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Make Your Own Herb-Infused Body Oil

I made the switch from using body lotion to oil about a year ago, and haven’t looked back since. We’ve posted about the benefits of using oil as a moisturizer before  (check out what Brigette and Naomi had to say here and here), and while some may still initially balk at the idea of smoothing it on to their skin after a shower or bath, the benefits are undeniable, especially when you see the results first hand.

To refresh, oils like almond, olive, jojoba, and coconut seal moisture into your skin, keeping it hydrated, fresh-looking, and protected against environmental factors such as smog and other pollutants. Oils are all-natural (just double-check the label) and contain vital nutrients that your body can easily absorb without clogging pores. I typically prefer using coconut oil in place of body lotion, but sometimes I like to switch things up and use a lightly scented mixture. And I’m not talking about the cloying, manufactured scent of store bought concoctions, but something customized, earthy, and beneficial. This is where herb-infused body oil comes in.

Making your own infusion is easy, cost effective, and best of all, completely customizable. Depending on preference, you can create a scent that’s floral, herbal, spicy, citrus-y, or anything in between. Because I often have trouble falling asleep, today I chose to create a blend of lavender essential oil and fresh sage that I can use nightly before bed. To me, this combination is ideal: Lavender oil helps to  improve circulation and relieve nervous tension, quieting the mind and readying you for sleep, while sage’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties improve skin health and reduce the effects of toxins on your body. The ritual of applying it after a shower and before bed helps to calm my busy brain and I’ve noticed that falling asleep isn’t as much of a struggle.

Infused Oil 3

What you need:
Small handful of fresh sage
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
Lavender essential oil
Ball jar with lid
Old tee shirt or cheese cloth
4 oz. resealable glass container

Infused Oil 2

There are several methods that can be used to infuse the oil, including the use of a stove top, but the cold-infusion method — which I’ve used here — works best for all types of oils, including those that are too fragile to withstand high heat. To do it yourself, first sterilize the Ball jar and lid by dipping it into a pot of boiling water and removing carefully with kitchen tongs, place upright on a clean dishtowel and allow to air dry. Use the same method to sterilize the resealable container that the finished oil will go into.

Infused Oil 1

Wash and thoroughly dry the sage, then chop or tear the herbs roughly and place in the bottom of the dry Ball jar. Pour the oil over the chopped herbs, tightly seal the jar, and place in a cool dark place for at least two weeks, swirling the jar every few days to ensure it properly infuses.

Infused Oil 4

Infused Oil 5

After two weeks, it’s time to strain the sage out. Take a swatch from your old (clean) tee shirt, place it over the top of the bowl, and carefully pour the infused oil over the fabric. The oil will strain through to the bowl, the herbs will catch on the shirt. Gather the fabric into a pouch to squeeze all of the oil from the herbs.

Infused Oil 6

Infused Oil 7

Next, slowly add the lavender essential oil a few drops at a time to the strained infusion. Be sparing in how much you add, as essential oil is strong and a little goes a very long way. Once you’ve achieved a scent strength that suits you, carefully pour the infused oil into your sterilized resealable container and cap it off (you may want to use a funnel). Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and the oil should keep for up to six months. Use in place of lotion or add to the bath to soften skin.

Infused Oil 8

To decorate the bottle, I used a small paint brush and acrylic paint to dot along the perimeter. For the cap, use a strong glue to affix a coil of rope along the sides and top.

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Hypnotica Vintage -July 25, 2014, 9:18AM

Never thought of doing a body oil infusion- I always just put in whatever essential oils suit my fancy. Definitely doing a yarrow infused oil this summer!

dani -July 25, 2014, 10:56AM

I made the switch about two years ago to coconut oil after showering, and I’d really like to start trying to infuse some of my favorite essential oil and herbal fragrances into it! I’ve even started using coconut oil instead of facial moisturizer… it doesn’t make me break out because of its natural antiseptic properties.

<3 dani

Erin -July 25, 2014, 11:17AM

I’ve heard using Thyme is amazing on treating acne, even better than benzoyl peroxide

Samantha -July 25, 2014, 7:41PM

I also have been using cold-pressed coconut oil on my face for over a year. My skin is quite sensitive, but it doesn’t make it break out or anything. I love knowing it’s pure and there are absolutely no chemicals.

Jordan -July 25, 2014, 10:21PM

One thing that is important to know when making herbal oils is that fresh herbs can mold. You need to either decant the water from the fresh herbs off or use dried herbs. Just a tip from a longtime herbalist and oil maker :)

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Reni -July 26, 2014, 5:32PM

This is a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to try!


gypsybreezes -July 26, 2014, 11:30PM

Yay! Thank you for sharing these oh so easy instructions! Your pictures are beautiful!!

Sarah -July 29, 2014, 4:35PM

I love all of the ideas on this site. I’ve been wanting to go to all natural everything. shampoos, lotions, perfumes, just all around a natural green life style. this is a fantastic start! Love it. <3

Jess -August 4, 2014, 8:28PM

Awesome recipe! I’ve been using a mix of coconut oil and lavender essential oil and keeping it in a tiny glass jar… smells amazing :)

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nedra -November 12, 2014, 5:56AM

I’ve only heard of using coconut oil on your person recently. Forgive me for asking a stupid question, but here goes anyway. Is the coconut oil that’s being used as a moisturizer the same oil you can cook with?

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Chris -June 26, 2016, 11:13AM

A masseuse told me he quit using almond oil because it goes rancid; clients had to wash clothes they wre home from the massage pretty much the same day or risk having a very stinky laundry basket, so I’ve hesitate using almond oil. Can anyone advise me regarding this?

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