Essential oils in aromatherapy are highly concentrated and potent. Essential oils have adverse effect on skin if used undiluted. Though there are some essential oil exceptions that can be used directly on the skin. It is ideal to dilute essential oils with carrier oils.
Carrier oils are of a vegetable origin possessing highly therapeutic properties. Extracted from nuts and seeds by cold pressing as this process does not destroy the essential fatty acids & vitamins content.
Carrier oils provide much needed lubrication allowing hands to move freely over the skin, helping with the absorption of essential oils into the body. Carrier oils are light, non sticky and effectively penetrate the skin. They should be 100% pure, unrefined and cold pressed.
1 drop of essential oil = 1 tsp of carrier oil for 1% dilution. 2 drops essential oil to 1 tsp of carrier oil = 2% dilution and so on.
Commonly used carrier oils
- Apricot Kernel Oil - light, easily absorbed and moisturizes both the body and face well. Contains vitamin E. Extracted from the kernel of apricot fruit, it is pale yellow in colour. Vitamins A & B help in healing and rejuvenating skin cells. Good for all skin types especially for sensitive, inflamed and dry skin. Excellent oil for facial, leaving the face soft and supple.
- Avocado Oil - Rich in lecithin, vitamins, A, D, & E. Easily penetrates the skin, acts as sunscreen and helps in cell regeneration. Mix zinc oxide in half bottle of avocado oil and apply on skin that is exposed to the sun. Delays anti aging as it is rich in essential fatty acids. For intensive facial treatment for mature skin, refined Avocado oil is preferred as it lacks odor.
- Grape seed Oil - Odorless unlike most oils, it is light and good for skin not absorbing other oils. No greasy feeling after application. Slightly astringent, it tightens, tones the skin and alleviates acne. An ideal carrier for body massage.
- Jojoba Oil - One of the best oils for hair and skin. Penetrates the skin quickly, excellent for skin nourishment. Heals inflamed skin, psoriasis, eczema, or any sort of dermatitis. Controls acne, oily skin or scalp as excess sebum dissolves in jojoba. Good for all skin types, but clogs pores sometimes. Good base oil for treating rheumatism and arthritis. Promotes healthy, glowing complexion.
- Rosehip Oil - Called the queen of carrier oil. Good oil for cosmetic, cell regeneration prevents premature skin aging and softens wrinkles. Good for eczema, psoriasis, PMS and menopause. When combined with calendula oil, it treats stretch marks, burns or scars. Cold pressed from the seeds of rose hips, it pale yellow light texture. Wonderful carrier oil for skin care.
- Sweet Almond Oil - Popular carrier oil in body massage. Lubricates and moisturizes the skin. Good for all skin types, especially eczema. Quickly absorbs into the skin, leaving your skin to feel soft and non greasy. Provides relief from itching, soreness, dryness, inflammation. Rich in proteins and vitamin D.
- Calendula Oil - infusion of marigold flowers, renowned for its soothing properties. Balances excessively oily skin, can be used alone or blended with almond or grape seed oil for body massage.
- Evening primrose oil - Perfect skincare oil for moisturizing, softening and soothing to dry and irritated skin.
- Wheat germ oil - highly nourishing oil with vitamin E. Perfect oil for dry, mature and lifeless skin.
- Sunflower oil - Used for facial treatments and body massage. Has good softening and moisturizing properties.
- St. John Wort oil - Infusions from the Hypericum bush; it is excellent for all types of sensitive, red and sore skin.
- Coconut Oil - Perfect moisturizer for body and hands. Light, easily absorbable into the skin giving smooth satin effect. Moisturizes and conditions brittle, dull or dry hair.
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Kevin Pederson manages sites on Aromatherapy. www.aromatherapies.net/essential-oils.html/>Aromatherapy essential oils are concentrated extracts of plants, their roots, stems, flowers and fruits. Further classified as carrier oils and massage oils.
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