Oils are such an important part of a natural skin care routine. We have our favourites, use them to moisturise our skin, for calming aromatherapy, and to heal our bodies. Try these tricks to get the maximum benefit out of your oils.
1. Use the cold infusion method.
There are several ways of making an infused oil. If, for example, you wanted to make a calendula oil, you could heat a fixed oil with calendula flowers over a double-boiler, or in the oven on low heat. The heat draws the properties from the flowers into the oil so that your skin can absorb them more easily. Generally, this is the method that I recommend in my recipes, since it is fast and easy.
However, exposing your oil to high heat can damage it, or possibly burn it and the herbs you are meant to be infusing. By using the cold infusion method, you reduce the risk of losing the volatile oils in the herbs, or of burning it oil itself.
Make Calendula Oil using the cold infusion method:
- Half-fill a mason jar with dried Calendula flowers. Fresh may cause the oil to go rancid because of the water content.
- Fill the mason jar with your preferred fixed oil. I like Apricot Kernel Oil for cosmetic applications. Olive Oil is fine for medicinal balms & creams.
- Put on a tight-fitting lid, and place in a cool spot for 6-8 weeks to slowly infuse.
- Once finished, strain out the Calendula flowers using cheesecloth. Your cold-infused oil is ready to use!
2. Refrigerate your Rosehip oil.
Rosehip oil is wonderful for fine lines and wrinkles. I use it in my floral eye serum (recipe coming soon, I promise!). It is a very delicate oil and has a limited shelf life. Keep an eye on its expriation date, and keep it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for as long as possible.
3. Don't add essential oil too soon.
Essential oils are extremely delicate in their chemical make-up. They are the pure essence of a plant, and are packed with volatile oils, which is why they are so potent. Volatile oils are so-called because they evaporate quickly at room temperature, and even more quickly when warmed.
To preserve the qualities of your essential oils, only heat them very gently, or not at all. When I add Tea Tree essential oil to my Ouch Ointment, I always wait for the mixture to cool down as much as possible before dripping in the Tea Tree. This way I get the maximum medicinal benefit from the oil.
4. Store in Amber Glass jars or bottles.
Once you've made your infused oil or a salve, you want to keep it away from UV light, which can cause it to deteriorate and go rancid more quickly. Using amber glass bottles and jars stored in a cool cupboard or drawer are an ideal way to do this. And always label your preparations with an expiry date, just to be safe.
Do you have any other tips or tricks for getting the most from your oils? Let me know! Email me directly at email@example.com or get in touch via social media. I'm @suburbanherbsau
Be well friends!