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February 11, 2006

Carrier (Base) Oils

Filed under: Reference Articles — Administrator @ 10:50 am

Carrier Oils may be applied directly on the skin, and/or Essential Oils may be added for use as body, bath or massage oils. As most holistic aroma therapy treatments involve massage, it is important that Carrier Oils are pure, unadulterated and naturally extracted.

Vegetable oils are the most familiar Carrier Oils used in aroma therapy as they have many interesting properties & benefits. Store away from heat & strong light sources. (May be refrigerated to extend shelf life). External use only.

Sweet Almond ~ Prunus dulcis ~ amygdalus var. dulcis
The earliest use of Almond Oil dates back to the Romans who used it extensively in Skincare preparations. Sweet Almond is a well tolerated, light, nonintrusive Base Oil for massage with a faint or no fragrance.

  • Protects, nourishes & pampers the skin.
  • Ideal for chapped or irritated skin.
  • Has excellent penetrating properties.
  • Beneficial regardless of skin type or age.
  • Particularly good for dry, sensitive skin.

Apricot Kernel ~ Prunus armeniaca
A wonderful light texture making it very easily absorbed by the skin. Especially suitable for facial massage blends. Good for the treatment of mature, dry, sensitive or inflamed skins.

Avocado Oil (Refined) ~ Persea americana
Contains 64% oleic, 19% palmitic, 14% linoleic, 3% palmitoleic & 1% linolenic acids. Contains also vitamins A, B1-B2, D, E. Reputed to be rapidly absorbed into the skin, although in practice this depends on the skin type.

Used in nourishing products for dry and dehydrated skin. Can be very useful on people with highly absorbent skin. Calophyllum ~ Organic not certified

Botanical Name: Calophyllum inophyllum
Country of Origin: Madagascar
Method of Extraction: Cold Pressed
Plant part used: the fruits/seeds (berries) from the shrub Calophyllum, also known as Tamanu Oil, is thick, viscous and dark grey-green to black in color.

History:
A traditional medicine in the South Pacific where it is used for its analgesic and anti inflammatory properties. The fruits are expressed to yield a pasty mass rich in triacylglycerols. The paste itself is used in several countries as a healing and analgesic agent in the treatment of burns. Therapeutic properties ~ external uses only:

  • may be helpful with various problem of the hair & scalp.
  • excema and Psoriasis
  • maybe be effective for shingles (especially when used with Ravansara)
  • claimed to have anti inflammatory and pain relieving properties, which may be helpful in cases of sciatica and Rheumatism. Caution:

Use with caution on sensitive skin as it may be an irritant. Use as a Base Oil or as an 10% additive to your blends. (as it is a rubefacient) Ref:
Carrier Oil for Aromatherapy & Massage by Len Price

Camelina sativa – Gold of Pleasure
Refined, cold pressed, is a clear, bright yellow oil with a light pleasant odor. Camelina Oil, also called “Gold of Pleasure Oil,” is obtained from the seed of the cruciferous annual plant Camelina sativa. The plant is also called “false flax” as it was often found growing wild in the flax fields.

It is particularly valuable as a rich source of polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA’s). Camelina Oil is a remarkable oil, as it has a high content of PUFA’s of both the omega-6 & Omega-3 families. As a matter of fact it is one of the richest sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids with a 40% alpha-linolenic acids, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid.

The essential Fatty Acids have a very clear effect on the skin & act as “anti-aging” agents, by enhancing the barrier function of the epidermis, reducing the trans-epidermal water loss and improving elasticity of the skin. Camelina Oil can be used as an emollient to soften the skin, protect it against the influences of the weather & improve elasticity.

Evening Primrose ~ Oenothera biennis
Method – Cold Pressed
Plant part – seeds Evening Primrose is a tall, spiky plant that would burst into bloom only in the early evening and would soon die, which is where it gets its name. This would lead to the formation of pods containing tiny seeds (similar in size to Mustard seed) from which the oil is obtained. It can grow almost anywhere.

North American Indian medicine men were the first to recognize its potential as a healing agent and used to brew the seed pods to make an infusion for healing wounds. This oil is highly unsaturated, however, rich in Fatty Acids. Especially, high levels of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), a substance much like the body’s own chemical Metabolism regulator.

Fatty Acid Composition: Palmitic …..................................6.2%
Stearic …......................................1.8%
Oleic …........................................6.7%
Linoleic …....................................73.8%
Gamma Linolenic ….............................10.2%
Other Fatty Acids …............................1.3% Usage:

Evening Primrose has been found to be effective for the treatment of: * useful for dry Scaly Skin,

  • Dandruff conditions,
  • helpful for Eczema,
  • beneficial for those with Psoriasis,
  • dry or prematurely aged skin,
  • PMS
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • accelerates wound healing It is very fine & readily absorbed into the superficial layers of the skin. Use in a 10% dilution with another Carrier Oil. Also, an excellent massage oil, mixed with Lavender for treating Anxious children. Recommend to refrigerate to extend shelf life.

Fractionated Coconut Oil
A favorite of massage therapists. Can be used as 100% of the blend. For a richer blend, mix with Jojoba or almond. Absorbs readily into the skin. Ideal for facial massage due to its non greasy nature. Mixed with Essential Oils for treating bed sores and other ulcers have achieved encouraging results. Fractionated Coconut is chemically clean & contains few contaminants likely to interfere with healing. Is odorless & does not go rancid making it suitable for blending Essential Oils for bath, skin & massage products. Long shelf life.

Grapeseed Oil ~ Vitus vinifera
Has a very fine texture & quickly penetrates the skin. It possesses no odor & is used in massage Oil Blends & facials oils.

Hazelnut – Corylus avellana
Hazelnut oil is made from the kernel. It is rich in vitamins, minerals & proteins. Easily absorbed, it lubricates & nourishes all types of skin. It tones & tightens the skin and helps to maintain firmness & elasticity. It also helps strengthen capillaries. Add Hazelnut oil to facial oils due to its skin nourishing & softening qualities and to encourage cell regeneration.

Jojoba Oil ~ Simmondsia chinensis
Unique because this oil is not composed of fat but liquid wax. Ideal for use in cosmetics due to its molecular stability & its natural moisturizing & healing properties. No rancidity level. Suitable for all skin types. Beneficial in the treatment of certain dry scalp & skin. Perfect media for creating your own signature Scent!

Kukui Nut Oil – Aleurites moluccana
Kukui Nut Oil is derived from the fruit of the Kukui Nut tree, the official tree of the state of Hawaii. This oil is high in linoleic & linolenic acids around 42%, olec acid 20% which are essential Fatty Acids vital for the Metabolism of healthy skin. It is a clear oil, high in polyunsaturates. Has a reputation of being excellent for the treatment of superficial burns, chapped skin and some minor skin diseases. Suitable for all skin types and is soothing to Dry Skin.

Macadamia Nut Oil – Macadamia integrifolia, or Macadamia ternifolia
Family: Proteaceae
Method of Extraction: Cold Pressed Contains: This oil is made up of triacylglycerols that contain monounsaturated fatty acid units (80%) and has good resistance to rancidity. Macadamia oil is particularly unusual in having a high percentage of Palmitoleic acid units not commonly found in other Carrier Oils.

A typical fatty acid profile of Macadamia:
Myristic ….......................................0.6 -1.6
Palmitic ….......................................7.0 -11.0
Palmitoleic ….................................18.0 – 25.0
Stearic ….........................................2.0 – 4.0
Oleic …..........................................55.0 – 62.0
Linoleic ….........................................1.0 – 4.0

External Uses:
It is a highly nourishing and emollient oil recommended for dry and mature skin. Due to the high Palmitoleic acid, which is also found in sebum, Macadamia oil has often been recommended for older skin which starts to dry as the sebum production diminishes.

This oil makes a pleasant massage oil with good keeping properties as it has a long shelf life. It is also a skin lubricant and is easily absorbed by the skin. It has been describing as the ‘vanishing’ oil. The high levels of Palmitoloeic acid units found in Macadamia oil are not found in any other known plant oil.

Cosmetic use:
Used in products that afford protection from the aging effects of the sun. In hair care it is utilized in brilliantine’s and hot oil conditioning treatments. Ref: Salvatore Battaglia: The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy
Len Price: Carrier Oil for Aromatherapy & Massage”

Rosehip Seed Oil ~ Organic ~ Rosa mosqueta-rubirosa – Expressed from the seeds

Researchers in Chile have found a natural oil that provides beneficial effects to the skin. It is the oil extreacted from the seeds of the Rose bush that grows wild in the south of Chile, a cool and very rainy mountain region. The oil pressed off the Rosehip seed contains an amazing 77% Fatty Acids (linoleic and linolenic). Fatty Acids have a very important functions in the regeneration of skin cells and repair of damaged tissues. Over the years, RoseHip Oil has been shown to retard the signs of premature ageing and provide excellent results in the treatment of burns, Scars and unsightly spots on skin.

If applied consistently during two or three months RoseHip was found to:

  • reduce Wrinkles and signs of premature ageing.
  • help counter the drying effects of the sun which are usually first noticed in fine Wrinkles or ‘crows feet’ around the eyes and mouth.
  • attenuate Scars (surgical and accidental) and improves the color of same.
  • also, avoids the formation of the keloid type of Scar (lump) which may appear after a surgical procedures.
  • provide excellent results in treatment of skin that has been burnt or exposed to radiotherapy.

Rosehip Oil is massaged into the affected area with fingertips until completely absorbed.

Sesame Seed Oil ~ Sesamum indicum
High in Vitamin E, B complex vitamins, minerals: calcium, magnesium & phosphorus. Ideal for Skin Care as a natural Moisturizer. Suitable for all skin types. A comparatively stable oil, does not turn rancid on contact with air. Has a distinct oily, nutty odor.

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