How to make your own herbal extracts

Since the start of doing facials at Fit + Flow Yoga, I have been experimenting a lot with making my own products. It started with the Skin Savior balm, turning into a plethora of homemade and customized facial masks for my clients, and then to toners.

Ahh… toners. One of my favorite skincare products. They do so much more than just balance the pH of our oh-so-important acid mantle of the skin. Think of a toner as a spray serum, a concentrated blend of herbal extracts formulated for whatever skin concern you may have. Whether it be redness and inflammation, dehydration, acne, or just an extra boost of Antioxidants, there is a toner for you!

When I started making toners I thought “I can just boil the herbs like a tea and use the water, right?” Sure, it was wonderful, until it started to smell foul a week later.

Upon further investigation I realized what I was doing wrong. I was not using the herbs properly for long-term use. This is when I discovered how to make an extract.

Herbal extracts are created when you submerge herbs in a high-proof grain alcohol for a month or more. What this does is literally extract the medicinal properties from the herb and allows it to stay active. You can make an extract with any herb you’d like (being of course, that is it constituted as safe), adding it to tea or water, or in my case, skincare.

Here’s how you can make your own extract:

Step 1: Take a properly sterilized canning jar (such as Ball) and fill have way with whichever herbs you’re using. I chose a single Lavender extract for one and my second is a blend of Chamomile and Arnica.

Step 2: Fill the rest of the jar or jars up with the highest proof grain alcohol you can find. If Everclear is legal in your state, use that. I was able to find a ridiculously high proof Polish Vodka at my local liquor store.

Step 2: Fill the rest of the jar or jars up with the highest proof grain alcohol you can find. If Everclear is legal in your state, use that. I was able to find a ridiculously high proof Polish Vodka at my local liquor store.

Step 3: Screw the lid on, date your jar and give it a shake. Now the waiting game begins! Once a day, shake your jar for at least 4-6 weeks. Once this is done, strain the extract through a cheesecloth. I don’t have a picture of the final result just yet. Be sure to stay posted!

Step 3: Screw the lid on, date your jar and give it a shake. Now the waiting game begins! Once a day, shake your jar for at least 4-6 weeks. Once this is done, strain the extract through a cheesecloth. I don’t have a picture of the final result just yet. Be sure to stay posted!