Carriers to Soothe the Skin

aromatherapy bottlesWhen preparing a bath or body product, the carrier oils are the ‘base’ that the essential oils are placed in. These base oils are pressed from the fatty portion of plants, usually seeds, kernels and nuts.

Carrier oils affect the aroma, shelf-life and therapeutics of a product. So picking a carrier requires thought. Is there inflammation? Eczema? Dry skin? Most carrier oils have little aroma but some strong ones can alter a scent and are best used with heavy-scented essential oils. Some carrier oils go rancid fast and are chosen for a quickly consumed item.

Let’s look at a body oil for dry skin. Some fatty oils contain moisturizing nutrients similar to those found in the skin. Oleic acid, found in the skin’s sebum, is found in large amounts in jojoba, olive, and sunflower oils. This makes them good choices to use in a nourishing body oil. When choosing, also consider that sunflower oil has a shelf-life under a year while jojoba lasts indefinitely, and olive oil can have a strong odor.

Here are nine therapeutic carrier oils: Sweet almond (scaly, inflamed or dry skin), Apricot kernel (easily absorbed; sensitive or aging skin), Evening primrose (dandruff, eczema, wounds), Grapeseed (light texture and odor; readily absorbed), Jojoba (anti-inflammatory, dry scalp, all skin types), Olive (disinfecting, wound healing), Rosehip (tissue regenerator for scars, burns and premature aging), Shea butter (increases skin circulation for wound healing, scar tissue formation and cell rejuvenation), and Sunflower (bruises, acne).

Exfoliating Body Scrub for smooth, soft skin
1 cup fine sea salt
1/2 cup carrier oil
10 drops essential oil blend
Mix in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Use a handful to massage the body, avoiding open wounds and freshly shaven areas. Rinse.