Carrier oils and butters become something of interest when you want to start making your own beauty products, herb infused oils, and when you want to use essential oils for beauty and for wellness. A carrier oil “carries” the beauty product or essential oil to broad area of the body. Imagine if you will, putting a drop or two of lavender oil on your fingers. How far will those drops of lavender go? How much skin can be covered? The answer is not much. This is why a carrier oil or butter comes in handy. Not only does it dilute more potent ingredients, it also allows you reach more skin with your homemade creations.
Here are some of the common carrier oils and butters and their benefits. Whenever possible go for a cold-pressed oil. Cheaper refined oils have gone through extra processes to remove odor, remove color, and lengthen shelf life. These processes also remove some of the therapeutic components.
Sweet Almond Oil - Derived from the kernals of sweet almonds. It is fine, emollient, and great for dry, normal, and combination skin types. It is good for recipes designed to soothe itching, cracking, and inflammation.
Apricot Kernal Oil – Very similar to almond oil and suitable for all skins types.
Avocado Oil – My personal favorite. It is a dark green oil rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E. It is very rich and nourishing and great for sensitive and dry skin. All of the vitamins make it amazing for reducing scars and age spots. The vitamin E content helps preserve other oils in any blends you make.
Cocoa Butter – A solid fat rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. Use it for body butters and lotion bars. It has the aroma of chocolate so be aware when you are adding other oils.
Coconut Oil - A wonderful lubricant that is not greasy, extracted from the fat in the meat of coconuts. Use it to make oil blends, soaps, and personal care products. Use fractionated coconut oil if you want a liquid consistency.
Evening Primrose Oil – Made from the seeds of the evening primrose. It is great or mature skin and a variety of skin conditions. Also great for the hair and scalp.
Grapeseed Oil – Produced from grape seeds. It is light, clear, ungreasy, and unscented making it a great all around carrier oil.
Jojoba Wax – This is a liquid wax made from beans of the Jojoba plant. It is very similar to our own skin’s sebum (natural moisturizer) so it is good for all skin types. Great for lotions and massage oils and the shelf life is 25 years!
Macadamia Nut Oil – Solvent free processing means that all the natural therapeutic qualities are retained. Leaves the skin supple and not greasy. Penetrates deep for quick delivery of essential oils.
Olive Oil – This oil is skin softening and emollient. Extra virgin is also cold pressed and has a high vitamin and minerals content. Due to the stronger aroma though it is not as favorable for essential oils usage.
Rosehip Seed Oil – Very high in vitamin C and rejuvenating to the skin. Great for blends that treat wounds, burns, and damaged tissue.
Shea Butter – A natural fat from the fruit of the Shea tree. It is anti-inflammatory and helpful in skin regeneration and healing.
Sunflower oil – This oil needs to be organic and cold pressed. High in vitamin E and very cost effective.
Now that you know some of the basics about various carrier oils get busy making some of your own healthier and safer beauty and wellness products!
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We end up with a fair amount of glass bottles and jars that we must then find a way to reuse and repurpose. Coconut oil jars, jam jars, Trader Joe’s sliced peaches jars, artichoke hearts jars, and lately my mom’s Kombucha jars. I introduced her to the chia seed Kombucha from GT and she is becoming a fan I think. Most jars end up being beverage and smoothie glasses but other things become storage for dried goods…like wood ears from the Asian market or dried fruit. Old maple syrup bottles are great for bottling homemade syrup and Kombucha bottles are perfect for home brewed Kombucha.
What do you do with YOUR jars and bottles??
See also: 10 Ways to Reuse a Glass Jar #NaturalEveryDay
I recently asked the followers on my Natural Family Living Facebook page for some insight into what essential oils they use and what they use them for? I wanted to see what some common uses were and if any creative and new-to-me ideas popped up. I was so impressed with the range of answers that I have decided to share the info here. There are so many every day, practical uses for essentials oils it blows my mind! The power of plants indeed!
My question was “What’s the last essential oil you used? What did you use it for?”
Some of the answers…
Peppermint for headache
Lavender for homemade baby wipes
Rosemary for homemade dish soap
Lavender for a stuffed nose / head cold
Melaleuca in the nostrils to prevent a cold
Sweet orange mixed in baking soda to freshen carpets
Lavender to help mom and child sleep
Tea tree for cleaning
Lavender for a cooking burn
Lavender for seasonal allergies
Clove oil for a toothache
Roman chamomile for relaxation
Tea tree oil for acne
Eucalyptus for cleaning
Peppermint for homemade toothpaste
Lemon to fill a diffuser
Oregano oil to combat a cold
Geranium in the steam room at the gym
Peppermint for lotion and scenting sheets
Eucalyptus for clearing sinuses
Lavender for teething
Eucalyptus in the bath for aches and pains
Rosemary and tea tree for an all purpose spray cleaner
Rosemary and black pepper for muscle aches
Clove oil with vinegar mopping the floor
Thieves for a cold sore and to freshen breathe
Rose hip seed in moisturizer for an anti- aging omega boost
Peppermint in my homemade all purpose cleaner
Patchouli for the wash
Thieves oil on the feet before bed to combat a fever
Lavender to relax in the tub
Lemon for cleaning
Thieves and eucalyptus for a chest cold
Lavender for homemade body butter
Eucalyptus and coconut oil on feet at night to helping with coughing
Teat tree in the cloth diaper bin
Wild orange in the diffuser for calming
Orange to keep the cat off the bed
Peppermint and tea tree to soak cloth diapers in after a rinse, but before the wash
Peppermint for nausea
Lavender in the dryer, instead of using dryer sheets
Thieves for disinfecting after illness
Tea tree for athletes foot
Orange oil to make hand soap
Peppermint and eucalyptus in a rock fountain to freshen air
Orange for homemade cleaning supplies
Tamanu for skin rash/eczema
Tea tree oil to prevent bed bugs
What oils have you used lately???
Learn more about essential oils!
I created this recipe shortly before I started the Whole30, which I did all last month. Blogging about delicious grain free bread that I cannot have on the program (due to the coconut sugar) was not on the menu so alas I bring it to you now. The Whole30 was a huge success by the way and I find that staying strict paleo has gotten much easier and after the 30 days I decided I didn’t need dairy anymore so I am now dairy free (except for ghee) and truly paleo, not just primal. I am also feeling awesome and ready to have some of this delicious bread!
The whole family, kids included, LOVE the taste and it has lots of healthy stuff in it. Back in November I would often make a loaf in the early afternoon so that it would be cooling by the time the kids got home. It makes a perfect after school snack or le goûter. Delish!
Paleo Banana Zucchini Bread
1 3/4 cups almond flour or almond meal
4 pastured eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup shredded zucchini
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (mini preferred)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all wet ingredients together first and then add in the dry ingredients, mixing well. Pour into a loaf pan greased well with coconut oil and cook for 75 minutes or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean (aside from melty chocolate ). Let cool before slicing and serving but it tastes best when still slightly warm. Enjoy!!
See also: Pumpkin Soufflé and Sweet Potato Soufflé
We have been eating sweet potatoes regularly of late and often times when I make up a batch of mashed sweet potatoes I have extra on hand to use in other recipes later in the week. Sometimes we reheat them on a griddle for breakfast or we make sweet potato pancakes with coconut flour and goat cheese. Yesterday though I decided to add some leftover mashed sweet potatoes to some grain free banana bread and see how it turned out. The results were quite delicious and the addition of sweet potato helped to cut down on the “graininess” from the coconut flour.
I think this is going to become a regular treat in our house from now on and perhaps even replace my pre-workout Larabars, since I am trying to reduce processed foods and needless packaging. The texture is very dense and soft and it has a bit of sweetness but not nearly as much as conventional banana bread. My kiddos all love it, with the exception of my youngest, who hates coconut. I feel good giving this to them for breakfast for some good brain food.
Sweet Potato Banana Bread With Coconut Flour
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup mashed sweet potatoes
3 very ripe bananas
4 pastured eggs
6 T grassfed butter or coconut oil (melted)
2 T ground flax seeds
1/4 Cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3 T raw honey
2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 T vanilla
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix wet and dry ingredients together in separate bowls. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet and mix together well. Pour into a well greased or parchment paper lined loaf pan. Cook for one hour and 20 minutes. Allow to cool and serve slathered with grassfed butter. Yum!