Carrier Oils: Introduction & Benefits
Carrier Oils are also known as Base Oil and Vegetable Oil. These oils are used to dilute Essential Oils before they are applied to the skin and aromatherapy because essential oils are potent and can cause irritation when applied directly to your skin.
Carrier Oils are simply fatty oils usually derived from the seeds, kernels, or nuts of a plant. These oils are also called Cold-Pressed oils because they are extracted through the Cold-Press extraction process.
Carrier oils also being called “fixed oils” just because of the fact that they remain fixed on the skin. These oils do not quickly evaporate from the skin’s surface or have the strong natural scent of plants. This quality makes them the best & ideal for controlling essential oil concentration. These oils reduce the strength of an essential oil’s aroma but not its therapeutic properties.
Similarly, these oils can also prevent potential irritation, sanitization, inflammation, redness, or burning that can be caused by the undiluted use of Essential oils, Absolutes, and CO2 Extracts.
Uses & Benefits of Carrier Oils
Carrier Oils are usually used to dilute Essential oils. The essential oil has a wide range of benefits and cannot be applied directly or neatly on the skin because they are highly concentrated. These cold-pressed oils are added to Essential oils because they will prevent the risk of skin allergies and irritations.
Carrier oil is a plant-based oil that is used as a base in the blend, creams, or lotions. Mixing with Essential oil in order to dilute provides better consistency for massage and aromatherapy purposes.
If a Carrier oil is not mixed then essential oils then it can evaporate quickly and cannot spread across the surface of the skin. Carrier oils allow the Essential oils to penetrate the skin and nourish it from within.
Moreover, Carrier oils also have therapeutic properties of their own because these oils contain many essential fatty acids and can provide intense nourishment to skin and hair.
More About Cold-Pressed Carrier Oils
So there are four different Carrier oils found and they are Nut oils, Seed oils, Fruit oils, and Essential fatty acid oils. Benefits of the following oils are discussed and examples are also given so that you can buy the correct one to use.
Nut Carrier Oils
- Has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Soothes dry, sensitive, and irritated skin.
- Has wound healing properties.
- Very emollient.
- Suitable for acne-prone skin.
- Boosts brightness and tightness of the skin.
Examples: Almond oil, Macadamia oil, Hazelnut oil and, Walnut oil
Seed Carrier Oils
- Repairs damaged and dried skin.
- Soothes skin irritations and burns.
- Reduces marks and scars.
- Rejuvenates tired skin and complexion.
Examples: Black currant oil, Baobab oil, Broccoli oil, Carrot oil and, Borage oil
Fruit Carrier Oils
- Has antioxidant properties.
- Reduces skin anti-aging effects.
- Has strong moisturizing properties.
- Cleanses and smoothens skin.
- Very nourishing and gentle on soft and sensitive skin.
Examples: Avocado oil, Apricot oil, Grapeseed oil, Olive oil and, Peach oil
Essential Fatty Acid Oils
- Has astringent properties.
- Good for inflamed and acne-prone skin.
- Take care of fatty acids deficiency in the skin.
- Soothes itching skin.
- Promotes wound healing.
- Contains antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial as well as anti-fungal properties.
Examples: Argan oil, Babassu oil, Calendula oil
Types of Carrier Oils
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- Sweet almond oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Neem oil
- Jojoba oil
- Onion Seed Oil
Choosing a right Carrier Oil
The type of carrier oil that is best for you depends on your skin type, whether you have any allergies, and how and where you’ll be applying the oil. To find the best oil for you, experiment with a few oils using a patch test and see how your skin responds.
Precautions you should take before using
It’s important to note that certain oils may trigger allergic reactions, especially among individuals with nut allergies. Diluting an essential oil in a carrier oil doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk of certain side effects from the essential oil (such as allergic contact dermatitis, or skin reactions after sun exposure).
When blending essential oils and carrier oils, it’s crucial to avoid direct skin exposure to the essential oils and to work in a very well-ventilated area for only short periods at a time.
Pregnant and nursing women and children should always consult their primary care providers before using essential oils. Get more tips and precautions when using oils in aromatherapy.
A note before you buy Cold-Pressed Carrier Oil.
When looking for a carrier oil, quality is key. You’re going to be lathering the stuff on yourself, after all! “It’s the same kind of criteria that we use for eating. You want something that’s organic,” explains Galper, adding that your oil of choice should also be cold-pressed or expeller-pressed, signaling that no heat was added during processing that could have messed with the oil’s quality. Finally, make sure that the oil is 100% made from the plant you think it is and not thinned out with another, cheaper carrier oil.
The bottom line
To recap: Carrier oils make it possible to use essential oils safely. They also help nourish and moisturize your skin. Carrier oils allow you to apply essential oils to your skin, and there are hundreds of plant oils that could be used as carriers. Whichever carrier oil you choose, make sure it’s organic and cold-expeller pressed. Add five to eight drops of your essential oil of choice to a tablespoon of the carrier, and go forth to slather onto your face, body, and hair.