Pure essential oils are complex substances. Resulting from the distillation of botanical materials, an essential oil is a collection of aromatic and therapeutic chemical constituents. Despite the common name they are technically not oils as is biochemically defined. However, in common with oils, essential oils are lipophilic and hydrophobic. Simply expressed, essential oils have an affinity for fatty oils and an aversion to water.
When used wisely, pure essential oils are powerful substances with beneficial therapeutic effects. Most often, wise use of an essential oil involves the blending of essential oils with other substances. For cosmetic use, it is recommended that an essential oil be diluted to 1-3%. For more acute conditions, the rate of dilution may be higher depending on the essential oil, the condition being treated, and the recommendations of a healthcare practitioner. Being lipophiles, aromatic synergies are created when an essential oil is blended with or diluted in a virgin or infused oil.
Although many refer to virgin or infused oils as carrier oils, not all carrier oils are high quality oils. Many may be pressed at high temperatures and undergo processing that often involves invasive chemical treatments (refining, unsticking, deodorizing, discoloration, and more). This processing removes a large portion of the vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants from the oils.
Virgin plant oils on the contrary are unprocessed, raw, natural, extra virgin and from the first cold pressing of a plant’s nuts, fruit or oily seeds. Cold pressing is purely a mechanical extraction with clarification by physical or mechanical methods and does not involve any physical or chemical refining. This method of extraction results in oils that retain their full content of essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and natural antioxidants. As a result they do not require any synthetic additives or preservatives and they have inherent therapeutic properties.
Some plants may have beneficial properties but cannot produce an oil through pressing. These properties can still be obtained in an oil form through maceration or infusion. In this process, the plant parts (flowers, seeds, roots, etc) are submerged in a virgin oil and left to macerate or infuse for several weeks. The plant material is then filtered and what remains is a virgin oil enriched with the active ingredients of the plant.
Pranarom offers thirteen certified organic virgin plant oils and infusions offering a range of benefits for wellness and skincare. These oils are a nutrient dense addition to a daily routine and may be aromatized with essential oils to enhance their benefits. Each oil is introduced below and throughout the month of November we will be featuring each oil and essential oil blends on Instagram so follow along!
Argan Arganica spinosa (L.) Skeels
Argan oil has been widely used for thousands of years by Berber women to protect and revitalize hair, skin and nails. Exceptionally rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids (Omega 6 and 9) and vitamin E, Argan oil is a cosmetic gem and an excellent carrier for essential oils.
Quickly absorbed by the skin, it is traditionally used to nourish and protect and is known for its ability to soften the appearance of fine lines, promote elasticity, and deeply moisturize.
Arnica Arnica montana L. flower infusion in Oleo europea L.
Traditionally used in herbal medicine, Arnica oil is widely known to soothe bumps, bruises, joints and occasional muscle strains. Used alone or in combination with other organic oils, Arnica is an ideal carrier for essential oils such as Helichrysum, Peppermint, Rosemary and Lavender.
Arnica oil, prized for its many uses, is limited, making every bottle a precious remedy. Arnica is excellent for supporting healthy joints and muscles after intense exercise or exertion, and is a must-have for every herbal medicine chest.
Avocado Persea americana Mill
Avocado oil is a superior moisturizing oil for the body, hair and face. Rich in Omega 9, Avocado is one of the rare oils containing palmitoleic acid, valuable for supporting cell membranes and cellular regeneration.
This oil supports healthy, hydrated skin and hair. It can be used on sensitive, dry skin and other occasional irritations requiring a vitamin-rich oil or intense moisture. Avocado oil may be paired with Calendula oil for perfect before and after sun skin-care.
Black Cumin Nigella sativa L.
Black Cumin’s secret? Aromatic ingredients (including thymoquinone) which make it particularly effective, yet very well tolerated. On its own or as a therapeutic skin care ingredient, Black Cumin oil promotes strong hair and nails, nourishes depleted skin and acts as a barrier to seal in moisture. It may also relieve occasional redness and itching due to dryness.
Borage Borago officinalis L.
Borage is a powerful oil to promote skin suppleness and tone. Rich in Omega 6 and 9, it replenishes moisture and supports smooth texture. Furthermore, vitamins A and E can help maintain skin health against environmental stressors. Light and easily absorbed, Borage oil is a perfect first choice if you are new to organic oils for therapeutic skin care.
Calendula officinalis L. flower infusion in Helianthus annus L.
The phytosterols and unsaponifiables contained in Calendula oil make it a particularly good choice for everyone. Calendula is an ally of babies and their sensitive skin, and is often used as a moisturizer for infants. Safe and easy to use, Calendula oil can be applied on its own, or combined with other soothing essential oils such as Lavender or German Chamomile.
Carrot Daucus carota L. root infusion in Helianthus annus L.
This easily absorbed brilliant orange oil is an ideal preparation to illuminate your complexion. Due to its antioxidant action, Carrot oil promotes skin tone and elasticity, especially in the throat and neck area. Carrot oil derives the majority of its properties from its richness in beta-carotene, which gives this oil infusion its beautiful color. It is well-tolerated by everyone, even those with oily skin. Use as a natural after-sun lotion or throughout the year for unrivaled care of your complexion.
Evening Primrose Oenothera biennis L.
Evening Primrose oil promotes strong skin cells and mature skin, smoothing the appearance of wrinkles and supporting elasticity. A precious oil, it can be incorporated in your skin care, hair care, and nail care routines. Topically, Evening Primrose has historically been used to address particularly dry, patchy or scaly skin.
Hazelnut Corylus avellena L.
Absorbing well and leaving the skin satin smooth, Hazelnut oil is excellent for promoting radiant, clear skin. It is especially beneficial for supporting balanced oil production with combination skin types. Extremely rich in Omega 9, Hazelnut oil is a great massage oil, alone or in combination with essential oils. When used for massaging, it warms the body and activates any essential oil combinations quickly.
Macademia Macademia integrifolia
Macadamia oil contains generous amounts of palmitoleic acid, a constituent of cell membranes that, as such, promotes cell health and mature skin with strong nourishing and hydrating power. It moisturizes skin without leaving a greasy feeling. Macadamia oil is wonderful for foot massages and extremely dry or hard skin. This oil is much appreciated by massage lovers as its texture provides excellent treatment.
Rosehip Seed Rosa musquee
The astringent quality of rosehip seed oil enables it to deeply penetrate the skin carrying along with it anti-inflammatory fatty acids, minerals and vitamins A and C. This oil promotes moist and balanced skin without a greasy finish.
Saint Johns Wort Hypericum perforatum L.
Used since the Middle Ages, St. John’s Wort infused oil is a true organic herbal oil bandage! St. John’s Wort supports cutaneous and cellular regeneration, and is suitable for sensitive skin. It nourishes and calms occasional red, irritated skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Although ideal for minor injuries, St. John’s Wort oil is photosensitizing. It is advised to apply it in the evening, before going to bed, and not to expose treated skin to the sun for 24 hours after use.
Tamanu Calophyllum inophyllum L.
For cosmetic use, Tamanu oil nourishes dry skin, leaving it smooth and soft, while reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars, fine lines and wrinkles. Tamanu oil is also an excellent ally to those with heavy legs and to those who wish to promote healthy veins and support lymphatic drainage.