A carrier oil is a fatty oil, that is made from plant materials like essential oil as well. However different parts of the plant are used for the carrier oil, like seeds, nuts and kernels.
Most of the carrier oils are obtained through cold pressing of the plant material whereas most essential oils are produced through steam distillation.
Most carrier oils have neural or not very strong scent and are not volatile like essential oils.
Why do I need a carrier oil?
Essential Oils are highly concentrated liquids. Carrier oils are used to diluted, to „carry“ the essential oil or the blend without lessening the effect of the essential oil.
- especially when you start using with essential oils, it is recommended and wise to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil before applying to the skin.
There are some so called hot oils that can lead to skin irritations when applied topically. These essential oils, like Clove, Cinnamon bark, Lemongrass and Oregano should always be used diluted with a carrier oil.
- If you are making your own massage, or body oil, you will use a nice carrier oil as the base
- When you want to apply a very expensive and exquisite essential oil, like Rose, neroli or Melissa , it is advisable to dilute a drop with a good carrier oil.
- If you want to use an essential oil on broader body parts like the back, legs or shoulders, the application will be easier when diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil. And also more affordable 🙂
- If you choose to take an essential oil internally with a capsule, it is also advisable to dilute with a carrier oil. Please note to only use essential oils that are officially allowed to take internally. That is the case with Young Living’s Plus oil (Europe) or Vitality oils (US).
What carrier oils are we using?
We mostly use the following oils as carrier oils:
1. Coconut oil
2. Young Living V6 Complex
3. Almond oil
4. Sesame oil
5. Argan oil
Coconut oilis great as a skin care and haircare oi. Note that it starts melting at about 25°C. It is made from dried pulp of the coconut.
Coconut oilis a very good ingredient for a lot of nurturing body care products. And you will find coconut oil without the typical coconut smell which can be great for those self made body care products (DIYs). Because coconut oil is only liquid over about 25°C, it is quite suitable to take along while travelling. On the other hand coconut oil is in a hard state in colder climates and seasons, making it unsuitable for any facial serum or self made massage oils.
Young Living V6 Complex is a blend of different vegetable oils and is great to be used as a carrier oil and to dilute essential oils! This blend nurtures the skin, doesn’t plug pores, does not stain and last a long time.
It contains Capryl-/Caprinacid Triglycerid – which are high-quality fatty acids, made from Coconut oil – sesames oil, grape seed oil, almond oil, wheat germ oil, sunflower seed oil and olive oil.
In most of our DIY products, simple dilutions, massage oils and self-made roll-ons we are using Young Living V6 Complex as our carrier oil.
Almond oil is another great carrier oil It’s cold pressed from sweet , but also bitter almonds and a very light, agreeable fatty oil. When I was still working as a midwife, we recommended to use almond oil as the base oil for baby massage oil blends.
Together with lin seed oil, sesame oil is one of the oldest edible oil and is very commonly used in ayurvedic medicine Sesame oil is very suitable for all skin types. I use it a lot for my diy whole body massage oil blends.
It has a nurturing, warming effect on the skin.
Argan oil is referred to as the gold from Maroc, because the gran tree exclusively grows there. It counts as one of the valuable oils in the kitchen as for skin and hair care. I only use it for my nurturing, self made facial serums. I try to not use the roasted one, because it’s own scent is too strong.
Please note: As with essential oils, with fatty vegetable oils that we use as carrier oils, it is really important to use only high quality. This is always the first step to apply carrier oils as well as essential oils safely and beneficially. Carrier oils, that are diluted, cheaply made, obtains incorrectly or even with the help of chemical extraction, will most likely do more harm than do good at all.
What else can I use as a carrier substance?
Apart from carrier oils there are of course some other carrier substances, that we can very well use to dilute or carry essential oils with. These are very often also part of a mustude of DIYs:
- Shea butter – for body bars, body mousse
- Cacao butter – for body bars, body mousse
- bees wax or carnauba wax(vegan) – for body bars, body mousse
- honey – for bath, facial masks, internal applyation
- clay or oat bran – for facial masks, body scrubs
- salt or sugar – for bath salts, peelings
- (vegetable-) milk products, like cream, joghurt, butter – for the bath, lotions, facial masks.