Carrier Oils are extracted from natural botanical sources. They contain wellness-promoting nutrients and are a key component in aromatherapy, wherein they are blended with Essential Oils to make customized massage oils and sprays. Carrier Oils also:
What is a Carrier Oil?
Carrier oils are botanical extracts taken from plants that are rich in fatty acids, which are usually contained in the seed or nut. Sometimes called base oils, carrier oils are used for diluting aromatic essential oils before application on the skin, particularly in massage. Since essential oils tend to evaporate easily, adding a few drops to a larger amount of carrier oil, which is much more stable, creates a homemade massage oil that is comfortable on the skin while still imparting its fragrant aromatherapy benefits!
Massages with carrier oils can vary from an extensive full-body massage to a brief self-massage of the arms, shoulders and neck.On their own, carrier oils do not tend to have a notable scent, another quality that makes them a good match for potent essential oils. Many carrier oils are produced by a cold-press method that allows them to retain their natural nutrients. These compounds vary from oil to oil, but often include essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Carrier Oil Favorites
Sweet Almond Oil: One of the world's most celebrated nuts, sweet almond oil is derived from the variety known as Prunus amygdalus dulcis. A popular carrier oil for massage, sweet almond oil helps to encourage skin wellness with its various nutrients, including omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A and E. In Ayurvedic practices, sweet almond oil is also considered one of the best carrier oils for hair health!
Jojoba Oil: Sourced from the seed of the jojoba plant (Simmondsia chinensis), this well-known oil (technically a liquid wax) is a common carrier oil and featured in a variety of beauty products, including hair care items. Jojoba oil encourages skin hydration and overall dermal health, qualities that research has partially attributed to its ability to aid in regulating inflammatory response.** Jojoba is also valued for its natural chemical stability, which gives it a long shelf life, unlike some carrier oils.
Avocado Oil: Botanically classified as a berry, the avocado (Persea Americana) is a popular fruit native to Mexico. The yellowish-green flesh of the avocado is used to create its namesake oil, which is sometimes incorporated into massage as a carrier oil thanks to its skin-supporting properties. Avocado oil contains beta-carotene, vitamins D and E and beneficial fatty acids, making it one of the most nutrient-rich carrier oils for skin. Avocado oil is also found in many hair care products!
Grapeseed Oil: Derived from the seed of the common grape (Vitis vinifera), grapeseed oil is one of the most prominent carrier oils. It contains omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, along with vitamin E and various polyphenols. These nutrients contribute to the oil's ability to encourage skin wellness. Among carrier oils, grapeseed oil is relatively thin and has a shorter shelf life.
Carrier Oil Products
Carrier oil products are derived from their attendant plants and typically offered in liquid form, often in 4-ounce bottles. In aromatherapy, carrier oils are frequently used as a base for concentrated essential oils. Carrier oils may also be worked into the skin on their own for supporting skin wellness, and they are common ingredients in various cosmetics and beauty products.
Carrier Oil Directions for Use
When used with essential oils, the ratio of carrier oils should always be substantially higher. A basic aromatherapy recipe to follow is 1 ounce of carrier oil for every 7-10 drops of essential oil.