Essential oils and carrier oils go hand in hand when it comes to topical application. As you may already know, most essential oils are highly concentrated and can be harmful to the skin if they aren’t diluted. That is why it is recommended to use carrier oils when using essential oils to prevent harm such as skin burning, irritations or other negative skin interactions.
What Are Essential Oils
Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree and have several healing properties. The oils in the plants are made up of very small molecules that can penetrate your cells, and some can even penetrate the blood-brain barrier. These oils are highly concentrated and have a strong aroma and can be used in aromatherapy and their benefits range from mental to physical healing.
What Are Carrier Oils
Carrier oils are composed of larger molecules that come from fatty parts of a plant. Some people mistakenly think that using carrier oils will reduce the effects of the essential oils, but actually, it’s quite the opposite.
By diluting essential oils with carrier oils in equal parts, it increases the surface area of absorption and with some essential oils, prevent easy evaporation of essential oils, can prevent sensitivities and allows us to apply essential oils to children. When mixed with essential oils, they not only help dilute the essential oils, but they can increase the length of time the essential oils stay on our skin, thus, prolonging the aromatherapy effects.
There are quite a few carrier oils we can choose from, some more common than others, but all contain their own healing abilities. We can pick and choose which carrier oil is best suited for us depending on our skin type, and skin, hair and health concerns.
Carrier oils are a great way to dilute and use essential oils safely and effectively, but each carrier oil also comes with a ton of their own health benefits. Most of them are loaded with fatty acids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and skin-healing vitamins.
Don’t look at it as carrier oils only being in oil form. Carrier oils are combined with essential oils all the time to create body moisturizers, massage and sports rubs, facial cleansers and even skin toners.
If you are looking or are still a bit confused about what carrier oils to use in your essential oil’s routine, here is a list of carrier oils and their specific uses and benefits to get you started.
Coconut oil has a low molecular weight and makes for an effective carrier oil. The low molecular weight allows it to penetrate our skin on a deeper level. It contains saturated fat that helps our skin stay moisturized and helps give our skin a smooth and even skin tone. It has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that can help relieve skin conditions such as eczema, acne and cold sores. Coconut oil is a staple in our Whipped Body butters.
Almond oil is also known as sweet almond oil. This carrier oil contains antioxidants that helps keep our skin soft and supple. The emollient properties of almond oil helps improve our complexion and skin tone. It is light in weight and is easily absorbed into our skin. When combined with the healing properties of other essential oils like lavender and tea tree, it can help to gently cleanse our skin by getting into our pores and follicles.
Jojoba oil is a very light weight carrier oil. In fact, it’s technically not even an oil. Instead, it is a wax that comes from a plant. Jojoba oil is odorless and resembles our own skin’s sebum (oil). It serves as an emollient helping to soothe our skin and unclog pores and hair follicles. It can be used to protect and moisturize our skin. It can be used to prevent razor burns and promote the health of our hair. Vitamins E and B found in this oil help treats sunburns and wounds and it has anti fungal and anti-inflammatory properties to help cleanse the skin.
When you think of olive oil, I’m sure you think about cooking with it. But it has as many benefits in cosmetics as it does in the kitchen. It is full of healthy fatty acids, anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants. It can help hydrate your skin, speed up wound healing and even help fight infections. It can help reduce skin inflammation for skin related conditions and help fight the growth of bacteria.
Avocado oil is very moisturizing and is great for those who suffer from dry, rough, chapped skin. Not only does it help improve skin’s texture, it removes makeup and helps hydrate your hair. It contains antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help improve skin conditions like redness, wrinkles and psoriasis. It can also help heal wounds, cuts and repair our skin.
Argan oil is one of the best carrier oils for our skin because it contains omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins A&E and linoleic acid. The vitamin E promotes cell production, which helps boost the health of our skin and hair. Argan oil absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue and is gentle enough for those who have sensitive skin. We can use Argan oil to improve skin elasticity, relieve razor burn, fight acne and improve skin complexion. It helps reduce sebum levels in people with oily skin making it a great oil for all skin types.
Arnica oil can come in handy for so many skin and body issues and it’s one of the best carrier oils for essential oils. It contains helenalin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound as well as several fatty acids and thymol which display antibacterial activities. It can be used to reduce inflammation, improve muscle pain and heal bruises. It is not advised to use Arnica oil on open wounds or cuts and should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Rosehip oil is high in vitamin C and has anti-aging effects while also promoting cellular and tissue regeneration. It is considered a dry oil meaning it absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving an oily residue. It is often times used to improve age spots from sun damage, improve skin texture and skin tone, fight against infections and reduce eczema symptoms. It is great for those who have normal to dry skin.
Broccoli Seed Oil
Broccoli seed oil contains omega 3, 6, a 9 fatty acids and works as an excellent moisturizer. It is made by cold pressing the small seeds of broccoli sprouts which contain 80- 100 times more of the antioxidant sulproaphane than the broccoli we eat. This oil is light, easily absorbs into the skin and is non-greasy making it a great moisturizer. When applied, it makes our skin smoother and our hair look shinier. It helps promote healing, reduces dryness and improves overall health of our hair.
Flaxseed oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acids which can help reduce inflammation and boost the health of our skin and hair. It is gentle and soothing and helps to relieve common skin disorders such as eczema and can help improve skin’s elasticity and texture. It can balance the skin’s pH, promote wound healing and remove skin blemishes. Flaxseed oil is great for those who have sensitive skin.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is used for its antimicrobial properties. Often times, it is used in common products like shower gels, toothpastes, wound disinfectant sprays, mouth wash and other personal care products due to its ability to fight bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Well, it’s not so much of an oil as it is just a mixture of magnesium chloride flakes and water with the same consistency of a carrier oil. But none, the less, it is still a great mixture to use if you want to relax muscles, improve skin irritations like acne and rosacea and promote blood flow. It can break apart different fats and oils which makes it great for those who have oily skin.
High in antioxidants, Neem oil works to protect our skin from environmental damage. It is high in fatty acids and vitamin E which allows this oil to absorb quickly into the outer layers of our skin. It helps relieve dry or damaged skin, improve skin elasticity and rejuvenate skin cells without leaving a greasy residue. It can even stave off those annoying pests like mosquitoes, flies and moths naturally.
Sea Buckthorn Oil
Sea Buckthorn is often used to relieve sunburn and speed up wound healing but it also can reduce skin issues like acne, eczema, dermatitis and stretch marks. It has an astonishing amount of healing antioxidants including carotenoids which help protect the body from infections caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria. It also contains essential fatty acids, vitamins A, C, D and E.
Evening primrose works as an anti-inflammatory agent and can be used to improve nerve function and skin elasticity. It is high in fatty acids and is often used to improve skin irritations and skin conditions like acne. It can be used on our hair to promote hair growth as well.
Precautions With Carrier Oils
Just like with anything else new you put on your skin, it is advised to perform a patch test on a small part of skin before full body application to ensure no negative reactions occur. Most of these carrier oils are safe for sensitive skin and sensitive areas of skin, but it’s always best to be sure.
Most of the oils in this article can be found right at your local grocery store or more convientntly, online. When storing your carrier oils, be sure to store them in a dark glass jar with a tight fitting top. You can store them in the refrigerator, but be sure to store them in a cool, dark place.
Over time, carrier oils can become rancid which will cause the oil to have a stron, bitter odor. If you notice this or that the aroma from the carrier oil has changed over time, it’s time to toss it out and get a new one.
Summing It Up
When using most essential oils, it is important to dilute them in a carrier oil. Not only will the carrier oil dilute the highly concentrated essential oil, but it will also prolong the aromatherapy benefits and allow you to apply essential oils over a larger surface area. There are several essential oils that we can choose from, the ones right for us are the ones we need to help with our own personal issues.
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The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. Self Verve is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. Be sure to contact your physician before trying any of the items stated in the above article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Self Verve does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.