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Infusion Oil

There are numerous oils you can use for herbal infusions as follows:-

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is particularly rich with omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E, plus a high lecithin and potassium content which help the fluid within our cell structure. It is also high in sterolins (proteins), which are said to reduce age spots and help heal scarring and sun damage as well as moisturise and soften the skin.

The antioxidants and vitamins help to moisturise dry, irritated skin such as eczema and psoriasis. It may also help with healing wounds quickly due to the oleic and fatty acids which promote collagen synthesis - the process of creating new connective skin tissue as well as healing sunburnt skin which has dried and become flaky, thus regenerating and rejuvenating the skin.

Almond Oil

Please be aware that some people suffer from nut allergies so they are likely to have a reaction to Almond oil but otherwise a fantastic oil to use.

Almond oil has a sweet aroma and has a hint of yellow in its colour. Being a heavy oil it makes for an excellent emollient, which means it will rejuvenate and tighten the skin for a more even look. When applied to the skin either directly or as a carrier oil as it is absorbed very fast, thus being very popular as a massage oil as it is not very greasy and helps to restore the skins pH balance by preserving moisture and leaving the skin feeling supple and fresh.

Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, so if used regularly it may help reduce wrinkles so this is why it is good to use in face creams and skincare products which are used regularly as it is gentle on the skin. Almond oil also contains antimicrobial properties which help protect bacterial infections which cause acne, wounds and other skin infections, plus help with scaring as it softens the skin.

Caster Oil

Caster oil is made by extracting oil from the seeds of the Caster Oil plant (Ricinus communis). These seeds are known as castor beans, contain a toxic enzyme called ricin which is a highly toxic protein when pressed. However, the heating process that castor oil undergoes during production deactivates the ricin, allowing the oil to be used safely.

The oil has strong fungicidal properties so excellent for treating skin fungal problems such as athletes foot etc.

It can be a sticky oil which is good if you need it to stay in place and it penetrates into the skin well.

If you found it too thick and sticky to use easily you could cut it down by adding sunflower oil to make a looser consistency.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is made by pressing fresh coconut meat or dried coconut meat (which is called Copra). Virgin coconut oil uses fresh meat, while refined coconut oil typically uses Copra.

Coconut oil an amazing product and has so many health benefits due to the 10 fatty acids found in it. In particular Capric, Caprylic and Lauric acid. Capric acid has antimicrobial properties; Lauric acid is known to possess antiviral, antibacterial qualities. It is converted to the Monoglyceride Monolaurin in the human body (Monolaurin is antiviral, antibacterial).

Coconut oil is a saturated fat belonging to a group of medium chain triglycerides (main constituent of natural fats and oils) but does not contain cholesterol. It contains approximately 92% of fatty acids; this is why Coconut Oil is used along with other topical oils in commercial baking as they create a rich taste to the mouth.

Using Coconut oil topically it is very moisturising and excellent for good skin and hair health, and that is why you can use it in creams, location, soaps etc.

The benefits of Coconut oil topically is anti fungal, antimicrobial and antiviral. It is also rich and moisturising for the skin as well a keeping the skin soft and supple as well as great for hair as it keeps is moisturised and helps protect it from drying out and becoming damaged.

When using Coconut oil for internal consumption, it provides a source of engird, and enhances the absorption of nutrients into your body. It does not increase cholesterol and thus promotes and assists with weight loss and helps with digestion and your metabolism, controlling blood sugar levels. This all helps with your general immune systems helping to keep your body healthy including your bones.

Grapeseed Oil

Grape seed oil is the byproduct of wine making. After wine is made by pressing grapes, the seeds are left behind and the oil is extracted by cold pressing and thus ensuring the oil is not chemically altered, which help to keep its antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties complete.

Grapeseed oil is used in a wide range beauty product by the cosmetic industry due to its emollient (softening & soothing) qualities. It is also an astringent so helps to tone and tighten the skin and is good for many skin conditions and problems. Due to the linoleic acid (polyunsaturated omega 6 acid - fatty acid) and vitamin E present, it is an essential component of the cell membrane, providing nourishment and repairing properties to the skin. Also due to the phytochemical like proanthocyanidins which provide excellent benefits for UV protection, it is used in suncreams as it can provide some protection from the sun and again used in lip balms, hair products, creams and lotions.

Grapeseed oil having high levels of vitamin E, which is excellent for moisturising the skin and provides and essential part of hydrating the skin’s epidermis, while the fatty acids provide a barrier while smoothing and balancing the skin. Grapeseed oil is easily absorbed into the skin and does not leave it feeling oily or greasy as it is a lightweight oil so penetrates well and thus especially good for using in hair products.

Be aware Grapeseed oil can go rancid if left for too long so use in products that are going to be used frequently.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba is a shrub that grows mainly in Northwester Mexico and some southern states of USA. Jojoba is actually a liquid wax made up of esters of saturated and mono-unsaturated, fatty acid and fatty alcohols, thus giving Jojoba excellent stability and versatility. It can penetrate the skin easily and help to reduce moisture loss by forming a protective layer on the skin. It is an excellent emollient and has natural sebum oil which is identical to the sebum oil we produce in our skin. The polyunsaturated liquid waxes control the oil production in our skin and so a good treatment for acne, psoriasis and eczema. Due to its excellent moisturising and nourishing properties as well as it s antibacterial properties it is good for hair a scalp applications when massaged in, as it stimulates circulation by bringing new blood and nutrient to the follicles thus strengthens the hair follicles helping to maintain good condition.

Olive Oil Olive oil comes in many forms and is graded according to the oil extraction method. For skincare use you would be looking to use Extra Virgin Olive oil as it is rich in vitamins (A, D, K) and especially vitamin E, plus antioxidants which are good for skin moisturising, anti-aging and relief from sun damage. It is high in Oleic acid which is very beneficial to skincare and moisturising.

Olive oil is a heavy oil and one that is not as easily absorbed into the skin as some others. It also has a strong flavour which may overpower other ingredients you may wish to use so whilst good it needs some thought given to its skincare purpose.

Safflower Oil

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) is part of the Sunflower family and like Sunflower oil the seeds are used to make the oil.

It has good moisturising and rejuvenating qualities as it has a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids and is high in linoleic acid which helps soothe and replenish by imitating naturally occurring lipids in our skin. It is good for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and combines with other oils well such as Coconut and Almond Oil. Unfortunately it does not have a long shelf life (under 3 months) and can become rancid and thicken, so please keep this in mind when using.

Sunflower Seed Oil Sunflower oil is a non-volatile oil which has been pressed from sunflower seeds. It has a slightly sweet aroma and a slight yellow tinge to its colour and one of the most versatile oils used in skincare products. This is due to it being non comedogenic (highly absorbent and does not clog pores) and generally does not irritate most people skin so good for all types of skin.It has various compounds that are beneficial to the skin health, including Oleic acid (Omega 9), Stearic acid (fatty acid), Linoleic acid (Omega 6) vitamins A, D and E which are antioxidant vitamins, tocopherols, carotenoids (yellow fat-soluble pigments) and waxes. Sunflower oil can be absorbed into the skin and retain moisture as it forms a protective softening a soothing layer whilst protecting the outlier against damage and giving a revitalised appearance. It is a very gentle oil so excellent to use around the face and eyes and particularly good for baby skincare.Vitamin E provides smoothing properties which helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and helps with harsh effects of the sun on our skin. Its finer consistency is easily absorbed it the skin and prevents clogging of pores hence being used as the base oil for many face creams. With a good number of vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids all aiding in the rejuvenation of skin and enhancing skin health and thus great to use in healing balms and ointments.

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