Monday, February 24, 2014

Carrier Oils

If you've followed this blog or any other blog that talks about aromatherapy and essential oils, you've heard the term "carrier oil." Sometimes the term can be a bit confusing. So, I thought it was high time we eliminate the confusion and get down with some carrier oil information. Are you ready? Let's go  -->

What is a carrier oil?
Carrier oils, or base oils, are vegetable, nut or seed oils. That are used to "carry" the essential oils to your skin. Because essential oils need to be diluted for safe use, using a carrier oil allows for a small dose (one drop) to be easily massaged over the skin within the carrier oil. {Click HERE for a dilution chart.}
For aromatherapy use, the carrier oil should be cold pressed - typically purchased at specialty stores. The oil purchased at the grocery store(s) may have been treated or processed with chemicals. Carrier oils, unlike essential oils, can go rancid, keep this in mind when you go to make your purchase and choose where to store it.
Carrier oils themselves have therapeutic value, so selecting the right one can help enhance your potion.

Carrier Oils I use:
There are a lot of different carrier oils. The list below are ones that I use on a regular basis. For ideas on additional oils, see the list of  sources at the bottom of this post. 

Sweet Almond Oil
This oil is a fantastic all purpose carrier for aromatherapy. It is a pale yellow and comes from the kernel. It is good on all skin types and may help with itchy skin, dryness and inflammation. It has a light, nutty smell. 

Avocado Oil
This carrier is used in conjunction with other oils are part of a blend, mostly due to having its own fragrance. It is great for hair and skin, very nourishing. It is a yellowish green. 

Sunflower Oil
This is another great all purpose oil. This oil is a pale yellow, full of vitamins and minerals that is great on all skin types. Look for "unrefined" when shopping for this oil. I use this when making infused oils because it has virtually no smell on its own.

Jojoba Oil
This carrier is actually a wax that comes from the bean and is yellow in color. It is great form inflamed skin, psoriasis, eczema, acne, and all skin types. 

Macadamia Nut Oil
This oil is good for massage, especially due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It's commonly used in skin and hair care. More clear than yellow in color, this oil is often combined with other carriers in blends. Next time you're in Hawaii, look for some at the farmer's market.

What's your favorite carrier oil?

Sources: Aromaweb. Carrier Oil Profiles. Retrieved from
Worwood, Valarie Ann. (1991). The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy. San Rafael, CA: New World Library.

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