Many people overlook carrier oils mainly because they lack the therapeutic attributes found in essential oils. But, carrier oils are beneficial as it acts as a catalyst when used together with essential oils. Here’s everything you need to know about carrier oils.
Understanding What Carrier Oils Are
What Is A Carrier Oil
? Katherine Greiner (@KGBody) March 28, 2017
In simple terms, carrier oils are vegetable oils. It’s naturally derived from vegetables’ fatty portion such as the kernels, seeds, or nuts. It has a neutral smell and, unlike essential oils, they are not as volatile. Carrier oils work perfectly for dilution and application.
Carrier Oil vs. Essential Oil
An essential oil comes from the plant’s leaves, roots, bark, and other aromatic portion of a plant. On the other hand, carrier oils are derived from the plant’s (vegetables) fatty areas. Essential oils also evaporate and contain concentrated aroma while carrier oils do not evaporate and do not have a strong aromatic smell. Lastly, essential oils have oxidizing attributes. They lose their therapeutic effects, but they don?t go rancid, unlike carrier oils.
How Are Carrier Oils Used
Carrier oils do not evaporate and do not carry a strong aromatic scent, this type of oil is a perfect match to dilute essential oils. With the use of carrier oils, the concentration of the essential oils can be reduced without affecting the therapeutic effects. On top of that, you can also control the concentration of the essential oils with the help of carrier oil before application.
Carrier Oil Examples
Here’s a list of vegetable oils used as a carrier oil:
- Almond Oil: Moisturizing, rich in Vitamin E, suitable for most skin types.
- Avocado Oil: Highly hydrating, great for dry or aging skin, rich in vitamins.
- Borage Seed Oil: High in gamma-linolenic acid, good for damaged or aging skin.
- Coconut Oil, Fractionated or Virgin: Deeply moisturizing, available in fractionated (liquid) or virgin (solid) forms.
- Cranberry Seed Oil: Unique balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, good for all skin types.
- Grapeseed Oil: Light, astringent, suitable for oily or acne-prone skin.
- Hazelnut Oil: Slightly astringent, good for oily skin, can help tighten pores.
- Jojoba Oil: Mimics natural sebum, balancing, suitable for most skin types.
- Kukui Nut Oil: Soothes and softens skin, good for dry, aging, or damaged skin.
- Macadamia Nut Oil: Emollient, rich in palmitoleic acid, beneficial for dry skin.
- Olive Oil: Rich in antioxidants, hydrating, better for dry or mature skin.
- Pecan Oil: Moisturizing, suitable for various skin types, not widely used.
- Pomegranate Seed Oil: Antioxidant-rich, regenerative, good for aging or damaged skin.
- Rose Hip Oil: High in vitamins A and C, promotes skin regeneration.
- Seabuckthorn Berry Oil: Nutrient-rich, good for healing skin and combating wrinkles.
- Sesame Oil:Rich in antioxidants, suitable for all skin types, particularly nourishing.
- Sunflower Oil: Lightweight, non-comedogenic, good for all skin types, particularly sensitive skin.
How to Choose a Carrier Oil
To help you decide the best carrier oil to use or buy, here are some tips you need to consider:
- Skin Type: Like other skin products, some carrier oils might irritate your skin.
- Absorption: This is highly dependent on the person’s skin. Your skin may absorb some carrier or base oils better than others.
- Odor: In general, carrier oils have a neutral scent. However, there are some carrier oils that have a distinct scent. Using it together with an essential oil might change the aroma.
- Shelf Life: Carrier oils can go rancid. How long before it does depends on its shelf life.
- Processing Method: Always buy carrier oils that have been cold expeller pressed or cold pressed. This processing method ensures only minimal to no heat was used when pressing the oil from the plant’s fatty portions. This is important as it prevents harming the nutrients on the plants.
- Nutrients: Carrier oils have varying levels of fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients. Depending on how you want to use the carrier oil and what you’re aiming to achieve, check the nutrients included in the carrier oil first before buying.
- Price: The price of carrier oils varies depending on different factors such as processing method used, organic/non-organic, source, and the plant where it’s made from.
- Organic: The cost of organic carrier oils are higher compared to conventional types. As it costs more, make sure the oil you’re buying is certified as organic.
- Color: For most people, the color of the carrier oil doesn’t really matter, especially if it’s going to be used for basic blends. However, if you’re planning on creating a complex mixture, you might want to consider this aspect.
How To Store Carrier Oils
For long-term storage, it’s best to keep carrier oils in a dark glass bottle. The bottles should have tight-fitting caps as well. Make sure to store them in a dark and cool location.
If you’re just using essential oils until before its shelf life, you don’t need to transfer them to a dark glass bottle. However, it’s still important to put them in a cool location such as your refrigerator. In some reports, it is also believed that storing carrier oils in the fridge can extend the shelf life.
Learn how to use carrier oils with essential oils by watching this video from Lance McGowan:
To sum it up, carrier oils are a perfect match when using essential oils. They will help with absorption, nourishment, and moisturizing of the skin. There are different varieties of carrier oils. Whatever type you’ll use, this guide will help you know everything you need before purchasing.
Up next: What Is Patchouli Oil?
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