The Plant Process: Making Oil Infusions
Product spotlight: Nourish Beauty Oil
From the very beginning, it's been a guiding principal in how we operate to have full control over every ingredient that goes into our formulations. I didn't want to source already dried plants from overseas, or oils that had already been infused, or put a medley of different essential oils into our products to add fragrance. Our formulations are created through a much slower process that takes time and follows the cycle of nature, but it's one that yields the maximum benefits from the plants. Other ways may work for some folks, but this is our process for making potent oil infusion for our core products.
Happy Healer All-Purpose Balm and Nourish Beauty Oil are oil based products and while the end results may differ, they both start out the same way, via a triple extraction method. The process begins with fresh plants, either grown right in our garden, grown by my husband on a local farm in Petaluma, or sourced locally from the Sonoma County Herb Exchange. We harvest the plants at their peak and bring them to our studio where we begin the drying process, which can take around 3 weeks. Once dried we begin blending. The blending process is not just putting the plants together depending on the formulation, but actually blending them into a powder first. This powdered plant matter is the start of our first extraction.
The first step is an alcohol extraction. We add alcohol to the powdered plants to preserve their peak harvest potency and leave this first extraction for 24 hours. After the first extraction is complete we add our oil to begin the maceration process. This starts the second extraction method done through a very slow, low, and controlled heat to the oil infusion that we maintain for one week. After that first week is completed, we begin the third extraction method, which is to let time do its thing. We put the oil infusion on in the darkest, and coolest spot in the studio, and leave it there for an entire lunar cycle, about three weeks. Once the lunar cycle is complete, we put the infusion into our oil press, press the oil from the plants, and create the final, beautiful product.
Why do we take the time and effort to follow this slow process? This extraction method works along with nature and the healing aspect of time for the plants and oils to do a beautiful dance in becoming one. The final oil we press has powerful scent notes from the plants even though we don't use any added fragrance or essential oils. The slow extraction process gives us those special scent compounds that help to regulate our nervous system, bringing us to a place of true calmness when we use it and create a ritual with it. The oil not only takes on the scent properties, but also the color, and medicinal power of the plants. For example with Nourish Beauty Oil, lavender is super antimicrobial, chamomile is great for soothing redness and calming the skin, and calendula is the activator of the lymph system, helping to promote more circulation and blood flow to the skin. This combination of plants, along with our blend of organic oils support the skin's microbiome, keeping it moisturized, supple and bright.
By honoring the time it takes for this extraction cycle and aligning it with the lunar cycle, we are creating a product with more intention, more potency, and more love that we're able to pass along in the final product to you and your loved ones.