Essential oils are regularly used improperly by people who have little to no experience with them. Due to their potency, it is paramount to combine essential oils with carrier oils for topical application. Failure to do so can result in irritation or adverse reactions to the essential oils. Since more people are transitioning to use natural beauty products or DIY beauty products, it is beneficial to know what carrier oils are and how to use them with essential oils.
What Is A Carrier Oil?
Carrier oils, also known as base oils, are typically mixed with essential oils in a dilution of 0.5 to 5% for the average adult. A carrier oil’s job is to dilute the essential oils and assist with carrying them into the skin, hence the name. Carrier oils are commonly plant-based and extracted from nuts or seeds to moisturize the skin. In fact, your skin yearns for healthy carrier oils because they do not contain fillers or chemicals, making it easier for your skin to absorb them to protect the lipid layer.
Choosing The Best Carrier Oil
The carrier oil you decide on will depend on your skin type, where you will be applying the oil, and whether or not you have allergies. In order to find the right carrier oil, you will have to patch test different oils to see how your skin reacts. If you want to use carrier oils on your face, it is wise to use a thinner oil like sunflower seed oil or grapeseed oil, especially if your skin is prone to acne. Using carrier oils on your hair or scalp will depend on dryness, dull, or damaged hair; argan oil or coconut oil may be beneficial in these situations. Carrier oils should also be kept in cool, dry places to keep them fresh. Consider the following carrier oils when you decide to use them on your skin.
Argan oil is naturally rich in vitamin E and saponins, which help promote more youthful looking skin. Pressed from the nuts of argan trees, which are only found in Morocco, argan oil has been known to restore the skin’s hydro-lipid layer, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. People like argan oil because it doesn’t leave an oily residue on the skin.
Commonly used in massage or DIY beauty products, jojoba oil contains natural anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. An interesting fact about jojoba oil is that while it looks and feels like an oil, it is actually liquid wax ester that is made from expeller-pressed jojoba seeds. Since jojoba oil is similar to sebum on the human skin, it is easily absorbed and lightweight, helping to efficiently carry ingredients into the skin.
This is probably the most famous carrier oil out there. Historically, people in the tropics have used coconut oil as a natural moisturizer, but it has recently been researched for its antimicrobial properties and lauric acid content, which is the primary fatty acid in coconut oil. It can be applied to the skin, hair, and lips, protecting the skin with a thin oily layer.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, D, and E, avocado oil is a natural moisturizer that is beneficial for soothing inflamed skin. Avocado oil contains sterolins, which are anti-inflammatory, and these have been effective at reducing sun damage, age spots, and inflammatory conditions like eczema and blemishes.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
You should already have this in your kitchen, so go get some if you don’t. The oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid, has moisturizing properties and is great for people with drier skin. Because olive oil is a bit heavier than other carrier oils, it has a longer drying period. Since about two-thirds of olive oils that are tested in the United States are adulterated, it is integral to use a trusted olive oil source. Always strive to purchase cold-pressed, organic extra virgin olive oil.