One of the indications is to dilute them in carrier oils when taking advantage of the properties of essential oils. These are oily products of vegetable origin whose composition moisturizes the skin and prevents the appearance of unwanted reactions, such as irritation, itching or dryness.
And is that, as a publication in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology explains, essential oils’ chemicals and plant products tend to generate irritant contact dermatitis reactions, which manifest themselves through lesions or skin burns.
Hence, combining them with other varieties of oils compatible with the skin incidentally facilitates their absorption and allows extra benefits when using them. What are the best options? Next, we detail them.
What are carrier oils?
Carrier oils are-also known as “base oils” or “carrier oils.” They are extracted from seeds, plants or fruits that are usually abundant in fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are called this because they are used simultaneously with essential oils to enable their topical application.
Its composition protects the skin barrier and neutralizes the adverse effects essential oils can cause when used alone. The latter formula is quite powerful and tends to cause irritation or chemical burns when in direct contact with the skin.
The ten best carrier oils to mix your essential oils.
The purpose of carrier oils goes beyond lessening the irritating nature of essential oils. Coinciding with research in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, they are increasingly recognized for their effects in restoring skin homeostasis and preventing disease.
In particular, they exert anti-inflammatory, healing, antimicrobial, moisturizing and protective properties. This is largely attributed to its composition, which includes triglycerides, tocopherols, sterols, stanols, phospholipids, waxes, and phenolic compounds. What are the most recommended?
One of the most popular carrier oils is coconut. It is characterized by having a low molecular weight, which allows easy penetration into the skin. Its great content of saturated fats and antioxidants makes it a product with multiple benefits for skin health.
According to a report shared through the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, this oil improves the skin barrier’s function and acts as a moisturizer and anti-inflammatory. In itself, its application is linked to the following effects:
- Prevention of scars.
- Relief of dryness and irritation.
- Prevention of fungal and bacterial infections.
- Relief of symptoms of eczema and cold sores.
With a gentle formula for the skin and a pleasant aroma, almond oil is positioned as one of the most used carrier oils. It stands out for its significant contribution of poly and monounsaturated fatty acids, with oleic acid as the main compound. In addition, it contains tocopherols and phytosterols.
Due to its moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and healing properties, it has a long therapeutic and cosmetic history. A Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice publication notes that it has emollient and sclerosing properties that improve complexion and skin tone.
It is ideal for mixing essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, lemon or rosemary. Its application helps to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, burns, eczema and acne.
Abundant in fatty acids, vitamin E and vitamin B, jojoba oil stands out for its emollient and antioxidant qualities, ideal for calming the skin and protecting it against various external factors that deteriorate it.
It is an important source of wax esters and long-chain alcohols that positively affect skin health. A review of studies exposes that it is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and healing. It can prevent skin infections and premature aging.
In turn, it hydrates the dermis, promotes pore cleansing, prevents burns and strengthens hair. It can be combined with essential oils of rosemary, lavender, ginger, mint, oregano, and cinnamon, among others.
In natural cosmetics, olive oil is valued for its moisturizing, restorative and anti-inflammatory properties. Both its consumption and its topical application are linked to benefits for skin health, such as the relief of dryness, the healing process and the prevention of aging.
The evidence regarding its effects on the skin is controversial. While some studies suggest that it can affect the skin barrier, others highlight its benefits and point out that it does not cause side effects.
Like other carrier oils, rosehip oil is characterized by many fatty acids, vitamin E and vitamin C. A study published in-the International Journal of Molecular Sciences highlights its potential as an adjuvant against skin disorders.
To be more exact, it is used to reduce the presence of skin spots, dryness, and symptoms of eczema. Also, combined with essential oils such as tea tree, eucalyptus or mint, it can help prevent and treat skin infections.
A review in the journal Molecules states that avocado oil is a significant source of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, phytosterols, alkanes, and polyphenols. Due to this, it is attributed to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that benefit the skin’s health.
In cosmetics, it is used alone or combined with essential oils to reduce dryness, irritation and inflammation. It is associated with the stimulation of collagen production, which contributes to the repair of skin wounds.
Although not the most popular, flaxseed oil is a good choice for blending essential oils. It stands out for its great content of omega-3 and alpha-linoleic acids (ALA) that give it anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and regenerative effects.
Its main benefits for skin health are obtained by including it in the diet. Evidence suggests that it decreases sensitivity and improves the skin barrier’s function. In addition, applied topically, it is associated with the balance of the skin’s pH, healing and the reduction of imperfections.
The interesting chemical composition of argan oil makes it one of the best carrier oils. It has significant amounts of linoleic acid, omega 6, and vitamins A and E, among other antioxidants that protect skin and hair health.
Through a randomized controlled trial — reported in Clinical Interventions in Aging — researchers determined that daily consumption and topical application of-argan oil improves skin elasticity and has an anti-aging effect.
Abundant in compounds like tocopherol, linolenic acid, resveratrol, quercetin, carotenoids, and phytosterols, grapeseed oil is a skincare favorite. Its application is related to preventing premature aging, cell regeneration and collagen production.
A review shared through Recent Advances in Anti-Infective Drug Discovery determined that neem has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiseptic properties.
Thus, it is attributed to potential against various skin problems, such as dryness, dermatitis, infections and premature aging. It acts as a natural insecticide, which prevents mosquito bites.
How are carrier oils used?
To use these oils as carriers, it is enough to combine 3 to 5 drops of the essential oil (choice of preference) for every 15 milliliters of the selected one (coconut, olive, almond, etc.). Once mixed, it can be applied by massage.
In any case, it must be considered that all skins react differently to the application of these products. Therefore, it is convenient to do a patch test before using them entirely.
Rub a small amount onto an area of the skin. If no adverse reaction is generated after a few hours, it can be applied without a problem. In case of oily or sensitive skin, it is convenient to consult a dermatologist, which is the most appropriate option.
Ultimately, it is worth remembering the importance of choosing quality products. You have to choose the pure or extra virgin version of these oils. On the market, mixtures of vegetable oils do not have the same properties and can be harmful. Check the labels!