January is cold and dry, and your skin takes the brunt of the damage. Flaky, chalky, itchy skin is the norm, especially up here in New Hampshire, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A simple, yet fabulous, form of self-care is skin care, specifically daily oiling. Applying oil regularly helps protect and moisturize, and infusing that oil with certain herbs will give your whole body that extra boost.
One of the most common herbs used in beauty and skin care products today is Calendula (Calendula officinalis). Calendula is royalty when it comes to taking care of your skin. It’s hydrating, its soothing, and it can help speed the healing of all sorts of wounds and rashes. The best part is it’s generally safe to use on the whole family! (Always test for individual allergies, of course.)
When I’m feeling a little dry and need to show a little more self-care, I whip up this hydrating body oil to use before I shower. It seems counter-intuitive, but applying the oil BEFORE you shower can actually help protect your skin! The mix is also great as a bath salt, for when you just need a little soak. (And its so pretty!) Calendula is a primary ingredient in my skin care oil with my massage clients as well. It’s gentle yet healing, and so relaxing!
All the ingredients you’ll need for this DIY body oil can be purchased in the shop, and the tools should be things you have lying around the house. Since Calendula is one of our Herbs of the Month, it’s on sale for 25% off all month long! (January 2018)
There are a few different ways to infuse herbs into your oil, and most people are familiar with the solar infusion – add herbs and oil to a jar and let it sit in a sunny windowsill for a while. While this is a great, reliable method, it’s not so helpful if you need the oil now. That’s why I love to drag out my crock pot and simmer the oils. It’s a quicker, yet still gentle, method of infusion that produces an infused oil you can use that same day!
The oil should last 6 months if stored away from heat, so don’t keep it near your stove or in the bathroom. If any plant material gets left behind in the oil, it can go rancid quicker, so always check it before use. Learn how a Reiki Massage with Calendula Oil or a Lymphatic Massage with Anglea can boost your health!
Calming Calendula Body Oil
2 parts Calendula
1 part Lavender buds
1 part Jasmine buds (rose petals also work great here)
2 clean, dry mason jars
Cheesecloth or loose weave muslin
A fine mesh strainer
Step 1: Fill your jar with the dried herbs, about two thirds of the way full.
Step 2: Cover the herbs with oil and fill until almost at the top of the jar. Take a wooden skewer stick and gently stab and stir at the mixture to get out a lot of the hidden air bubbles. Seal the jar tightly.
Step 3: Place a kitchen towel in the bottom of your crock pot and fill about halfway with water. Put the mason jar in the crock pot, and add additional water until the jar is mostly submerged.
Step 4: Turn your crock pot heat on low and let the jar sit for 3-4 hours. Keep an eye on the water level and fill up as needed.
Step 5: Take the jar out of the crock pot and let cool a bit. Line the mesh strainer with the cheesecloth or muslin and strain the oil into a new jar. Do this a few times if necessary to remove all the plant matter from the oil.
Step 6: Label with date made & ingredients, and enjoy!