Carrier Oils Guide
Carrier oils also called base or fixed oils; they play a vital role in aromatherapy. Essential oils are so potent, and most often, they need dilution to use them safely.
Although, this doesn’t mean that carrier oils’ only purpose is to dilute essential oils. That would be a false statement. They are highly nutritional and beneficial for humans, and carrier oils have a variety of uses.
For our purposes, let’s focus on the use of carrier oils in aromatherapy and start by the dilution rates right away. To safely use essential oils in healthy adults, a %2 dilution rate is needed. For kids and other risk groups, %1 or even less dilution rate would be optimum.
Let’s say that you are preparing a simple hair serum by using rosemary oil for yourself. If you are targeting a %2 dilution rate, that means for a 10 ml base oil; you need only six drops of essential oil. For larger amounts, you can just multiply and re-calculate how many drops needed to dilute your E.O safely.
You can also check out this essential oil dilution table for a short cut.
What is a Carrier Oil?
They are called carrier oils because they carry essential oils. These oils are vegetable oils extracted from the high oil content plant seeds, kernels, and fruits. In contrast, essential oils are derived from the aromatic parts of the plants. Since the yield is lower essential oils are much costly than carrier oils.
Most of the fixed oils are not so potent, and they have a nutty smell and a taste. If you suspect a bitter taste or odor in base oils, most likely that oil has been spoiled. In essential oils, we talk about oxidization rather than rotting. This is bad because it means the therapeutic properties have long been gone.
8 Popular Carrier Oils You Can Use To Dilute Your Essential Oils
1- Sweet Almond Oil
Botanical Name: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis
Sweet almond oil has many antioxidant properties that it has been used for eczema just by itself in eastern medicine. The cold-pressed oil is easy to absorb for the skin, and it’s quite nourishing for the skin. It has a medium aroma, and it doesn’t have so much of an oily feeling.
It’s a perfect carrier oil to dilute essential oils and use it in aromatherapy. It contains A, B, D, and E vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Sweet almond oil formula includes % 8 saturated fat, % 65 oleic acid, and % 27 linoleic acid.
2- Coconut Oil
Botanical Name: Cocos Nucifera
Probably the best thing about coconut oil is that it has a low molecular weight, which means it can quickly go deep inside the skin. Also, it has a great aroma just by itself.
Natural coconut oil is solid in less than 24 degrees Celcius, which also makes this oil unique since you can take advantage of that in homemade cosmetics. There is also the fractionated coconut oil, which is always liquid even in less than room temperature.
It’s perfect for the skin, scalp, and lips. It has a slightly oily feeling, and it’s suitable as a massage oil. By mixing coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oil of your choice, you can prepare great balms or gels for different purposes.
3- Jojoba Oil
Botanical Name: Simmondsia Chinensis
Jojoba Oil can also be called Jojoba wax, as it’s not exactly an oil. It’s a waxy substance extracted from Jojoba seeds. This oil has tocopherol compounds that are found in alpha, beta, and gamma forms. These are, in fact, vitamin E, and they have free radical scavenging properties. Jojoba is also very similar to human sebum.
Jojoba can be used to moisturize, protect, and cleanse the skin. It’s a good aftershave option for men after razer contact. The E and B vitamins can protect you from sunburns and heal wounds. By mixing this oil with sweet almond oil, you end up having a dream carrier oil. Even if you have extra sensitive skin, jojoba won’t cause any problems and can be used safely.
4- Avocado Oil
Botanical Name: Persea Americana
Avocado oil might just be the healthiest oil on earth. Research shows that it can prevent conditions like diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. In France, this oil is even prescribed for arthritis. Avocado oil contains %19 saturated fat, %66 oleic acid, % 12 linoleic acid, and around %5 alpha-linoleic acid.
Avocado oil is a nourishing oil for skin and scalp. It’s especially useful for speed recovery of dry skins. It’s rich in essential and trace minerals as well as vitamin A. It’s quite dense though and used in moderation and blended with other carrier oils.
5- Olive Oil
Botanical Name: Olea Europaea
Due to olive oil’s viscosity, it’s a less favored oil in aromatherapy and skin applications. If not used carefully, it can easily overpower the blends. Rarely, it can cause sensitivity or allergic reactions in some people. Let’s check out its formula; %10 saturated fats, %60 oleic acid, %11 linoleic acid, and around %1 alpha-linoleic acid.
Consuming extra virgin olive oil is good for heart, brain, and mood. Moreover, it can moisturize your skin and heal wounds and even help fight infections. Olive oil is full of healthy fatty acids, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compounds. Research shows that it can ease skin problems such as seborrheic dermatitis and acne by reducing inflammation and bacterial overgrowth.
6- Argan Oil
Botanical Name: Argania Spinosa
Argan oil is called liquid gold, and in Morocco, argan tree thought to be the tree of life. Traditionally, argan oil is used to treat skin conditions and arthritis. Recently, it’s become one of the most prevalent compounds used in natural cosmetics.
When we check out the formula of Argan Oil, there are many healthy fatty acids present such as Oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acids.
Due to these active compounds, it has antioxidant, detoxifying, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and stimulant properties.
7- Rosehip Seed Oil
Botanical Name: Rosa Mosqueta
Like other base oils, rosehip seed oil has essential fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid that help with cell and tissue rejuvenation. But what makes this oil unique is the rich Vitamin C content.
When applied to the skin, it has anti-aging properties. It can also reserve the harmful effects of the sun on the skin, reduce inflammation, and eczema. This is an expensive oil and usually mixed around %10 with other carrier oils to make a blend. One thing to pay attention, though, rosehip oil can go rancid rather fast.
Rosehip seed oil is a dry oil, which means it’s absorbed fast by the skin and doesn’t leave an oily feeling. It’s best to use in dry and normal skin types. This oil can be used straight up as a moisturizer.
8- Apricot Kernel Oil
Botanical Name: Prunus Armeniaca
Apricot kernel oil is a multi-purpose oil that is quite similar to sweet almond oil and peach kernel oil. It has a silky and very light feeling, and it’s a perfect massage oil itself or in blends. It has got %65 oleic acid %28 linoleic acid and a very low saturated fatty acid content.