Seaweed infused oil.

Seaweed infused oil

An infused oil is technically called oleato or macerating a plant in an oil in order to drag the active ingredients of that into a carrier oil. This can  be used directly on the skin for beauty and/or healing purposes or as part of a formula in a product. It is the first time I am experiment this hot quick method and I feel so intrigued about the result. Even though I am still feeling reluctant to it as a full cycle of dishwasher reaches 90 degrees  as opposed to 40-50 degrees as maximum to infuse a plant oil and also hot water is touching the glass jar which is in other methods is something that shouldn’t happen.

Today it is snowing pretty heavily in Dublin, schools are closed , my husband is off and the dynamic of the day has changed to a more relaxed definitely indoors day . It looks very pretty outside and the snow is inspiring me to connect more with nature so I have decided to infuse some oils from some herbs and seeds that are sitting around my office/lab/kitchen.

But in a dishwasher ? it sounds weird  doesn’t it ?  I learnt this recently myself, I have always infused oils in many other ways, cold and hot (bain marie) but I saw some skincare home crafters and professional who uses the dishwasher to infuse an oil in a super quick way.

Seaweed infused oil

10g seaweed ( in this case I am using Irish bladder wrack -fucus vesiculosus )

100 g Irish Camelina oil – I am using the one and only from Newgrange gold

Clean glass jar with lid

I kind of married two Irish grown plants : Seaweeds and Camelina oil , let’s see how the relationship goes !! Both have strong smell and both are brilliant for healthy glowing skin.

Who doesn’t know about the wonderful skin benefits of seaweeds ? I have used bladderwrack (fucus vesiculosus) that I had collected myself in my beautiful trip to Donegal last December, I washed the seaweeds and let them dry out naturally. Now they are absolutely dried and hard. Bladder wrack has gained popularity among skin care manufacturers is its ability to stimulate collagen production. Some studies show that bladder wrack extract increases the production of collagen much more than retinol does. When added to skin care products Bladder wrack extract reduces wrinkle depth, corrects small imperfections and improves skin texture. Seaweeds  seem to block the enzymes that causes skin damage. Apparently it is also helpful to reduce hyperpigmentation and increase natural glow.

By adding this sea plant to your skincare product when making a cream or serum or even use the infused oil on its own will be very beneficial to achieve healthy skin and slow down aging process.

I have had the experience myself of enjoying seaweeds baths in different locations in Ireland, and must recommend to everyone , your skin and hair feel amazingly clean, silky afterwards and needless to mention the detoxifying and minerals properties from seaweeds . The whole experience is such a holistic pampering I would call.

The jar is ready to go into dishwasher on full cycle to speed up the process of infusing the oil. Make sure lid is tight !! so water doesn’t come in

When dishwasher full cycle finishes (a bit less than 2 hours), dry the jar, filter/sieve the oil and store in dark glass bottles and label with date. I like to add 0.5 % Tocopherol (natural vitamin E) to protect the oil from going rancid with the result of extending shelf life.

I would normally use extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, organic sunflower oil, sweet almond oil to infuse  plants, but today I wanted to experiment with other good quality oils that are sitting around in my office/lab.

When making any infused oil is important to:

Choose oils that don’t go rancid rapidly and they must be organic and/or cold pressed , do not use refined oils . Have in mind that the plant oil you choose will not mask the natural aroma of the plant. This can happen when you use olive oil and camelina oil among others .

The plant you use need to be totally dry and clean from dust, and others. Depending on the plant you can infuse the petals or the roots or the whole plant.

Another very important thing is that glass jars you use must be squeaky clean and completely dry to avoid mildew growth . (sterilized if possible)

When you fill the glass jar with the oil make sure that the plant are fully covered and any part is exposed in the air gap otherwise the plant will grow mold (cold method)

Air gap between the infusion and the lid is necessary as the oil will expand during infusion time.

Infused oils are a great addition to skincare and haircare products AND soapmaking. Camelina oil provides conditioning properties to the soap by soothing and moisturizing the skin and the seaweeds can be powdered in the grinder to use as exfoliant agent in the soap.  You can make wonderful healing moisturizing soaps just using one infused oil and you can make infused oils from many many different plants .

Infused oils are different to essential oils. The process are completely different and you get a different type of extract (chemical compounds) from the plant.

You do not need to collect seaweeds from the beach but you can buy dried seaweeds in the supermarket or you can infuse other dried herbs that you have in the kitchen e.g. rosemary, thyme, chamomile flowers, you name it !

See HERE my classes next month of March 2018

Thank you for reading!

La Mayca x

4 responses

  1. Brilliant article Mayca, as usual, very useful technique mainly for winter months (that could be any month here in Ireland ha!) Although 2018 is a sun blessing so far.

    1. Hi Catherine,
      I love seawater and the benefits of seaweed are endless. You can find so many type of seaweeds extracts to include in your skincare formulations and create exquisite products.

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