When looking at directions for using essential oils in skincare, you will see that essential oils should be diluted. Dilution of the oils is for safety to avoid irritation or sensitization, but you may wonder what you can dilute the essential oils in. A useful diluting substance is an infused herbal oil; it is a great way to add another therapeutic layer to your essential oil creation.
Infused herbal oils are an infusion of herbs in a carrier oil, similar to the idea that tea is an infusion of herbs in water. Mother Earth Living’s website explains that “the infusion technique works to transfer the healing properties of herbs to oils. Infused oils are excellent for massage; as skin or bath oils; or as a basis for balms and salves.” I would add that they can be the basis for any oil-based essential oil product.
To choose which infused oil to use, it’s helpful to know the properties that you desire in your healing product. Here is a short list of herbal infused oils (adapted from Mountain Rose Herbs’ blog) and the conditions that they address:
Arnica flowers – Use immediately after strenuous exertion. For external use only.
Calendula flowers – Suitable for sensitive skin and for babies.
Chickweed – Wonderful for minor skin irritations.
Lemon Balm – Cooling and calming to the skin.
Peppermint – Great for massaging into occasional sore muscles.
St. John’s Wort – This red-colored oil is deeply penetrating for occasional soreness.
Thyme – Used for minor skin irritations and great for occasional sore muscles.
You can imagine that if you take a blend of essential oils that contains pain-relieving peppermint, and add it to a peppermint infused oil, then you will get a boosted massage oil for extra pain relief of sore muscles. Of course you could use a simple carrier oil, but with its added benefits an herbal oil is an exciting choice.