Posted by Jen Min Tan on 15th Aug 2020
Carrier oils and essential oils are made from plants. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils and "carry" them to your skin. That is because essential oils are potent and can cause irritation when applied directly to your skin. Carrier oils are mainly oils extracted from the nuts, seeds or kernels of plants. As they are fairly neutral, carrier oils compliment essential oils and are an excellent choice for diluting essential oils for skin and hair products such as massage oils, scrubs, salves, lotions and balms.
How To Select The Carrier Oil You Need
There are many carrier oils available. Most are suitable to use with any essential oil, but you should consider a few things before choosing one.
You should only buy therapeutic grade carrier oils from a reputable manufacturer. Look for oils that are cold pressed, 100% pure and additive or preservative free. The following list includes popular carrier oils used to dilute essential oils for aromatherapy, massage and skin care.
Jojoba oil comes from the seeds of the jojoba plant. It has a delicate, nutty aroma. Technically, jojoba isn't an oil, but a wax with powerful moisturizing properties. It's thought to closely mimic sebum, the skin's natural oil. With the longest chain of essential fatty acids than any other carrier oils and it's ability to resist oxidation, jojoba oil holds a long shelf life. It's high rate of absorption and doesn't clog pores makes it a good carrier oil option for massage oils, facial moisturizers and bath oils.
Highly rich in Vitamin E and an excellent natural antioxidant, sweet almond is extracted from the dried fruit of the almond tree. It's high Vitamin E content makes it an optimal choice for nourishing the skin, regenerating new cells and keeping in muric oisture making it a great choice for those who have dry skin. Being non greasy and hypoallergenic, it makes an excellent massage oil and it's rich Vitamin E content can actually help repair damage in the collagen layer of the skin, making facial skin smooth and supple and reducing wrinkles.
3. Grapeseed Oil
Just like the name suggests, grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes. Grapeseed are loaded with antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients, making grapeseed oil high in proteins, minerals, Vitamin E and linoleic acid (a natural anti - inflammatory). Grapeseed oil does not make skin greasy, it also has antiseptic properties and is a mild astringent, making it a good carrier oil for acne prone skin or oily skin.
Obtained from the kernels or seeds of apricots, apricot kernel is a gentle, light oil with a slight nutty aroma, and has properties and applications similar to sweet almond oil. Usually used as a massage oil, it makes the skin soft and supple and does not leave any greasy residue behind. The high content of both oleic and linoleic acid make this oil an excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. The high antioxidant content in apricot kernel oil makes it great for protecting the skin from free radicals. The non greasy properties of the oil makes it a good carrier oil to use for oily facial skin and whole body massage, as well as dry, irritated or sensitive skin.
Coconut oil derived from the fruit of the coconut tree, is a super oil full of naturally present antioxidants and is an excellent antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. It is exceptional for nourishing hair, nails and skin. It's almost 50% content of lauric acid means coconut oil can retain a long shelf life. It is also great for dry skin and treating skin conditions as it has natural deep moisturizing properties. When buying coconut oil look for unrefined coconut oil as that does not go through the process of chemical extraction.
Best known for its anti-aging properties and promoting hair growth and repairing hair damage and split ends. If you have not heard or used argan oil, you are missing out on a carrier oil that is loaded with rich, nourishing properties and healing benefits! Argan oil is extracted from fruit of the Morracan argan tree. Rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A and E, oleic and linoleic fatty acids, argan oil is especially beneficial for healing inflammation and damage caused by UV rays of the sun, reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars and promoting healthy cuticles and nails.
Extracted from the seeds of the musk rose, rosehip seed oil contains a high concentration of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid and is extremely high in Vitamin A and E making it a highly sought after carrier oil for skin care. The fatty acids and high concentrations of vitamins in rosehip oil help to restore elasticity to the skin and improve collagen production making it better, safer than chemical filled creams. When using rosehip oil it is important to note that you should buy cold pressed rosehip that has not been tainted by heat and therefore preserves more nutrients.
If you prefer another base carrier for your essential oils instead of the usual oil, you may wish to consider the Aloe Vera Gel and Jelly as an alternative. Aloe Vera jelly is not a carrier oil, but its cooling, soothing, moisturizing and other beneficial properties make it suitable for diluting essential oils prior to application. Pure aloe vera gel taken directly from fresh aloe vera leaves sounds like the ideal way to use aloe as a carrier, however it is not. As pure aloe vera gel contains a significant amount of water. Essential oil and water do not stay mixed. Therefore most essential oils will float on top of water and don't work to adequately and evenly dilute essential oils prior to application onto the skin. Thus it is best to use Aloe Vera Jellies that are formulated to include a thickening agent. This will enable the essential oils to stay suspended within it.
Aloe Vera Jellies are a good base for essential oils as they are lipophilic (attracted to carrier oils). Aloe vera gel can be an effective carrier to potentially enhance essential oils absorption. When contained within aloe vera jelly, essential oils are more likely to be drawn to the natural oil within our skin and thus be more readily absorbed into the skin.Since aloe vera jelly can enhance essential oils absorption, it is important to start by using a lower dilution of essential oils than you normally would when blending with traditional carrier oils.
You can make your own alcohol free essential oil hand sanitizer with aloe vera jelly and witch hazel. With our year round tropical weather you can also blend your favorite essential oils with the aloe vera jelly and leave it in the fridge for a soothing, cool and moisturizing body and face gel as and when you need it. We do have freeze dry organic aloe vera powder and thickener in store which you can use to make your own aloe gel at home.
You can find all products listed in this blog at our retail store at Thomson Plaza #01-26 or visit our online store www.riwhomespa.com for our full range of products.