Characteristics and uses of base oils

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.

What are the base oils used for?

What are base oils?

Base oils are those oils that are used as a base to dilute essential oils. For example, jojoba base oil, almond base oil, wheat germ oil, hazelnut oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, olive oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, grape oil.

Mineral oils are not recommended because their characteristics are very different from the characteristics of the skin and, in addition to obstructing its breathing, they can irritate it.

Why to use base oils with essential oils?

massage
Essential oil must be diluted in base oils before using them in massages, frictions, gargling or other applications.

Base oils are used with essential oils to decrease their power. Since essential oils are very strong they could cause problems in the body.

Essential oils are dangerous if not properly combined with base oils. They can be harmful if the proportion of essential oil is too high or may not have curative effects if this proportion is less than needed.

How to combine essential oils with base oils?

The base oils can be:

  • Little dense base oils: (sunflower oil, corn oil, grape oil, etc.): They are usually used with oily skin in order not to increase the natural sebum of the skin too much
  • Dense base oil : (olive oil, almond oil, corn germ oil, etc.).  Denser oils are especially useful for treating dry skin.

How to prevent essential oils from harming us and ensure they can be effective?

To avoid this problem, many specialists recommend buying ready-made products that contain essential oils with the right amount of base oil. Although they are more expensive than those prepared at home, they are more reliable.

How much essential oil and base oil is adequate?

The following table shows the usual proportion of essential oils with base oil:

How to dilute essential oils in base oils or in water
Type of application  % dilution Amount of base oil (adults) Amount of essential  oil (adults)
General massages for non-sensitive skin 2,5 % A teaspoon (5ml) 1-3 drops
General massages for non-sensitive skin 2,5 % 1 tablespoon (15 ml) 6-7 drops
General massages for non-sensitive skin 2,5 % 25 ml 12-13 drops
General massages for non-sensitive skin 2,5 % 50 ml 25 drops
General massages for non-sensitive skin 2,5 % 100 ml 50 drops
Facial massages and total massages for sensitive skin 0,5-1 % A teaspoon (5ml) 1 drop
Facial massages and total massages for sensitive skin 0,5-1 % 1 tablespoon (15 ml) 1-3 drops
Facial massages and total massages for sensitive skin 0,5-1 % 25 ml 3-5 drops
Facial massages and total massages for sensitive skin 0,5-1 % 50 ml 5-10 drops
Facial massages and total massages for sensitive skin 0,5-1 % 100 ml 10 a 20 drops
Frictions for muscular or rheumatic pain 3 % A teaspoon (5ml) 3 drops
Frictions for muscular or rheumatic pain 3 % 1 tablespoon (15 ml) 9 drops
Frictions for muscular or rheumatic pain 3 % 25 ml 15 drops
Frictions for muscular or rheumatic pain 3 % 50 ml 30 drops
Frictions for muscular or rheumatic pain 3 % 100 ml 60 drops
Gargle Introduce a few drops in a glass of water. Gargle 3- 5 drops
Mouthwash Introduce a few drops in a glass of water. Rinse mouth thoroughly 3- 5 drops
Baths Fill the bathtub with warm or hot water / take a bath 5 –10 drops
Foot or hand baths Fill a basin with warm or warm water / introduce the feet 5- 6 drops
Sitz baths Fill the bidet / Immerse the affected area 3-5 drops
Cold compresses Insert a cotton pad in a container with half a liter of cold water containing a few drops of essential oil. Apply on the affected area 5-6 drops
Warm compresses Insert a cotton pad in a container with half a liter of warm water containing a few drops of essential oil. Apply on the affected area 5-6 drops
Steam inhalation Place a few drops on a basin of boiling water. Place the head on the bowl covering it with a towel for about three minutes and inhale the vapors 5 drops
Facial saunas Place a few drops on a basin of boiling water. Place the head on the basin covering it with a towel and let the vapors act on the skin of the face. From time to time remove the face to breathe fresh air 5-6 drops
Vaporizations Place a few drops on a basin of boiling water. Place the container on a radiator or some device that generates heat so that the liquid evaporates 5-6 drops
Saunas Pour a few drops of essential oil on a container with half a liter of hot water spilling the contents on the sauna heater to evaporate it 2-3 drops

punto rojo More information on vegetal and essential oils

Editorial
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

15 January, 2020

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.
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