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April 24, 2018  |  Login
Choosing Carrier Products
By James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.

Second only to the quality of the essential oils in aromatherapy is the quality of the carrier oils, the lotions, and other products you use. As with essential oils, buy from a reputable supplier and read the labels carefully. Store all of your aromatherapy oils in the refrigerator, and allow them to come to room temperature before use.

Make sure to choose products that contain no additives.

Choose unscented, cold-pressed, organic vegetable oils.

Unrefined oils are preferred over refined oils.

Avoid mineral oil, which is a petroleum product, and coconut oil, which has molecules too large to be absorbed into the skin.

Be aware of the shelf life of the oils you purchase. Buy small quantities of oils that go rancid quickly and larger quantities only of those with a longer life. Different types of carrier oils are preferred for different uses.

Following is a selection of carrier oils and their properties:

  • Almond oil is often used in aromatherapy massage; it also relieves itching and inflammation. It spoils quickly, however.
  • Apricot kernel oil is a rich oil full of vitamin A, which is often used for dry, mature, sensitive, and dehydrated skin.
  • Avocado oil contains lots of vitamins A and E, so it is very helpful for skin problems. Its richness makes it especially valuable for mixing with other oils. It goes rancid quickly.
  • Canola oil is a light, penetrating oil that keeps well and works well in blends for massage and the skin.
  • Evening primrose oil is often used in beauty products because it promotes skin repair and health and helps prevent premature aging. It does spoil easily, however.
  • Flaxseed oil is full of vitamin E, making it valuable for skin healing and regeneration. It spoils quickly.
  • Grapeseed oil is a good choice for oily or acne-prone skin because it is light and slightly astringent.
  • Hazelnut oil helps skin maintain firmness and elasticity. It is expensive.
  • Jojoba oil, which is actually a wax ester, softens and moisturizes skin while helping to control acne and oily skin. Its antioxidant benefits extend to other oils with which it is mixed; it can extend the shelf life of your blends.
  • Olive oil has been used for centuries to beautify the skin and the hair, and its benefits are still recognized today. It mixes well with other carrier oils.
  • Sunflower oil is high in vitamin E and is good for sensitive skin.
  • Vitamin E oil is renowned for its skin-healing properties. more
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