First, I am so happy that you are following along in my weeklong skincare series!
Second, I am so excited about today’s blog post. I hope that you are, too.
Yesterday I wrote about my favorite base butter for body lotions and butters – Cocoa Butter. It is simply the perfect natural ingredient for your skin to soak up! Today, I am continuing my weeklong series about skincare by writing about the second important part of a great, healthy lotion – a superb carrier oil. Learn about my favorite carrier oils today. Whoooop!
I asked you readers late last night if you had a preference to hear about three of my favorite carrier oils (in brief) or one in depth. I received four responses. Thank You, Readers! I love hearing from you. 🙂 Wouldn’t you know…it was a tie. So, I am going to appease all of you and do two very brief intros and one more in depth (while saving some for later on that one, too).
Remember, you need three parts (yes, that’s it!) to an excellent body lotion: base butter, carrier oil, and essential oils. Although I have many carrier oils that I love and use in my own skincare products, my three favorite carrier oils are jojoba oil, almond oil, and coconut oil.
This oil is actually a wax ester that comes from shrubs in desert-like conditions (i.e. Mexico, Arizona, etc.). The oil should be cold-pressed, organic, and unrefined (no chemicals or heat necessary; no heat should be used so that the oil retains its inherently excellent qualities).
Jojoba oil is not greasy, making it a wonderful choice for skincare products. In fact, jojoba oil very closely mimics our own skin’s sebum, so it is a welcome, all natural antioxidant ingredient for our skin!
Do you have oily skin? Because this oil (wax, really) so closely mimics our own skin’s sebum, we can actually “trick” our skin into thinking it has produced enough sebum, thus a decrease in oils being produced. This is good. Do you have dry skin or normal skin? Jojoba is also a great choice for you, as the moisturizing properties of jojoba are outstanding.
Jojoba oil is a mild smelling oil, just lightly nutty. This makes it a great carrier oil, as it does not overpower a base butter or other essential oils. Rather, they can work together and be complimentary. You can read more about jojoba oil here.
***I use Jojoba Oil from Mountain Rose Herbs, which you will find here.
This was the first carrier oil that I fell in love with. Almond oil is gentle (yet powerful), excellent for all skin types, and smells absolutely amazing. This oil comes from almonds. it should also be cold-pressed, organic, and unrefined.
Almond oil is an extremely emollient substance, meaning that it easily makes skin very pliable, supple, and very hydrated. Have oily skin? No worries, this oil will work wonders for you, too. This oil is readily recognized by your skin as a “helper” and will help your skin maintain proper PH levels. It seems odd to put oil on oily skin, but there is substantial anecdotal evidence from almond oil users showing support for the way it makes their skin breakouts decrease. You can read more about almond oil here.
***Again, I use Almond Oil from Mountain Rose Herbs, which you can purchase here.
For my loyal blog readers, you have already been given a taste of my love for coconut oil. I am currently writing a blog post dedicated solely to coconut oil…it truly is a gift. So, I will go into a bit more detail here, but save some for my later post. Comments here will relate only to use of coconut oil as an external body ingredient (as I sip a cup of my homemade “coffee” with a tablespoon of coconut oil in it). 😉
Coconut oil comes from…well, coconuts. For thousands of years traditional cultures have utilized the coconut in many ways, with amazing results, and coconut oil is no exception. We are finally starting to see some interest in coconut oil today in the US, for good reason.
Contrary to popular media, we need saturated fats in our lives. They are required for our body to function properly. What you need to know is that not all saturated fats are created equally. Unlike most other conventional saturated fat oils you will find at the store, coconut oil is composed mainly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). What does this mean? Instead of being mainly made up of long-chain fatty acids (which are the bad ones), our body can much more easily process MCFA and use them for good in our system.
So, since we are talking about using coconut oil outside of our bodies, why does this matter? Well, our skin is able to lap up coconut oil and use it for good. The very powerful antioxidant qualities of coconut oil are able to easily penetrate our skin and be put to good use (i.e. moisturizing and eating up free radicals roaming around).
Another thing to consider with MCFA is lauric acid, which is the most important MCFA in coconut oil. Do you know where you naturally find lauric acid in its best, purest form? Breast milk! Lauric acid is essential for healthy immune functions in our bodies. As I discussed earlier this week, our skin is that barrier to keep bad things from getting in, but to also keep good things from getting out. It just makes sense to have something like lauric acid penetrating our skin to help with our immune functions, especially for those of us with eczema, psoriasis, and other skin diseases.
Coconut oil is great for yeast issues on the skin (and inside…think Candida), diaper rash, and sore nipples from breast feeding (please don’t use those awful lotions full of chemicals from the store; your baby eats here). I tried multiple products to alleviate my son’s diaper rash. NOTHING worked. Finally, with my personally created diaper rash concoction (with a heavy dose of coconut oil), it is gone…COMPLETELY!
I should also note that coconut oil is a top ingredient in my Pronounce Skincare Products (for sale HERE).
You can buy coconut oil at many health food and other grocery stores today. However, be aware that not all coconut oil is created equally! Coconut oil can be refined and unrefined, pressed and not pressed, extracted through methods of added heat and chemicals and not, organic or conventional. So, how do you know what to use? Let me save you the troubles of doing all of the research yourself (although, I certainly encourage you to do that).
I have used several brands of coconut oil, but I have found my one true love- Tropical Traditions. They have been amazing to work with, as my shipments always arrive quickly, not damaged, and exactly as ordered. They take their coconut business very seriously!
If you plan to use coconut oil solely on your skin (which I am not sure WHY you would do this…you need to eat it, too…more on this in another blog post soon), it isn’t entirely necessary to purchase their top of the line “Gold,” but if you can afford it, I’d definitely recommend that you do so.
Click the picture to purchase their Gold Label coconut oil…
Tomorrow, our last day in this weeklong skincare series, I will share info about some of my favorite essential oils. What are some of YOUR favorite essential oils? I’d love to know! Also, how do you use them? Until tomorrow…
Jess, aka Scratch Mommy
Please note…if you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.