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Carrier Oils

It is important to learn not only about the variety of essentials oils and their benefits, but also the way to properly combine them with a carrier oil before applying to the skin. Essential oils are concentrated and alone are very potent. Carrier oils carry essential oils to the skin safely. If essential oils are applied directly to the skin they can irritate it and have a negative effect instead of fulfilling their helpful, healing purpose.

Carrier oils are most often derived from plants, and include apricot kernel, sweet almond, grape-seed and many others. They not only carry other oils to the skin, but in and of themselves have beneficial properties such as vitamins to nourish the skin and moisturizing for dry skin. Carrier oils do not usually have a strong fragrance and therefore allows for the scent of the essential oil to successfully be delivered when applied to the skin. The ratio of application should be 3 drops of essential oil to each teaspoon of carrier oil. You can mix this in your hand, if it is going to be applied directly to the body or for immediate use. Because carrier oils do not evaporate like essential oils, they are a necessary component for successful application to the body. Carrier oils can go rancid and therefore should be checked before use. Mineral oil should not be used as a carrier oil. Mineral oil is liquid petroleum and acts as a sealant over the skin, preventing absorption of moisture. When scented, it is called baby oil, but is also used without fragrance and applied to butcher blocks to prevent cracking and taking internally for constipation.

It is important to investigate quality of products in aromatherapy. Both in choosing essential oils and their carrier oils. Although a company will claim a products purity, it is important to research the integrity of such claims. It is suggested to go with reputable and well used products. Ask those who are currently using aromatherapy and get advice before venturing out on your own.

Jojoba is an excellent carrier oil, which is really not an oil at all, but a liquid wax derived from the plants seeds. The properties of jojoba are such that it is easily absorbed into the skin and is used in many cosmetics. The liquid wax properties from this plant are similar to those in the human skin created by sebaceous glands. Making it a natural choice for a carrier oil, nourishing and hydrating the skin beautifully. There are many other carrier oils that are useful, but the jojoba is one of the favorites.

Essential oils are concentrated and therefore, potent. They can cause skin irritations if applied directly to the skin without a carrier oil. You should avoid the eye area when using essential oils and do not take internally as many are toxic. Do not leave oils where children can get into them. Pregnant women and children should not use essential oils unless under the direction of a experienced practitioner as there are types of oils which are dangerous for these individuals. Allergic reactions are possible, to test skin sensitivity try on a small area first to see if there is any reaction. Some oils also cause light sensitivity and should not be used before exposure to the sun such as lemon and cumin.

Combining carrier oils with essential oils can create a soothing experience for mind and body. Enriching your skin and helping it to be healthy aromatherapy can add just what you need to your beauty routine or home and work environment. Aromatherapy can be used in so many ways. Bathes, air freshener, perfume, on sheets, hair and body and just a few ways to bring the benefits of nature into your life every day.

About the Author
Francesca Black works in marketing at Organic Items and Aromatherapy Blends leading portals for organic products and essential oils.


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