Using essential oils to treat skin/hair and for grooming is one of the best things we can do for our bodies. They can be used to reduce or clear acne, reduce or make wrinkles disappear, heal the body, and restore hair, even after harsh chemical treatments such as perm or bleach.
Essential oils are good for the skin because they kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, thereby purifying the skin of all the negative elements that can be most harmful for it. They also reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling which can result from all kinds of physical problems.
The essential oils are somewhat divided into niches, with each niche treating something specific or doing very specific things to the body/skin/hair. But there are some oils that are more versatile and suitable for a few things simultaneously.
When you start studying the subject and working with essential oils for the first time, it’s not advisable to go and buy the whole list of existing essential oils, but start with a base set that has the oils that have the most diverse features.
A good “introductory” kit will include some of the following oils:
It’s not recommended to buy the whole list because one vial of essential oil is enough for months, even if you’re using it only occasionally, and the oil is good for six months to two years after opening. So it’s not advisable to buy a large selection that will eventually be thrown out. After all, it’s not a cheap product.
A good option is to buy a kit that contains small vials of several oils. And then, after you know the oils, pick the ones you like best. If you like the smell, you’re more likely to use that oil, and it’s also a signal from your body that this oil is good for you. There is an agreement among alternative healers who work with essential oils that if the smell of a particular oil is unpleasant to the person who receives it to treat a particular problem, the oil will not be effective or its effectiveness will be reduced. A lot of people who work with essential oils let a person smell the oil before they give it to him as a treatment recommendation to see the reaction. If the reaction is negative, they give another oil with a similar action and that the response to it has been positive.
So before you go to buy oils, read what each of them contributes to your skin, see what result you want to achieve, make a list, and buy only oils that smell good to you. Although you can’t usually smell the oil before you buy it, because these oils are very volatile and expensive there’s no open sample for smelling, but most of us know if we like the smell of chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, geranium, etc., and even if you don’t know, you can always find the plant (e.g. in the nursery) and smell it.
Because the essential oils are very concentrated and evaporate very easily, they must be mixed with a carrier oil for use in cosmetics and in the bath. The carrier oils also have different effects on skin/hair, so they are also divided into categories depending on the type of skin or the result you want to achieve. Some oils are suitable for treating specific problems such as eczema, severe dryness or acne. Others that are suitable for special types of use such as massage or bath, and others that are suitable for specific skin types.
The very connection between a particular carrier oil, which is suitable for a particular problem or situation, with essential oil that handles something is already a formula that actually works twice. When you add more ingredients to it, you get a concentrated substance that addresses a problem like a laser and is much more efficient than any bought product.
I recommend experimenting with some carrier oils from the same category to find out what carrier oil is best suited to your personal skin and the problem that’s being treated.
The carrier oils are divided into oils that can be bought in supermarkets or in nature stores as edible oils, and others that are only used for cosmetic/massage use rather than edible. Most oils can be obtained in nature stores, and a small percentage of them should be ordered through the internet. Essential oils I usually order from Amazon because it’s much cheaper. And also because it is mandatory to order essential oils only from serious/respected suppliers because there are a lot of forgeries in this field. (If you compare prices look at the quantities – a lot of times an oil looks cheaper in a store, and then you find out that while in an online store with shipment it costs a bit more, but the amount is 3 or even 4 times more. I found carrier oils for reasonable prices in retail stores, but mostly on sale. When sold for the regular price, so far they were always more expensive, even with the shipment.) I recommend you first see which oils are right for your skin, and then check all the options in terms of price.
I didn’t put links to oils usually sold for affordable prices in retail stores. The rest of the oils I always order from the internet. The quality is much better and they are cheaper even with shipment. And if you order a few together rather than one by one, it’s even cheaper.
List of carrier oils what they are suitable for
Here’s a limited list of carrier oils and their categories, and I’ll focus on this topic more deeply in a later post . Right now, for starters, that’s enough.
For dry, damaged, and mature skin: avocado oil (not edible oil, special oil produced as a carrier oil), sweet almond oil, Calendula oil, Borage oil, Jojoba oil, olive oil , Kukui Nut oil, Rosehip oil, Sea Buckthorn oil.
Before you actually start using essential oils, there are some basic safety measures to follow:
- Buy essential oils only from respectable and well-known suppliers/sellers.
Buy from known retail stores or known homeopathic pharmacies. I like Amazon because it’s a well-known and respected site. There are also smaller companies that you can order essential oils, and in many cases, these are serious and respected companies. So do not be afraid, simply research the subject.
The reason for this warning is that in the field of essential oils there are a lot of counterfeits because these are expensive products. Many stores have essential oils that are 50% oil and 50% or more synthetic substance with a similar smell to increase volume. Because those are substances that absorbed through the skin and the lungs very easily and really affect the whole body, it is not advisable to take chances. Pay a few $ more and know that you getting the real thing.
- You must do a sensitivity test.
Before using any oil for the first time, you must check for sensitivity (it’s not advisable to discover it through a puffy red face). Put one drop of essential oil in 15 drops of carrier oil – for testing purposes you can use one of the available oils you have at home, whether for cooking or massage, but not mineral or baby oil – and spread on the upper part of the arm before bed. If you wake up in the morning and everything is fine – there is no redness, itching, or any other allergic reaction, the oil is safe to use.
- Essential oil must be diluted to a proper degree.
The dilution is counted in percentages against the carrier oil. One drop of essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil is a 1% dilution, 2 drops in a teaspoon of carrier oil is a 2% dilution, and so on.
Or alternatively, one drop of essential oil in 5 ml. of carrier oil is a 1% dilution, 2 drops in 5 ml. that’s 2% and so on.
Because the quantity of 5 ml. is not very comfortable to work with or measure, usually start the measurement from 10 ml. (which you measure with a syringe) and then 2 drops is 1% dilution, 4 drops 2%, and so on.
The most common and most recommended dilution by alternative healers or in natural cosmeticians is 5-7%. 2% considered the safest dilution, and there are situations the recommended dilution goes up as high as 10% or sometimes even higher.
I personally usually go for a dilution of 5% for an oil I use only occasionally, and a dilution of 3% for an oil I use a lot. Only in the very specific treatment of a specific problem in a small skin area – such as a pimple – do I rise to a 10% dilution.
The only oil that is the exception to the rule is lavender essential oil that can be used undiluted on burns, cuts, insect bites, scratches, or chafed skin. If used undiluted, you spread it only on the damaged area with a cotton swab.
[Don’t worry if it sounds a little tricky right now. In all the recipes on this site for cosmetics or treatment, the dilution listed is already the correct one. The formula is given here in case you want to experiment and create your own mixtures. And after 1 or 2 dilutions following the instructions here, you will discover that it’s actually quite simple.]
- To ensure the quality of the oil, you need to buy oils indicated as Medical Grade.
This level also ensures that the oil is the highest quality and as pure as it can be. This means it is suitable for both cosmetics and medical problems, which eliminates the need to buy two vials of the same oil. Also, the oils that have Medical Grade indication are less likely to be diluted with other substances or counterfeit. Still, it is mandatory to buy the oil from a recognized company or vendor. But if you’re tempted to buy from someone unknown, the Medical Grade may not completely eliminate the risk that it’s a fake or diluted oil, but will certainly reduce the chances.
- Pregnant women and people with epilepsy or high blood pressure should work with essential oils very carefully.
It is recommended that you consult a natural doctor (N.D.)/healer first and not exceed the dilution of 1% (explanation of the percentages in the previous section), unless explicit approval is given to increase the dosage.
- Must, must, must be kept out of reach of children.
More articles on the same topic