When you look up different essential oils to help with things like headaches and body pain, you probably see that if you are using the oils to be applied directly on your skin, you need to mix it with a carrier oil. But what is that exactly?
Here is information on carrier oils and why they are important to add to essential oils.
What is the purpose of carrier oils?
What many people don’t realize when they start using essential oils is that for the most part, oils shouldn’t be applied directly to your skin. These are pure extracts from leaves and plants, which can be a little too strong for your skin.
Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, you could have a bad reaction to them. Not only that, you need to neutralize the strong scent as well so they don’t become overpowering. Adding carrier oils helps to dilute the essential oils to help with both of these problems.
Plus, the oils provide a little lubrication and moisture for your skin, so they help in that way as well.
What are some examples of carrier oils?
Not all oils can be used as carrier oils, but many of them are great to use. Some that are commonly used include coconut oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, and hazelnut oil, hemp seed oil, and sunflower oil.
Typically any oils from nuts or seeds are going to be acceptable. You should not use other forms of oil or grease in your kitchens, such as vegetable oil or vegetable shortening, butter, or margarine.
You also do not want to use any type of mineral oil for application on the skin with essential oils.
Why do carrier oils help with dilution?
In many cases, essential oils are diluted with water, such as if you add them to a diffuser and get steam from the oil and water into the air, or you add them to your bathtub for aromatherapy.
However, when they go on your skin, water doesn’t work well. Essential oils evaporate into your skin very quickly, going deep into the layers of skin where it causes irritation.
The same problems exist with plain water. However, oil sits on your skin for longer, so you can rub it onto the top surface of your skin with the essential oils and it protects your delicate skin while also neutralizing the scent.