Carrier Oils

What are Carrier Oils?

The historic traces of Carrier Oils are as old as the history of Essential Oils. In fact, they are much older than that. Whenever we speak about Essential Oils, the next thing we discuss for sure are the Carrier Oils. Essential Oils are concentrated liquids that cannot be used undiluted on the skin. They are lipophilic and hydrophobic in nature, meaning they don’t get mixed with water and can mix only with oils. Hence, they need to be mixed with the base oil derived from plants. These base oils are called as Carrier Oils. Carrier Oils are also referred to as “Fixed Oils,” due to the fact that they don’t evaporate quickly from the skin’s surface and remain “fixed” on the skin. Topical application is one of the best ways to use Essential Oils, facilitated by these Carrier Oils.

These Oils are obtained through cold pressing of different parts of a plant like – seeds, nuts, fruits, kernels, beans, etc. They are pressed or crushed without being subjected to heat. This helps in preserving the bioactive substances in these Oils.

Composition of Carrier Oils

These Oils are rich in Vitamin E, Omega 9 fatty acids, Omega 6 fatty acids, Omega 3 Fatty acids, Oleic acids, Linoleic acids, Phytosterols, Selenium and medium chain fatty acids.

Properties of Carrier Oils

  1. They are generally odourless or have a faintly sweet or nutty aroma.
  2. They are neither very thick nor very thin.
  3. They are colourless.
  4. Essential Oils get completely mixed with these Oils.
  5. They get absorbed easily.
  6. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. They possess anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, moisturizing and soothing properties.

Main Carrier Oils

  • Argan Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Hemp seed Oil
  • Rosehip Oil
  • Moringa Oil
  • Evening primrose Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Neem Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Wheatgrass Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Walnut Oil

These Oils can be blended with each other as per their therapeutic properties.

Importance of Carrier Oils in Topical Aromatherapy
Carrier Oils dilute the Essential Oils and help “carry” them into the skin. They have a soothing effect on the skin. They actually enhance the action of Essential Oils. They are also used in natural lotions, lip balms, bath oils, creams, body oils and other skin care and cosmetic products.

How to store Carrier Oils
Carrier Oils that are high in unsaturated fatty acid content will generally have a shorter shelf life and can last for up to 6 months. Carrier Oils with natural antioxidant properties, such as those with high Vitamin E or Lauric Acid content, have longer shelf lives owing to these constituents that either prevent oxidation or slow down the process. These Oils have a longer shelf life of around 1-2 years. To maintain an Oil’s quality and maximize its shelf life, it should be stored in an airtight container in a cool and dark place.

How to choose the Carrier Oils
Apart from their therapeutic properties, the Comedogenic Scale is a simple method to choose the correct Carrier Oil. This scale ranges from 0 to 5, with ‘0’ being the Oils which don’t close the skin pores in all skin types and ‘5’ being the Oils that clog the pores for all skin types.
Scale 0 – Argan, Hemp seed, Camellia
Scale 1 – Castor, calendula, Rosehip
Scale 2– Almond, Apricot, Avocado, Evening primrose, Grapeseed, Jojoba
Scale 3 – cotton seed, Soyabean
Scale 4/5- Linseed, Wheatgrass, Coconut

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *