In my very first experience with essential oils, I immediately got a rash after applying the oil topically to my skin. I was young, and I had seen others dabbing it gently on their wrists, so I did the same only to find an angry, harsh redness a few minutes later. What I know now that I didn’t know then is the importance of using a carrier oil to properly dilute the essential oils and make them safe to use.
In thinking about essential oils, we tend to focus primarily on the properties of the essential oil itself. But the carrier oil is also an important part of any topical use of essential oils. The carrier oil is a mild oil that helps to carry the essential oil into the skin. Without one, the essential oil often evaporates, and does not sink in, leaving the skin without its healing properties. The carrier oil also helps spread the essential oil over the skin, and potentially prevents any allergic reactions coming from the strength of the pure essential oil.
At Essentique, there are a wide variety of carrier oils, all bringing different nutrients and their own healing properties to the essential oils they are mixed with. Most importantly, though, Essentique carries unrefined carrier oils, meaning they were not treated with chemicals or high heat when extracted from the plant. Refined oils, on the other hand, have been extracted with a chemical or heated process. This strips the oil of all its natural nutrients, leaving it effective as a carrier oil but without any of the properties specific to the oil. This wastes the potential benefits of the oil, which are preserved in their unrefined counterparts.
Some unrefined oils, like jojoba, have acne-fighting properties, while others like pomegranate seed oil improve skin elasticity and fight aging. By using the unrefined versions of these oils, these benefits are imbued into the skin along with the essential oil they carry. If they were to be refined those properties would be lost in the process of extracting the oil. The unrefined oils maintain their healthy benefits as well as keeping the oil authentic to its natural source. By contrast, the refined oils are processed at the cost of the authenticity of the oil.
Carrier oils are vital to topical use of essential oils. Without them, the oil does not work as effectively, and can cause rashes, as I discovered as a child. Beyond that, using unrefined oils adds the healthy and therapeutic benefits of the carrier oil itself to the essential oil. In order to best use essential oils, an unrefined carrier oil is the way to go. Keep the benefits of the oil, keep the quality, and keep it natural.