What Is Carrier Oil?

There are all kinds of oils out there including the kind you put in your car. However, carrier oils are unique in that they hold a special place in the hearts of aromatherapists and bath product creators alike. It is the carrier oil that carries the essential oil. Carrier oil is what you use to dilute those super powerful essential oils.

The term carrier oil is the term aromatherapists use. For those making natural bath products, you might hear carrier oil, base oil or fixed oil used synonymously. However, not all base oil or fixed oils are vegetable oils. A case in point is emu bird oil and fish oil.

What is the difference between carrier oil and essential oil?

  Carrier oil

  • Carrier oils are cold pressed. That means they may be pressed without any heat at all or heat held to a maximum of 60 degrees C.
  • Carrier oils spoil by going rancid.
  • Carrier oils often have a light warm scent or no scent at all
  • Carrier oil is a vegetable oil that is derived mostly from cold-pressing nuts, seeds and kernels. An exception to the rule is avocado and olive oil (pit and all are used) which come from the flesh of the fruit.
  • Unless you are sensitive to the oil, carrier oils may be applied directly to the skin.
  • Some carrier oils may be consumed.
  • Carrier oils don’t evaporate
  • Some carrier oils are highly nutritious when used both internally and or externally

   Essential oil

  • Essential oils are usually produced using some form of distillation method.
  • Essential oils don’t go rancid. However they will oxidize over time and as they oxidize, they lose their therapeutic value.
  • Essential oils have a strong scent and evaporate
  • Most essential oils should not be applied full strength directly to the skin.
  • Few essential oils are edible. When they are used therapeutically only a small concentration is recommended. Unless you really know what you’re doing, it’s advisable to only use them internally on the advice of a qualified therapist.
  • Essential oils are noted for having profound beneficial effects therapeutically.

This post is sort of a primer to help you better understand what carrier oil is and what it does. It’s pretty amazing all the benefits we can derive from using carrier oils. In future posts, you’re going to see detailed information on individual carrier oils and how they are used.

Now go have fun and relax.

Related articles:

Jojoba Oil – What You Need To Know

Camellia Oil or Olive Oil – Which is best?

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