If you’re going to be using essential oils, a good carrier oil is a must. So, what are carrier oils? Well, they’re plant-derived oils that are used to dilute essential oils before they’re applied to the skin. They’re needed because essential oils are extremely concentrated and can trigger allergic reactions like dermatitis when used in their pure form. Many have their own benefits, too; read on to discover Essican’s range of carrier oils and their uses.
When it comes to facial skincare, jojoba oil does it all; use it to remove your makeup, nourish dry lips and even as a daily moisturiser. In fact, it’s the closest thing you can get to your skin’s sebum — or natural oil — and it’s loaded with antioxidants that help maintain skin elasticity and prevent collagen breakdown, which can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin E oil is high in antioxidants, too, which means it’s great at fighting free radicals (think environmental nasties, like pollution, radiation and dust) on your skin — try using it as a face serum or hydrating lip oil.
If you’re making cosmetics like soaps and body creams at home, vegetable glycerine and hempseed oil make great bases. Hempseed is extremely nourishing, too, so it’s perfect for treating dry and cracked skin, and it can increase blood circulation when used during massage. Virgin coconut oil is also a staple in DIY skincare; it’s a super-rich moisturiser for your whole body, including your scalp and nail beds. Mix it with a little brown sugar and an essential oil of your choice (we like geranium for its extra anti-ageing powers!) and you’ve got yourself a hydrating scrub for those stubborn dry patches around your elbows, knees and heels.
Argan oil is well-known for its haircare benefits. It locks moisture into every strand, adding some extra hydration of its own for good measure, resulting in healthy, shiny hair that’s less prone to breakage. You can use it as a leave-in conditioning treatment, or apply in small amounts to help you style dry, frizzy or tightly curled hair. Try blending it with some essential oils to target specific issues, too — a concoction of lavender and tea tree promotes thickness and growth, while lemongrass and ylang ylang aid dry, dandruff-prone scalps.
Our carrier oils can be used to tackle a variety of health issues, from aches to indigestion. Sweet almond oil isn’t too thick or too thin, and it absorbs gradually as you work it into the skin, making it perfect for massage. It’s soothing on its own, but try blending it with wintergreen to help with joint pain, or luxurious frankincense when you need to unwind. Castor oil is similarly suited for massage thanks to its warming, anti-inflammatory effect on the muscles, so it’s one to reach for if you’re suffering from a sports injury. It comes in organic form, too, so it can be ingested as a remedy for gastrointestinal problems.