Guest Author - Robin Rounds Whittemore
Fragrance oils are light enough in concentration that they can be applied directly to the skin or added to bath water for instant use. There most likely should be no adverse reaction. Essential oils, on the other hand, are so concentrated that applying them directly to the skin might cause an irritation. Carrier oils come into the picture to help carry the essential oils onto the skin. Carrier oils can also help nourish and moisten the skin as they do their job.
Sweet Almond Oil: This is a very common, affordable carrier oil to have on hand. It absorbs fairly quickly into the skin. You will probably smell a sweet nuttiness when using this oil. This is great for softening the skin.
Sunflower Oil: This oil will be absorbed quickly into the skin. The smell will not be overpowering. Cost effective and popular with a long shelf life, this is an oil to consider.
Jojoba Oil: This oil almost everyone has heard of. It absorbs into the skin quickly. Jojoba oil is mentioned in many recipes calling for carrier oils.
Avocado Oil: If you like avocados, you will most likely want to work with this oil. It has long been used in natural hair and skin care.
Grapeseed Oil: It absorbs into the skin, but there can be a filmy texture afterwards. It is gaining in popularity in essential oil recipes. It has a relatively short shelf life.
Olive Oil: This has a very thick texture to it and the aroma is like the olive oil used for cooking. It does absorb into the skin, but there is an oily feel as well. Olive oil makes a wonderful skin softener.
Peanut Oil: Peanut oil will have the fragrance you would expect; nutty. As with olive oil, there would be a thickness to it on your skin.
Shea Butter: Gentle and moisturizing for the skin, this product is seen in many lotions and creams. It is solid, but you can work with it when using essential oils.
HELPFUL TIPS: The oils that have the thickness and heaviness to them are the ones best suited for making massage oils.
Before purchasing oils, check into their shelf life. Decide if you will be using enough of the oils to comply with their shelf life. It would be a shame to buy something, use it once and then find out on your next use that the shelf life had gone by.
If you want to substitute one of these oils for another, make sure it is acceptable to do so according to your recipe. It usually is, but it pays to check into it before using it and possibly wasting product.
Some of these oils can be purchased at a regular grocery store, but many essential oil sites advise you not to as it matters how some of the oils have been extracted. It is up to you and your usage where you would like to purchase the oils. If you purchase them from a grocer and donít like the feel, you may want to try buying them from the essential oil supplier.
CAUTION: Before deciding to use essential oils, if you are pregnant, have allergies, or have a prolonged sickness; ask your doctor if it is advisable to use essential oils in your condition.
If you are allergic to peanuts, fruit, chocolate or anything else, do NOT use essential oils or carrier oils made up of those items. You may not ingest them, but they will be carried into the system through the pores in your skin.
If you are pregnant or have certain ailments, please check with your doctor to make sure using essential oils is safe for your condition.