Carrier oil, most commonly known as base oil, is a vegetable oil used to dilute the essential oil and increase its absorption by the skin. Carrier oil basically carries essential oil into the skin. The carrier oils by themselves have immense medicinal values. Find out the most commonly overlooked benefits of carrier oils that put up a good fight with essential oils in terms of efficiency and potency.
Carrier oils are used with essential oils for the following reasons
- To dilute the concentrated essential oil
- To blend it with more than one essential oil
- To apply it evenly on the skin
- To Make it non-toxic
- To enhance faster and better absorption
- To moisturise the skin
- As carrier oils are rich in fatty acids, it reduces inflammation and other possible reactions on the skin
- To prolong the stay of essential oil
What are anti-oxidants and free radicals
At a molecular level, when an atom loses an electron it becomes a free radicals which is electrically charged. These free radicals disrupt other molecules and cause reactions between those molecules leading to a chain reaction. This means there is going to be reactions in our body. An antioxidant comes into the picture to provide its free electron to the free radical, thus neutralising it and saving us all the glitches.
Anti-oxidant essential oils
Few Essential oils that are rich in anti-oxidants are oregano, nutmeg, myrrh, clary sage, rose and German chamomile.
What causes free radicals :
Free radicals are formed in the body for various reasons like smoking, constant exposure to pollution, infections caused by bacteria and virus, toxins that enter the body, excessive exposure to the sun and other radiations. Other causes may be due to excessive intake of health supplements and alcohol consumption.
Carrier oils that are rich in antioxidants
Avocado oil uses – Avocado oil is high in lutein which is an anti-oxidant, besides being rich in minerals and vitamins A, B5 and E. It is also rich in omega 9 fatty acid which is called oleic acid which is good fatty acid beneficial to the heart. Avocado oil has significant effect in reducing the blood cholesterol level. Avocado oil has excellent skin rejuvenating properties. It is easily absorbed through the layers of the skin and is known to promote collagen production thus helping in restoring the elasticity and youthfulness of the skin. The collagen production is also helpful in treating wounds and burns and it promotes regrowth of skin. It also is an exceptional moisturiser owing to its richness in vitamins and minerals which helps replenish the skin and prevent acnes and other skin conditions. It is known to reduce inflammation and itchiness of the skin which makes it potent in the treatment of skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. Avocado oil is also useful in promoting hair growth and treating scalp conditions like dandruff, eczema etc.
Jojoba oil uses
Jojoba oil is extracted from the seeds of jojoba. Jojoba oil is rich in vitamins A, B and E, silicon, zinc, iodine and fatty acids. It is an excellent moisturiser which is useful in treating dry and scaly skin. It is used in foot creams to treat cracked and extremely dry feet. Jojoba oil is known to maintain the oil production of the skin, hence it can be used to treat oily skin as a toner. Its richness in anti-oxidants and linoleic acid makes it effective in treating wrinkles and skin aging. Prominent wrinkles and sagged skin are treated by the vitamin E and minerals in jojoba. Additionally, it is used to treat common skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne etc. It is also potent in treating dark circles, dark lips and sun tans bringing back the skins original color and lustre. Use jojoba oil as a carrier to an essential oil or directly rub it over the affected area regularly. The best part yet is that jojoba oils is non greasy and non-sticky, hence you can add it to your moisturizers and lotions.
Hazelnut is rich in oleic acid up to 75% and linoleic acid up to 15% and in vitamins B, E, magnesium and calcium. Its richness in vitamin E makes it an impressive moisturiser. It retains water in the epidermis thus hydrating the skin and keeping it soft and moisturised. Hazelnut contains tannins which are antioxidants that help in toning the skin and reducing aging symptoms such as sagging and wrinkles. It boosts the collagen production in the body thus making the skin firmer and tighter. It is also an excellent carrier oil as it blends well with most essential oils. Hazelnut is also good for your heart and muscles. Other hazelnut oil uses include increased bone and joint strength.
Borage oil uses
The last but the best of the list yet is borage oil. Extracted from borage seeds it boasts numerous medicinal benefits. It is the richest source of gamma-linoleic acid with black currant and primrose next in line. It has exceptional skin rejuvenation properties being rich in anti-oxidants and thus helps in treating eczema, Psoriasis and other skin conditions. It fights aging by toning and strengthening the skin. Borage oil has proved effective in improving lung functions and respiratory ailments. It also eases the breathing in asthma patients and is known to relieve PMS pain and discomfort among women. Borage oil is also useful in treating arthritis, reducing inflammation and depression among many other benefits. It also blends well with essential oils making it a popular carrier oil