Carrier oils are an important part of aromatherapy. They are useful for dilution to avoid skin sensitivity and can extent the therapeutic action of essential oils. Please don’t let anyone tell you that it is ok to use essential oils undiluted – especially on children.
It is important that you use unrefined, cold expeller pressed or cold press oil.
The average shelf life of a carrier oil is six months when kept in a cool dark place. Let’s take a look at some of the best carrier oils for use with essential oils and the different properties they have.
Carrier Oils for Essential Oils
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera while not technically an oil, is an excellent option in certain situations. It is cooling, hydrating, rejuvenating, healing and tonifying. It is useful for preventing scars, treating burns, healing wounds, relieving muscle pain, diminishing varicose veins, and restoring damage to tissues. It has anti-inflammatory properties as well as anti fungal properties. The lectins it contains stimulate immune system activity.
Almond Oil is one of the more popular carrier oils for essential oils. It is very oily but light, making it great for massage. It is very similar to baby sebum, the oil produced by a newborn skin to help protect it. It carries a delicate, sweet smell and it appropriate for all skin types. It is particularly beneficial for sensitive, stressed, dry or inflamed skin. It helps to relieve itching and is good for eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Apricot Oil is one of the best oils out there for dry and mature skin as it contains an abundant amount of Vitamin A which supports the integumentary system. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave an oily residue.
Avocado oil has immune stimulating lecithin as well as vitamins A, B, D, E, lutien, sterol, beta-carotene. It provides the skin with healing properties. The best avocado oil is dark – a clear oil is an indication that it is highly processed and refined. It is nourishing and hydrating and easily absorbed into the skin. Appropriate for all skin types, avocado oil is particularly helpful for aging dry skin or sensitive skin. Because it encourages cellular regeneration, it helps to reduce that appearance of wrinkles and can improve skin elasticity. It has been found to increase the water soluble collagen content in the dermis skin layer. According to the American Medical Association Committee on Coetaneous Health, avocado oil does help make the skin feel softer and smoother, while reducing roughness, cracking and irritation. It can be combined with essential oils to provide a natural sunscreen.
Beeswax is used most often as a thickening agent and emulsifier. It is excellent at hydrating and softening the can. It promotes a clear complexion and is great at tightening pores without clogging them. This makes it an excellent choice for acne. If you are allergic to bees, don’t use products with beeswax.
Borage Seed Oil
Borage seed oil has high levels of gamma linolenic acid, which makes it suitable for damaged and dry skin, psoriasis, eczema and stretch marks. It is believed to promote a youthful glow. It is also useful for female reproductive issues such as endometriosis, PMS, and menopausal symptoms.
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Cocoa butter is a very rich butter that’s excellent emollient properties make it great for creating creams and lotions. It softens and rejuvenates the skin and is believed to help prevent stretch marks. It can help reduce the appearance of scars as well has being great on dehydrated skin. Because of its strong aroma, it doesn’t blend well with some oils.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
With the exception of fractionated coconut oil, coconut oils remain semi-solid at room temperature. It is great to help reduce dry, inflamed and itchy skin. Coconut oil may be used on the scalp and some believe that applying it on the hair from an early age can help prevent baldness and greying. (Wish I’d known this!) It has the ability to block about 20% of the suns rays, making it a great option for natural sunscreens. The lauric acid content can kill fungi, bacteria and viruses. The high antioxidant properties work to stop the creation of free radicals and promotes healthy skin.
Grapeseed oil is pressed from the seeds of wine grapes. Grapeseed oil is anti-inflammatory, non-allergenic and suitable for all skin types. It is easily absorbed, odorless and tasteless. It contains the antioxidant flavonoid oligomeric procyanidin, which helps protect against tissue and cellular damage. Grapeseed oil contains high levels of vitamin E which helps aid the healing of wounds, supports circulation, speeds up cell regeneration, encourages a youthful glow and reduces the appearance of blemishes and scars. It is ideal for applications that require a lighter oil that is slightly astringent.
Hazelnut oils is a powerful astringent and toner that penetrates the skin easily. It stimulates the circulatory system, moisturizes and rejuvenates the skin. It is a great carrier oil for essential oils acne treatments as it is slightly astringent. Hazelnut oil can filter sunrays, making it a great option for sun care products. It should not be used on those with a nut allergy.
Jojoba oil is technically not an oil, but a liquid wax ester with a long unsaturated carbon chain. Still, it is one of the more popular carrier oils for essential oils. (One of my favorites!) Jojoba oil is beneficial to all skin types and is non-allergenic. It balances the skins pH, works to unclog pores, hydrates the skin and is believed to prevent stretch marks. Because it prevents the buildup of excess sebum and works to unclog pores, it is a great choice for acne blends. Jojoba oil has a substance that mimics collagen. It is antibacterial and can be used to prevent or treat skin infections. Popular for the hair, it can help to increase luster, encourage growth, decrease scalp dryness and reduce the appearance of gray hair. Studies show that it can increase skin softness by 37% and reduce fine lines and wrinkles up to 25%.
Olive oil is revitalizing and moisturizing to dry, chapped and scaly skin. It is known to help heal wounds, and may be beneficial for those with eczema and psoriasis. Olive oil contains hydroxytyrosol, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant company that prevents free radical damage to skin sells.
Sesame Seed Oil
Sesame seed oil is rich in vitamins A, B-Complex and E. Research suggests that it can block 30% of the suns rays. It contains since which is essential for the production of collagen and provides elasticity to the skin. Some suggest that sesame seed oil is particularly effective at helping the body protect itself form the negative effect of chlorine in swimming pools. It is useful for conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dry skin.
Shea butter is particularly beneficial at speeding the healing process of the skin and encouraging cellular rejuvenation and scar tissue repair. Because it is so milk, it is a great base for baby car products. It is a great choice for chapped or mature skin.
Vitamin E Oil
The Vitamin E family helps prevent free radical damage which can eventually lead to tissue damage, collagen damage and interfere with the formation of healthy skin cells. It is sometimes added to other carrier oils as a stabilizer, as little as .05% can help protect other oils from oxidation. Vitamin E is useful for scars, sun protection, wound healing and radiation burns. Avoid use on the face if you are prone to acne.
What are your favorite carrier oils for essential oils?
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