There are many herbs that are fantastic for healing & soothing dry skin. Making an infused oil is a great way to extract an herbs medicinal properties. In this post I’m going to show you how to make an herbal infused oil using the solar method. Once finished – you can even use this oil to give your “oil cleansing method” routine a botanical boost.
Some wonderful herbs for dry skin are Chamomile ( avoid if you have chamomile or ragweed allergies) Calendula & Comfrey. All three soothe & soften dry + irritated skin, promote skin cell regeneration, and have anti-inflammatory properties. There are many more herbs you can use – be sure to do your research before working with any herb, especially if pregnant or nursing.
Start with a high quality carrier oil such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed, sweet almond or jojoba.. Just try to make sure it’s cold pressed / unrefined and/or extra virgin. When starting out, I recommend using dried herbs, since the moisture in fresh herbs can cause your oil to go rancid.
1. Start with a clean and dry glass jar – fill your jar about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with your herb. (You can always start out with less herbs, if you just want to test a small amount.)
2. Fill your jar with the oil, making sure that the herbs are completely covered. (You generally want to use twice as much oil as the herb).
Cap your jar – label it with the date, and type of herb & oil.
3. Place jar in a sunny spot.
Shake every day for at least the first week. It’s a good idea to open the jar every once in a while, check for mold or to see if it smells rancid, and to check for any condensation inside of the lid (if you find any- wipe the lid with a clean, dry towel). Make sure herbs are under the oil.
4. In about 3-6 weeks, strain the herbs out of the oil with cheesecloth, muslin, or a nutmilk bag.
Squeeze any remaining oil out of the herbs (that’s the most potent part).
For an even stronger oil – start the process again by topping a new batch of dried herbs with the oil you just made.
5. Bottle the oil and label your jar with the date finished.
Most infused oils are best used within about 6 months (depending on type of carrier oil you use). Olive oil may last about a year (or longer).
Once it’s finished, keep away from heat and direct sunlight. (Store in amber glass and in the fridge for the longest shelf life).
Do not use if the oil starts to smell off, or if you see any mold growing.
You can use the finished product as a soothing massage oil, or you can turn it into a lip balm, salve, cream, or ointment.
Don’t have time to do it yourself? Look out for the ingredients I mentioned in lotions, salves and balms.
What do you use to deal with dry skin? Let me know in the comments below!
photos: © Liz Davison 2013
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