Here at Wildling, we’ve been singing the praises of active botanicals for some time now. As you may be aware, we LOVE our signature facial oils.
We’re always talking about the nourishing potency of our Empress Balm of Gilead Barrier Repair Oil or the clarifying and detoxifying goodness of our Lumin Seabuckthorn Brightening Oil. We love both because they are phytonutrient dense, brimming with active botanicals, and contain no essential oils or added fragrance.One of the reasons our love runs deepest for these must-have skincare oils is because we craft them with whole plant infusions rather than extracts.
So, what’s the difference between extracts, which are commonly used to get ingredients into your skincare products, and infusions, which is the Wildling method? We’re so glad you asked.
Infusions and extracts are both methods used in skincare products, and they both function to incorporate plant-based ingredients into cleansers, moisturizers, facial oils, and the like.
However, that’s about where the similarities end for these two methods. There’s no doubt that infusing is a more natural process, as it keeps the plant whole and does not break it down into further compounds. This is why it’s the only method we use for our products over here at Wildling. (Did we mention each of our skincare and body care products are developed by co-founder and herbalist Jill Munson? Each one is crafted with love and intention - but more on that later!)
An infusion involves steeping an entire plant-based ingredient in a liquid - something like water or oil - for a period of time to extract its beneficial properties as robustly as possible.The resulting infusion is then used in skincare formulations… like ours!
Basically, this looks like steeping tea: a hot liquid is poured over dried or fresh plant material and then the mixture is left to do what it does best: soak up all that goodness. This slow steep allows the ingredients to truly infuse themselves into the liquid (hey, that’s why they call it an infusion!) and, once strained, the resulting infusion is used in the formulation of your fave skin care products. We love this gentle, effective, and natural approach to including ingredients and, at Wildling, the infusion method is the only one we use - whether for our Empress Sweet Fern Hydrasoothe Face Mist or our Aura Rose Pepper Body Toning Oil.
If that’s what infusions are, you may be asking yourself, then what are extracts all about? This is the method commonly used by most of the other guys - even the natural ones! - and honestly, we’re just not that into it.
Extraction involves using a solvent (often alcohol) to extract the beneficial compounds from a plant, separating the plant so it is no longer whole. The resulting liquid is then concentrated to create an extract, which is used in skincare formulations. Unlike infusions, extracts don’t steeping entire plant materials in a liquid. Instead, they use a extract the active compounds from the plant by breaking it down with something like alcohol.
Where infusions are gentle, extracts can be more harsh, because even though the ingredients may be natural, and plant-based, the process for extracting them is … not so much. Here at Wildling, we want the ingredients to be natural, but we want the process to be natural too! Just another way we step it up when it comes to ‘clean beauty’.
By harnessing the innate power of whole plants to craft truly natural skincare, we deliver a skincare experience that is truly natural and holistic. We don’t add anything in, and we don’t take anything out - just the whole plant ingredients that you see on our ingredient lists! We like to think this is what makes our Aura, Lumin, and Empress products so special - but we’d love you to find out for yourself!!
Check out this video by Wildling co-founder Jill Munson, where she dives into the formulation of out Empress products, for exactly what makes our formulating so special.