carrier oils, essential oils

Stop the Itch and Scratch Cycle with 6 Carrier Oils

People with eczema have impaired skin barrier either due to genetic mutation or environmental factors or both. So, strengthening skin barrier is the first and foremost in eczema healing journey.

Regardless your eczema type (there are 7 according to National Eczema Association), people with eczema tend to have dry, itchy and sensitive skin. WHY?

Research showed that people with eczema may have a gene mutation for filaggrin.

If you don’t have enough functioning filaggrin, skin cells can lose moisture, shrink and develop gaps between them (effectively leaving “holes” in the wall of your skin). With loss of moisture, skin also becomes dry and itchy, leading you to scratch or rub, which can further weaken the skin barrier.

National Eczema Association

Lipids are another important part of your skin barrier.

In people with eczema, skin lipids can have a slightly different composition and contain less ceramide, a substance that’s important for locking in moisture. According to a scientific review in the journal Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research, differences in lipids and inadequate ceramide in people with eczema contribute to dryness, irritation and skin dysfunction.

National Eczema Association

Conventionally, topical steroid is used to stop the itch and inflammation, but very often it comes with serious side effects and over time, it loses its effectiveness, not to mention the potential Steroid Withdrawal Syndrome. Over the counter ointment or creams are used to stop the moisture loss and moisturize dry skin, but again, they are very often not adequate enough to address and control the symptoms.

Carrier oils are occlusive. They soften and smooth the skin and help to trap in moisture. They are also rich in antioxidants, and full of essential fatty acids, such as stearic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid & lauric acid, that the eczema skin desperately needs, in order to restore the inflamed and cracked epidermis layer.

Stratum corneum is the outermost layer of skin, made up of mostly keratin and lipids. In skin barrier disruption, such as eczema, the production of certain skin lipids is inhibited. Therefore, it is essential that the lipids be replenished from the outside source. Carrier oils are the most skin nourishing lipids.

Robert Tisserand Essential Oils & Skin

Using carrier oils blended with essential oils not only stop the itch and inflammatory process, but also provide necessary nutrients to start the healing process.

Essential oils are complex and have multi-faceted therapeutic actions, such as anti-bacterial, which prevents infection, anti-inflammatory, which calms the inflamed skin and stops the itch, and skin healing which provides skin nourishing properties to the weakened skin barrier so that it can heal.

YUMEI SILVA CA

From my personal experiences and the experiences with clients, the following 6 carrier oils do wonder to stop the itch, calm the inflamed skin, deeply moisten the dry and flaky skin, especially blended with essential oils. I wrote a post about how to use 6 essential oils to stop the itch and scratch cycle, and how to blend with carrier oils. You can read it here.

You can use just one or two or all of them. All these carrier oils are safe for any age, including babies and pregnant women.

Join my mailing list to receive a free PDF download: Essential Oils & Carrier Oils for Your Skin Type.

Photo credit: CC BY-SA

Borage Seed oil (Borago officinalis). Seeds are used.

Borage seed oil is high in GLA, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid, which has anti-inflammatory effects.

Photo credit: CC BY-SA

Camellia Seed oil (Camellia oleifera or Camellia sinensis). Seeds are used.

Light weight and silky, nourishing and hydrating for the dry skin, Camellia seed oil naturally contains vitamin E and squalene, as well as oleic and linoleic fatty acids.

Tamanu oil (Calophyllum inophyllum). Fruits are used.

Tamanu oil is renowned for its remarkable healing properties. It acts to prevent infection and is also a great anti-inflammatory.

Baobab oil (Adansonia digitata)

Cold pressed from the fruit of the African Baobab tree, Baobab has a lovely nutty aroma. Due to its high content of essential fatty acids, Baobab oil is known to restore and re-moisturize the epidermis.

Neem leave oil & Neem seed oil

Both oils come from the same plant Neem (Azadirachta indica)

Neem leave oil: this oil is the most cooling of all Ayurvedic oils, and is the best choice if your eczema tends to get worse in the warm weather.

Neem seed oil: Fruits are used.

 A key herb used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine, this oil is moisturizing, antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory and contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids.

Neem seed oil has an odor that most people are not used to, almost garlic like. When it is diluted properly (a few drops in one ounce carrier oil), most people can tolerate the odor.

Humectants are another important ingredient in eczema skin care.

Humectants absorb moisture from their air or deeper layers of skin to create a plumping and smoothing effect on the surface.

Dr. Leslie Baumann

Aveeno eczema therapy not only contains glycerin which is a humectant, but also vitamin B5 and ceramide NP.

Vitamin B5 aka Panthenol is a humectant, which refers to the ability to hold and bind to water. Panthenol also has the added benefit of being an emollient which means that it helps to keep the water in the skin and hair, preventing it from being lost to the environment. 

The Derm Review

Applying Aveeno eczema therapy after carrier oil works to seal moisture in and keep irritants out. 

Following these steps, in no time, you will keep your eczema under control and maybe it will never return.

To summarize, apply carrier oils blended with essential oils to calm the inflammation and stop the itch to prevent itch-scratch cycle. Then, apply Aveeno eczema therapy to further seal in moisture.

This post is not sponsored by Aveeno. I wish!

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