Are you a fan of essential oil massages? If so then you might want to add carrier oils to dilute them before using them so they’re less potent. As the name suggests these oils “carry’ the essential oils to the person’s skin. This helps to improve your experience through aromatherapy or massage. The relaxing scents include lavender, rosemary, or tea tree oil. There’s no doubt that massages allow you to relax by allowing your muscles to relax. Essential oils can make the experience even better by providing the natural scent that offers different benefits. The best carrier oil helps to improve the experience.
The carrier oils specifically help to reduce the side-effects the essential oils might cause. This is more likely for people with sensitive skin but others can benefit from aloe vera and other carrier oils. When you get a massage you certainly want the experience to be as effective and relaxing as possible. One of the ways to achieve that goal is by picking the right carrier oil. This is based on various factors including the scent and absorption. You should also think about how your skin will react to the carrier oil. Making a wise choice will improve your next massage or aromatherapy.
What Is a Carrier Oil?
Let’s start with the basics. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils. How did they get their name? The job of carrier oils is to carry the essential oils to your skin.
These oils are also vegetable oils so they’re made from stuff from certain plants like kernels, seeds, or nuts. There’s some debate about how the carrier oils should be prepared.
One of the most popular methods is cold-pressing. This is done by the plants being crushed. The reason is it’s believed when heat is used to remove the oil from the plant many of the nutrients could be damaged in the process.
So that brings us to the question: why is that necessary? Essential oils are natural oils from plants. The reason is essential oils aren’t just natural but also powerful. If you apply one directly to your skin it might cause it to be irritated.
So, you might be wondering if diluting the essential oil makes it less effective. You don’t have to worry about it reducing its health benefits. In fact, you can even add the carrier oil alone to your skin as another option.
Can any oil be a carrier oil? Some work better than others. It’s important for the oils to make your skin moisturized and nourished. Some bad options are mineral oil, petroleum jelly, and butter.
Another key issue is you should also avoid putting the carrier and essential oils on sensitive areas like the eyes or lips. Meanwhile, you can still place the essential oil alone in those areas.
In fact, this helps to explain why the carrier oil is used. It can help to prevent various reactions to the skin like redness, irritation, and burning. These are certain experiences you’ll want to avoid when you’re getting a massage.
What Are the Best Carrier Oils?
Several vegetable oils qualify as good carrier oils but here are some of the best options:
1. Apricot Kernel Oil
This carrier oil is made from apricot seeds/kernels. This oil is high in “good” fats and Vitamin E. Apricot kernel oil smells sweet/nutty and the skin absorbs it quickly.
2. Coconut Oil
This is an edible oil that’s made from a mature coconut’s meat. You can pick from refined/raw varieties.
3. Olive Oil
This oil is made by pressing olives. It smells fruity and is also used as a cooking oil. When using olive oil as a carrier oil it’s best to use extra-virgin olive oil for applications like aromatherapy.
4. Sunflower Oil
Like sunflower seeds themselves, you can eat the oil from the seeds. The odor is neutral so it’s not too strong. Experts believe this oil keeps away germs/toxins from the skin so it’s good if your skin is irritated.
5. Rosehip Oil
This oil is made from the seeds of certain kinds of rose bushes. The flowers of these bushes look different from other roses. Rosehip is left when the roses lose their flowers.
6. Avocado Oil
This carrier oil is high in good fat that’s believed to help skin that’s dry and damaged. If you have dry skin then this is a good option to combine with essential oil.
7. Wheat Germ
This is the center/germ of the wheat germ. It contains one-quarter of the vitamins, minerals, and proteins of the grain.
8. Almond Oil
This oil smells strong/nutty. It’s made from sweet almonds’ kernels. The skin absorbs this oil easily and it’s effective in moisturizing the skin. Almond Oil is usually used for aromatherapy.
9. Castor Oil
This oil is made from the seeds of a bean plant.
10. Grape Seed Oil
As the name suggests this oil is from the grape’s seeds. The oil is produced during wine-making and is high in Vitamin E.
How to Use Carrier Oils
The first step when using carrier oils is to pick the right one for your needs. This is based on various factors.
What should you look for? You should try to use carrier oils that are organic and old-pressed. It’s also important to pick a manufacturer you can trust.
Before applying carrier, oil make sure it won’t cause an allergic reaction. You can do that by doing something called a “patch test.” Here are the steps:
- Add a little carrier oil to your wrist’s inside or a little under the ear
- Use a bandage to cover the oil
- Check the area 24 hours later
- If there’s an irritation then rinse the area and don’t use the carrier oil in the future.
One thing to watch out for is carrier oils made from tree nuts if you’re allergic to them. They include almond oil and apricot kernel oil.
When diluting essential oils you have different options including the following:
- 2.5% dilution: Add 15 drops essential oil for every 6 teaspoons of carrier oil
- 3% dilution: Add 20 drops of essential oil to every 6 teaspoons of carrier oil
- 5% dilution: Add 20 drops of essential oil for every 6 teaspoons of carrier oil
- 10% dilution: Add 60 drops of essential oil to every 6 teaspoons of carrier oil
It’s also important to make sure you store the carrier oils in a location that’s cool and dark. A fridge is a good option. Another step you should take is to keep the carrier oils in a glass bottle that’s dark.
Besides using essential/carrier oils for massages another option is aromatherapy. This allows you to enjoy the medical/therapeutic benefits of the essential oils.
Aromatherapy can be helpful when treating stress/anxiety, pain, headaches/migraines, and arthritis. You can even get help falling asleep form the best carrier oil.