Carrier oils are an important part of aromatherapy.
In aromatherapy, the main purpose of "carrier oils" is to dilute essential oils.
The dilution of essential oils is vitally important when they are being massaged into the skin. If you know anything about essential oils, you are aware that they are highly concentrated substances, and some can be pricy. It is a simple fact that you would have to use a considerable amount if you were to use an essential oil directly for massage without diluting it, for example. Also, many essential oils are simply too strong for the body to tolerate in an undiluted form.
The use of carrier oils during a massage session will also make the essential oils easier to handle. They will act as lubricants, helping the hands to move freely over the skin. This produces a more soothing and comfortable experience. Without carrier oils, the hands would tend to stick to the skin and drag along rather than glide as in a good massage.
Carrier oils serve another very important purpose.
They usually improve an essential oil's ability to be absorbed deep into the skin and the underlying blood stream. Essential oils also seem to absorb faster when diluted with carrier oils.
The most effective carrie oils come from vegetables and nuts.
In fact, carrier oils from these sources can even be used without mixing them with essential oils. But, before you get carried away (no pun) and open your kitchen cupboard and grab the bottle of vegetable oil you use for cooking, there are a few things you should know.
So, despite what I said earlier about vegetable oils being good carrier oils, stick that bottle of Crisco back in your cupboard and just use it for cooking.
Simple! Oils used for cooking go through a different manufacturing process than specific vegetable-based carrier oils commonly used in aromatherapy. These manufacturing processes are often harsh and they can actually strip out many of the vegetable oil's useful vitamins, nutrients and fatty acids in the process.
When selecting carrier oils for aromatherapy, look for vegetable-based oils that have been cold-pressed. This type of process is natural and does not involve chemicals or heat. Cold pressing ensures that the beneficial fatty acids and other important nutrients are retained within the oil.
Last of all, be sure to buy carrier oils that have little or no odor. If you think about it, this is of great importance if you will be using the carrier oil to dilute an essential oil. You should also seek out carrier oils that are light and that don't have any kind of "sticky" feel. These characteristics ensure that the oils will penetrate easily and more efficiently.
Some different types of carrier oils suitable for aromatherapy.
Sunflower oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, macadamia oil and wheat germ oil are all usually going to be good choices. Since each will have different qualities, such as aroma, texture and color, finally selecting the "right" carrier oil for your needs is more a matter of personal preference. Different carrier oils will also interact differently depending on the essential oil with which it's mixed.
Other qualities of carrier oils which you should also consider include their shelf-life and cost.
Having said all, that, the bottom line is simply that if you do your research before you purchase carrier oils and you'll be guaranteed better results.
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