusion. Infusing oil is a much simpler process, though you will need to pick an oil to infuse.
What oils can be used to get the most out of the herbs and spices? Which ones are skin safe? There’s a lot to consider.
- Coconut oil is easily absorbed into the skin and has several benefits from Vitamins E and K and having anti fungal and antibacterial properties.
- Extra virgin olive oil contains multiple vitamins and is great for moisturizing.
- Sunflower seed oil is another easily absorbed oil and is high in vitamin E.
There are many more oils out there if you do your research. Of course, always make sure that you aren’t using oil or ingredients that you are allergic to. Knowing your body is important when making your own products.
Getting the Most Out of the Process
When it comes to making my own products, I prefer to do oil infusions. Slow infusions often take two to four weeks but don’t require much attention. If I need to make an oil in a hurry, I will do a faster infusion process using my crock pot. This takes roughly twelve to eighteen hours. Once the oils are infused, they can be added to beeswax, butters, coconut oil, soap bases, or other skin safe items to create a variety of products. If I am just using the oils after infusion, it is best to put it into a dark or blue glass container to keep them safe.
The process of making your own skin care products, from design to completion, is often slow but well worth the process. Do your research and see what kinds of products you can come up with!