I really never gave too much thought about carrier oils until recently. My standby has always been fractionated coconut oil. Coconut oil can be great for certain skin types, and I’ve just never felt the need to venture beyond FCO….. until recently. Oh sure, I’ve dabbled here and there…. stepping out on my old friend, but always coming back home to my tried and true love. I was well aware of carrier oils for skin types (see above), but did you know that…. just like essential oils…. carrier oils have attributes that support and affect body systems beyond the integumentary system/skin?
Ya’ll know the difference, right? A carrier oil is a fatty oil base. They can go rancid over time and although they may have some health benefits, carrier oils generally don’t hold a candle to those benefits seen with Essential Oils. Essential oils, on the other hand, are not fat based…. nor do they feel oily. With the exception of the cold pressed citrus oils, they have an incredibly long shelf life (provided they are cared for properly). Essential oils can be diluted with carrier oils without affecting their effects on our body.
Young Living Essential Oils help support virtually every single body system. We typically choose which oils we are going to diffuse, apply, or ingest according to the body system we wish to support. We may or may not use a carrier oil along with our oils depending on personal choice. Regardless of which carrier oil you choose to use, begin with these tenants:
- Use organic whenever possible.
- Never use mineral oil or petrolatum or petroleum jelly as a carrier. They clog pores and are toxins themselves (made from petroleum). Additionally, they prevent toxins within us from escaping, and will prevent essential oils from being absorbed into the skin.
- Be very wary of using a cosmetic or commercial skin care product as a carrier for your essential oils. Rashes and adverse reactions have occurred when combining the two. Remember, nearly all mainstream skin care products contain toxins themselves, and the mixture of both good (essential oils) and bad (that skin care product) may not end well.
However, there are some distinct benefits to using carrier oils with your essential oils:
- Hot oils (ex: Thieves, Lemongrass, Cinnamon Bark) can feel just that…. HOT….. if applied undiluted.
- Diluting your oils with a carrier oil definitely gives you more bang for your buck. We should ALL be frugal oilers… a little goes a long way, and our oils are a precious commodity.
- Adding a carrier oil to your essential oil can, in effect, create an ‘extended release’ component to your essential oil. Most of our essential oils are volatile. This means that they are released into the air fairly rapidly. What is not absorbed into the skin becomes airborne. The addition of a carrier oil to your essential oil will increase both the amount of oil that is absorbed into your skin AND the duration that the absorption takes place. This is a good thing!
- Many carrier oils can act synergistically with essential oils. Whoa. Really?
Yep. Here are a few examples:
- Coconut Oil – This oil is well known as the ‘go to’ for hair care and skin care when used topically, but did you also know that when ingested, this oil is also very supportive of the cardiovascular system, helps balance blood sugar, strengthens the immune system, and is helpful in dental care? For real!
- Jojoba Oil- This is an ‘external use’ only carrier oil that most closely resembles human sebum (the waxy substance produced by glands in our skin) making it one of the best moisturizing carrier oils available. It comes from the seeds of the Jojoba tree. Jojoba oil is also known for its antifungal properties, making it exceptionally well paired with Tea Tree oil. It can be used as a natural makeup remover or as a moisturizer for cracked feet and hands.
- Sweet Almond Oil- Really, any of the tree nut oils (Walnut, Almond, Pecan, etc) make amazing oil and vinegar salad dressing bases (especially when paired with lemon, basil, marjoram, oregano, and thyme oils), but you can use this oil topically too! It has been found to be helpful in repairing damage to collagen within the skin. When ingested, it may help limit inflammation and promote vascular health. Sweet Almond Oil also gets bonus points for being high in vitamins E and K.
Remember, Google is your friend here. If you are curious about a specific carrier oil, do a little research. You may get more than you bargained for (and I mean that in a really good way!).
Young Living has a complete line of carrier oils too, available in 8 oz bottles. Each one is a synergistic blend of carrier oils and essential oils designed for a specific purpose. (You will want to read the ingredients closely if you happen to have a sensitivity to a particular oil.)
- V-6 – a general all purpose topical oil blend containing Coconut, Sesame, Grape Seed, Sweet Almond, Sunflower, and Olive oils.
- Ortho Ease – a muscle and joint blend of carrier oils that also contain wintergreen, juniper, marjoram, eucalyptus radiata, and peppermint.
- Ortho Sport – a slightly more intense muscle and joint blend of carrier oils that also contain wintergreen, peppermint, thyme, eucalyptus globulous and oregano.
- Cel-Lite – a great firming and toning carrier oil blend that also incorporates the benefits of grapefruit, cedarwood, and juniper. I love to use this one on my thighs and hips when I get out of the shower!
- Dragon Time – a carrier oil blend designed for balancing emotions (ie: calming your inner dragon!). This carrier oil is designed for women and also contains lavender, ylang ylang, jasmine, fennel and clary sage.
- Relaxation– if you are looking for a relaxing carrier oil blend, this is it. While it does contain lavender, spearmint, coriander, bergamot, and tangerine, feel free to add any additional oils if needed. This is a great blend to massage on little feet right before bedtime :).
- Sensation – oooo la la! This carrier oil blend is created for romance and love. It can be applied anywhere…. (I will leave that up to your imagination). It does not disappoint. In addition to the base oils, this carrier oil blend also contains ylang ylang, bergamot, jasmine, and geranium.
Do any of these carrier oils tickle your fancy? Give one of them a try and let me know what you think.
If you are an oil carrying aficionado, I would encourage you to also keep a small bottle of carrier oil on hand to dilute in the unfortunate circumstance that you get an oil in your eye. Should that ever happen, don’t flush with water (it will only make it worse). Instead use a little carrier oil in the corner of your eye to immediately dilute the offending essential oil. If you failed to heed my advice and have no carrier oil on hand, simply use any fatty substance (butter, milk, or even a piece of bacon fat!) in place of the carrier oil. I hope you never need this piece of info, but if this has never happened to you, you’ve simply not used oils long enough!
Take care, and have a blessed September day! ~ liz