This can be a very difficult question as everyone has different skin issues he or she may want to address.
There can be many factors to consider when you are trying to choose a carrier or fixed oil for use on your skin.
* Age – young skin will need different oils than mature
* Environment and Work – are you indoors all the time sitting at a desk or do you work with a lot of water or chemicals so you have frequent hand washing or showering or do you work outside in the sun and wind?
* Do you have oily or dry skin?
* Do you have skin infections or rashes?
* How and where it will be used i.e. Hair, face, body for massage, bath?
These all can require different carrier oils.
Each of these may need a different type of carrier oil that you will add your essential oils to prior to using them on your skin.
There are a couple of carrier oils good for almost all skin types. Both of these have an indefinite shelf life, which means they won’t go rancid or spoil once you have added your essential oils. However, you will need to keep them out of heat and tightly capped.
· Jojoba – which is really a liquid wax, but it is one of the few oils that most resembles our natural sebum – the oil our skin makes.
· Coconut oils are also good for almost all skin types. Virgin Coconut oil is well known for its fresh coconut smell. It is very good for just about everyone. Expeller coconut is a second best choice – especially if the smell of coconut would interfere with the final smell of the essential oils, you are adding to your skin care product. Fractionated coconut oil is good too and will easily launder out of clothing should you apply too much to your skin that won’t soak in.
Fractionated coconut oil is often preferred by massage therapists because it launders out of their sheets and clothes more easily. Other commonly used oils for massage are Sweet almond, Apricot Kernel, Sunflower oils.
Grapeseed oil is used often for infant massage.
Avocado, Hempseed, Macadamia and Sesame oil are sometimes added to the above oils in small amounts as they can add a little extra nourishment to the skin.
Rosehip seed oil and Hazelnut oil can help the skin to heal after surgery or other scarring injuries.
Stretch marks cannot always be prevented even if you apply cocoa butter, shea butter or coconut oils, but the skin will stay soft and supple, which may reduce the size and discomfort of the stretching skin.
Tamanu oil is also helpful when the skin is injured, or is proven helpful with cases of shingles, acne and other skin rashes.
Jojoba and Camellia oils are well known and wonderful for hair care. Simply add some to your shampoo or conditioner and use as usual.
Evening Primrose and Borage are also very nourishing to the skin.
Unfortunately, Evening Primrose and Borage are easily affected by oxidization. They will quickly become rancid even if kept refrigerated. In fact, if not used within a few hours of expressing these oils can start to become rancid.
We no longer carry the Evening Primrose and Borage oils but we can special order them for you but unless you can use 16 oz at a time and use it up quickly, we suggest you use the sealed capsules you can purchase at any health food store.
The oils are sealed tightly in the gel caps and therefore are not exposed to oxygen. You only ever need small amounts of EPO or Borage and in the long run, these oils are best purchased in the gel caps.
And one more word and to solve a myth: You may have seen it in many aromatherapy books to add Vitamin E or Wheat germ oil to your carrier oil – massage oil blend will help preserve it, this is, as other aroma therapists have said – “pure Hogwash”!
Neither of them can stop nor slow down the oxidation process of carrier oils. Both have short shelf life too. If you do wish to use them in a blend you will use within a short period of time, again, purchase gel capsules that have been kept out of sunlight and in a cool place.
The General rule of thumb is – the life of your massage oil or lotion or whatever you have made will only have a shelf life as long as the shortest shelf life ingredient in that blend.
So if you have added Evening Primrose, Borage, or Wheat Germ oil to a blend realize it will only be good for about 2 months or less. After that length of time, it will start to go rancid, and will be harmful to your skin.
Likewise, if you are using carrier oil such as Jojoba or Coconut oil, then the carrier may well outlive the essential oils you have blended in them. Citrus and pine oils will have shorter shelf life (about 6-9 months) than Lavender and Rose or Patchouli etc (up to 2-3 years).
Consider these factors when you are making your blends. Only blend as much as you can use in a few weeks or a couple of months. As we always suggest, make your blends fresh and make them often so you can get the results you expect.
You may have to experiment a little to find out what fixed oil or blend of carrier oils will give you the results you are looking for when it comes to which is best for your skin and hair. You will quickly discover your favorites.
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