Let's Get Carried Away!

Since essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin in their pure state, they must be diluted in base oils, otherwise known as "carrier oils". These oils are rich in fatty acids, vitamins and moisturizing nutrients. Carrier oils contain healing substances that make the skin soft, as well as elastic. They also provide lubrication for the hands when massaging against the skin. The oils can be added directly to bath water for a skin nourishing soak, used in hair treatments, or in many other skin applications. Natural bath and body designers utilize various mixtures of carrier oils to produce some magnificent feeling oils. For the most part, carrier oils are easily substituted for each other in any recipe. So, once you understand their properties, feel free to experiment to find which oils you orefer and what works best for you in your recipes! Sweet almond oil- (12-14months) light, rich in oleic and linoleic fatty acids, for all skin types; softens skin, relieves itching, has restructuring properties. Also great for cooking, especially stir fry as it has a high flash point and is cholesterol free. Apricot kernal oil- (1yr) light, high in linoleic and oleic acids, great as a massage oil, especially facial massages; rehydrates, restores skin's glow, high in vitamin A and B Avocado oil- (8-10 months) great for dry skin; easily absorbed, plumps up prematurely aged skin, natural vitamin B1, B2, D, E and A *not very stable, keep in cool, dark place Borage oil- (3-6 months) rich in linolenic acid; treats eczema and psoriasis, has anti-aging properties Calendula oil- ( ) heals cracked skin and rashes Carrot Seed oil- ( )reduces premature aging, itching and scarring, rejuvenates, restores skin's elasticity Coconut oil- (10-14 months unrefined, 2-3 yrs. refined) excellent for cracked or brittle skin, helps retain skin's moisture Evening Primrose oil- (6months) high in essential fatty acids, great for dry skin, treats acne, rosacea, exzema and signs of aging, has anti-inflammatory and antioxident effects *Do not heat this oil, apply to recipes after the heating process- Keep refrigerated to extend the shelf life. Grapeseed oil- (12-24months) odorless, easily absorbed, great for full body massages, Grapeseed is especially useful for skin types that do not absorb oils too well, and it does not leave a greasy feeling. Wonderful for those with skin sensitivities because of its natural non-allergenic properties. Hazelnut oil- (3 months) gentle, non-greasy, good for extremely dry skin, easily absorbed *best kept refrigerated, is food quality Jojoba oil- (24-36 months) antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, an emollient, very hydrating *this is actually a liquid plant wax, not an oil. It becomes cloudy as the temperature drops, this is normal and does not affect the quality. Macadamia nut oil- (10-12 months) one of the best regenerative oils available, high in monounsaturated fatty acids, closely resembles sebum (the oil naturally produced by ones skin to help protect it), a protective oil with a high absorption rate, has been successfully used as a healing oil for scars, sunburns, minor wounds and other irritations. Olive oil- (6-8 months) disinfecting, healing, excellent to sooth chapped skin, relieves itching of the skin and the effects of stings or burns, is good for muscular or joint liniments *store in the dark, has a naturally greenish tint, is great for babies Rose Hip oil- (12-18 months) High in Vitamin A which helps to delay the effects of skin aging, assists with cell regeneration, and promotes collagen and elastin levels to increase, also contains a high amount of essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, is rich in linoleic and linolenic acids, used successfully to treat stretch marks, UV damage from overexposure to the sun, scars from surgery, burns, and acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles and premature skin aging, dermatitis, sunburns, age spotsand even brittle nails and dry and damaged hair * This oil should be kept in the refrigerator, in a dark bottle to prevent breakdown Safflower oil- ( 12 months) high in oleic acid, light texture, easily absorbed by the skin, highly moisturizing, deeply soothing *Safflower oil stores well under any conditions, but high heat will decrease the shelf life. Sesame oil- (12 months) natural sunscreen, pleasant, nutty aroma, but one that will not interfere with recipe scents, this oil is naturally active in vitamins A and E and essential proteins. Sunflower oil- (6 months) possesses large amounts of fatty acids, high in vitamin E and folic acid, slightly oily on the skin, lightweight, softens the skin, helps to maintain the natural moisture level of the skin, but has slow absorption rate by the skin *refrigerate to extend shelf life.

Wheat Germ oil- (6-8 months) this oil promotes skin cell formation, is great for nourishing and rejuvenating dry, mature, dehydrated skin, and reducing scars, stretch marks, sunburns, and damaged skin, has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, is a natural preservative, helps to prevent rancidity, and prolongs the shelf life of cosmetic products. Wheat Germ Oil has been shown to be effective for treating dry, cracked skin, eczema, psoriasis, prematurely aged skin, stretch marks, dull complexion, tired and overexerted muscles, sunburn and burns, and scars. **Wheat Germ oil is a very sensitive oil that will degrade quickly when exposed to extremes in temperature fluctuation, oxidization and light. Refrigeration is highly recommended. Because of its unrefined nature, this oil is very dark in color and heavy in odor. It should not be used, either internally or externally, by those with wheat or gluten allergies.

Now that you have the base oils, the next post will deal with which essential oils to use for what!

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