If you’re looking for a natural, inexpensive and simple way to hydrate your skin, then carrier oils are your best choice. Carriers also known as vegetable or fixed oils are full of benefits and surprises. They have the ability to completely revive your skin, among others. It’s time you found out how to use carrier oils in many fun and easy ways.
I will begin by telling you about the most important aspects of carrier oils. Of course, that involves tips on how to make sure you buy a good quality oil too. Not all vegetable oils can be used for therapeutic purposes.
You will then continue reading about those fun ways of using your favorite oils that I was telling you about. I’m still amazed at how versatile these oils are for skin and hair care. Above all, you can also save some good money by replacing lots of other products.
As a small bonus for reading this article I will give you the description of 5 carriers. They’re more or less uncommon and almost nobody mentions them. I thought of mentioning them to you this time. They’re great oils, with great benefits and you can now start using them in your beauty regimen. They’re not hard to find either.
Carrier Oils and How to Choose the Best Ones for Therapeutic Purposes
Carrier oils are vegetable oils. Vegetable oils are extracted through the cold pressed method from fatty fruit parts, kernels, nuts and seeds.
These oils are all full of essential fatty acids like omega 3 and 6. Our bodies can’t produce these fatty acids, so they need them from other sources. The skin and hair will thrive immediately once you give them their share. Essential fatty acids can help the tissue regenerate, and protect it from external damaging factors.
Carriers contain these fatty acids in various proportions. This makes them useful in many ways. Just like you have to diversify the oils you use in your diet, the same you should do with those for skin and hair care. Luckily, you have over a hundred vegetable oils to choose from.
Carriers are often used in Aromatherapy to dilute essential oils. The latter need dilution because they can cause discomfort to the skin. Essential oils are very concentrated essences and they can burn or irritate the skin if they’re applied undiluted.
Learning how to use carrier oils is very easy, mostly because they can also be used as they are. They don’t require dilution. You can, however, mix them with other carrier oils to enhance their qualities and lengthen their shelf life. Oils that are high in vitamin E can do this last that.
Carrier oils can be used in:
- Skin care.
- Hair care.
- Oral hygiene (oil pulling).
- Aromatherapy blends.
- DIY beauty products.
- Skin soothing treatments.
- Skin healing treatments.
- Hair loss.
How are vegetable oils different than essential oils?
- They leave oily traces on the skin after application.
- They go rancid instead of evaporating (like essential oils do).
- They can be used undiluted, while the others can’t.
- They can cover really wide portions of skin.
- They are more economical, because they come in larger than 10 ml bottles.
- They can moisturize the skin on a deep level.
- There are no precaution measures when using carriers.
Before we get to the part where I tell you how to use carrier oils, let me give you the tips on how to choose them. Those vegetable oils you buy from the grocery store are not good for therapeutic purposes (aromatherapy).
Why? They’re not good because those are highly refined. Unrefined oils are the best to use for skin and hair care, because they are pure.
Refined (or fractionated) oils pass through several mechanical processes to lengthen their shelf life. Producers may use heat, deodorization and even bleaching to remove characteristic aromas and colors.
Unrefined means the oils will be bottled right after being extracted. The cold pressed method is the best for high quality oils. It preserves their nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids intact.
So, here are some useful tips on how to choose carrier oils:
- Make sure your oils are unrefined and cold pressed.
- Check their labels and look for the Latin name of the oil. (E.g.: Prunus Armeniaca – Apricot oil)
- Oils are all sensitive to light so they must come in dark colored bottles. Bottles can be plastic.
- Along with the Latin name and extraction method, you also need to know their country of origin.
- Unless you buy them online, make sure they were kept in a cool, dark place.
- Some oils are solid (Coconut, Babassu, etc.) so don’t worry if you see them like this. They instantly melt when they get in contact with the skin.
Ideas on How to Use Carrier Oils in Skin and Hair Care
The best way to use carriers, especially when you’re new, is to try them one at a time. I suggest you research the oil you want and then start using it as it is. Apply it on your body or face, or both for a smooth and firm skin. You can use the oil the same way on your scalp and hair as a mask for half an hour.
To choose the proper vegetable oil, it mostly depends on the type of skin you have. You now know they contain fatty acids in various proportions. That makes them great for different types of problems and skin types.
For example, Avocado oil can be great for dry and mature skin. But it can’t be as good for an oily skin, because it may clog the pores. Light oils are recommended for oily, acne and combination skin, and heavy oils for dry or normal skin types.
Useful tip for when you use vegetable oils:
Pour a small quantity in your palms and warm it before applying on the face and neckline. For hair masks it is also recommend that you warm the oil before application. Warmth helps the oils pass deep inside the skin (and hair).
Now, let’s see a few ideas on how to use carrier oils:
- Use them as face masks, or for hydration.
You can definitely replace your old cream and lotion for skin care. Use those oils that are good for your skin type in the morning and night to hydrate your skin. They are natural and full of beneficial ingredients.
Apply the oil with slow, yet steady movements towards the exterior of the face.
- Use base oils to remove makeup.
At the end of a busy day, you’ll want to let your skin breathe by removing all the makeup. Base oils can also remove waterproof makeup. At the same time you get to hydrate your skin also.
If you don’t want to continue with your skin care regimen, then removing makeup with oils will play more than one role:
- It cleanses the skin.
- It hydrates all the skin and the one around the eyes.
- It lets it breathe and regenerate overnight.
- Use vegetable oils as shaving oils.
While experimenting on how to use carrier oils, you should also try this idea. Oils can successfully replace commercial shaving creams and lotions. Apply generous amounts of oil on those areas you want shaved and then proceed.
The oil is thick enough to protect from accidental cuts. It also makes the process go smooth and fast, and it nourishes and moisturizes the skin. This is the perfect opportunity to use Olive oil. It is quite difficult to use it in Aromatherapy blends because of its smell, but on the legs it would be perfect. Thick oils are the best to use as shaving oils.
- Use carrier oils for exfoliation.
A teaspoon of oil (Sweet Almond, Grapeseed, Hemp, etc.) with a teaspoon of baking soda will make a great nourishing and peeling treatment for your face. You can also replace the baking soda with whatever else you like, from cocoa powder to sugar or pink salt.
You can use this blend monthly to get rid of dead skin cells and give your skin its glow back.
- Use vegetable oils as hair masks.
Any type of oil works wonders in hair treatments and masks. You have total freedom to begin with what you have at home, as long as it’s unrefined. The obvious choice is some extra virgin Olive oil. You can warm 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil in a bowl and then start applying it on the scalp and on the length of your hair. Put on a shower cap if you have one.
Stay like that for 30 – 60 minutes then wash it off with shampoo. Make sure you wash it really well, 2 or 3 times if necessary. Once the oil is well rinsed, your hair will be shiny and will have body too. Not to mention how easy it is to brush it or style it afterwards!
In your mask you can also add 8 – 10 drops of Peppermint essential oil to stimulate hair growth.
Now you know how to use carrier oils. I’ve tried them all and I can say they work, so I will recommend these uses to you too.
The most important thing about using vegetable oils in your skin care regimen is to use the right one for your skin type. You don’t have to be afraid about it being too oily or clogging your pores. There are oils with a light texture like Grapeseed and Rosehip that can be used on an oily skin.
They will regulate the sebum production and hydrate on a deep level, without clogging pores. Thick oils however, they can do that for an oily skin.
It’s all about knowing your skin type!
Before applying any oils, it’s also important to dampen it first. You can use some warm water or spray over some floral water.
Think about a very dry kitchen sponge. When you spill water or wine, or juice on the table you usually use a damp sponge. This one absorbs the spilled liquid.
An already wet sponge can’t absorb any further liquids, just as a dry sponge can’t absorb anything either. It’s pretty much the same with the skin. That’s why you need to wash it gently before. Your skin needs to be damp for the oils to penetrate deep into the skin.
Also, try to apply a moderate amount of oils on your body. The skin usually takes as much as it needs, the rest simply going to waste. It’s simple to see whether you’ve applied to much or not. If 10 minutes have passed from the application and your skin is still too shiny, then you’ve used too much.
Knowing so much now, including how to use carrier oils will help you create some wonderful blends. For this purpose I will try to help you with 5 oils. You’ve probably heard about them or you haven’t, but I promise they’re not that hard to find.
5 More or Less Uncommon Carrier Oils with Surprising Benefits for Skin and Hair Care
I chose these oils because they’re not as popular as Sweet Almond, Argan or Jojoba, for instance. But they’re as affordable, some are even cheaper, and they have amazing qualities. They can definitely help your skin and hair, no matter the problem.
- Camellia oil, also known as Tea Seed oil.
It’s extracted from the seeds of the plant that gives us green tea. This oil is a great moisturizer and it’s full of antioxidants. It has antimicrobial and anti-aging properties. It is also analgesic (pain reliever) and anti-inflammatory. It gets absorbed very fast and it resembles Olive oil in texture and feel, without the pungent aroma.
- Pecan oil.
It contains zinc and vitamin A, which protect the skin against damaging external factors. It also has anti-inflammatory qualities. This quality helps keeping the skin clear and the sebum under control. It is also great against premature aging signs. Pecan oil can also stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss.
- Black Cumin seed oil.
This oil is a very concentrated and powerful oil. It has strong antimicrobial and antifungal qualities. It can help with weight loss and hair loss too. The oil has strong antioxidant qualities, which nourish the hair roots. Black cumin is great for acne skin. It is so because of its powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This oil is also good against eczema.
- Rice Bran oil.
This oil is a great anti-aging agent. It is a natural antioxidant and it contains lots of vitamin E. Rice bran oil can improve the elasticity of the skin and hydrate it profoundly. It leaves a smooth and soft skin. Of course, Rice bran can also help with the natural regeneration process. It’s a light textured oil that doesn’t clog pores.
- Marigold oil, also known as Calendula oil.
This is almost like a magical oil. Marigold oil can soothe and nourish dry skin, and it can also help with scars. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Marigold can help speed up the wound healing process and prevent contact eczema (dermatitis).
It’s a good oil to have around the house. You can use it in your skin care regimen, or you can use it as a natural medicine for mild skin problems. Cuts, scrapes, and mild burns can also be soothed with it.
Carrier oils really are versatile. You’ve seen 5 ways in which you can use them, and they’re all safe. Most vegetable oils last a very long time and they can cover a lot of skin with only a little amount. They really are economical.
Just think at how much you could save just by using 2 oils. You can use one for the body (shaving, scrubbing, hydrating, hair etc.) and another one for the face (and maybe hair too). Literally, there’s nothing stopping you to even pour it on your salads. Assuming they’re not mixed with essential oils, of course.
You now know how to use carrier oils. I hope you have fun and that you will share with us your experiences so far. Do you have a favorite vegetable oil? What do you like to use it for?