Carrier oils, also referred to as base oils or vegetable oils, are used to dilute essential oils and absolutes before applying to the skin. They “carry” the essential oil onto the skin.
Carrier oils are generally cold-pressed vegetable oils derived from the fatty portions of the plant. Unlike essential oils that evaporate and have a concentrated aroma, carrier oils do not evaporate or impart their aroma as strongly as essential oils, if at all. Essential oils are added to carrier oils to impart both a scent and their healing properties.
Essential oils do not go rancid. Carrier oils, however, can go rancid. Carrier oils that you purchase should be natural and unadulterated. Exceptions include carrier oils that have natural vitamin E added because Vitamin E acts as a natural preservative.
Botanical Name: Prunus amygdalus var. dulcus
Aroma: Nutty, slightly sweet and Light
Texture: Absorbs moderately, slightly oily and leaves the skin feeling slightly oily.
Color: Almost completely clear with a trace of yellow
Additional Info: Considered to be the perfect all-purpose carrier oil. Blends well with Avocado Oil.
APRICOT KERNEL OILBotanical Name: Prunus armeniaca
Texture: Usually non-irritating. Absorbs moderately and is somewhat oily.
Color: Almost completely clear with a trace of yellow.
Additional Info: Contains Vitamin A. Because of its texture, this makes it perfect for blending massage oils. This oil will not leave you feeling greasy or slippery. It also softens the skin.
AVOCADO OILBotanical Name: Persea americana
Aroma: Medium. Somewhat sweet and nutty
Texture: Thick, leaves a fatty, almost waxy feel to the skin.
Color: Deep olive green
Additional Info: Blend a 10% dilution of avocado oil with another carrier oil. Excellent for mature and dry skin types. Contains B Complex and Vitamins E,D and A as well as lecithin, potassium, and chlorophyll. It is a very moisturizing oil and especially beneficial for rash, eczema, mature skin, parched skin, and aging skin.
BORAGE SEED OILBotanical Name: Borago officinalis
Aroma: Sweet and light
Texture: Thin to medium, somewhat oily on the skin
Color: Light yellow
Additional Info: Excellent for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis. Borage oil can go rancid quickly. It is also expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of borage oil with another carrier oil.
CALENDULA OILBotanical Name: Calendula officinalis
Aroma: Spicey sweet aroma
Color: Yellow to Amber
Additional Info: CALENDULA OIL SHOULD NOT BE USED BY ANYONE THAT HAS AN ALLERGY TO RAGWEED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Comes from the Marigold and works well blended with Sweet Almond Oil. Great for reducing inflammation. It is also expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of calendula oil with another carrier oil.
CARROT SEED OIL
Essential oils are distilled from leaves, barks, roots, flowers and other aromatic parts of a plant or tree. Essential oils are more potent than carrier oils and if applied to the skin undiluted can cause severe irritation or allergic reaction. Therefore, essential oils are mixed with carrier oils to dilute potency. Additionally carrier oils carry the essential oil too the skin, thus the term carrier oil.
There are also certain safety precautions to be followed in the use of essential oils, such as never to use pure, undiluted essential oils on the skin.
Use of essential oils:
- Air freshening
- Bathing, Jacuzzis, showers, saunas
- Foot and hand baths
- Hair care
- Sitz bath
- Skin care
- Steam inhalations
In Skin Care, essential oils are diluted with various carrier oils. There are more than 100 essential oils, but here I will mention the most popular ones used in skin care.
ESSENTIAL OILS (used in Natural Skin Care)
Chamomile: An excellent skin cleanser. Good for dry and itchy skin, eases puffiness and strengthens tissues. Smooth out broken capillaries thus improving skin elasticity.
Geranium: A good overall skin cleanser. Wonderful oil for mature and troubled skin and brings a radiant glow and promotes circulation. Safety Precautions: Geranium essential oil is well tolerated by most individuals, but since it helps in balancing the hormonal system, care must be taken during pregnancy.
Lavender: Useful for all skin types as it promotes growth of new cells and exerts a balancing effect on the sebum (oil glands). Has a healing effect on burns, sunburns, acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Lemon: Brightens pale and dull complexions by removing dead skin cells. Has an effective cleansing action on oily skin. Note this oil is photo toxic; care should be taken to avoid exposure to sunlight, ultraviolet light and sun beds after application.
Neroli: Useful for dry, sensitive and mature skin as it helps with regeneration of cells and improves elasticity. Helps reduce the appearance of varicose veins, scarring and stretch marks.
Rose: Particularly good for mature, dry, or sensitive skin. As a tonic it is a soothing quality for inflammation and constricting action on capillaries.
Rosemary: Helpful for sagging skin as it is a strong astringent. Tones and tightens the skin. Has a stimulating effect on the uterus, so do not use if pregnant.
Sandalwood: A balancing oil and good for dehydrated skin, and dry eczema. Provides a softening affect and makes a great neck cream when mixed with cocoa butter.
Ylang Ylang: Has a balancing effect on sebum so useful for both oily and dry skin types.
- You will find my homemade serum recipes which are prepared with these oils in one of my other posts called DIY Face Serums.