The double boiler method for aromatherapy product making, copyright Sharon Falsetto, all rights reserved
The double boiler method for aromatherapy product making, copyright Sharon Falsetto, all rights reserved

When you start making your own aromatherapy and skincare products, you find that you will have to become familar with all sorts of equipment that you might not have necessarily used before.  Although some of this equipment speaks for itself, other such equipment might not be so familar to you.  Today, I will give you a brief description of a double boiler, also known as a bain marie.

The Double Boiler Method for Making Aromatherapy Skincare Products

If you start making aromatherapy products such as lipbalms and body butters, you will need to use a double boiler. Don’t worry, this is not as complicated as it sounds! You also won’t have to rush out and buy an expensive piece of equipment. In fact, you probably have a “double boiler” already in your kitchen equipment.

Simply put, a double boiler consists of a pot (or pan) of boiling water into which you put another pot (or pan) that contains your ingredients.  The steam produced by the lower (first) pot transfers the necessary heat to the upper (second) pot.  This helps to keep the heat at a constant temperature, which is particularly useful if you are making aromatherapy candles (in which you also use the double boiler method).  The following diagram helps to demonstrate this description:

The double boiler method, wikimedia commons, photo is in public domain
The double boiler method, wikimedia commons, photo is in public domain

Origins of the Bain Marie Method

The Bain Marie method was the original French term for a version of today’s double boiler method; it was developed by alchemists who mimicked the Earth’s natural process of heating up materials slowly to reach and maintain a constant heating point.

Today, chefs use the bain marie method to melt chocolate, cook cheescake and thicken milk. Aromatherapy product making entrepreneurs have adopted the method to make skincare products.

A double boiler, or bain marie, is not complicated as it first sounds – and an effective piece of equipment for making body butters, lip balms and candles!

If you are interested in making your own aromatherapy products, you might be interested in the Sedona Aromatherapie Make-Your-Own Products Kits, available in the webstore at $24.95 each (plus shipping).  If you want to study aromatherapy at a more in-depth beginner’s level, watch out for the Sedona Aromatherapie Foundation Course in Aromatherapy in late Spring 2012!

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