The Best Carrier Oils For Essential Oils
Powerful for creating a healthier, more natural lifestyle, essential oils are potent oils extracted from the leaves, stems, needles, petals, and other parts of plants. They are so strong, in fact, that you often need to use carrier oils for essential oils in order to get the most efficient and effective benefits. When I first started using essential oils, I didn’t realize how much I would fall in love with their carrier oil counterparts as well!
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Why Use Carrier Oils for Essential Oils
Essential oils are extremely potent and can even have a negative effect on the body if applied directly to the skin, or “neat”. Most essential oils are so concentrated that they need to be diluted when applied topically. This allows them to spread over larger areas of the skin rather than remain in one place. Some essential oils applied directly can actually “burn” the skin and cause serious damage. There are a few exceptions to this, such as lavender or tea tree, but in most cases carrier oils are a critical part of the experience of applying essential oils topically.
What to Look for in Carrier Oils for Essential Oils
In order to be as healthy as possible the carrier oils with which you pair your essential oils should have positive benefits to your skin and body. In addition to looking for carrier oils that are cold pressed, they are more nutritional for your body. Carrier oils that contain fat soluble minerals and vitamins are the best. Vitamin E is an antioxidant which is in many carrier oils and not only is healthy for the skin but also can extend the shelf life of the carrier oils. Other vitamins included in carrier oils are A, B, and D.
One other healthy constituent of carrier oils are the fatty acids. Our bodies cannot manufacture these so they need to be present in our diets. Applying them directly to our skins with carrier oils is a healthy way to get the body to absorb them. The fatty acids typically make the oils feel thicker and can cause them to go rancid more quickly, so blending them with carrier oils that are high in antioxidants can help with this.
One kind of oil that you want to avoid using with essential oils is Mineral Oil, a cousin of petroleum jelly. Although not nearly as popular as it used to be, Mineral Oil is still around and some people are attracted to it because of its low price. However, the non-natural contents in this oil can cause the pores to clog, trap toxins in the body, block the body from utilizing vitamins, and keep the skin from breathing as naturally as it should. Just avoiding Mineral Oil all together is the best way to go.
Types of Carrier Oils for Essentials Oils
Although you can certainly just use any type of vegetable oil that is in your kitchen cabinet, such as vegetable oil or corn oil, these oils can have a tendency to clog the pores and make your skin feel greasy. This is mostly because they are not cold pressed, which means their processing uses heat that changes the consistency of the oil. And they may not be as fresh. Oils that are cold pressed offer a nourishment and freshness to the skin that complements the essential oils for strength in healing.
Other oils made from plants that are preferred for using as carrier oils include:
- Almond (Sweet) Oil – full of protein, penetrates skin quickly, odorless, and works well for massage.
- Apricot Kernel Oil – high in A & B vitamins for rejuvenating and healing skin cells, good for the face.
- Arnica Oil – helps heal swelling and bruising, not for broken skin.
- Avocado Oil – heavy oil that works well with sunscreen, works well for aging or dry skin.
- Borage Seed Oil – light and sweet, works well for skin conditions, expensive and has a short shelf life but blends well with other carrier oils.
- Calendula Oil – increases healing time and moisturizes damaged or dry skin, great as a body oil
- Camellia Seed Oil (Tea Oil) – light and moisturizing, antioxidant, stable so can be mixed with other carrier oils to help preserve them.
- Canola Oil – absorbs easily, odorless, light in texture, long shelf life, and works well for massage.
- Castor Oil – heavy, seals and protects
- Fractionated Coconut Oil – light and non-oily, can be blended with other carrier oils as it can be expensive.
- Evening Primrose Oil – antioxidant, helps prolong shelf life of other carrier oils.
- Grapeseed Oil – for face or massage, light, quickly penetrates skin.
- Hazelnut Oil – packed with minerals, vitamins, and protein, good for the face.
- Jojoba Oil – helps to prolong shelf life of other oils, excellent for dry or oily skin, good for the face.
- Kukui Nut Oil – thin and absorbs well into the skin, good for dry skin conditions, may be expensive and goes rancid quickly so works well blended with other carrier oils.
- Macadamia Nut Oil – very thick, sweet, and aromatic, can be blended with other carrier oils to make it less filmy.
- Olive Oil – high amounts of minerals and vitamins in “extra virgin” variety.
- Peanut Oil – rich in proteins and vitamins.
- Pecan Oil – very light with a nutty aroma, store in a dark area for preservation.
- Pomegranate Seed Oil
- Pumpkin Seed Oil – high in zinc, protein, and polyunsaturated fats, has excellent healing properties for ulcers and sores, works well for massage.
- Rosehip Seed Oil – light but may leave the skin feeling oil, works well for dry skin conditions, may turn rancid quickly and is expensive so works best when blended with another carrier oil.
- Safflower Oil – softens skin with light-to-medium consistency.
- Sesame Seed Oil – a bit thick and may leave skin oily, good source of calcium.
- Sunflower Oil – Vitamin E rich, good for massage oils or body oils.
- Vitamin E Oil – extremely thick, prolongs shelf life of other carriers, helps to heal scar tissue, antioxidant, and rejuvenating to skin cells.
- Walnut Oil – absorbs into the skin easily, healthy for the nervous system, and medium weight.
- Wheatgerm Oil – heals burns, scars, and stretch marks, full of Vitamins A, D & E.
The Best Carrier Oil for Essential Oils
Although it depends on what you are using your essential oils for, if you’re looking for the best all-around carrier oil for essential oils, then I would recommend Sweet Almond Oil. It’s affordable, good for the skin, and doesn’t have any kind of an odor. The only problem might be for those who are allergic to nuts. In this case, Grapeseed oil is an excellent contender as a runner up for a general carrier oil.
Having a stash of several different carrier oils for various purposes is helpful but not necessary. Using carrier oils for essential oils will make your powerful, precious (and expensive!) essential oils last a great deal longer, while making use of your oils in a more efficient and effective manner.
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