Bath &Body · Making Extracts

Making Herbal and Flower-Infused Oils

Recently I’ve been researching how to make herbal extracts and infusions. I’ve made some glycerine-based extracts and it worked great. Maybe I’ll make a separate post on this subject in the future.

Next, I really wanted to make some oil infusions to boost skin loving properties of my anhydrous formulations.

anhydrous = no water or water-soluble ingredients (hydrosols, glycerine, water-soluble actives, etc)
aqueous = contains water, water-based.

Examples of anhydrous formulations:

As you can see, the possibilities are endless! The fun thing is that once the oil infusions are ready, you can substitute any oil in your recipe for a lovely herb-boosted one to add benefits to your product.

How should we start? Let’s take a few things insto consideration:

1. Choose your oil

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Basically, you can use any oil for making infusions, but I highly recommend a lightweight oil with a stable shelf life.

– sunflower oil
– safflower oil
– fractionated coconut oil
– apricot kernel oil
-sweet almond oil

2. Choose your method.

There are many methods out there, and some are easier than others. So far, I’ve tried cold infusion and double boiler infusion. 

  • For the cold processed method, you need to weigh your dry herbs or flowers into a glass jar, add your oil and place the glass jar in a place where the sun can reach it (sun infusion). Then, shake it a few times per week. It takes about 4-8 weeks for the infusion to be ready. You can also leave the glass in your cupboard (room-temperature infusion). Well, that’s how I unfused my chamomile oil, and it worked great.

    You need to weigh your herbs and oil into a jar or a glass beaker for the hot process method and place it in a water boiler for 2-3 hours. Your oils shouldn’t get too hot; 50-55C is enough. You can use a yogurt maker or slow cooker for this step too.

3. Choose your herb or flower.

  • It is most important to make sure your herbs are completely dry. After that, you can infuse almost any flower, herb, or even spice that you want. The most commonly used herbs/flowers for oil infusions are:

    calendula (calming, soothing, healing)
    – chamomile (anti-inflammatory, antiseptic)
    – rose (may moisturize, reduce inflammation)
    – plantain (soothing, reduces itchiness)
    – dandelions (anti-inflammatory, toning)
    – peppermint
    (antiseptic and antibacterial properties, soothes irritations)
    – vanilla beans (rich in antioxidants, rejuvenating, and it smells amazing)

4. Add antioxidant (Mixed Tocopherols aka Vitamin E)
It will prolong the shelf life of your oils.

Basic Ratios

0.5% Antioxidant
10-15% herbs
84.5-90.5% oil

When making 100g of oil infusion, you’ll need

15g of herbs
84.5g oil
0.5g Vitamin E

1) Weigh your herbs.
2) Add oil
3) For cold-processed infusion, you can add antioxidants right away. You need to add Vitamin E once your infusion has reached 40C or lower for hot proceeds infusion.
4) Once the infusion is complete, carefully strain your herbs into a clean, sanitized glass gar, and don’t forget to label your oils if you make multiple infusions like me.

My infusions are sunflower oils and:

rose petals
immortelle
plantain
cornflower
calendula
chamomile
jasmine

I will be making many products with my newfound herbal love so stay tuned!

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