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If your skin is dry or want an effective anti aging product, are allergic to conventional cosmetics , you love massage and are fascinated by aromatherapy then carrier oils in their diversity can provide you with all you need. They are an amazing natural alternative to many pricey brands of cosmetics and you can have fun and DIY you perfect custom blend.
One of the most popular use of oils , besides eating them of course, is in aromatherapy for the dilution of essential oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated natural plant extracts, who can be used for a huge range of conditions, a few exampled would be: Tea Tree, Lavender, Rose,Frankincense, Patchouli.
The best carrier oils to be used are the vegetable ones, derived from seeds, kernels or nuts. Each oil has its own proprieties and therapeutic uses. The best Oils to use on you skin are cold press extracted and Organic, this way you can be sure you get the best of their properties.
Some of my favourites and easily available oils are:
-Sweet Almond Oil: this is an light easily absorbed oil, great for massage
-Grape Seed Oil: very cheap oil, by product of the wine industry, again a very light absorbing oil and fantastic for massage
- Hemp Seed Oil: this is an lovely fatty oil with an amazing nutty smell, very moisturising
-Groundnut Oil: again an lovely rich oil
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Neem Oil: bitter tasting oil , smells like garlic but has amazing antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial proprieties
-Rose Hip Oil: expensive, use lightly best used for face as it has unbeatable anti-aging proprieties, my favourite of them all I use it every day
- Coconut Oil: among other things this can leave an amazing healthy glow on your skin.
All the above Oils I love to used on the face and body alone or blended together to moisturise and protect the skin and not to mention keep it young, remove make-up, clean my face. Blended with Essential Oils they become and absolute wander and they smell divine.
I find the above oils are very easy to get a hold off from any supermarket or heath food shop. The best you can use for you skin is food grade quality oils, cold pressed and organic.
Carrier Oils are needed to be able to use essential oils for massage, as essential oils need to be diluted before they go on the skin, as some of them can irritate and cause rashes. They are also concentrated and evaporate quickly.
A carrier oil has a short life of two or three months which is why they are used whenever needed and not mixed together with the essential oils when you buy them, but mixed with the essential oils at the time of use.
Essential oils last a lot longer and can be stored for years in a dark brown bottles in cool, dry places away from the sunlight.
There are a few kinds of carrier oils which can be bought but the most common carrier oils are vegetable oils such as olive oil or safflower, you can also use almond oil, but this is slightly more expensive.
I have also melted down a little vascaline in a small pan and mixed the essential oils with it to use when I couldnt get to the shops. This is excellent for adding essential oils as it helps the hands glide over the skin when massaging backs and shoulders.
Baby oil can be used if there is nothing else available to hand, but like the vasceline it can slow down the process of the skin absorbing the essential oil.
Although a base oil like olive oil or almond oil is better as they are absorbed into the skin and take the essential oils with them and do not leave the skin feeling greasy.
A base oil can be bought from the health shop too at about £2.50 for a 500ml bottle, but olive oil works just as good as anything and can be bought at the supermarkets.
Another good thing about using vegetable or nut oils as a carrier oil is that they have healing properties of their own.
Almond, olive, sunflower, jojoba, grapeseed, hazelnut, corn, safflower or avocado oils can be used for carrier oils.
Although once mixed with essential oil they will only last a couple of months, adding vitamin E to the mixture can help it last a little longer. It is however best to just mix up a little each time you need to.
Add two drops of your chosen essential oil or oils if your using more than one, to little carrier oil and gently massage the area which needs treatment.
Essential oils penetrate the skin and the adding them to a carrier oil helps the smooth application of the oils.
Here is a useful guide on what quantities to mix your essential oils to the carrier oil.
Carrier Oil Essential Oil
100ml = 20 - 30 drops
25ml = 7 - 25 drops
1 teaspoon = 3 - 5 drops
More than one essential oils can be blended with the carrier oil at a time, but it is not usually good to use more than three essential oils at a time.
Once mixed with the carrier oil you can treat ailments, sprains or muscular pains by massage or poultice.
Please remember that use of essential oils can be beneficial and may seem easy to use but some of them should be avoided in certain conditions such as pregnancy and in some cases massage is not always the best form of healing.
If you are pregnant it is advisable to seek a trained aromatherapist so that you can find out if the essential oil your thinking of using is safe for you.
I hope this has been helpful in some way.
I love essential oils, and I am very fussy about the carrier oil I use. I have tried a fair few now, but my favourite is always Grapeseed oil. Carrier oils are used to make essential oils safe to use on the skin.
Grapeseed Oil, as it says comes from grape seed, it's a light smooth oil with little smell. I find it smooths into skin easily leaving skin feeling soft & silky. It blends with the essential oils beautifully.
It costs from £1.00 for smallest bottle from Sainsburys, can be bought from most supermarkets.
Apricot Kernel Oil, can be used for any skin types, very rich and smooth, contains vitamin A. I like this one, though find it a bit thick.
100ml will cost about £2.50 from chemists/health food shops.
Jojoba Oil, this one soaks into the skin very quickly, not ideal for massage, but works well as a moisturiser. I haven't used this one as it works out quite expensive.
A 100ml about £8.00, I have only seen this on the internet.
Olive Oil, I don't like olive oil as a carrier, I find it feels cold on the skin, then makes my skin itch slightly. I also find it thick to use, though it does make my skin feel very smooth. Asian people I know use it for their babies all the time and recommend it as a massage oil.
A 100ml costs around £2.00, can be bought from either the chemist or any supermarket.
Wheatgerm oil is rich in Vitamin E, A and D and is very good on excema, I don't like this oil, I find it doesn't work well with my skin type, I do know that some people may be allergic to this oil, and it can be dangerous for people with wheat/gluten allergies. I am not sure of the current cost as I haven't seen any for a while, it isn't very expensive though.
I tend to stick with grapeseed oil as my carrier oil, I find it works well with anything I use, I also use it in cooking so have plenty to hand most of the time. The only problem I find is it doesn't last very long so I tend not to mix it till I am ready to use it, and I don't mix much.
Carrier oils for use in Aromatherapy are also referred to as Massage Oil Bases, or Vegetable Base Oils as they are obtained from vegetable, nuts or seeds and many have therapeutic properties and can be chosen according to the symptoms being treated. Carrier oils are used to dilute the concentrated essential oils making them safe to use on the skin. Carrier Oils should always be purchased and stored in dark glass bottles as over time, they can go rancid, unless they contain natural vitamin E as this acts as a natural preservative. There are many different carrier oils available on the market today; some of the more popular and affordable ones are listed below: Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus Armeniaca) ------------------------------------ Apricot Kernel oil is very rich and nourishing, making it ideal for all skin types, being particularly helpful for prematurely aged, sensitive, inflamed, delicate or dry skin. It contains minerals and vitamins; especially Vitamin A. It has a shelf life of between six and twelve months. A 100ml bottle of Apricot Kernel carrier oil will cost approximately £2.80. Avocado (Persea Americana) --------------------------- This is a very thick heavy oil, which is best blended with others. It is rich in Vitamin A, which makes it ideal for dry and ageing skin. It also contains Vitamin B1, B2, Pantothenic acid, Vitamin D, E, protein, lecithin, and fatty acids – it has a shelf life of up to one year. Avocado is a very penetrating oil which makes it extremely nourishing for dry and dehydrated skin, eczema, solar keratosis, and it improves elasticity and has great softening and moisturising properties. A 100ml bottle of Avocado carrier oil will cost approximately £3.40. Grapeseed (Vitis Vinifera) ------------------------ This inexpensive oil is excellent for massage, as it is non-greasy, odourless, penetrating, light, and e
asily absorbed by the skin. However, unfortunately, it does not have a long shelf life, which is between three and six months. It also contains vitamins, minerals, protein, and linoleic acid and can be used on all skin types. It is however, slightly astringent therefore, it tightens and tones the skin and is good for people who suffer with acne, as it does not aggravate it. A 100ml bottle of Grapeseed carrier oil will cost approximately £2.00. Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) ----------------------------- Jojoba is an expensive oil with a waxy oil which contains protein, minerals, plant wax, and myristic acid. Because it mimics sebum, and penetrates the skin very rapidly, it is not recommended for massage, but is excellent for nourishing skin and hair and is especially good for healing of inflamed skins, psoriasis, eczema, and any sort of dermatitis. It can also help control acne and oily skin or the scalp since excess sebum actually dissolves in Jojoba. Although, as mentioned previously, Jojoba is expensive but the upside is that it does not deteriorate with time. A 100ml bottle of Jojoba carrier oil will cost approximately £8.40. Olive Oil (Olea Europaea) ------------------------ Olive Oil contains protein, minerals, and vitamins and can be used in the treatment for rheumatic conditions, hair care, cosmetics; soothing, nail and hair care. It is also helpful for inflamed or acne skin, bruises and sprains. As it has a strong odour, it is recommended that it only be used as a carrier oil for Essential Oils, which have a strong scent. Its shelf life can be up to one year without refrigeration. A 100ml bottle of Olive carrier oil will cost approximately £2.20. Peach Kernel (Prunus Persica) ----------------------------- Peach Kernel oil has a fine texture and is especially suitable for use in face massages. It also helps hair to shine and contains Vitamin E.
A 100ml bottle of Peach Kernel carrier oil will cost approximately £2.60. Sweet Almond (Prunus Amygdalus) -------------------------------- This oil one of the most popular carrier oils used by Aromatherapists. It is also one of the richest oils in vitamins and is a good all-purpose, inexpensive oil making it an excellent choice for general massage. It contains glycosides, minerals, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E and is rich in protein – it has a shelf life of no more than one year. Sweet Almond oil is suitable for all skin types being especially good for eczema as it helps relieve itching, soreness, dryness and inflammation. It is also useful for burns and thread veins and is very lubricating, but not penetrating, which makes it a good massage oil, and protectant. 100ml bottle of Sweet Almond carrier oil will cost around £2.00. Wheatgerm (Triticum Vulgare) ----------------------------- Wheatgerm oil is suitable for use on dry cracked skin, eczema, psoriasis, prematurely aged skin, and stretch marks and scar tissue. Wheatgerm oil is also rich in Vitamin E, A and D and has a shelf life of approximately one year. Please note however, that some skin types can be allergic to this oil. Please note, Wheatgerm Oil can be very dangerous for people who suffer with severe wheat or gluten allergies. Summary -------- As a frequent user of Essential oils, I am a fan of the less expensive carrier oils such as Wheatgerm, Grapeseed and Sweet Almond Oil. On occasions, I do use Olive Oil as I have it in the kitchen cupboard; however, I don’t use the Virgin variety, as that would be a waste. Carrier Oils are available from High Street Health Food shops, large chemists and of course, the Internet. One website I recommend is www.aromatherapygiftshop.co.uk/carrier_oils.html as they carry a wide range of carrier oils, as well as Essential oils.
Carrier oils are used in conjunction with essential oils for massage.