Chances are, if you’ve read through the list of ingredients for a DIY recipe, you’ve seen some kind of carrier oil mentioned. There are many types of carrier oils available for use in cooking, herbal remedies and skincare products. I recommend having a few on hand to aid you in your DIY adventures.
Most people have their favorites, personally I use coconut oil for most things. But I want to list a few common ones and different times they may be used. I also want to address the different ways you can use them and how to store them safely.
Types of Carrier Oils
Almond oil is very moisturizing and can be used in a number of DIY recipes that call for a carrier oil, especially one that will remain liquid at room temperature. Use it as a base oil or mix with other carrier oils.
Obviously, this oil poses a risk to those with nut allergies, so you should avoid using almond oil if you are allergic to nuts.
Like the fruit it’s derived from, avocado oil is high in essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins. Avocado oil is deeply moisturizing and often recommended for those with sensitive skin and other skin problems, like eczema. Use with other carrier oils.
If you’re allergic to latex, however, you may also have problems with avocado oil, so I suggest doing a small skin test before spreading this carrier oil all over your skin. Trust me.
Coconut oil is my favorite carrier oil because it has so many beneficial properties. It’s the perfect base for any homemade ointment or skincare product.
Coconut oil is also absorbed quickly by the skin and moisturizes well. It is solid at room temperature, so if that’s not what you want your finished product to be, use it with another carrier oil. Otherwise, use coconut oil as a base.
You can also purchase Fractionated Coconut Oil.
As the name implies, Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the coconut oil from which almost all the long chain triglycerides are removed, thus leaving mainly the medium-chain triglycerides and making it an absolutely saturated oil.
In addition to its culinary uses, grapeseed oil is also used as a carrier oil. Grapeseed oil is a great addition to homemade lotions and creams. Use as a base or with other carrier oils.
Jojoba oil is a common carrier oil called for in DIY bath and beauty recipes as well as herbal remedies. It’s also a great carrier oil to add essential oils to and use as a massage oil. This oil closely mimics the natural oils in our skin, and is easily absorbed without being greasy. Use as a base or with other carrier oils.
Extra virgin olive oil has a multitude of uses – cooking, beauty products, herbal remedies, cold-process soap, etc. And it’s a great carrier oil to use for infusing herbs.
If I’m making a salve, though, I prefer to use it with a base carrier oil because it has such a strong smell. Dilute with other carrier oils that absorb well.
Storage and safe use of carrier oils
Remember to keep all of your carrier oils in a cool, dark place to prolong their shelf life. Sniff your oils before you use them and if any smell “off,” it’s probably gone rancid and it’s best to replace the oil.
Also, if you haven’t used a particular carrier oil before, have all who will be using the final product do a small skin test to make sure they don’t have any reactions.
How To Use Carrier Oils
As the name suggests, carrier oils are a great way to "carry" in essential oils so the body can better absorb them. They also help to dilute oils that may be a bit strong or "hot" as is often termed.
One thing to remember with carrier oils is they can be used to speed up or slow down the absorption process. If you are wanting an essential oil to have more of a slow release effect, then massage in the carrier oil first and then add the essential oil. If you are wanting the essential oil to absorb quickly, massage in the essential oil and then follow it with the carrier oil. It will, in essence, drive in the oil and help it absorb quicker.
When using essential oils on infants and children, a carrier oil should always be considered. I often have roller bottles with a few drops of essential oils added and fractionated coconut oil to make up the rest. My kids are then able to use them, rub them on, etc. and I don't have to worry about it being too strong.
In Conclusion, carrier oils are a great addition to using essential oils and other natural solutions. It is important to have one or multiple sources on hand and know what their strength's and weaknesses are. Click the button below if you have been wanting to start using essential oils, but haven't quite taken the plunge yet!