Carrier oils are an essential ingredient – pun intended – of any oily lifestyle. While they may not have the glitz and glamour of other essential oils with therapeutic properties, they are necessary for their delivery. Any time you use a pre-made essential oil roll-on product, you can thank carrier oils for making it possible. They dilute the strength of therapeutic essential oils and make them safer for direct application to your skin. Without them, topical application of most essential oils would be impossible.
Where do carrier oils come from?
Carrier oils are delivered directly to your doorstep by a stork. Kidding! We are kidding! You must admit, that would be kind of handy. Now that we are done goofing around, here is the real skinny on how we get carrier oils. Just like essential oils, carrier oils come from vegetarian sources. They have some advantages over essential oils. The most important is that carrier oils are not volatile like essential oils. They also have a neutral odor, which makes them ideal for pairing with anything. Because of these two awesome properties, carrier oils are a preferred medium for diluting and applying therapeutic essential oils.
Those aren’t carrier oils!
Drop that can of vegetable shortening and back away slowly. Some things are just not meant to serve as a carrier oil (nor would you want them to). Butter, margarine, and vegetable shortening are on the list of no-nos. So are mineral oil and petroleum jelly. They are the wrong consistency and texture for smearing on your body. Plus, they are more likely to sit on top of your skin rather than being absorbed by it, which will keep essential oils from working properly.
Popular carrier oils every oiler must own
Now that we know the list of products that we should never use as carrier oils, I want to talk about some of my favorite carrier oils. Whether you are new to oily or are an experienced oiler, these are some of my go-to carrier oils to keep on hand.
Avocado Oil Avocados are naturally full of oily goodness. Avocado trees are nearly a third oil. It is not just any oil, either. It is some of the thickest, most luxurious oil found in nature. It contains palmitoleic acid, which is a type of fatty acid humans naturally produce. Palmitoleic acid has amazing anti-aging properties. Since avocado oil closely mimics the fat humans naturally produce, our skin is more receptive to absorbing it. This makes avocado oil an excellent carrier oil when using essential oils for massages.
Argan Oil Loaded with rich, nourishing properties, argan oil is a total winner in the carrier oil department. Beauty product companies have capitalized on argan oil’s anti-aging properties for years. It comes from the fruit of the Moroccan argan tree and is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A and E, and linoleic and oleic fatty acids. Your skin, hair, and nails will love it. You can pair it with any essential oil. It is an especially excellent choice for facials or topical application for soothing irritated skin.
Coconut Oil This is one of the most popular carrier oils since it is chock full of antioxidants. It also has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Oilers who do not wish to complicate things by keeping a multitude of carrier oils in their homes can get by with just this one if necessary. Because of its moisturizing properties, coconut oil is perfect for mixing with essential oils to create balms and creams.
Grapeseed Oil If you dislike a heavy, oily feeling on your skin, then using grapeseed oil as your carrier oil is an excellent choice. It has a light and thin consistency and is very moisturizing. Like avocado oil, it is excellent for use during massages. It has a short shelf life, so you will want to either use it frequently or buy smaller portions, to prevent it from spoiling before you can use it all.
Jojoba Oil If you are looking for a carrier oil that most closely resembles the sebum your skin produces, this is your top pick. Your stomach may not be able to digest this oil, but your skin will certainly know what to do with it. Consisting of more than 75 percent eicosenoic acid, it makes an excellent moisturizer. If you suffer from cracked hands and feet during dry weather, this is the perfect carrier oil. Soak your hands or feet in warm water for about 10 minutes. Then, apply a mixture of your favorite essential oil with Jojoba oil and massage it into your skin well. Finally, wrap your hands or feet in a warm towel to help your skin absorb the oils.
Olive Oil Extracted from the fruit of the olive tree, olive oil has a very faint, fruity aroma. It is ideal for pairing with just about any essential oil since its natural odor is not overwhelming. Since it is naturally non-greasy, you can use it for any hair or skin type. Olive oil has a relatively short shelf life, so if you choose to add it to your carrier oil collection, make sure you either use it frequently or buy smaller portions.
How to use carrier oils the right way
Essential oils are volatile. So, what exactly, does that mean? Well, it is a fancy way of saying they evaporate quickly. They also contain the natural characteristics and smell of the plant from which they were derived. This means they can be a bit harsh if you try to use them without first diluting. Carrier oils do not evaporate, nor do they have a strong aroma. They are the perfect partner for enjoying the health benefits of your essential oils when applied topically.
Need help finding a blend that is right for you? Becoming a member of On Call Essentials unlocks the door to a community full of people ready and willing to help you on your oily journey.
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