Fri | Dec 14, 2018

The beginner's guide to Oils

Published:Monday | February 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

I strongly believe in research as it pertains to oils. One bottle doesn't suit all. So this week on DIY Jo, I am giving you a starter guide with a bit of caution, and a bit of recommendation to ease your way in.

Admittedly, when I had recommended some carrier oils, I took for granted some of the allergies that individuals might have had. It was when people started asking more about them that I took note that having a nut allergy does translate to topical applications of oils on the skin. Some individuals who have nut allergies do not realise that using some of the carrier oils might affect them.

If you usually have an allergic reaction to the consumption of nut then you might be allergic to carrier oils like castor oil (of any form), coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and argan oil. Olive oil and Jojoba oil fall into the fruit categories, thus they might be safer for use on their skin. There is also raspberry seed oil, avocado oil, and rosehip oil that are seed oils that are great alternatives and will more than likely not trigger your nut allergy. Carrot oil can be used for some, but should be avoided by asthmatics and persons with respiratory illnesses.

You might not have a nut allergy, but I do recommend that you do not use any oil without testing it on a small area of skin first. If there's an itch, then you probably should not be using it with the exception of Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

Now as it pertains to essential oils, I am aware that they are expensive and if you are going to invest in them, you have to ensure that you are investing in ones that actually work for your complaint or one that has multiple benefits. It makes no sense in buying a lot of new things only to find out that they do not work.

Let me categorise some oils based on importance for you.



Citrus oil


Citrus oils have vitamin C and because of this, they tend to have healing properties that help with dark spots and discolouration from acne scars and pimples. Also citrus oils, namely lemon oil, helps with the prevention of wrinkles and who does not want to maintain wrinkle-free skin? It is best used with Rosehip as a carrier oil.

Note: Cittrus oil can also be used for natural hair lightening when you saturate your hair with a few drops of it in water and go into direct sunlight.


Superpower oils



Rosemary oil


This is known for its healing properties this is one of the best oils for most skin types, especially combination skin.

As it pertains to scalp eczema, it is just as effective as tea tree oil. A few drops in your bath opens up your nasal passages. With a good carrier oil, it is a great 'one-of-these-replaces-a-few' oils. So get one that replaces many. (Peppermint oil does assist with some of these as well, however, it is not for individuals with high blood pressure.)


Lavender oil


This heals almost every skin complaint from eczema and acne to psoriasis and cold sores. It tends to be gentle on the skin. However, for those who struggle with insomnia, this in your diffuser will go a far way as it helps to soothe you. It also great for foot detox.

Never use any essential oil on the skin without using a carrier oil because they are too potent for direct contact with skin.