A Quick Understanding of Carrier Oils
What is the Purpose of Carrier Oils?
Carrier oils are oils that are applied on the skin, which assist to carry the essential oil to larger areas of the body, while at the same time helping to dilute the essential oils prior to application. Essential oils can be very dangerous when applied to the skin undiluted, causing skin irritation, sensitisation and adverse reactions. Carrier oils are less”sensitive” as compared to essential oils in the sense that they are not volatile, and do not oxidize like how essential oils do. They are much less powerful than essential oils in general, and therefore are fine and meant to be applied directly onto the skin.
Do carrier oils have therapeutic properties?
Carrier oils have benefits and therapeutic properties to them. They are more than just for carrying and diluting essential oils. They have nowhere near the same potency as essential oils, but they definitely do have strong therapeutic uses, as these oils tend to be rich in nutrients.
Types of Carrier Oils
Apart from oils, there are other forms of carriers that function similarly to carrier oils. Such as lotions, creams, butters and gels. Different oils work differently depending on your needs. It is therefore helpful to select the right carrier oil depending on your purpose and usage.
What are Carrier Oils Made Out of?
Carrier oils are also known as base oils or vegetable oils. They are derived from the seeds and nuts of a plant, and are mainly made up of fatty acids. Carrier oils come in solid and liquid state and some will change its state between the both depending on the temperatures of the surrounding.
Best Carrier Oils for Massage
Coconut oil is derived from the milk and flesh of the coconut. The coconut is a popular tropical fruit, and it’s famous for being a refreshing drink that we all love during the summer. A good high-quality coconut oil should be pure and extracted without being further processed. These are called virgin coconut oil, meaning that they have not been processed. Fractionated Coconut oil is coconut oil that has gone through an additional separation process so that it does not turn into the solid at 76°F or 24°C. However, this makes it easier for for the job of a masseuse as it is easier to work with right off the bottle. It may also for blends that need to be maintained in a liquid suspension.
Coconut oil is excellent for massage because it is non-greasy and compatible with all skin types including sensitive skin. It contains lauric acid, which is naturally antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial, and overall beneficial to the skin. It is a skin tonic that helps to soften and hydrate the skin.
Almond oil is pressed from the seeds of the almond tree. The almond tree comes from the Rosaceae family, which is the same family as the rose. Almond oil is only very slightly aromatic, which helps to bring out the true aroma of your essential oils. Almond oil contains oleic acid, great for anti-aging as it helps to retain and replenish moisture deep within the skin. Almond oil has a light texture, and does not give a greasy feeling on the skin. Being an emollient, almond oil acts as a good carrier oil for massage as it easily glides on the skin. It is very mild and gentle, does not clog the pores and can be used on the face as well.
Apricot Kernel Oil
The apricot kernel oil is pressed from the kernel (seed) of the apricot. It comes from the same family as the almond oil, therefore sharing many similar properties. The oil is very nourishing, and produces an aroma that closely resembles almond. The apricot kernel oil has a high component of linoleic acid than the almond oil, and this gives it a softer feel to the skin.
Best Carrier Oils for the Face
Jojoba Oil (All Skin Types)
Jojoba oil is one of the best carrier oil one can think of because of its many applications. It is not only an excellent all-rounder for so many kinds of topical uses, but it has also the ability of creating a breathable barrier to prevent moisture loss from your skin. It is very light in texture, and absorbs very quickly into the skin, which does not give you a greasy feeling after application. It does not clog the pores, and can be used for all kinds of skin types from oily to dry. It tends to be slightly more expensive than other carriers, but definitely worth it having in your collection.
Apricot Kernel Oil (All Skin Types)
Apricot kernel oil is also another carrier that works well on the face. It is especially helpful for dry skin and relieving itch due to dryness. It has a light texture which does not give you a greasy feeling after application. Apricot kernel oil is very mild, but it can also help to dislodge dirt and blackheads. It assists with maintaining the collagen, and helps to strengthen the protective layer of your skin barrier. It is high in vitamins A and E and it contains essential fatty acids such as GLA and oleic acid. You can use apricot kernel oil on its own, or blended.
Rosehip Oil (Mature and Oily Skin)
May also be known as the rosehip seed oil. The rosehip oil is regarded to be the go to oil for rejuvenating, anti-aging and scar reducing qualities. Acne sufferers may want to minimize the use of this oil on the face even though it does not clog the pores. This oil is more suitable for those suffering from dry, mature or prematurely aging skin. If you no longer suffer from active acne, rosehip oil can be used to reduce acne scars. Rosehip oil is also high in fatty acids, and it contains vitamins A, C and E. For dry or mature skin, use rosehip oil blended with another carrier such as jojoba oil. You can use rosehip oil 100% if you are suffering from very dry skin.
Tamanu Oil (Very Dry Skin)
May also be known as Foraha Oil. Tamanu oil is deeply penetrative for the skin. It has a heavy nutty aroma, and is preferred to be blended with other carrier oils such as jojoba because of the overwhelming fragrance when used at 100%. Tamanu oil works also works extremely well with rosehip oil for wound and scar healing and softening. It has amazing therapeutic properties; antioxidant, antibacterial and antimicrobial. It is very regenerative and is more suitable for dry to very dry skin.
Best Carrier Oils for Children
Coconut oil is considered a cooling oil, and it is great to use on children during the summer, or when in tropical climates. It can be safely applied to the skin as a cleanser or a skin tonic, and it is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin. It can be used to soothe rashes and inflamed skin on children and is gentle enough to be used on the scalp as a hair tonic.
Almond oil is another mild and gentle oil that can be safely used with children, from rashes, dry skin, eczema and itching to scalp nourishment and massage base. Almond oil have a very light texture, and it does not leave behind a greasy layer after application. The aroma is mild on its own, making it great for essential oil blends to shine through.
Being one of the most versatile carrier oil, jojoba oil is perfect for everyone and that includes children. Jojoba oil is very light and gentle and does not make you feel greasy after application on the skin. It helps to balance the natural pH balance of the skin. Children and teenagers suffering from acne, eczema and psoriasis can use jojoba oil as a base oil in conjunction with the right essential oils such as tea tree, lavender and juniper to aid and control their condition.
Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot kernel oil is great for children as it is suitable for all skin types and has multiple uses for it. Children with dry, inflamed and irritated skin can use apricot kernel oil as a great carrier oil. It is gentle enough to be used on the body and face, and i high in vitamin E and fatty acids such as the essential linoleic acid (omega 6) for promoting cell growth and repair, and oleic acid (omega 9).
Mixing Carrier Oils
Apart from mixing with essential oils, carrier oils can be mixed together with each other as well.
Jojoba oil is one of the most commonly used carrier oil as a base to be mixed with other carrier oils, as jojoba is very neutral, easy to blend with essential oils and synergies, and great for all skin types as it does not clog the pores. It is therefore a great staple carrier oil one should have in their supply for wonderful all round use.
The typical dilution is between 2-3% for a healthy adult. Generally 2% can be used for daily general wellbeing, body lotions and skincare, and a stronger 3% is used for specific applications for ailments such as treating a cough, inflammation and pain relief. Here is a quick general reference guidelines for diluting your essential oils with carrier oils. Following these guidelines will help you achieve a safe and effective usage of using essential oils for your skin.
15 drops of essential oil or blend per 1 ounce / 30 ml of carrier oil.
4 to 5 drops of essential oil or blend per 1 ounce / 30 ml of carrier oil.
Early Teens (10-14 years old)
6 to 7 drops of essential oil or blend per 1 ounce / 30 ml of carrier oil.
Late Teens (15-18 years old)
8 to 9 drops of essential oil or blend per 1 ounce / 30 ml of carrier oil.
Age 5 to 10
5 drops of essential oil or blend per 1 ounce / 30 ml of carrier oil.
Ages 1 to 4
1 drop of essential oil or blend per 1 ounce / 30 ml carrier oil per year of their age.
(1 drop for 1 year old and below, 2 drops for 2 years old, etc)
1 drop of essential oil = 0.05ml
1ml = 20 drops of essential oil
1 tsp = 5ml
1 tbsp = 3 tsp
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