A carrier oil is an oil which “carries” an essential oil into the skin. The carrier oil is derived from the fatty seeds, kernels or nuts of a plant and it will serve to dilute an essential oil or absolute before it comes into contact with the surface of the skin.
Each carrier oil has unique properties such as odour, viscosity and therapeutic application, so the oil that is used as a carrier can make a difference to the final product that you wish to create.
How To Choose The Best Carrier Oil
Here are some of the therapeutic uses and other purposes of twenty-four carrier oils:
1. Almond Oil. Usually called Sweet Almond Oil, is an oil of medium density, which absorbs into the skin moderately quickly. It has a light sweet or nutty odour and is considered to be the most easy-to-use, all-purpose carrier oil. It has a shelf-life of twelve months.
2. Apricot Oil. This oil is derived from the seed of the apricot. Although it has a greater viscosity than Almond Oil, it is more easily absorbed into the skin and it contains high levels of Vitamins A and C. Apricot Oil is especially good for mature or dry skin. Store this oil in the refrigerator &/or in a coloured or amber glass bottle to protect the polyunsaturated fatty acids it contains.
3. Argan Oil. Derived from the fruit of the Moroccan Argan tree, this oil contains very high amounts of vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Argan Oil is most beneficial as a moisturiser for very dry skin and it can also be effective as a hair conditioning product. Argan Oil is non-greasy and so it can be used as a cure for acne, where it provides naturally balanced oils to the skin.
4. Avocado Oil. This oil is derived from the fruit of the avocado and it is naturally rich in Vitamins A and D as well as lecithin, potassium and chlorophyll. These ingredients make this substance an extremely beneficial moisturiser and healing oil for mature, dry or parched skin. Avocado oil penetrates deeply through the surface of the skin, if gently rubbed in in small amounts.
5. Black Cumin Seed Oil. This oil has a reputation as a cure-all for many ailments. Queen Nefertiti is said to have used this oil to keep her nails and hair in good condition. Black Cumin Seed Oil contains up to one hundred health giving chemical compounds, but the major benefits for hair and skin are palmitoleic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid. Including this oil in the diet helps to prevent the hair’s early greying, helps to manage eczema and psoriasis and helps to heal scars.
6. Borage Seed Oil. Obtained from the pressed seed of the Borage plant, this oil may be taken as an internal medicine to assist in the cure of epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis and PMS. If it is rubbed onto the epidermis it has excellent properties for maintaining the hair, skin and nails, due to its high levels of gamma linoleic and essential fatty acids. Warning! This oil is very expensive.
7. Castor Oil. This oil is derived from the seeds of the Castor Oil plant. Many benefits are obtained from its usage, including the treatment of sunburn, acne, dry skin and stretch marks and it is also helpful in conditions such as warts, fungal infection and acne. Simply soak a cotton ball in castor oil and gently rub it onto the affected area. Leave for one hour and then wipe off with a clean cotton ball.
8. Cocoa Butter. This product is a vegetable oil which is extracted from the cacao seed, which is inside the cocoa bean. Well-known to have many benefits as a moisturiser for the skin, it melts at room temperature and is easy to rub in for deep hydration. Cocoa Butter is a good product for the reduction of stretch marks and its high levels of anti-oxidants help fight free-radical damage.
9. Coconut Oil. Obtained from the endosperm of the Coconut fruit, this oil lathers easily and is a product that is frequently added to cosmetics and soaps. When applied to the skin’s surface Coconut Oil provides a barrier against infections and protects against the sun’s UV rays. It is best stored in the refrigerator.
10. Evening Primrose Oil. This oil is interchangeable with Borage Seed Oil and is also known as Star Seed Oil. Rich in gamma linoleic acid and able to increase the production of prostaglandins, Evening primrose Oil has beneficial effects for eczema, arthritis and superficial wounds.
11. Grape seed Oil. This oil is often extracted from the seeds of the grape by using a product called Hexane and no traces of hexane should remain in any Grape seed products that you use topically or internally. Its benefits include high levels of the anti-oxidant oligomeric procyanidin and linoleic acid and the ability to lower levels of LDL and increase levels of HDL.
12. Hemp Seed Oil. A completely legal product that contains no psycho-active compounds, Hemp Seed Oil contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids. Taking Hemp Seed Oil as a capsule can provide the body with these nutrients as well as assisting in the care of dermatitis. Hemp Seed Oil contains Vitamin D which helps in the absorption of Calcium.
13. Jojoba Oil. This is a liquid wax ester which has many similarities to the natural oils produced by the sebaceous glands in the human skin; it is extracted from the edible Jojoba Seed and is non-allergenic as well as non-staining. Jojoba Oil contains E Vitamins including Alpha, Beta and Gamma Tocopherol. It also has a long-term shelf life and is sensitive enough to use on all skin types.
14. Macadamia Oil. This popular oil is expressed from the nut of the Macadamia Tree. It is a multi-purpose oil for cosmetic usage and it is made up of palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and phytosterols. Macadamia Oil is a medium-absorption oil, which is great for all-over moisturising. It has a shelf-life of up to twenty-four months.
15. Mango Butter. Extracted from the skinned fruit of the tropical mango tree, Mango Butter has a harder consistency than Shea or Cocoa butters. It has many natural benefits for the skin including assisting in healing frostbite, usage as a shaving cream, calming itches and insect bites, usage as a shower gel and an as a healer of small cuts and as a massage oil.
16. Neem Oil. This Ayurvedic oil comes from the Neem Tree which is a tree of the Mahogany family. Neem Oil contains anti-oxidants, fatty acids and Vitamin E, anti-inflammatory compounds and Quercetin. Its purpose in skin care is to rejuvenate and to restore elasticity, and its use is also recommended for the condition of eczema.
17. Olive Oil. This beautiful oil is made from the crushed pulp of ripe olives. Olive Oil is highly viscous and dense. Its best use on the skin is as a massage oil, although the strong olive odour may be off-putting. Olive oil can be used as a skin cleanser in place of astringent products and as an exfoliant, when mixed with sea-salt.
18. Rosehip Seed Oil. This regenerative oil is extracted from the seeds of the Chilean Rose. This oil is regenerative. Burn scars, surgical scars, abrasions, radiation damage and intensive wrinkling were all alleviated by the daily use of Rose Seed Oil in tests at the University of Santiago.
19. Safflower Seed Oil. This oil is extracted from the seeds of the Safflower plant and it contains skin lubricating nutrients at high levels. As a skin conditioning product, safflower oil alleviates dryness and roughness and it can be used a cleanser to remove oil and dirt from the pores of the skin.
20. Sesame Oil. This is another skin-saving oil with a long history. Containing Vegetable Protein, Lecithin, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, Sesame oil is produced from Sesame seeds either raw or roasted. This nutrient packed oil can be used to assist in the healing of psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
21. Shea Butter. This healing natural butter is extracted from the nuts of Shea Tree of West Africa. Shea Butter protects the skin from the harshness of the sun and drying winds. It also helps to increase the production of the skin’s Collagen and contains high levels of anti-inflammatory and skin softening oils.
22. Soya Bean Oil. Derived from the Soya Bean, Soya bean Oil contains B Vitamins, Vitamin E and Vitamin K as well as linoleic acid. Ferulic acid and high levels of anti-oxidants also make Soya Bean oil an excellent regenerator for tired skin and even a good treatment for under-eye bags.
23. Sunflower Oil. Sunflower seeds from the Sunflower are pressed to produce this oil. High levels of skin nutrients such as Vitamins A, B complex, D and E as well as Calcium, Iron, Potassium Phosphorus and Zinc contribute to this oil’s benefits in conditions such as eczema and dermatitis and in treating bruises.
24. Wheat Germ Oil. This oil is milled from the Germ of the wheat and it contains high levels of protein and Vitamin E. Wheat Germ Oil is especially potent in the development of new skin cells and assisting in the management of dermatitis.
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