Carrier Oils in Aromatherapy #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the letter C post in my #AtoZChallenge on aromatherapy. Today, I will be discussing carrier oils.

Carrier oils, also sometimes called base oils, are the oils used to dilute essential oils into when using essential oils in skincare products. After all, undiluted essential oils are irritating to the skin. Please note the following differences between essential oils and carrier oils:


  1. Essential oils are derived from the aromatic components of the plant, such as leaves, bark and root. Carrier oils come from the fatty portions of the plant, such as the seeds.

  2. Essential oils retain the characteristic odor of the plant. Carrier oils do not, at least not very strongly.

  3. Essential oils evaporate easily (hence producing their characteristic scent). Carrier oils do not evaporate as easily.

  4. Carrier oils can go rancid over time. Essential oils do not, but they will oxidize and lose their therapeutic benefits.

Carrier oils are natural vegetable oils derived from the fatty portions of plants, usually the seeds, kernels or nuts. The name “carrier oil” comes from their function in carrying the essential oils onto the skin. Aloe vera gel can also be used as a carrier, but it isn’t an oil. I will be focusing on oils here. Below are some examples of carrier oils.

1. Sweet almond oil. One of the most commonly-used carrier oils, because it is widely available in organic form. It is relatively affordable, all-purpose and has a shelf life of 1-2 years.

2. Grape seed oil. A relatively all-purpose oil in skincare or massage. However, it is not often available in pure, organic form. It also has a rather short shelf life of only 6-12 months.

3. Coconut oil. This comes either in a virgin form or as a fractionated oil, which means it has been distilled to contain only the medium chain triglycerides. Fractionated coconut oil is odorless and highly stable. Virgin coconut oil still contains the aroma of coconuts and can, as a result, be used to create this scent.

4. Apricot kernel oil. This is an oil that is in many ways similar to sweet almond oil. However, it is lighter in texture and viscosity and is absorbed into the skin relatively quickly.

I have so far only used sweet almond and apricot kernel oils.

In addition to carrier oils, butters can also be used in skincare products, such as body butter or lip balm. Butters include mango butter, cocoa butter and sometimes coconut oil can be thick enough to be used as a butter. I love to combine cocoa butter, coconut oil and sweet almond oil into a body butter.

12 thoughts on “Carrier Oils in Aromatherapy #AtoZChallenge

    1. I can understand that. It smells great and is very useful for lots of things, including skincare and beauty, but also cooking or so I’ve heard.

      Like

  1. It’s great information on carrier oils, maybe I will try adding teatree oil to coconut oil. I’ve been using the former for my dry feet from time to time but now thinking it could be better when more diluted. I’ll look into this but what do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for asking. I don’t know what dilution rate you usually use. For most essential oils, 1-3% is recommended. This means if you use 100ml of carrier oil (such as your coconut oil), you’ll add at most 1-3ml of essential oil. I’ll get back to you in a bit with the recommended dilution rate for tea tree essential oil.

      Like

Leave a Reply to Miss Andi Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.