In aromatherapy blending, its generally the essential oils that get all the press. But certain carrier oils have very profound therapeutic activity for healing all sorts of skin conditions, as well as for daily beauty care treatment. It seems that some of the carrier oils from faraway places have the most dramatic therapeutic potential. Here’s three great carrier oils from faraway places you can use alone or blend together in your skin recipes that are sure to give you the healing effects you’re looking for.
Our first exotic oil is pressed from the seeds of rosehips, grown in the mountains of South America. While this may be the most common of our “exotic” carrier oils, many people are still a little vague on its origins. Rosehips are actually the fruit of the rose flower, and in this case the fruit of roses that, until recently, grew wild in a tough, mountainous environment. These small, red, round fruits are are full of antioxidants (there is a pure rosehip oil available as a CO2 extract, also excellent for skin care), and the seeds have an exceptionally fatty acid profile.
In the medical aromatherapy literature, you’ll see rosehip seed oil as a primary ingredient in formulas to reduce scar appearance and to enhance wound healing. The same features of supporting cellular regeneration of the dermis make it an excellent oil for anti-aging skin care as well. There is a significant body of published research indicating regular application of rosehip seed oil can reduce scar appearance, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can be used to help with acne scars as well, the only caveat being than one needs to not be prone to breakouts any longer when using the oil. It is commonly used at about 1/5th of the total base oil formula.
Next up is an oil that goes by several names: Callophylum, Tamanu or Foraha. The oil is pressed from the nut of a tree found on islands in the South Pacific. It is most curious in appearance in aroma, seeming like a greenish sludge — but don’t let this fool you, Tamanu is a remarkable healer. It likely has the most complex chemical makeup of any of the carriers here, and perhaps the greatest diversity of healing effects as well.
Investigating the applications of Tamanu oil, one finds that its called for for virtually every known skin care condition. For anti-aging, the oil can speed the generation of a new layer of skin from an average of 21 days down to as few as 7 — this is important for wound healing and scar reduction as well. The oil can prevent premature aging due to sun overexposure, and use in an after-sun formula may be very therapeutic. Its anti-inflammatory properties may make it helpful for may varieties of dermatitis, rashes and the like, and it appears to combat many skin infections as well (athlete’s foot, for example). As you can see, a truly well-rounded, therapeutic oil. While it can be used at 100% strength, you’ll likely want to blend it to a more common 20% due to its potent characteristics.
Relatively new on the market, and making a very big splash is Argan nut oil. From Morocco, production of the oil is being made in partnership with local communities. This newly tapped resource is actually helping preserve the environment, in that land has been set aside specifically for the protection of the trees.
Argan oil’s primary use is for anti-aging skin care, along with being an excellent moisturizer. Its actions are a result of the synergistic activity between the variety of natural antioxidants and essential fatty acids. The oil seems to support cellular turnover, reduce wrinkle appearance, and promote naturally healthy and vibrant skin. Of the three oils here, it may be the choice for those not dealing with a specific “condition”, but looking instead to simply keep their already healthy skin healthy.
As you can see, these exotic carrier oils are all highly regarded for skin care, with significant potential to keep your skin looking smooth and healthy. For a truly therapeutic aromatherapy base formula, you can use all three together in equal parts. A fourth profoundly effective oil that’s no longer so exotic is coconut. While solid at room temperature, when blended with these other oils, it will remain liquid. Coconut, also being one of those skin care oils with a plethora of therapeutic activity, will blend exceptionally well with these three. To this formula, simply add 4 to 11 drops of one or more essential oils per ounce of carrier mixture. The essential oils can be selected precisely for your skin’s needs, creating perhaps the finest skin care preparation available to you.
The Ananda Apothecary carries some profoundly therapeutic essential oils, including Italian bergamot essential oil — considered the most important anti-depressant essential oil used today, and frankincense essential oil, with potent immune-enhancing and even anti-cancer effects.