Pure essential oils are too concentrated to be used directly on the body. It is recommended that a natural medium be used for diluting essential oils. Carrier oils (also known as base oils) are the perfect solution. With the exception of Grapeseed oil, they are obtained by cold pressing the vegetables, nuts or seeds from a variety of plants. They allow for coverage and absorption of the essential oils over a larger area of your body. Their nourishing properties are particularly beneficial in skin care or massage.
The following are some of the more common base oils used for aromatherapy. Each has their own set of therapeutic properties; many being rich in minerals, vitamins and proteins. Cost can vary as well, so when deciding the right carrier oil to use, it is important to determine both the end purpose and amount needed. Carrier oils, like essential oils, may be blended to incorporate a range of therapeutic benefits.
Coconut Oil, Fractionated
Evening Primrose: Seeds from the flower of this lovely plant produce an oil very high in GLA (gamma linoleic acid). This is a fatty acid which helps repair mature or damaged skin. It's one of the more expensive carrier oils so it is oftentimes used in combination with other base oils. A small amount can also be used instead of vitamin E to retard rancidity of other carrier oils.
Grapeseed: Produced from grape seeds by hot extraction, this oil is high in linoleic acids and has a small amount of vitamin E. It's a gentle emollient that is absorbed by the skin easily without feeling greasy which makes it desirable for massages.
Hazelnut: Cold pressed from the nut of the hazel tree, this oil is light and easily absorbed. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and protein and is good for all skin types. It's thought to have astringent properties so is believed to be particularly good for oily skin.
Jojoba: Obtained from the seeds of a desert shrub, this oil is actually a liquid wax. It's one of the more commonly used for dilution of essential oils since it does not go rancid. It is known as a balancing oil and therefore is good for all skin types.
Sesame: Seeds inside the pod of this ancient flowering herb give us this wonderful oil. It's prescribed often for daily massage in Ayurvedic medicine and is considered to have antioxidant properties.
Sweet Almond: This oil is obtained by cold pressing the kernels of the sweet almond. It's rich in vitamins A, B1, B2 and B6 as well as a small amount of vitamin E. It also contains mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids which make it useful for all skin types. It's a lighter weight oil that is often used in massage because of its lubricating qualities.
An unrefined natural carrier oil may become rancid or spoiled over time (except for Jojoba which is a wax) so it is best to store them away from heat and in a dark container. A good way to prolong the shelf life of a carrier oil is to add a small amount of vitamin E or wheat germ oil (no more than 2%). Smelling the oil is perhaps the best indicator of freshness. If used in blending, it is advisable to keep the essential oil and the carrier oil separate until ready to use.
Never use any of the commercial mineral/baby oils or salves for aromatherapy purposes. They are typically synthetically made from petroleum which tends to clog the pores because of its large molecular structure.
Wyndmere Naturals, Inc.
3001 Louisiana Ave N
New Hope, MN 55427