What Is A Carrier Oil?
When first embarking into the world of essential oils you likely heard the words, "dilution" and "carrier oil." The first step to dilution is understanding the differences between a carrier oil and an essential oil. Today, EG’s aromatherapists are going back to the basics to answer all of your carrier oil questions.
What is a carrier oil?
A carrier oil or base oil is a vegetable oil commonly derived from nuts, seeds, and kernels. Some common carrier oils you may be familiar with are oils you may use in cooking, such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil and Grapeseed oil. Carrier oils are obtained mainly by being cold pressed- the process of pressing the part of the plant holding the fatty acids without heat. Depending on which fatty acids a carrier oil contains, each carrier oil has unique benefits towards the skin.
What’s the difference between carrier and essential oils?
At Edens Garden, we’re frequently asked what the difference is between carrier oils and essential oils. To give you an idea, try comparing the look and aroma of a carrier oil next to an essential oil. You will notice that carrier oils are often thicker than essential oils, and their aromas are much less potent. Carrier oils are made up of fatty acids such as oleic and linoleic acids, whereas essential oils are a much more complex combination of constituents such as linalool, limonene, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and more. Because carrier oils are made up of fatty acids, these oils are non-volatile and won’t dissipate if left out, whereas essential oils are volatile and will dissipate and oxidize when exposed to oxygen.
Why dilute essential oils in carrier oil?
The constituents which make up essential oils are extremely potent and can be irritating to the skin when applied undiluted, or can cause sensitization over time. Carrier oils are mild and because they blend with essential oils to create a homogenous mixture, they are the perfect diluent for using essential oils topically.
Where can I learn more about carrier oils?
Our blog is the perfect place to learn about carrier oils. Need an oil for scars and stretch marks? Read about why Rosehip is the oil for you. Have you ever heard of Prickly Pear Seed? This carrier oil will blow you away. Curious about comedogenicity? Learn more here!
What’s your favorite carrier oil? Let us know in the comment section below!