Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Carrier Oils for specific skin types (Aromatherapy/Natural Skin Care)

*This entry was editted July 13th.

I've suggested carrier oils for specific skin types before, but here's an expanded list. If one oil doesn't work for your skin, try a different oil. I've used all of these oils on my body with no problem, but my face is a different story! It took me a long time to find the right oils to use, but once I found them, my skin simply glows. Be sure to try to get cold pressed, unrefined, organic whenever possible; which has more vitamins and nutrients that highly refined oils.

Note: Though you can generously apply natural oils, creams, and butters on your body, apply only a small amount to your face. Natural serums (carrier oils plus essential oils) and creams are much more concentrated than the conventional stuff, and applying too much may clog pores and lead to blemishes. For the facial skin, apply no more than 2-5 drops of serum or 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of natural cream. Be sure to apply to very damp skin. I like spraying my skin with hydrosol or aloe and then massaging the serum or cream in, though you could use toner or herbal infusion as well!

-Jojoba: actually a liquid wax, this oil is similar to sebum (the skin's natural oil). It has a long shelf life and will not go rancid. People love using this as a base for perfumes for this reason. You can use it full strength or add up to 10% to extend the life of other oils.
-Camellia: from the green tea plant. This is a very light weight oil that is good for all skin types from dry to blemished skin. This is my favorite oil for skin care. Great for anti-aging (actually most of the oils on this list are good for that). A bit pricey but worth it!
-Kukui nut oil: this oil is one of my favorites. It is good for both dry skin and blemishes. It absorbs quickly, and is very light weight (it is probably the lightest weight oil described here). It is also one of the most expensive. I like unrefined but some people may not like the smell. I actually love it, it reminds me of water melon seeds.

This skin type looks like dry skin, in other words finely textured and flaky, BUT the dry, flaky areas are also oily at the same time; the skin produces oil but evaporation of water/moisture occurs too quickly. Pores may be clogged. May have blemishes. The following list is what I use on my skin. This skin type is generally not discussed in most books.
-Kukui nut oil
-Kukui nut butter-I love this butter. Like the oil, it absorbs quickly. Totally non-greasy.
-Shea butter: this butter is good for blemishes too. It forms a breathable barrier on the skin that holds in moisture. It is also easily absorbed. Make sure you spray your skin with lots of hydrosol or water or aloe, and only apply a tiny amount (to avoid clogged pores).
-Some people with this skin type may find help with jojoba


Certain parts of the face are oily and other parts dry. Generally the t-zone is oily and the cheeks dry. This is different from dehydrated skin where the dry parts are also oily. Suggestions of carrier oils for this skin type are usually not given in books (some recommend using different oils for specific parts of the face) but I think the following would be suitable:
-Shea butter
-Kukui nut oil
-Hazelnut: this oil is light but astringent. Usually suitable for oily skin, some dry skins may like this as well.
-You may also want to try some of the other oils in the other lists below; many people like olive.

-Kukui nut and butter
-Argan: this medium weight nut oil is good for dry skin.
-Olive: this is a medium weight oil; heavier than grapeseed, almond, or kukui, but not as heavy as avocado. Many people with dry skin love this oil, and some people with normal skin love it too
-Avocado: this oil is very thick and rich; you may want to combine this with a lighter oil (up to 10% in a blend)
-Rosehip seed: this oil is a bit expensive, and is usually combined with other oils because of its expense. But you can use it full strength, if you like. Note: Do NOT use this oil on active acne or really oily skin, as it can aggrevate acne. However, it is great at getting rid of old scars (including acne scars).
-Coconut oil: many people love this oil for dry skin. However use only small amounts since too much may be a bit drying. Be sure to get extra-virgin, unrefined (which is solid when it is cool) since refined is very drying, contains less vitamins, and is a lot waxier. Not to mention refined doesn't smell like coconuts like extra-virgin, unrefined!
-Macadamia nut: this light, nourishing oil is great for mature, drying skin. It resembles sebum.
-Shea butter
-Seabuckthorn berry oil: this healing oil is high in vitamins and must be diluted in another carrier (it can stain some light skins orange)
-Hazelnut (only suitable for some people with dry skin since it's astringent)
-You can also try almond and apricot if your skin is only mildly dry.

-Almond: a good light all purpose oil. Often used for massage.
-Apricot: a nice light oil
-Kukui nut
-Many people also love olive and coconut oil

-Grapeseed: this light oil is well absorbed into the skin. Many people also like to use this oil for massage since it is so light. Most of the time this oil is solvent extracted, though a cold pressed version is available
-Kukui nut oil

For more information on the benefits of these oils, check out Mountain Rose Herbs, Aromaweb, and Nature's Gift. All three sites have oil profiles (MRH is my favorite).

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