A List of Carrier Oils and Base Products, their Uses and Qualities.

A List of Carrier Oils (also known as vegetable or base oils) their uses & qualities (in alphabetical order):

Carrier oils,  also known as base oils or vegetable oils, are pressed from nuts, seeds and fruits and are a great medium to use to blend essential oils with since they have their own nourishing properties to appreciate. They can be used on their own for massage and in the bath and are essential ingredients in skin care products. Essential oils should always be diluted before use on skin including in the bath, so these really are essential ingredients.

To help you choose which base oils to use, here is a list with some of their most useful properties.

  • Almond nut oil – Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil ~ a great general use oil, not too rich or light, and full of nutrients. Used as an emollients in skin and hair care, popular in taking care of the tips of your hair (mis with a little essential oil for added fragrance). Caution – avoid with nut allergies.
  • Apricot kernel oil – Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil ~ A very gentle light oil that I like to use with children, and people with sensitive skin. Lovely in baby massage.
  • Avocado oil – Persea Gratissima Oil ~ Very rich and nourishing but still absorbs well into skin, great for dry, cracked, flaky & mature skin. Has mild anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties.
  • Beeswax ~ an ingredient you will need to melt and mix with others to make use of, for example add to balms or creams for effecting the consistency. A small amount can bring a velvety feel and protect and nourish skin. Source wax as sheets or pellets for ease of use.
  • Black currant seed oil – Ribes Nigrum Seed Oil ~ Useful for regenerative care of dry, sensitive and mature skin. Calming for inflamed, irritated and stressed skin types. Recommended for oil and acne prone skin as it is light and absorbs swiftly. Smells delicately of blackcurrant. Caution: has a short shelf life, so check the best before and best mixed with more stable oils. Read more on using black currant seed as a face oil here: Face Oil Beauty Rituals
  • Borage / Star flower – Borago Officinalis Seed Oil ~ a lovely light oil that is particularly good for eczema and those with delicate, inflamed, allergy prone skin. Some clinical studies show it to be useful taken internally for helping skin hydration, and relief from itching. Caution: has a short shelf life, so check the best before and best mixed with more stable oils.
  • Calendula / Marigold oil (marigold flowers macerated in olive oil or alternative base) ~ another oil that is useful in scar care and helping skin to heal. Caution: avoid if allergies to the daisy family and can irritate eczema in rare cases.
  • Camellia seed oil (Tea seed oil) – Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil ~ a great skin moisturising and anti-wrinkle oil, also used for hair conditioning.
  • Coconut oil – Cocos Nucifera Oil ~ I love this oil as it is so versatile, it is great for skin, hair, and even in food. It is solid at room temperature, but very easily melts in warm hands, if it’s a hot day, or you live in a tropical country, it is likely to melt and be in a liquid state. It has a very greasy feel to it, which makes it perfect for use as a cleanser as it easily removes dirt, grime, and makeup. It’s particularly good for removing eye makeup as it’s so greasy, so there is no pull on the delicate skin around the eyes. Improves skin hydration. Shown to prevent loss of hair proteins and strengthen hair. If you don’t like the strong smell of coconut, you can choose a deodorised version.
  • Daisy oil (daisy flowers macerated in olive oil or alternative base) ~ daisy oils is very similar in action to arnica oil – the flowers are similar, but native in the UK so more abundantly available to make your own macerated oil. It’s great for bruises, bumps and aches and pains.
  • Evening Primrose oil – Oenothera Biennis Oil ~ recommended for oily skin due to its light, non-oily feel, and also in the care of dry, irritated, inflamed, allergy prone and acne prone skin. Caution: has a short shelf life, so check the best before and best mixed with more stable oils.
  • Macadamia nut oil – Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil ~ Very rich and nourishing but still absorbs well into skin, great for dry skin. Recommended in the care of acne prone skin due to anti-microbial action. If you buy the un-refined version the smell is incredibly delicious. Caution – avoid with nut allergies.
  • Olive oil, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil ~ although probably most commonly known as a food, olive oil is one of the most commonly used vegetable oils in cosmetics for cleansing of the face, body and hands.
  • Pomegranate seed oil – Punica Granatum Seed Oil ~ this is a thick slightly sticky feeling oil that is fabulous for plumping the skin, great for mature and stressed skin. Research shows it has anti-inflammatory anti oxidative, anti tumour and photo protective effects. Also shown to improve regeneration of injured skin. It decreases damaging effects caused by ultraviolet radiation. Recommended for care of dry and allergy prone skin, as well as burnt skin and for after sun exposure. Because of the texture, I recommend blending with other oils. Caution: has a short shelf life, so check the best before and best mixed with more stable oils.
  • Raspberry seed oil – Rubus Idaeus Seed Oil ~ recommended for irritated, inflamed, allergy prone, acne prone and mature skin. Smells delicately of cucumber. Caution: has a short shelf life, so check the best before and best mixed with more stable oils. Read more on using raspberry seed as a face oil here: Face Oil Beauty Rituals
  • Rosehip seed oil – Rosa Canina Fruit Oil ~ this is the best oil I know for using on scars and improving their appearance, a great oil to enrich any blend for skin care. It is valued for its use in care of acne prone skin, mature skin, irritated, inflamed, allergy prone  and hyperpigmentation.
  • Safflower oil – Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil ~ A gentle light oil suitable for sensitive skin with anti-inflammatory regenerative properties. Quickly absorbed, with out leaving an oily appearance. Suitable for oily acne prone skin with black heads. Also recommended for very dry skin, for relieving symptoms of irritated and inflamed skin. Caution: has a short shelf life, so check the best before and best mixed with more stable oils.
  • Sea buckthorn kernel oil – Hippophae Rhamnoides Seed Oil ~ Due to antimicrobial activity this oil is recommended for impure and acne prone skin. Acts as a skin penetrator enhancer. Studies show it to have anti-inflammatory, anti oxidative and regenerative effects which resulted in accelerated wound healing. Suitable for irritated and inflamed skin. Be careful if you end up with an oil from the fruit rather than the kernel, as this can literally turn your skin bright orange! And still be careful with the sea buckthorn kernel oil, as it can still give a colouration. I’ve been experimenting with this oil recently on my face, on its own as a night oil and as an ingredient in my creams, a little really makes the skin glow and feel lovely.  Caution: has a short shelf life, so check the best before and best mixed with more stable oils.
  • Shea butter – Butyrospermum Parkii Butter ~ pressed from the shea nut, this ingredient is rich and protective for the skin and often used on it’s own to soothe and protect hands when they are dry and cracked (gardeners will find this useful!). Also suits irritated and allergy prone skin. It’s great for bringing a creaminess to a product, for example in a cream or balm (you will need to melt it to blend it with other oils). It is sensitive to heat, so be careful it is not heated more than necessary when melting. I am constantly experimenting with this in my products as it is so valuable in its attributes, but the unrefined version has been described as smelling like goat, and it’s tricky to hide fragrance wise, it can also give a grainy texture in some products deepening on heat treatment – but worth experimenting with!

CLICK HERE to see the range of organically sourced oils I supply here with details on their uses and properties.

For more help choosing base oils, see my blog on ‘What quality of base oils to choose‘.

For a full comprehensive scientific resource on ingredients of natural origins, I highly recommend this book which is a constant support of reference for all of my skin care blending needs: Modern Cosmetics – INGREDIENTS OF NATURAL ORIGIN
A SCIENTIFIC VIEW , VOLUME 1

This list will continue to expand, if there are any oils that do not yet appear or that you would like more details on, please contact me or make a ‘comment’ and I will add them. I can also recommend oils for specific symptoms or conditions.

How to Use Essential Oils in Hand and Nail Care

How to take care of your hands and nails with essential oils and carrier oils and make your own nurturing nail oil.

Click to Shop Custom Nail Care Blend.

I had the most divine manicure and pedicure recently with Shami Duffy from ‘Beauty With Shami‘. I’ve only had two in my life, and the other was with my 6 year old niece, both left me smiling every time I looked at my nails, which is quite often with regards to the ones on my fingers, and so a constant reminder of the really gorgeous time spent together.

I had spoken with Shami about 3 months previously about using vegetable oils and essential oils on the nails as they can be very nourishing and support healthy nails.  It was very inspiring as I had never really considered using oils on my nails, although I had always recommended almond oil to people if they wanted to use something, I hadn’t actually used oils for that purpose myself. I always cut my nails down to the absolute minimum since I had had eczema in the past and wanted to avoid scratch damage, it was also recommended to keep them short when I was studying massage. So, when Shami mentioned how much more delicate you naturally became with longer nails, I decided to experiment and grow my nails a little.  I became much more aware when using my fingers in various ways, for example, shutting doors, lifting things, opening cans etc., and I became more delicate in the way I did these things, which really felt gorgeous.  If I was rough with my hands then it would be more obvious and show me I wasn’t being so delicate, I flipped my nails back a few times which really stopped me in my tracks.

Divinities Touch by Kelly Basford

During the treatment she used a gentle exfoliating cream, using palm grains, which are very fine, so there was no rough feeling on the skin.  My hands looked stunningly bright afterwards.  She then used a massage cream with arnica, lavender and chamomile in to massage my hands and feet, completely divine.  Next was a heat treatment which involved painting my hands and feet with a blend of melted beeswax and macadamia oil with a few drops of frankincense essential oil, which quickly solidified and was left on with some heated socks and mitts for intensive moisturising.  At this point I was so relaxed I was almost sleeping. When the masks were removed she painted my nails and I had the most amazing feeling hands and feet.

Nail oil

Just before I left, she applied a blend of macadamia oil with a few drops of rose essential oil, around the nails and on the skin just before the nails begin to grow. Applying it to this area supports healthy nail growth, as this is where the new nail is being formed.

It is very simple to make your own up and I use a ‘roller’ bottle to dispense the oil, which works in the same way as a roll on deodorant.  It comprises of a small glass bottle, a roller ball top (that releases a little oil across the skin when you pass it over), and a cap.

rolette parts

They usually come in 10ml bottles, and the recipe below is for a 2.5% blend strength, but you can adjust the recipe if needed using the charts on my previous blog post ‘How many drops should I use?’:

Ingredients

*If you can’t use nut oils due to allergies then I would suggest using organic apricot oil and or argan oil instead.

Nail Care Blend by Kelly Basford

Instructions

Measure the quantities of base oil (macadamia and almond) and pour directly into the bottle, then drop essential oils directly into the bottle, fix the roller ball cap and lid and give it a shake to disperse the oils evenly.  Myrrh is quite thick and gloopy, so you may see the drop of oil sink to the bottom, so you will need to shake it well to ensure it has mixed through. Roll the oil just under the nails each day, and enjoy. Ensure you put a label on the bottle so you don’t forget what it contains.

Ingredients to make your own nail oil blend are available to order from my webshop or Click here if you would like to order a ready made nurturing nail oil blend.

Beauty With Shami – Shami Duffy works in Frome, Somerset, and you can contact her using the following email address if you would like to book a session for your hands and feet: beautywithshami@gmail.com

It is a truly nurturing experience, and well worth making the trip, so if you’re not local then I can recommend staying  at The Lighthouse bed & breakfast in Tytherington, near Frome, Somerset: Tel: 01373 453585 Web: www.lighthouse-uk.com