Friday, 21 November 2014

Natural Ingredients: My Collection of Carrier Oils

Today I wanted to share with you my collection of carrier oils and their benefits for the skin and hair. There are some oils I use more often and I have them all the time, like coconut oil or olive oil; some oils I am trying out or use in smaller quantities for a specific purpose.

My collection of carrier oils

Carrier oils are extracted from fatty parts of a plant like the kernels of nuts or seeds. The choice of carrier oils depends on the therapeutic benefit that is required. There is a range of excellent products available using carrier oils like creams, body lotions, bath oils, moisturising creams, natural lotions, lip balms etc. The final colours, aroma, therapeutic properties and shelf life of carrier oils will depend on the essential and carrier oil blend. 

The source of essential oils is the leaves, roots and barks of a plant. Read here about my collection of essential oils and their benefits. These oils evaporate quickly and have a strong aroma. Carrier oils are extracted from the fatty portions of plants, do not have a strong aroma and do not dissipate. Some carrier oils have a faint nutty smell. In time, they can become rancid (one indication is a bitter, strong aroma).

Fragile carrier oils that need to be stored for a long period must be kept in dark glass bottles, with tight lids and in a cool dark place. Storing in a refrigerator can prolong the life span unless they are fragile oils – e.g. borage and avocado oils. Bring the oil to room temperature before use since it will be cloudy or even solidify. Some oils have Vitamin E added as a preservative. 

Argan oil. 

This rare and exquisite oil is meticulously pressed from the fruit kernels of the Moroccan Argan tree. Argan oil is rich in natural tocopherols (vitamin E) and phenols, carotenes and fatty acids, amking it a truly luxurious oil. Argan oil absorbs quickly and is often used in skin, nail and hair treatments to deliver deep hydration, strengthen brittle hair and nails, and prevent or reduce stretch marks.

Avocado oil. 

This ultra rich organic oil is a delightful treasure containing high amount of vitamin A, B1, B2, D and E. Also containing amino acids, sterols, pantothenic acid, lecithin and other essential fatty acids. Highly prised to those with skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and other skin ailments, is also makes a lovely salad oil for dressings. Avocado oil is highly recommended to those with sensitive skin, problem skin and other irritations that require vitamin rich oil.

Castor oil. 

I have two kinds of a castor oil, one is a general type and another I bought out of curiosity - Jamaican Castor oil. They claim it is richer in vitamins and more beneficiary in use. I can't really tell if that is true, but it has a thicker consistency. Castor oil is a natural source oil from castor beans. A hard and shiny oil found in most cosmetics that acts as a barrier agent and protectice medium against harsh conditions and extremes. Very soothing to the skin when included into cosmetic application. Castor oil is famous for stimulating hair growth or as a conditioner to the eyebrows or eye lashes.

Coconut oil. 

This is a great oil for general moisturising and serves as a protective layer, helping to retain the moisture in your skin. It also acts as a mild oil suitable for those with inflamed and irritated skin, and those with skin sensitivities. Coconut oil has long been used all over the world for its many therapeutic and other benefits to the skin and hair. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties, a wonderful balance of saturated fats in its natural form and helps stimulate hair growth. Many aromatherapy recipes use coconut oil for various therapeutic benefits it offers and it is one of my number one oil to use in my DIY skincare and haircare.

Olive oil. 

Olive oil is used not only for cooking, but as a hair conditioner and a moisturiser. It is used extensively as anointing oil and to make soaps, body lotions etc, as it is very compatible with all skin types. Olive oil contains four major antioxidants which allow it to work as a cleanser, moisturiser and protector for skin. Among these antioxidants are vitamin A and E. Vitamin E partly accounts for the anti-ageing benefits of this substance because it helps restore skin elasticity.

There are many more carrier oils and when I will buy any to try, I will update this post.

What is your number one oil to use in you skincare and/or haircare?

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