Essential oils – Carrier oils

Written by MjauJuly 30, 2017

Let’s carry on with our dive into the world of essential oils!

There’s a couple of things you need to know when dealing with essential oils: Essential oils are volatile, which means they evaporate rapidly and contain the natural smell and characteristics of the plant. This can make them too strong to apply undiluted. Yours truly severely burned her skin with oregano oil more than one time.. But fear not because here comes the carrier oils to the rescue!

Worth noting: Never, ever apply essential oils before heading out in the sun. Night time is always the safest bet.

How are carrier oils used?

You use them to dilute your essential oils and thus reducing the concentration of the essential oil without altering its therapeutic qualities.

Worth noting: Like other substances that are high in fat, carrier oils have a limited shelf life, and will eventually go bad. Depending on the type, oils with a short shelf life should typically be used within six months, while oils with a longer shelf life may stay good for up to a year. It’s important to store oils in their original air-tight containers in a cool, dark place, such as the pantry, to maximize shelf life.

Grapeseed Oil

  • Light and thin consistency
  • Well suited for massages; leaves a light glossy film over the skin
  • Moisturizing
  • High in linoleic acid
  • Relatively short shelf life

Sweet Almond Oil*

  • Slightly sweet, nutty aroma
  • Medium consistency
  • Absorbs relatively quickly; leaves a slight hint of oil on the skin
  • Rich in vitamin E and oleic acid
  • Moisturizing
  • Good all-purpose carrier oil

*Caution: May cause a reaction to those with nut allergies.

Jojoba Oil

  • Slightly nutty aroma
  • Medium consistency
  • Superior, non-greasy absorption, similar to the skin’s natural oils
  • Moisturizing for skin and hair
  • Long shelf life

Olive Oil

  • Popular, easy-to-find oil used in both topical and culinary applications
  • Thicker consistency; leaves an oily feel on the skin
  • Stronger aroma
  • Good source of oleic acid (omega fatty acid)
  • Relatively short shelf life

Fractionated Coconut Oil

  • Unlike coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil is liquid at room temperature
  • No noticeable aroma
  • Absorbs well; leaves skin feeling silky and moisturized; non-greasy
  • High in essential fatty acids
  • Long shelf life

Coconut Oil

  • Solid at room temperature
  • Distinct coconut aroma
  • Solid white color
  • Leaves a moisturizing, oily feeling layer on top of the skin
  • Long shelf life

Cocoa Butter

  • Solid and difficult to work with at room temperature
  • Best used when melted and blended with other carrier oils
  • Sweet, chocolate aroma

Shea Butter

  • Solid at room temperature
  • Nutty aroma
  • Cream colored
  • Moisturizing to skin and hair; leaves behind a moisturizing, waxy-feeling layer