Holidays are coming up quick. While I know a good Pinot Grigio will always be a valued gift, there is just something about a gift to help your friends unwind that isn’t wine.
Enter Botanical Body Oil. It sounds mysterious and complicated, doesn’t it? Well, you most likely already have everything you need equipment wise to make it, and depending on how bougie you want to go, you probably have all the ingredients too.
For today’s recipe, I’m going to be using Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Vitamin E Oil. Mostly because that’s what I have on hand, but also because I love thicker oils that are rich in fatty acids for my extra dry skin. Vitamin E Oil is a great additive to any body or facial oil since it can prevent oxidation and serves as a “natural” preservative.
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- 16.9 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 Oz Sweet Almond Oil
- 2 Oz Vitamin E Oil
- 4 oz (by volume) Rose Petals
- 4 oz (by volume) Chamomile Flowers
- Bottles (8-12 oz are perfect).
The first step to this entire process is to create a double-boiler. That piece of equipment is why we don’t have to wait for a month or two to have this project complete. If you’ve never used a double-boiler, it’s incredibly simple. Basically, how it works is to use the heat coming off boiling water (steam) to gently and evenly heat a bowl above the steam that contains what needs to be heated (or cooked). Let me show you.
A large sauce pan with 1 inch of water in the bottom.
My double boiler is a ceramic mixing bowl that nestles into the top of the sauce pain with room for a small amount of steam to escape on the sides. You want a heat proof bowl for this, don’t use plastic.
Once you’ve got your double boiler assembled, turn the heat on the element, and start adding your oils to the bowl. We want to add them to a cold bowl so they gently start to warm as the bowl warms, not hit a hot bowl and cook.
After your oils are combined, let’s add the botanicals!
Once everything has been gently stirred, leave it on the stove with the water simmering underneath for around 90 minutes. You can leave it simmering up to 3 hours, just make sure to come back every 30 minutes or so, gently stir and double check there’s still water in the double boiler. (I had to top off the water once in 90 minutes for my set up.)
Over time, you’ll find the oil begins to deepen or take on some of the hues of the herbs or botanicals you’ve been infusing. Whenever you’re ready to finish on the stove, turn off the heat and allow the oil to reduce in temperature to close to room temperature. For me that took about 35 minutes.
Using a filtration device (I used a chemex, but a french press or cheesecloth in a colander would work well too), gently start to strain the oil from the botanicals. For me this took about an hour. I “fluffed” the contents of the filter a couple times to make sure I had extracted all the oil from the slurry. I doubled up the paper filter in my chemex so that the heaviness of the content wouldn’t strain the paper.
From there, decide if you’d like to float some flowers or herbs in the bottle before removing the filter and pouring your body oil into your container of choice! I added 12 drops of Neroli Essential Oil to my “sleepy” body oil, and 8 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil and 8 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil to my Skin Renewing Body Oil. Do your own research and come up with your own scents, oil combinations, and formulations from there!
I hope you enjoyed this DIY project! I’m excited to tinker with this process to make a jojoba based face oil, and even a lavender-chamomile bath oil as well!