Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Vanilla bean-infused balm. A delicious DIY

Infusing the whole vanilla bean gives this balm a natural, full aroma with the benefits of the bean imparted in the oil.

Step 1.  Start by infusing your oil of choice with vanilla beans.  Split the bean and scrape the 'caviar' into the jar, then drop the bean in as well.  Two to three beans per 500 mls will produce a lovely aroma.

Sweet almond, fractionated coconut and light vegetable oils work best as a carrier.  The lighter the aroma of the oil, the cleaner the vanilla scent will be.

Choose the best quality oil as this is what your body's largest organ, your skin, will be drinking in.

Fill the jar to the top with oil, no room for air, and cap tightly.  Allow to infuse for 30 days in a warm window sill or, if pressed for time, use a hot water bath to extract the essence.

This produces a delicious smelling oil that can be applied directly onto the skin as a luxurious body oil or poured into the bath for a relaxing soak.

Step 2.  Pour the vanilla bean-infused oil into the top of a double boiler and add a good quality beeswax.  I'm really not one to measure, however, the last batch I made used about 150ml of infused oil and 30ml of beeswax, a couple tablespoons, perhaps.

Heat the mixture gently until the beeswax melts into the oil.  Test the consistency by removing the spoon with a little of the mixture on it.  It will cool quickly and give you an indication of how hard it will be once set.

If it is softer than you'd like, add more beeswax and continue to heat until melted.  If it is too hard, add more infused oil and repeat the test until you reach the consistency you desire.

Remove the mixture from heat, making sure absolutely no water from the double boiler gets into your blend.  Add a splash of vitamin E if you have it, for a natural preservative and pour the mixture into your clean, dry containers.

Once cooled, cap them and they are ready to go.

A yummy treat for chapped lips, dry skin, cracked heels or a soft, natural perfume for wrists and neck.

1.  Add a little sweet orange essential oil to create a scent that will make everyone feel like a kid again.

2. The addition of essential oil of lavender produces a most relaxing blend.  Soothing to the skin and the senses.
Vanilla beans have anti-inflammatory as well as pain-relieving properties.  An increase in both calmness and happiness has also been reported.

You now have two delicious creations for the skin; your sensual vanilla bean-infused body oil and the beautiful vanilla-infused bees balm.

Both make great gifts for someone special or a sumptuous treat for yourself.




  1. Love this! I've been meaning to try something like this, but didn't want to use a alcohol based extract. This is perfect! Thanks!
    New follower from Musings of an Imperfect Mom

    1. You're welcome, Courtney! I'm happy to share it. I love the rich, warm scent the whole vanilla bean imparts. The infused oil is so simple and such a treat.

      Thank you for your lovely comments.

  2. This looks great. I am going to need to try this. I have a link party, and I would love it if you would link this post. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. You can find it at


    I hope to see you there. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above

  3. Thank you Debi! I will pop over for a look. Thank you for the invite!

  4. I love this idea. I just picked up some tins to use and and friend gave me some of her homegrown beeswax. I will try both the sweet orange and the vanilla. How would be infuse the oil if you did not have 30 days to keep it in window?

  5. Homegrown beeswax! Oh, Susan, what a treat!

    You could use a hot water bath to infuse the oil quicker. Prepare a pot with a few inches or so of water and use a heat-resistant container, bowl or jar that will sit inside the pot. Turn your burner on medium-high. Add the vanilla bean 'caviar' and pods to the container, add the carrier oil and set into the water bath in the pot. Heat for 30-60 minutes or longer (check the scent by dropping a couple drops of the oil by spoon tip onto your skin), make sure the bottom pot does not boil dry, adding extra water if needed. You do not want to heat the oil at too high of a temperature. The oil drop test on the skin will give you an indication if the burner needs to be turned down. The oil should be quite warm but not hot. Stir the oil occasionally and remove to cool once done. Careful not to get any water into your oil.

    At this point, you could pour some of the infused oil into a separate container to cool for a body oil and then immediately add your beeswax to the remaining infused oil in the water bath and make your balms.

    Tip: clean up of the container can be tricky. I find it best to pour the boiling water from the base pot into the oily container and let the heat of the water melt off the waxy oil residue. Then use soap and wash as usual.

    Enjoy your vanilla kitchen chemistry and let me know how it all turns out!

    With the lavender essential oil, I find I only need a bit, so start easy with it and work up to the scent you like... lavender can quickly take over the vanilla, as can the sweet orange.

    Thanks Susan. Have a great week!

  6. I love this idea. I found this on Frugally Sustainable.

  7. Thanks Lyza. Lots of great ideas and inspiration on Frugally Sustainable. I just recently joined their Wednesday blog hop and will continue to contribute to it.

    Have a great week!

    1. Me too. I'll have to get writing some more!

  8. I am new to making my own lotions and chapsticks. I would love to make this but I am not sure what kind of oil to use. I don't think I want to go with a vegetable oil so what is considered a high quality oil?

  9. Hi Rochelle,
    My preferred oils to infuse are sweet almond or fractionated coconut oil. You can also infuse jojoba...gorgeous but pricier.

    Have fun with it. A good vanilla bean will hold up in any oil as long as the oil's scent is not too strong. It's a delicious smelling oil!

  10. Hi, I'd love to make a coconut oil with infused vanilla. Could I use an organic unrefined coconut oil rather then fractionated coconut oil? The coconut oil I have is nutiva organic extra virgin coconut oil. I'd like to make this for myself and others, to sell as well.

    I bought a wonderful product from the natural food store that I use as a light scent and the ingredients are just that: organic coconut oil and infused vanilla bean pods. It liquifies at 76 degrees. Could I just follow your instructions and do it in coconut oil, or would it be a problem if it solidifies? I don't know how this company did this....but would love to make a product like this!

    Thanks for any advice and tips!


  11. Hi Sybella,
    You can easily use organic coconut oil. I actually enjoy the oil when it solidifies because it makes a nice balm. I infuse raw coconut oil all the time and it works beautifully. Melt the oil first, add your vanilla caviar and pod, let it sit for several days then warm it up to strain and pour it in wide mouth jars to cool and solidify. It can liquify and solidify without effecting the quality of the oil. Makes a nice light balm.
    Good luck with your creations and have fun!

  12. I've never had actual vanilla beans. Where do you buy them? Who's the best place to buy them from? I really want to make this!

  13. Hello, I made this cream and it is awesome. But, I was doing a test run with some of my co-workers and one said that her hands go dry after a few minutes. I also noticed that when I use it on my lips they get dry after about 5-10 minutes. Not sure what I did wrong or if its something else.

  14. I haven't had that problem. The beesbalm holds up in our cold Canadian climate. Not sure what your conditions are. You may wish to try a butter rather than a balm. Try ones that use shea or illipe. Check out this one and see how it works for you. http://atoneholisticliving.blogspot.ca/2012/08/jasmine-green-tea-infused-body-butter.html
    Happy crafting!

  15. Hello, I was wondering where you found the containers featured in your post? Thanks!

    1. Hi Erin,
      The containers are Miron Violet glass. I brought them up from a supplier in California. They are the most beautiful, well-crafted and effective at preserving the high quality of their contents. They were developed after the ancient Egyptian medicinal bottles. You should be able to find them online from a supplier near you. I have some in stock if you are in Canada :)
      Take care.

  16. Hi just wondering is the beeswax in this recipe in ml or grams. When I ordered the beeswax it came in 30gram bars. Thanks a mill

  17. Hi Johanne,
    It's in mls. Try a couple tablespoons to start. You can add more wax if your test drop seems like it's not setting or not as thick as you'd like it. More beeswax gives a harder balm and less beeswax makes more of a soft salve. Both are nice! Enjoy.