Today I'm talking about carrier oils
Carrier oils are an important part of using essential oils. While you can use some oils without dilution (Lavender or Frankincense for instance), it's best to dilute essential oils to make them easier to use, allow you to get the right amount of essential oil for your application, and allow hot oils to mellow out enough so they don't irritate your skin. Unless your spot treating a zit, I always recommend diluting essential oils.
Every carrier oil has slightly different properties and some are better for different applications, or even for different skin types. For instance the most popular carrier oil is fractionated coconut oil. This oil has been processed so it stays in liquid form, because normal coconut oil is solid at room temperature. Both forms are great for removing makeup, and good for extremely dry skin, but it can clog pores because the molecules of the oil are large and will sit on the surface of the skin.
Knowing about different carrier oils and having a few of your favorites on hand will make using your essential oils easier and more effective. Below I'll go over some carrier oils and their properties.
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Carrier oils to know...
Avocado oil: Has a natural SPF between 4-15 and is nourishing and moisturizing, making it great for extremely dry, flaky skin. It's rich in vitamins A, D, and E and is wonderful for your nails and scalp as well as your skin.
Coconut oil: As mentioned previously, it's great for dry skin and removing make up, but if you're prone to blemishes and blackheads you should avoid regular use. It has a natural SPF between 2-8. You can use the extra virgin coconut oil, that's solid at room temperature, or you can use the Fractionated oil which stays liquid.
Grape seed oil: Is rich in vitamins C, D, and E. It can help tone the skin and is a good oil for those prone to breakouts. It's also an oil that's good for your hair and makes wonderful hair masks.
Hemp seed oil: Has a natural SPF of 6 and is good for most skin types. It moisturizes without clogging pores and can balance your skin. It's also a great oil for aging skin as it's rich in vitamin D, Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.
Jojoba: Is actually a liquid wax and not an actual oil. Which makes it fast absorbing, deeply moisturizing, and good for all skin types. It's non-greasy and has a natural SPF of 4
Macadamia oil: Is light weight and absorbs well. It contains Palmitoleic Acid (Omega 7) which is an active anti-microbial found on youthful skin. We loose this acid as we age so it's thought this oils will help the appearance of aging skin. It has a natural SPF of 6.
Try them all and find your Favorite...
Raspberry seed oil: Is a powerhouse of an oil. It got a natural SPF between 28-50! Is nourishing, conditioning, and full of antioxidants which are all great for your skin. It's also good for sensitive skin as it's a thinner, dryer oil.
Rosehip seed oil: Is good for dull and acne prone skin due to it's astringent properties, which can tighten pores and brighten your skin.
Sweet Almond oil: Is highly nourishing and unlikely to clog pores. It's high in trace minerals, and vitamins A, E, and B. It's got natural SPF of 5 and great for balancing skin tone and color.
Olive oil: Extra virgin Olive oil has a natural SPF between 2-8. A little of it can go a long way to moisturize your skin but it can leave your skin slightly oily and has its own scent. It works well as a make up remover and is perfect for hair masks for healthier hair and scalp (not to mention dandruff control).
Apricot Kernel oil: Is easily absorbed, moisturizing, and nourishing for the skin. It can help firm and tone your skin and makes a wonderful massage oil. I love using it in my roller bottles and prefer this over coconut oil.
Sesame oil: Is known for moisturizing and softening skin. It's a popular choice for aged skin due to it's antioxidant content. It also has a natural SPF of 4.
There are more out there...
These are just some of the carrier oils out there (I tried to cover the most popular). Some are easy to come by and you can order a lot of it. Others are harder to produce and come in small 2 oz bottles (like raspberry seed oil).
I highly recommend trying a few different carrier oils on there own to see how you like them. Once you know where and how you like an oil you can blend it with others to make the little guys last while still enjoying their benefits. Like I'll be blending some of that raspberry seed oil with avocado or apricot kernel oil to take advantage of the natural SPF it provides.