Apricot kernel oil: Good for all types of skin, especially useful on sensitive and aging skin. One of the lightest oils to use. Very good for a facial oil.
Avocado oil: A nutrient-rich base oil with a high content of vitamins, protein, lecithin, and essential fatty acids. Beneficial for all skin types, but especially for mature, wrinkled, dry, and itchy skin.
Evening primrose oil: Expensive but a wonderful oil for skin care since it increases and protects skin cell function and works as a skin rejuvenator. The oil can quickly become rancid so should be refrigerated. A small portion can be added to skin creams and lotions to increase effectiveness. It is useful for dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis.
Grape seed oil: A nice, light, non-odoriferous oil. Makes a nice massage oil by itself or combined with sweet almond oil. Easily absorbed by the skin, suiting all skin types.
Jojoba oil: Nourishing to the skin and hair. An oil rich in Vitamin E which can be used alone or mixed with other base oils. Suitable for all skin types. Actually a wax so unlikely to become rancid (unlike most of the other vegetable oils). Contains antibacterial properties so is very good for the treatment of acne.
Sweet almond oil: Great base for massage, bath, body, and skin-care products because it is so nourishing to the skin. Contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, most notably Vitamin D. Scentless. Suitable for all skin types, especially dry or irritated skin.
Wheat germ oil: An antioxidant oil; adding a small proportion (such as 1 tablespoon to every 2 ounces of massage or body oil) to a basic mix will retain the freshness of the blend and help extend the product's shelf life. High in vitamins E, A and B as well as in mineral and protein content. Particularly beneficial to dry and mature skin. Also helps heal scar tissue, soothe burns, and smooth stretch marks.
Blending is a very important part of aromatherapy; it is the creative part of the process. Each essential oil has an essence of its own, but when combined with other compatible oils in a blend, the combination becomes more powerful than the sum of its parts. In other words, a synergy is created. A complex chemical is created that is more potent than anyone oil used on its own and better results can be achieved without increasing the dosage. It is important to know the properties of each oil in order to achieve this blend, but some guidelines will help in your own experimentation with making your own blends.
Blend oils with similar properties ( invigorating, calming, etc.).
When you are ready to develop blends of your own, use no more than 3 oils until you are comfortable with the basic principles.
Blend 1 drop at a time because even 1 drop can transform a blend.
Write down all blends so you can repeat your successes and avoid the blends that didn't work.
Make small quantities of blends until you're sure you will use the blend frequently.
Aromatherapy blends will keep longer than unused carrier/base oils but still will eventually go rancid. Store properly for a shelf life of at least 6 months.
Mix blends in glass cups, bottles, or bowls.
Store blends in dark glass bottles, well-labeled (including ingredients, portions, etc.), dated and tightly sealed.
Don't be afraid to experiment!
Not all essential oils are beneficial to health as you might expect, just like not all herbs are good for you. Something that is "natural" (derived from nature; not artificial) implies a positive effect on health, but does not guarantee it. There are some essential oils that are dangerous to use. Of the hundreds of oils produced and marketed, about 100 are commonly utilized by trained aromatherapists on a regular basis. Of this number you can count on 30 or so to be relatively safe, affordable, and readily available for you to use at home with confidence.
These oils are highly concentrated plant constituents possessing potent medicinal and cosmetic qualities. Some relax, sedate, balance, rejuvenate, invigorate, and even enhance memory. They have many healthful properties such as being anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic: But there are some that are skin irritants, phototoxic, neurotoxic, or cancer-causing while still others are abortive, or not to be used during pregnancy or on children. When using aromatherapy for small children, always dilute the normal/adult amount by half (or more) to make it safe for the younger ones.
During pregnancy, there are some essential oils definitely not to be used. Because some essential oils can relax muscles, stimulate contractions, or possibly get to the baby, they are strongly advised not to be used during pregnancy. A few essential oils are considered abortifacients, meaning they have the potential to cause abortion. Be sure to avoid all essential oils that may be unsafe during this time.
Because essential oils are highly concentrated, and some are known skin irritants, the best way to use them is in diluted form. There are several essential oils that are skin "friendly" like lavender and tea tree. These two oils can be used "straight" or "neat," which means you can put these directly on your skin without diluting them. However, they are an exception, not the rule. Most essential oils you must dilute to use. Essential oils do not exist in nature in large quantities; they are tiny, microscopic droplets, unseen by the naked eye within the plant's structure in miniscule quantity. So when you embark on your experiential study of nature's gifts, start by using highly diluted essential oils. In fact, high concentrations of essential oil usage can produce the opposite effect. For example, lavender essential oil can cause restlessness, agitation, and insomnia if too much is used rather than relaxation.
Hazardous - Not recommended for personal use
These essential oils are not advised for personal use as they can be hazardous to your health. These oils are considered toxic (oral, dermal, kidney, or liver), carcinogenic, or cautionary. Some essential oils have simply not been tested and should be avoided for obvious reasons. (Do not use unless under supervision of an experienced health care professional.)