WHAT ARE CARRIER OILS?
Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils and essential oil blends. Sweet almond, sesame, grape-seed, coconut, wheat germ, and sunflower oils are examples of carrier oils; they can be used separately or blended together to create different textures and fragrances. Passion-flower, avocado, and jojoba are also popular carrier oils. Most therapeutic blends call for between twenty-five and thirty drops of essential oil to approximately half an ounce of carrier oil. Once you get a feel for blending, you’ll find customizing blends is simple— it’s basically a matter of preference.
The best carrier oils should be of good quality, and it’s best to use natural oils rather than synthetic ones. It makes no sense to purchase therapeutic-grade essential oils and use a low-grade gel, oil, or lotion to blend them. Most oils made from flowers are volatile essential oils. Sunflower oil is a carrier oil that ranges from very pale yellow to dark amber in color. It contains large quantities of vitamins A, D, and E, which are wonderfully nourishing to the skin. There are many carrier oils on the market today, so I have included a short list of some of my favorites with their uses.
TEN BLENDING TIPS AND PRECAUTIONS
1. Store your blends correctly. Keeping them in dark-colored glass containers out of the sun and away from heat sources will help them retain stability and last longer.
2. Always leave a bit of air space in the bottle so the oil can breathe.
3. Use nonmetallic utensils for blending essential oils. Glass droppers and glass rods are best, as they will not leach chemicals into your blends.
4.When adding an essential oil or an essential oil blend to a carrier oil, prevent breakage by adding half the carrier oil
to the storage container and then adding the essential oils. Next, add the second half of the carrier oil. Cap the mixture and tilt it gently back and forth to blend. This not only helps prevent accidents, it also ensures you get an even blend.
5. Many blends will keep for a long time, but anything more than six to nine months old containing citrus oils should not be applied to the skin. Making small batches will help prevent waste.
6. Use a wide variety of essential oils, and be certain to rotate those you use often to prevent sensitization and skin irritation. If you use a certain blend three days in a row, switch to a different blend for at least the next three days.
7. If you are allergic to a certain food, do not use any essential oils or carrier oils that come from the same plant that the allergen comes from.
8. Always follow instructions for diluting essential oils. These instructions should be located on the bottle.
9. Pre-blended essential oils are convenient, but they have a shorter shelf life than single pure essential oils. If you purchase these, buy small amounts and use them up quickly.
10. Less is more when it comes to blending and using essential oils. Applying too much of a certain oil can have an adverse effect. Start with a very small amount, particularly if you are new to aromatherapy.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS
Before using any essential oils, it is vital that you have a clear purpose in mind. Do you hope to elevate your spirits, or would you like to relax? Perhaps you are looking for an effective natural remedy for a pounding headache, or maybe you’d like to blend some all-natural bath products. Whatever the case, always double-check that the oils you’re using are right for the intended purpose.
Be certain to pay close attention to precautions for each essential oil before you begin. In addition, dilute the oils carefully, be informed about potential side effects associated with each oil, and watch for any adverse reactions. Essential oils enter the body in three ways: inhalation, ingestion, or topical application . Within each of these methods, there are a variety of application methods that can be used. For example, you can massage essential oils into the skin, add them to a bath, spray them on, or apply them topically using compresses.