Most people only think of Olive oil as a culinary oil, but in fact it lends itself very well to natural skin care uses. It is rich and somewhat thick and fragrant rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil is moisturizing and soothing and protective and benefits all skin types. In ancient Greece it was considered THE oil par excellence, not just for cooking, but as a base for all kinds of medicinal salves and skin care products. An un-oiled body or dry scaly skin was considered ugly and dirty.
History & Mythology
In the Mediterranean region the Olive tree has long been regarded as a 'tree of life' that bestows health, wealth and fertility. Sacred to the Goddess Athene it also represents peace and justice.
General Base Oil
Vegetable oils and butters are derived from seeds and nuts or very oily vegetables like olives or avocadoes. Just as such nuts and vegetables are healthy and nutritious for the body when included in the diet they also nourish and help to maintain healthy skin, nails and hair when used in cosmetic preparations. Each type of oil has its own specific characteristics, feel and consistency. Some are quite drying, while others are rich and thick. Some have a chemical structure that is very similar to the skin's sebum and are thus particularly healing. Some oils are particularly rich in unsaturated essential fatty acids (also known as EFAs, such as oleic or linoleic fatty acids) and vitamin E and other fat soluble vitamins, which are essential to our health and well-being. Such oils are considered vitalizing and rejuvenating and are thus particularly suitable for tired and worn skin. Base oils can be used neat (100%) on the skin and are usually employed as general base carrier oils for massage, bath or perfume blends.
Our range of base oils includes 'carrier' and 'nutrient' oils. Carrier oils are gentle, nutritionally well balanced oils that can be used neat on any skin type. To make body lotions, bath or massage blends for specific purposes or skin types the carrier oils are usually combined with a smaller amount of other, 'nutritive' oils, that may be rich in EFAs or particular minerals and vitamins that benefit various types of problem skin.
Carrier oils are used to suspend and dilute essential oils so that they can be applied to the skin - either as bath or massage oils, anointing oils, lotions or as natural perfume blends. The recommended dilution rate for essential oils is 1 - 3%, (e.g. 1-3ml per 100ml of carrier oil), though some may be used in stronger dilutions. Familiarize yourself with all the oils you intend to use and take note of all cautions. If in doubt test your blend on a small area of the inner arm first. If you notice any kind of allergic reaction, stop immediately and wipe off the oil. Essential oils are very potent indeed and should never be underestimated. Allergic reactions may occur as a result of exposure to any substance - even base oils. In particular people with nut allergies should be cautious and avoid certain oils entirely.