Sunday, November 11, 2012

Infusing oil for soap

Infused oils are used a lot in cooking, but did you know infused oils are excellent in soap? Infused oil not only gives you the benefit of the carrier oil, but also the benefit of whatever herb or spice you are adding to the oil.

Infusing oil is simple. Most of the time I use the cold infusion method. Simply pack a sanitized mason jar with herbs or spices, add oil, and let it sit for a few weeks (shaking occasionally). If you don't have a few weeks, you can infuse oils in a only a couple of hours. Put oils and herbs into a crock pot, turn it on low, and let it warm for a couple of hours. Easy peasy. 

From left to right: calendula, paprika, coffee, and turmeric
I use infused oil not only for its beneficial properties, but also because it is a natural colorant. I infuse annetto seeds in olive oil for a natural orange or alkenet in olive oil for a purple hue.

Alkenet's color may vary. This was a blue in the mold, but a beautiful purple after it gelled.

  I also love infusing coffee in olive oil for the lovely brown color it gives my coffee soap, but also for the added benefits coffee has on your skin (coffee is a known cellulite reducer).

Coffee infused oil used in my mocha latte soap

But, my personal favorite oil infusion is calendula petals in olive oil. In my opinion, calendula is hands down the best herb to use in skin care products. It is not only beneficial for dry and damaged  skin, it is also known to have fast healing, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It also gives my soap a beautiful soft yellow color. I really could go on and on about my love for calendula, but I will save that for another time. 

Instead, I'll show you a picture of my Calendula & Lemongrass soap I whipped about a week ago. It's made with calendula infused olive oil, loaded with shea butter, coconut milk, and lemongrass essential oil (not to mention it's my daughters favorite).

It was a buttery cream color in the mold, but has sense turned a lovely yellow.