What are carrier oils and how do you choose which one to use?
Carrier oils are fatty oils and can be referred to as vegetable oils, fixed oils, or base oils. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the “oil of” the plant from which they were extracted. We use carrier oils mainly in skin care products. They provide properties such as being emollient or soothing to the skin. We also use them to dilute or carry essential oils. Each carrier oil offers different properties and the choice of carrier oil can depend on the therapeutic benefit you are looking for.
Watch: Video on Carrier Oils
Three types of Carrier Oils
Did you know carrier oils can be drying, semi-drying or non-drying? Carrier oils often do not have a strong aroma and do not evaporate.
Non-drying Oils (useful for dry skin that needs oil*):
- Almond Oil
- Castor Oil
- Cocoa butter
- Olive Oil
- Palm Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Rape Oil (Canola Oil)
*Dry skin that needs water needs to be hydrated with hydrosol spray.
Semi-drying Oils (more suitable for normal to oily skins):
- Corn Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Croton Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Sunflower Oil
Drying Oils (more suitable for oily skins but are best used when mixed with other oils):
- Linseed Oil
- Hempseed Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Tung Oil
Other Examples of Carrier Oils Include:
- Apricot Kernel
- Cranberry seed
- Evening Primrose
- Grape seed
- Macadamia nut
- Marula (Sclerocarya birrea)
- Palm Kernel
- Peach Kernel
- Pomegranate Raspberry seed
- Sweet Almond
- Wheat germ
How do you buy carrier oils?
There are a few things to consider when buying carrier oils:
1. Cold-pressed. Make sure the oils you are buying are cold-pressed and not heated. Oils that have been heated lose their therapeutic benefit.
2. Eating and skin care. Make sure the label also says that it is for eating and skin care.
3. Mineral oil. Mineral oil is NOT a natural product and should not be used with essential oils. It may even prevent the essential oils from being absorbed into the skin.
How do you apply essential oils topically?
Many essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil. There is an excellent recommended dilution chart in your essential oils pocket reference (learn more about this resource here).
Homemade Mommy Beauty Essentials. Get 35 DIY Beauty recipes that you can use everyday and learn all about how to use and care for your essential oils!