Monday, May 6, 2013

What carrier oils are good for healthy skin?

I am always asked which carrier oils are the best to use for your skin.  A carrier oil is a vegetable oil produced from the fatty portion of seeds, kernels and nuts.  Each carrier oil offers a combination of therapeutic values.  Depending on your needs and how your skin reacts to the oil, will determine the value it can provide you.  There are many oils to pick from and a wide range in price. When deciding which one you want to use, make sure you are working with oils that are not overly refined because they will lose the healing properties.  

Here are a few I tend to like:
Hemp seed oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-aging, helps heal skin lesions, has antioxidants, prevents tissue damage, offers some protection against UV sun exposure and contains moisture balancing properties.  Hemp seed oil is 80% essential fatty acid, the highest amount of any other oil.  It contains the ideal ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6, which make your skin happy and leave it feeling soft.  Because hemp seed oil closely matches our own lipids, it is able to penetrate and lubricate the surface between each cell, allowing the essential fatty acids to enter our body.  For this reason hemp oil will not clog your pores like other oils, which makes it great for moisturizing your skin without a greasy build up.  All 20 amino acids are found in hemp.  This includes the nine our bodies cannot produce.  

Jojoba oil became important in the 1970s when whaling was banned and sperm oil became illegal to use.  The chemical composition of jojoba closely resembles that of the skin’s natural oil, so it is easily absorbed and rarely causes allergic reactions, even in the most sensitive individuals. Because it contains antibacterial qualities, it is a good choice for acne prone skin.  Jojoba oil has a very long shelf life, which makes it ideal for skin creams. 

Sweet almond oil is one of the most useful of oils. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E, and is very rich in essential fatty acids. It is great for all skin types and softens and conditions, helping reduce wrinkles.  Sweet almond oil is high in vitamin E, which the skin loves.  Vitamin E is known to help skin damage from ultra violet lights, prevent cell damage, and help fight some skin disorders.  It is a favorite among massage therapist because it helps maintain the moisture in the skin, but also helps relieve muscle pain.  Almond oil is a great treatment for dry skin; it relieves itchiness, soreness, rashes, dryness, irritation and burns. 

Sunflower oil is deeply nourishing with high amounts of vitamin A, D and E. It is easily absorbed and helps skin regeneration, which makes it good for damaged skin.  It is also good for treating dry and mature skin.  Sunflower oil contains a very high amount of vitamin E, which helps prevent skin cell damage caused by ultraviolet light, or UVA, from the sun. Additionally, studies have shown that vitamin E may prevent scarring, smooth the appearance of existing wrinkles and generally improve the appearance and health of your skin.

Olive oil is highly compatible with our skin and is an excellent moisturizer.  The use of olive oil dates back 5,000 years and it is a favorite among soap and skin care product makers.  It aids in skin cell regeneration and cell membrane repair.  Olive oil is an effect treatment for skin and its elasticity.  It can be used to soften hands and feet, and is also great for scrapes and scars, particularly acne scarring.  Add a quarter cup to your bath or a small amount to your foot bath to relieve dry, itchy skin.   

There are so many more oils to pick from.  Depending on your price range and your intended use, you can pick from grapeseed, coconut, palm, avocado, apricot and pomegranate seed oils, and many, many more.  

Have fun experimenting to see which ones work best on your skin!

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