What are carrier oils?
Carrier oils go hand in hand with essential oils, as they help to “carry” the essential oil to the skin, where they can both work their magic. Carrier oils are pressed from the fatty parts of the plant; i.e., its nuts or seeds. You may already have some on hand in your kitchen (olive oil, sunflower oil) but make sure to use those labelled “cold-pressed” or “unprocessed” to carry the best natural nourishment to your skin.
How Do They Work?
Common ingredients in moisturizers, lip balms, bath oils and other lotions; carrier oils are popular because they are so effective at distributing moisture and healing therapeutic benefits of other ingredients to the skin. Most essential oils have essential fatty acids that provide moisture to our skin. They can also dilute essential oils which would otherwise be too potent and irritate the skin or provoke an allergic reaction. Carrier oils also help to extend the life of your essential oil by ensuring that not a drop is wasted during application. They generally have a mild, nutty aroma. If you find your carrier oil has a strong smell, chances are it has gone bad. While essential oils cannot go rancid, carrier oils definitely can. To keep your oils from going bad, it’s best to store them in tightly sealed dark glass bottles in a cool location.
To make your own blend, use about a 1-10 ratio of essential oil to carrier oil. For easy application, place the mixture in a roller-ball container. Each carrier oil has its own unique therapeutic properties; just as essential oils do. Depending on the benefits you seek when using an essential oil, consider pairing it with a carrier oil which brings specific benefits as well, in order to make an essential oil/carrier oil blend that is useful and has an aroma you enjoy. The possible combinations are endless.
Different Types of Carrier Oils
Nowadays, there are many carrier oils that are advertised in the market. Most carrier oils are essentially safe for every skin type. But if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, then you might want to do a little more research on other carrier oils that are available in the market.
Luckily, we've compiled some of the most popular carrier oil choices that are used by essential oil enthusiasts so you can easily get started in your oiling journey.
Choose a high quality, organic olive oil. Extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil carries the most vitamins and nutrients to the skin. However, some find olive oil too heavy for everyday use on the skin.
Coconut oil is made up of very small molecules, allowing it to effectively penetrate the skin. Clear coconut oil labelled “fractioned” is light and easy to use because it remains a liquid, unlike raw coconut oil.
Jojoba oil is a powerful conditioner often used in hair products. Try it as a hair treatment with a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Jojoba oil also a great choice for massages or skincare because it contains lots of vitamin E and is chemically very close to the natural oils present in your skin.
Wonderfully moisturizing, avocado oil is the natural choice for extremely dry skin. But because it’s so intense on its own, it’s best to combine it with a milder vegetable oil. Try it with lavender essential oil by adding a few drops of it at night to fight insomnia.
Avocado oil also has a pleasant, sweet, and nutty scent.
Sweet Almond Oil
If you only purchase one carrier oil, sweet almond oil is a useful and economical choice. It has a warming effect, making it well suited to combine with a warming essential oil such as cinnamon, lemongrass, or clove for a soothing massage to loosen stiff muscles and joints.
Grapeseed oil is another excellent choice for those who are starting with essential oils. Aside from being super lightweight to the skin, grapeseed oil is also known to reduce fine lines and wrinkles since it is enriched with Vitamin E and high in linoleic acid.
A good carrier oil, sunflower oil protects the skin from bacterias and infection as it creates a barrier that shields the skin away from free radicals.
Argan oil is renowned for its ability to soften the hair and make it shine but there is so much more to this carrier oil! This oil from Morocco can also help treat skin inflammation and can even decrease fine lines. Argan is also great for acne-prone skin!