It’s vital to take precautions when using products on your skin, even if those products are from nature. These remedies have immense holistic health benefits, but if improperly used, they can actually do damage to your body. This is true of supplements like herbs and vitamins taken internally, as well as products applied topically, such as essential oils.
One of the precautions to take when using essential oils is to properly dilute them. In order to do this, carrier oil must be used. This is oil that, in essence, carries the essential oil. Generally a small percentage of essential oil, ranging on average from 1 to 5 percent, is added to a larger amount of carrier oil. For example, a 1 percent dilution ration would use 1 teaspoon carrier oil and 1 drop of essential oil.
How Essential Oils and Carrier Oils Differ
Carrier oils are vegetable oils, made from the seeds or nuts of plants. These fatty portions of the plant are pressed to release their oils. Essential oils, on the other hand, are made from aromatic portions of a plant – the flowers, bark, leaves, and roots. Essential oils evaporate, while carrier oils do not. You can tell the difference very easily between these two types of oil by the way they smell – the concentrated essential oil has a very strong smell while the carrier oils have a lighter, more mild scent.
Another difference is that carrier oils can go rancid whereas essential oils do not, with the exception of citrus oils. Note: To extend the life of citrus oils keep them in the refrigerator, when you want to use them take them our and let them get to room temperature and then put them back in when done. Instead, essential oils lose their healing benefits over time. Therefore, it is necessary to use both types of oil within a timely manner and to check the dates on the bottles before using, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve used the oil.
Various Carrier Oils and Their Benefits
Here are some wonderful carrier oils to try. Remember, these are just three out of many useful and beneficial oils.
- Almond Oil – This oil is highly moisturizing and contains skin-healthy vitamins such as E, A, and D. Almond oil has a soothing effect on the skin and reduces inflammation. It isn’t greasy, aids in restoring pH balance to the skin, and is easily absorbed, making it a great carrier oil for essential oils.
- Evening Primrose Oil – Besides being a wonderful carrier oil, evening primrose oil helps reduce inflammation, especially in inflammatory diseases like arthritis. It may even help with pain caused by hormonal issues such as PMS and menopause. Evening primrose oil is easily absorbed by the skin but it is somewhat sticky, so you may wish to mix it with another oil like grape seed oil.
- Fractionated Coconut Oil – You may have heard of whole coconut oil, an oil that is solid at room temperature. This is a very popular oil for hair and skin, and has dietary benefits. However, there are some benefits of fractionated coconut oil over whole coconut oil. Fractionated oil is basically a fraction of the whole; only the saturated fats. This type of oil, because of its chemical make-up, doesn’t oxidize and therefore doesn’t go rancid. It lasts an extremely long time and is liquid at room temperature. FCO easily absorbs into the skin, reducing the chance of essential oil evaporation. It leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated without feeling greasy.
Oils that have been cold pressed, or cold-expeller pressed, haven’t been exposed to heat. Heat damages the oil, reducing its beneficial effects and shelf life.
It would be prudent to purchase certified organic oils if possible. The skin is the body’s largest organ. It absorbs whatever is upon it, which is then carried throughout our body by our blood. If a product has chemicals from pesticides, you can be sure that those harmful chemicals will end up inside your body.
Oils to Avoid
You will want to avoid mineral oils and any petroleum-based products. These are the byproducts of gasoline manufacturing. They make it impossible for the skin to breathe, resulting in clogged pores, breakouts, prevention of essential oils being absorbed, and prevention of detoxification.
Carrier oils are a crucial product for holistic remedies involving essential oils. Find oils that have the benefits you want to improve your health and wellbeing. At Coastal Wellness, we highly recommend FCO, or Fractionated Coconut Oil. When you purchase a container and FCO from us, you can bring back the empty container at a later date and we will refill it for you at a great price! This saves you money and you’ll be able to take some of your in-office wellness experience home with you to use whenever you desire.
|Acne, oily skin||Grapeseed and hazelnut|
|Arthritis||Peanut, safflower, and sesame|
|Bruises||Safflower and sunflower|
|Burns, scars, and stretch marks||Rose hip (10%) and wheat germ|
|Dermatitis||Borage (10%), kukui, and sunflower|
|Dry mature skin (face)||Aloe vera, argan, and camellia|
|Dry mature skin (body)||Argan and macadamia|
|Eczema||Avocado, borage, evening primrose (10%), kukui, olive (45%), sesame, and sweet almond|
|Facial oil (light)||Argan, camellia, and kukui|
|Psoriasis||Olive (45%) and sesame|
|Rheumatism||Peanut, safflower, and sesame|
|Sprains||Peanut and sunflower|
|Sun-damaged skin||Jojoba and evening primrose (10%)|