In a previous post I discussed carrier oils – a base for essential oil products. That article mentioned general carrier use, so now I will go a little more in-depth. I have selected a few carriers, but keep in mind that when choosing a carrier oil you have to take its own scent into consideration. The odor and therapeutic properties of a particular carrier determine which one to use in your product.
You may not think of Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) Butter as a carrier oil, but when melted it makes a wonderful base that is rich in antioxidants. As a moisturizer that is high in Vitamin E, it leaves a protective barrier on the skin that keeps skin supple and helps prevent or reduce stretch marks or scars. It has a distinctive chocolate aroma that may be hard to overcome, but some essential oils play with this scent making it a bonus to your creation.
From up in the Himalayas we get Moringa (Moringa oleifera) Seed Oil, a clear, odorless and very stable carrier. It is high in antioxidants making it useful in antiaging products and as a nutritive for depleted skin. This oil is considered antiseptic and anti-inflammatory so it is used in the treatment of acne and blemishes. The high content of oleic acid in Moringa makes it beneficial in skin and hair care.
Rosehip (Rosa rubiginosa) Seed Oil from Chile is rich in vitamin A. Research supports claims for tissue regeneration for burns, scars after surgery, stretch marks, and facial wrinkles – probably due to very high levels of linoleic and linolenic fatty acids. It is sometimes used after radiation treatment to protect the skin. This carrier oil can also protect against sun damage and slow down the skin’s aging process.
The oil of Tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum) was originally used to treat leprosy. Now it is considered an excellent anti-inflammatory useful for eczema, psoriasis, acne and scars. This oil is used in massage for neuralgia and rheumatism because it has pain-relieving properties. It is also helpful for dry skin, but use it up quickly because it has a shelf life of only one year.
All carrier oils are best stored in cool, dark places – heat and light shorten their shelf life. The addition of antioxidants (e.g. vitamin E) can prolong the shelf life of a carrier when used at a 5% dilution. Whichever carrier oils you opt for, remember that they can be as important a choice as the essential oils that you add to them.