Infusing oils is a far more simple process than one would think. It's basically just transferring flavor, scent and beneficial properties of herbs and spices to oils for usage in various products. These can be cooking oils, massage oils, soaps, lotions and even scent oils for aroma therapy.
The process is simple; you can use a double boiler, crock pot or an airtight mason jar that sits in the sun allowing the more volatile oils to transfer into the skin friendly and/or edible carrier oil that you have chosen to infuse. The one's I have chosen for this particular project are coffee and coconut oil.
Because coconut oil solidifies at lower temperatures, I had to put the coffee in a tea bag and leave it sitting in coconut oil inside a double boiler. Put that on medium-low heat and I let that stay on the stove for about 4 hours. Afterward it was necessary to strain the coconut oil and I placed it in the fridge in an airtight container. Now I have coffee infused coconut oil to use in my lip balms and lotions. Awesome. When infusing the oil, if you want to get the beneficial properties, it is important to keep the heat low because you can burn out all the good stuff and nobody wants that. Also, I advise using 1 part herb to 2 parts carrier oil to ensure a good consistency, smell and benefits for skin.
If you are using the method of covering plant material in a mason jar and allowing it to sit in the sun, I'd suggest using an oil that stay liquid at room temperature like vitamin E oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Olive Oil etc.. When covering plant material with the oil, you want to fill to the brim to avoid air and bacteria from collecting and mold growing in your oils. This will absolutely RUIN everything. Instead, leave sitting for 3-4 days in the sun. If the oil doesn't have the scent desired, strain the oil and replace plant material with newly harvested plants. Repeat the process until you have the scent desired. Now you have infused oils and can use them in whatever you like. Have fun!
I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but I start my day off with a steaming cup of coffee. Every morning, without fail, you can find me enjoying the morning sun with my cup of coffee and not wanting to 'adult' until after 1 cup is completely finished. One morning, as I'm gazing into my cup of awesome, I wondered what I could do with coffee aside from just drinking it; after all there are a bunch of wonderful benefits for skin inside this miracle drink. Not long after, the coffee coconut lip balm was born in my kitchen and it's been pretty rad. For those of you not familiar with the greatness that is the coffee bean, let me list some of the skin benefits for you:
Crazy rich source of antioxidants that fight against free radicals that are very damaging to skin. The antioxidants in coffee help boost the bodies natural defenses & preserve skin cell energy. It protects against UV rays, inhibits DNA damage response, makes skin smooth and bright because of an ability to repair tissue, regulate cell re-growth and leads to retained hydration that can increase skin elasticity. Last, but not least, it enhances blood circulation while effectively reducing swelling.
Now, in order to get the coffee into the lip balm, I infused it with coconut oil prior to adding the coconut oil to the recipe. You can learn more about infusing oils by reading more here. The long and short of it, is put coffee in a tea bag and place it inside the coconut oil in a double boiler. Let seep for 3-4 hours on low heat. Strain and taa-daa! Coffee infused coconut oil! Easy and well worth the effort for all the added benefits of coffee on the skin, as you've just read above. Combine coffee and coconut oil and you've got one heck of a combination. Remember that coconut oil is antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial AND protects against UV rays. Seems like the sky is the limit with this combo. Adding in some shea butter only helps this right along bolstering the anti-inflammatory properties with an added ability to help heal cuts and abrasions; makes it seem like a good fit for those prone to cold sores or dry, cracked lips.
Coffee infused coconut oil
Vitamin E Oil
Bella Eiko is a single mother of a 5 year old boy, freelance journalist, foodie and Civil Rights activist that is dedicated to building a better world by increasing communication & applying positive changes to her everyday life. This endeavor includes educating both herself as well as her son about sustainable living and healthy alternatives to everyday products using practical application.