From alleviating anxiety to easing pain, essential oils are quickly becoming a staple home remedy for many ailments and conditions.
If you’re new to essential oils, there are two things you should know. First, essential oils are affordable, versatile and easy to use. Secondly, how to use them properly.
To tap into the full potential of essential oils and apply them safely, you need to pair these oils with the perfect carrier oil. Carrier oils work together with essential oils to highlight their best therapeutic properties. Of all the carrier oils, coconut oil is one of the best options out there (olive oil is another commonly used carrier oil).
Coconut oil is pretty close to being the perfect ingredient to blend with essential oils, the all-natural combination goes together like peanut butter and jelly. They tend to bring out the best in one another.
Here’s your four-step guide on how to dilute essential oils with coconut oil, which oils are best for you, plus our favorite tips on how to use the nourishing blend.
What Is a Carrier Oil?
A carrier oil is an oil that is used to dilute essential oils prior to application. They’re normally made from vegetables, nuts or seeds and are great to add to your self-care routine because they help nourish and moisturize your skin and hair.
It’s important to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil because essential oils are extremely potent and can irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction. When you don’t properly dilute these potent oils, you’re also at risk of developing systemic toxicity such as hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity.
Because carrier oils are usually unscented or lightly scented, they don’t interfere with the therapeutic properties of essential oils. Carrier oils also have healing and moisturizing benefits.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
1. It Can Kill Pathogens
The fatty acids within coconut oil have the ability to kill numerous types of viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Studies show that lauric acid, which makes up about 50% of the fatty acids within this particular carrier oil, is the most effective of the fatty acids to kill bacteria.
2. It Can Reduce Inflammation
Studies have shown that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing inflammation caused by conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, and other skin conditions.
3. It’s An Effective Moisturizer
It can also be used to treat dry skin and hair because it significantly improves your moisture content. The ingredient also makes it a great natural remedy for eczema that causes dry, flaking skin.
4. It Can Help With Wound Healing
When you apply coconut oil to a wound, it accelerates the healing process by improving antioxidant status and increasing your collagen levels.
Essential Oils for Self-Care
Not sure which essential oils you should blend with this carrier oil? Here are a few ideas for which ones to use and how they can best help you:
Best Essential Oils for Body Skincare
- Juniper Berry Oil: If you suffer from itchy, inflamed skin, you should try juniper berry essential oil. This oil also soothes and heals irritations from eczema, rashes and other skin issues. Along with treating your skin concerns, juniper can treat acne and reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
- Lemon Oil: Lemon oil is perfect for anyone who wants to thoroughly cleanse their skin. It has antiseptic properties that help treat and clear skin. Plus, it helps that lemon is astringent, detoxifying and removes oil buildup in your skin.
- Lavender Oil: Lavender oil is also a popular option for skincare, providing the ability to prevent acne breakouts and treat eczema and dry skin. Because lavender oil is loaded with antioxidants, it can also be used to reduce wrinkles. There’s also evidence that it benefits hair health and digestion.
Best Essential Oils for Facial Skincare
- Cypress Oil: If you’re looking for an inexpensive under eye treatment, you can use diluted cypress oil. Cypress oil has a strong astringent property that is ideal for those seeking anti-aging properties, as it reduces bags and dark circles under your eyes.
- Peppermint Oil: Have acne-prone skin? Peppermint oil is an excellent way to treat it because of its antimicrobial, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Peppermint oil can reduce acne-causing bacteria that live on your skin. Combined with coconut oil, they’ll help soothe any inflammation and irritation you have from pimples.
Best Essential Oils for Hair
- Tea Tree Oil: Due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, tea tree oil is great to use to treat dandruff. It soothes your itchy scalp while removing whatever is causing your scalp to feel dry and flaking. Like coconut oil, tea tree is a great moisturizer, so the two work together to rehydrate your scalp and hair.
- Rosemary Oil: Need help growing out your hair? Add rosemary oil to your shampoo, deep conditioner or hair treatment. Rosemary stimulates hair growth and reduces hair loss by improving blood circulation to your hair follicles. It also prevents your hair from turning grey and can be used alongside tea tree oil to treat dandruff.
What You’ll Need to Dilute Your Essential Oil
- Essential oils of your choosing
- Organic extra virgin coconut oil
- Two glass bowls (one small and one large)
- Mixing spoon
How to Dilute Essential Oils with Coconut Oil in 4 Simple Steps
Step 1: Place two teaspoons of your carrier oil in a small glass bowl.
Step 2: If your coconut oil is solid, you’ll need to melt it. To do that, you can fill a medium glass bowl with a cup of warm water. It starts to melt at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so the water doesn’t need to be boiling for the oil to liquefy.
Slightly submerge the bowl with the carrier oil into the bowl of warm water. You only want the bottom of the bowl to be in the water. As you’re holding the bowl in the water, gently stir the
coconut oil until it melts.
Step 3: Add the essential oil to the melted coconut oil to dilute it. Because the recommended dilution rate is 1%, 2% or 3%, this ratio will affect how many drops you’ll blend into the carrier oil.
If you want to use 1% dilution, which is universally recommended for facial, daily and long-term use, you’ll need to add three drops of essential oil. For 2% dilution, you can use six drops. Most people use 2% dilution when they’re using the oil in the bath or on their entire body. When using 3% dilution, nine drops are good, particularly for localized areas of discomfort.
For topical application on children, you should be extra cautious with the dilution rate and consult with a family doctor or medical professional before applying these oils. With kids age 3 to 24 months, use 0.25% dilution. For two to six-year-olds, the suggested dilution rate is 1%. Finally, for six to 15-year-olds, you can apply 1.5% dilution.
Step 4: Once you’ve added the necessary drops of essential oil, stir them with the coconut oil until they’re fully mixed together. Now, the dilution is ready to use.
Additional Tips on How to Dilute Your Essential Oils
- There are two main types of coconut oil: refined and unrefined. The refined oil comes from dried coconut meat and is normally bleached, deodorized and lacks the coconut smell and flavor. You shouldn’t use this type as a carrier oil. However, unrefined coconut oil is great to use as a carrier oil because it’s not processed with chemicals and is made from fresh coconut meat.
- When using essential oils for the first time, place one drop of the diluted oil on a small area of skin to make sure you won’t have an allergic reaction. It’s best to wait 24 hours for results.
- If you plan on using essential oils on a child, remember that there are different dilution rates for children depending on their age.
Store your essential oils properly because they can deteriorate and oxidize very easily.
Be aware of their expiration date. You don’t want to use expired ingredients on your face and skin.
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