Updated: Oct 25, 2021
We are all well accustomed to the innumerable benefits of essential oils and how the world has been embracing these natural solutions over the last few years. Essential oils, diffusers and other complementary elements have become popular gifting items today. However, many of these products in circulation are often left unattended in storage as people simply don’t understand the right methodology of using them.
Essential oils have somehow become an Achilles heel for many and hence, proper education and knowledge are necessary to extract the benefits these oils possess. Improper usage may also cause unaccounted damage to our bodies. It is important to understand that essential oils are made through the distillation of aromatic leaves, flowers, barks, and roots of plants. Direct application on the skin may result in reactions such as severe irritation, flushing, or burning.
Carrier oils are a key part of aromatherapy, which is a complementary therapy that involves using essential oils to aid emotional and physical health. Carrier oils help in diluting naturally found highly concentrated essential oils so that people can apply them to the skin directly without experiencing side effects. One may say that carrier oils help in providing a medium to “carry” essential oils into the skin.
These carrier oils are usually vegetable oils, such as coconut oil or avocado oil, derived from the seeds, kernels or nuts of a plant. A common way of extracting these oils is through cold pressing. In this process, a person presses or crushes a plant without subjecting it to the involvement of heat, which helps in preserving bioactive substances in oils.
While some carrier oils are odorless, most have a faint smell that is sweet and nutty, and unlike essential oils they don’t evaporate. Some of the most common carrier oils are coconut oil, almond oil, black cumin seed oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, olive oil, and grapeseed oil.
How to use carrier oils?
Massage and body oil are formulated by the combination of essential oils with one or more carrier oils. It is important to follow proper guidance on the appropriate ratio of essential oils to carrier oils.
As per the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, typically 2.5-10% of essential oils must be used when creating massage and body oils. A person should use a carrier oil for the rest of the mixture.
The ratio of essential oil dilution is lower in facial treatments. People with sensitive skin should use 0.5% to 1% of essential oils in facial treatments, whereas those with less sensitive skin can use 1% to 2.5%.
The bottom line
Carrier oils make it possible to use essential oils safely. They help nourish and moisturize your skin. Many carrier oils have their own therapeutic properties. This means that different combinations of carrier oils and carrier oils can have unique health benefits. People using essential oils in topical treatments must remember to follow proper dilution guidance.
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