Carrier oils are non-volatile base oils (essential oils are volatile oils), usually botanical, used on their own or to "carry" essential oils for use on skin. They are usually heavy oils, pressed from fruits and vegetables, often used in food as well as cosmetics. Olive oil is probably the most familiar carrier oil, and one that many people have as a staple in their kitchens.
Used for skin softening, body and face moisturizing, bath oils, as a base for salves and lip balms, massage oils, hair oils, aromatherapy blends, and more, carrier oils are a necessary part of our beauty and body care. The majority of Wunder Budder products are made with at least one carrier oil, and we tend to stick with just a few of our time-tested favorites:
This medium-yellow oil is expeller pressed from the soft inner part of the apricot pit. Left unrefined, it has a medium-strong aroma similar to almonds. With a medium weight, this is an average oil when it comes to its characteristics, but is an all-around great oil when it comes to uses. It can be used on all skin types, including sensitive skin, and has a composition similar to the sebum (natural oils excreted from human sebaceous glands) of babies, making it great for all ages. This nourishing and softening oil is used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, to soothe irritated and inflamed skin. It can be useful in calming eczema, and is gentle enough to moisturize the tender skin of the neck the delicate eye area. Apricot kernel oil can be used full strength, and sinks into the skin within minutes, leaving behind no greasy residue.
The avocado fruit is peeled, seeded and dried before cold pressing the oil from its flesh. This deep green unrefined oil has an earthy-green aroma that matches is color. Avocado is a heavy oil, and when used straight, leaves a slightly greasy feeling on the skin. This is an intense, highly emollient oil, used to repair damaged skin, or is blended with a lighter oil for facial care. It is used to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, as well as scars and stretch marks. It can also be used for extremely dry, irritated skin, eczema, psoriasis, and other damaged skin. Avocado oil can be used straight, but is best used up to 10% in blend with a lighter oil to prevent greasiness.
Pressed from the seeds leftover from wine production, grapeseeds contain such a small amount of oil, heat it needed to press it out of the tiny, hard seeds. Partial refining of this oil leaves a pale green and odorless oil, this lightest of all carrier oils. This oil is perfect for people new to using oils as moisturizers, people with oily skin, and as a carrier for heavier carrier oil. Because it's so light, it's great for things like use the eyes, a shaving oil that won't clog the razor, and a summertime facial oil. The carrier of carriers, grapeseed sinks into skin within seconds, leaving behind nothing but soft skin. Use grapeseed on its own, or use it to thin heavier oils.
Jojoba is a liquid wax, expeller pressed from the seeds of the female jojoba bush, each containing 50-60% wax. It has a golden yellow color and even when unrefined is virtually odorless, making jojoba an excellent choice as a base for aromatherapy blends. Jojoba is rich and thick, but with a weight similar to adult sebum, it easily sinks into the skin leaving no greasy residue. Jojoba doesn't clog pores, and is a balancing oil, both moisturizing skin and dissolving built up sebum. Its balancing properties make it the best scalp oil, improving skin, reducing flakes, and stimulating and cleansing hair follicles. Jojoba can be used for just about any skin condition, can be used on all skin types, and makes a great make-up remover. When used full strength, jojoba sinks in quickly, leaving behind silky, non-greasy skin.
This oil is cold pressed from the dried seeds inside rosehips, producing a heavy oil, with a deep peachy-orange color. The strong, characteristic fruit-veggie aroma of the unrefined seed oil is nothing like the aroma of the flower, but smells similar to whole rosehips. Rosehip seed oil is used in first aid blends for minor wounds and burns, including sunburns, and to prevent scarring and stretch marks. It can be used for irritated and inflamed skin, extra dry, chapped skin, and eczema. Like all parts of the rose, rosehip seed oil is sometimes seen as a woman's oil, powerful hard working, but gentle and comforting. It is also commonly used on fine lines and wrinkles, and in folk circles is thought to slow the effect on ageing. Rosehip seed oil is heavy and greasy, although when used sparingly will sink in over time. This is best blended up to 10% in a lighter oil, or used full strength sparingly at night.
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I'm taking part in an Instagram Challenge called March Meet the Maker. Joanne Hawker started this challenge in 2016, but I only heard of it this year and jumped in late, just a couple days ago. Joanne set up each day with a different prompt, and makers share photos and stories related to that prompt. Today's prompt is "design process", and since this is my favorite part of my job, I wanted to share more than an Instagram post would allow.
Each type of product I make has a slightly different design process, depending on whether it's a lip balm and I'm creating new scents, or it's an aromatherapy blend where the ingredients are therapeutic, or it's a limited edition body product that is completely new. But they all start the same - an idea. Usually followed by the question, "how can I make this scent with just natural ingredients?"
Two years ago, I was browsing in a bookstore, and I picked up a book on their bestsellers table. I liked the way the book looked and felt in my hands, and I made a split second decision to buy it just before they closed, completely unaware that what I felt was what the book was about - an item sparking joy in myself. The book was Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Though the KonMari Method is about following your heart, not necessarily your instincts, I'm so glad I picked up that book!
I love stuff. I love to collect things, especially old things. I love the memories they hold, the connections they remind me of, and the history they contain. I am comforted by always having useful things around in case I need them. It's rare I ever leave my house without a bag (although I do try to challenge myself sometimes).
Over the last couple of months, I've been joining new groups and meeting a lot of new people, especially other women in business. When asked what I do for work, I usually end up stumbling over my words a bit, unable to decide between a few different ways to answer.
I make lip balm is a good, basic answer but not the whole story.
I'm a herbalist* and aromatherapist and I make products is a better description of what I do, but it feels like I'm selling my brand short.
I own a small natural skincare and aromatherapy company is my favorite straightforward answer, but it's often met with questions like these:
"Like day creams and night creams?"
"Do you make under eye serums?"
"Do you have something for these wrinkles, haha?"