Oils and More; The New Age Personal Care

There are a wide variety of natural oils that can be applied on the skin and scalp without any need to worry. The best part about these oils is that they can multitask and generally do not have any side effects. We can replace the cleansers, as oils can dissolve the denser sebum that collects in our pores (the infamous blackheads). As moisturisers, oils rapidly penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, protecting against the breakdown of proteins in the cell wall with fatty and linoleic acids, mimicking what our bodies produce naturally. The oils also function as humectants, which help our skin retain moisture. With all the natural oils available, it is like finding the key to a beauty secret of ages past.

Essential Oils And Carrier Oils

There are many oils available, but it is up to you how you like it and what suits your skin. There are a variety of essential oils and carrier oils available and you must know about these oils well before using them.

How To Use Essential Oils

Essential oils must be used in very small quantities as they can be quite potent. They are generally mixed with carrier oils and then used. You must carefully check the quality of an essential oil before you start using it. One must always try and use therapeutic grade essential oils for desired effects.

Identifying A Good Carrier Oil

It is best to go for cold pressed oils that are manufactured in small batches such that their natural goodness is restored. 

Oils contain a lot of volatile components; they remain in the oil only when there is no heat used or generated during the process of production.

It should also be kept in our minds that we should use first-cold pressed carrier oils because pressing the seeds or pulp multiple times will generate more yield but it also degenerates some of the important components present in the oil and then the desired quality is often compromised.

Before delving into the world of oils, one should know the basics well. The most important thing that most of us miss is the difference between carrier and essential oils. 

Difference Between Essential Oils and Carrier Oils

Whenever we think about oils, essential oils come to our mind these days. Essential oils are one of the most well recognised forms of beauty oils. However one will be surprised to know that essential oils are actually distillates of aromatic compounds of plants. The term essential oil comes from “quintessential oil”. On the other hand cold pressed seed oils are extracted by crushing the actual seed and pressing the crushed seeds until oil is extracted. Cold first pressing is also called the “extra virgin ” method like in the case of olive, almond etc.

Cold pressed oils contain the highest amount of nutrients present in the seed.

For example, let’s take the cold pressed Sweet Almond Oil of Speaking Herbs; it will smell (very mild) and taste exactly like the almonds used as the raw material for expelling the oil.

As no heat is used while expelling the oil, all the nutrients, volatile compounds and vitamins are intact in the oil. This oil is also food grade as no chemicals are used in the extraction process of the oil. 

Carrier oils

Cold pressed carrier oils can be directly used for skin and hair and also for culinary practices. They are excellent moisturisers and can provide a lot of nourishment to our skin and scalp. They have a very mild fragrance, depending on the seeds from which the oil is expelled. For example, Jojoba oil will have a very mild or almost no smell because the jojoba seeds don't have a strong smell. On the other hand cold pressed Black Seed Oil has the typical smell that the seeds have. Even when you taste it, the oil tastes exactly like the seeds.

Now you can buy the tester pack of eight of the most sought after extra virgin, cold pressed carrier oils here.

Essential Oils

Essential oils on the other hand should not be directly used on the skin. It is generally mixed with another oil like jojoba oil or sweet almond oil and then applied. They are used extensively in the perfume industry, in aromatherapy products, toiletries including shampoos and soap, and in cosmetics mainly for their fragrance. They are also used in household cleaning products. Some oils are also used in sleep and stress therapy like the Lavender Oil. Good and therapeutic grade Lavender oil can slowly and steadily take care of insomnia if used regularly. 

Most of the essential oils are antimicrobial to some extent and possess medicinal properties (depending on the plant from which it was made) and they can be of therapeutic grade as well, depending on the extraction process.

The Tea Tree Oil has antiviral properties and Eucalyptus Oil is a natural decongestant. When 2-3 drops of both these oils are mixed together and put into an inhaler (or steam inhaler), it gives quick relief and when used regularly it can also soothe a completely congested chest.

 Essential Oils are highly potent and should be used in moderation, preferably not more than a drop or two. One must also be careful regarding the ingestion of essential oils and should be kept away from pets. 

As with each passing day, more people are turning towards natural, and most importantly non toxic personal care products, oils should be considered as the stepping stone towards it. Most of us are familiar with them and with time our skin is going to get used to it and we will never want to go back to the chemical laden skincare or haircare that is extensively found around us. 


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