When using essential oils for aromatherapy or topical treatments, it's usually best to dilute the oil first. Essential oils are strong and often highly concentrated. Their scent can be too strong for comfort, and they can cause skin irritation and other reactions when applied to the skin directly. As a result, experts recommend diluting the essential oil in a carrier oil, which is usually a vegetable oil derived from the nuts, seeds, or kernels of a plant.
One common mistake that aromatherapy novices make is assuming that all carrier oils are interchangeable. The truth is each carrier oil has its own therapeutic properties, and choosing the right ones for your specific purposes can be important. Take a look at some of the best carrier oils for your needs.
Avocado oil is a bit thicker than other carrier oils. Because of that, it's not perfect for massages or other applications that require quick absorption into the skin, but it is perfect for hair and face care applications.
Avocado oil contains vitamin E, potassium, and lecithin, which are nourishing for your skin and hair. These components help new skin cells grow and strengthen the health of existing cells. They can also help your hair grow thicker, fuller, and longer.
Suggested Use: Avocado is perfect for mixing with anti-aging essential oils like frankincense and hair and scalp-friendly oils like lavender or cedarwood.
It may seem like you can't visit your social media pages without running across an article about the benefits of coconut oil, and there are good reasons for that. Coconut oil is a versatile oil with a wide variety of benefits and uses, and it's a must-have for its own sake, as well as for use as a carrier oil.
There are two types of coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is sold as a solid, and it has many uses as a food product as well as aromatherapy applications. However, the type of coconut oil most commonly used as a carrier is fractionated coconut oil. This oil is thin and easily absorbed in the skin, and it has no scent of its own, which makes it the perfect oil to mix with more fragrant essential oils.
Suggested Use: Try adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your coconut oil carrier. The combination creates an invigorating massage oil that can soothe sore muscles and improve clarity and energy. To relieve congestion and respiratory symptoms, mix coconut oil with eucalyptus oil for a topical treatment or for use in a diffuser.
Jojoba is made from the seeds of the jojoba tree, which you may also know as the goat nut tree or the deer nut tree. It is technically not a real oil; it's actually a kind of wax. However, it contains long-chain fatty acids that closely mimic the oily sebum produced by human sebaceous glands, making it an ideal carrier oil that is gentle on the skin and absorbs better than many other carrier oils.
Jojoba oil may be best known for its cleansing and rejuvenating effects. It's an ingredient that can be found in many makeup removers and anti-aging serums. However, jojoba oil also has anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that can be used to treat various skin infections.
Suggested Use: Dilute tea tree oil in jojoba oil for a powerful but gentle acne cleanser. You can also add lavender oil to your jojoba carrier oil for an effective athlete's foot treatment.
It's important to understand carrier oils, because they're an essential component of using essential oils. Choose high quality carrier oils for the most effective and safest essential oil treatments.