Typically speaking, oil that is obtained by distilling or cold pressing plants to gather their extract is called essential oil. A plant’s roots, leaves, flowers or barks can be used for this purpose. The characteristic essence of the essential oil is basically due to the aromatic compounds from the plant extract.
Most common essential oils are used in aromatherapy which is done to improve your physical health as well as emotional well-being. From acne to asthma, aromatherapy is known to have widespread benefits. Some examples of essential oils include peppermint, lavender, jasmine, lemon etc.
However essential oil is not supposed to be used on its own. It is usually in a very concentrated form and if it is applied directly to the skin it can cause irritation or burning. In order to create a product that is ready for use, the extracts for the essential oil are combined with a carrier oil. Carrier oil serves to dilute the concentration level of the essential oil and prevents you from experiencing side effects of the essential oil in the aromatherapy. It also aids the absorption of the oil into the skin.
Carrier oils are usually made from nuts, seeds or kernels of plants and are mostly obtained through the method of cold pressing. When the plant is cold-pressed, it is not exposed to any form of heat and as a result, the bioactive substances are conserved and the associated therapeutic effects remain intact. They are mostly odourless, while some may have a subtle scent. Examples of carrier oil are coconut oil or avocado oil.
If you are new to aromatherapy, you may need to gain an understanding of carrier oils so as to determine which carrier oil to choose. When choosing a carrier oil you need to determine the purpose of the oil.
Let’s look at a few common types of carrier oils and how they can be used
Jojoba is mostly used in making skincare products. It complements the scent of the essential oil and actually serves to make the scent long-lasting. If you have acne-prone skin, jojoba oil may be a great addition to your skincare routine. It is abundant in essential fatty acids and can make for a great element in facial treatments as it will provide the skin with essential nutrients and prevent wrinkles. Since it is a comparatively heavier oil, if you want to use it in body massage, you may want to add another lightweight oil to the mix.
Evening Primrose Oil
The evening primrose oil is great carrier oil if your skin is sensitive and tends to react quickly. However, it is on the expensive side so it can be incorporated in facial skincare and it may not be a suitable option for large skin areas.
This comparatively low priced carrier oil is very lightweight. It is quite non-greasy and is gentle enough to be used on infants and adults alike. It can be used with essential oils as well as infused oils for multiple purposes.
Almond oil is a great option for a skin massage. This mildly sweet-scented oil can help moisturize your skin and can be a great addition to your skincare routine if you are prone to dry or rough skin. Thomas Wang, a hepatologist in Malaysia claims that almond oil is rich in vitamin E which helps protect your skin from damage caused by the skin.
Avocado oil is known to have a strong smell and is heavy; however, it is packed with nutrients that are widely beneficial for the skin. It can be diluted with lighter oils like almond or peach oil and used in therapy.
This too is great massage oil as it is light and has a great absorbing quality. It can be used for your hair as well as your skin. Moreover, if you have dry or dull skin, coconut oil is a great choice to make your skin smooth and moisturized.
Rosehip oil is great for overnight skin treatments as it has proved to be very effective in reducing wrinkles and scar marks. It helps rejuvenate skin and helps get rid of wrinkles. It also facilitates the regeneration of skin cells works effectively to reduce scars.
Apricot and Peach Oil
Both of these oils are similar in terms of their constitution and are quite lightweight. Therefore they can be applied to the face. As mentioned above, they can be used to dilute heavier oils for therapeutic purposes.
When used in combination with carrier oils, essential oils tend to provide multiple benefits in terms of the physical as well as psychological aspects of the body. You may use any of the carrier oils discussed above based on the purpose of use.