Advances in the world of science lead to a steady stream of new “miracle” ingredients every year. However, naturally-derived ingredients that are packed with benefits for our skin, hair, and overall health have always been available to us. It’s easy to get drawn into clever marketing campaigns hawking the “next big thing” in anti-aging, but as they say: the next big thing is already here (thanks, Samsung). Let’s explore the countless ways which we can take advantage of the benefits of essential oils.
Essential Oils vs Carrier Oils
Carrier oils, also referred to as vegetable oils, are nut and seed derived oils that are used to literally “carry” essential oils. Carrier oils are used as bases for essential oils that need to be diluted before being applied directly to your skin, but they are also valuable in and of themselves. Most carrier oils are packed with beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Some common carrier oils are argan oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, evening primrose oil, and grapeseed oil.
Essential oils are responsible for perfuming many of your favorite scented products, from perfume to body wash to face cream. Dilute an essential oil, or a blend of essential oils, in different bases to create a range of products. Use alcohol as your base to create a perfume or cologne, or mix essential oils with carrier oils to create a perfume, skin or hair oil.
Use Aroma as Therapy
Essential oils are widely known for their application in aromatherapy — the practice of inhaling aroma to enhance psychological and physical well-being. Particular essential oils can help to alleviate headaches, calm anxiety, induce sleep, and arouse the senses. Massage therapy is a popular form of aromatherapy that can work wonders on sore muscles and joints. To make your own fragrant massage oil, mix several drops of your favorite essential oil(s) with a carrier oil.
Indulge your Skin
Face oils are surging in popularity recently as people learn about the benefits of oil for your skin. Though common sense might suggest that putting oil on your face would clog pores and increase grease, the opposite occurs. Oils help to maintain the balance of your skin’s natural oils. As you age, wrinkles look deeper because the skin’s natural oils decrease and the skin dries out. Creams contain some oil, but not enough to make up for the the big difference in water loss. Oils are fat loving, so they can pass through the skin’s lipid layer, preventing water loss and plumping the skin. Neroli oil, Jasmine oil, and Rose Oil make great skincare oils. Rosehip oil, Sweet Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Argan Oil, Apricot oil, and Evening Primrose oil are carrier oils loaded with skincare benefits.
Treat your Hair
Various essential oils can be used to treat all of your hair and scalp dilemmas. Rosemary oil works to help clean out the pores, stimulate the scalp, and promote hair health and growth. A scientific study found that Peppermint oil can stimulate hair growth when applied topically to the scalp. Juniper oil is a popular balancing oil to help with greasy hair and also dry hair conditions.
Many carrier oils are often praised for their ability to moisturize, seal, strengthen and nourish hair. The antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties found in Coconut oil make it the prime candidate for keeping hair healthy. Coconut oil also has very high amounts of medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which are the main components for promoting healthy hair growth and keeping hair healthy from inside out. Sweet Almond oil absorbs easily into your scalp and hair to improve scalp health and keep you hair moisturized. It also contains magnesium and vitamins that help prevent hair loss by strengthening your hair at the root. Jojoba oil is similar to the oils that your scalp produces naturally so it makes a great, non-greasy solution to keep your scalp and strands healthy and moisturized.