(Natural News) To make essential oils (EOs) more effective, pair these natural remedies with carrier oils (COs) whose properties are good for your hair and skin.
What are carrier oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils with various health benefits. However, you shouldn’t apply EOs directly to your skin because they may cause negative side effects like skin irritation.
To avoid these side effects, EOs are combined with carrier oils. COs are derived from the kernels, nuts, or seeds of a plant. These oils have little or no scent and are used to dilute EOs prior to skin application during aromatherapy.
Pairing EOs with suitable COs helps prevent skin irritations and creates a balanced blend for different skin types.
Mixing essential oils and carrier oils
For topical use on your hair, scalp, or skin, use a one percent dilution ratio for each essential oil blend. This means that you need to mix at least six drops of EO per one ounce of CO.
When using a new blend, start with a low dilution and add more drops of EO only after spot testing it on your skin. Doing this ensures that you won’t have an allergic reaction after using a particular blend. Adjust the blend as needed.
Store your oil blends in amber- or blue-colored glass bottles to preserve the oils from ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. Keep oil blends in a dry, cool spot with low humidity to prevent the COs from becoming rancid. Most COs have a shelf life of about one year.
Recommended dilutions for massage oils
For infants and young children:
- Five to one percent dilution, or three to six drops of EO per ounce of CO
- 2.5 percent dilution, or 15 drops of EO per ounce of CO
- Three percent dilution, or 20 drops of EO per ounce of CO
- Five percent dilution, or 30 drops of EO per ounce of CO
- 10 percent dilution, or 60 drops of EO per ounce of CO
To patch test an EO, combine two drops with half a teaspoon of CO. Put a couple of drops of the blend on a bandage and apply it to the inside of your arm. Wait at least 24 to 48 hours to see if the oil is safe for further use.
Never use nut-based COs (e.g., sweet almond oil) if you have a nut allergy.
Carrier oils and their benefits
Argan oil is often used in beauty products like body butters and shampoos. It contains nourishing fatty acids and is full of vitamins A and E.
The oil is commonly used to help heal cracked skin, dry scalp, and skin inflammation. Argan oil has a nutty scent and pairs well with sweet orange and vanilla EOs.
Avocado oil is thick and soothing, so use it if you have extremely dry skin. The oil is full of nourishing fatty acids and is commonly used for hair masks and scalp treatments.
Avocado oil can clog pores so don’t use it if you have acne-prone or oily skin. The oil has a mild earthy scent so you can pair it with EOs like peppermint or vanilla.
Another edible oil, coconut oil is used in different beauty treatments. The oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it one of the best COs for acne- or eczema-prone skin.
Coconut oil can be used as a CO for lotions, massage oils, or scalp treatments.
Unrefined virgin coconut oil has a tropical scent that is great with fruity EOs like lemon and orange. Pair coconut oil with earthy scents like mint and lavender if you want a milder scent.
Grapeseed oil is chock-full of vitamin E. A lightweight oil, it easily absorbs with other oils as it softens and moisturizes skin. Grapeseed oil is usually included in bath oils, body butters, and face lotions.
Grapeseed is practically odorless and can be used with any EO.
Jojoba oil is a common carrier that can be used all over the body. This CO doesn’t clog pores and instead mimics your skin’s natural oils.
Jojoba oil is suitable for most skin types. It is especially beneficial for those with acne-prone skin. Since jojoba oil has a mild nutty scent, it can be paired with almost any EO.
Olive oil is full of vitamin-rich antioxidants. It is a versatile carrier oil that can be used in hair masks, massage treatments, and homemade soap. Use olive oil to minimize skin inflammation and treat damaged hair and split ends.
Olive oil has an earthy scent and goes well with EOs like lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, and rosemary. (Related: Use lavender essential oil to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.)
Sweet almond oil
Sweet almond oil is full of vitamin E. This CO is a lightweight oil that absorbs quickly.
Sweet almond oil is best for massages and skin treatments. It is also suitable for people with dry skin. Since sweet almond oil has a strong nutty scent, it is best paired with complementary scents like orange or vanilla.
Pair carrier oils with complementary essential oils to make natural remedies that boost your hair and skin health.