What’s a Carrier and Why Do I Need one?
Carrier oils are made from plants and can include nuts, seeds, or fruits. Some carrier oils include coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil and jojoba oil (although this is really a wax). They aren’t volatile like essential oils are. They tend to be heavier than essential oils and are very safe for the dermis (skin). Essential oils can irritate skin and cause serious reactions, sensitization and dermatitis. Carrier oils are used to dilute to prevent a reaction. This does not dilute the effect or power of the essential oils and in fact helps to bind the essential oils. This keeps essential oils from evaporating so quickly thus allowing time for the oils to absorb into the dermis more efficiently.
Below is an extensive list of carrier oils and how the can be used and their therapeutic actions. Carrier oil, also known as base oil or vegetable oil, is used to dilute essential oils and absolutes before they are applied to the skin in massage and aromatherapy. They are so named because they carry the essential oil onto the skin. Carrier oils do not contain a concentrated aroma, unlike essential oils. Although some, such as olive, have a mild distinctive smell and Neem, which has a strong odor. Neither do they evaporate like essential oils, which are more volatile. Here is a list of carrier oils I like to use and their purpose. This will help guide you in choosing the best carrier oil to use for different circumstances.
Complimentary Natural Ingredients and Carrier Oils
This list natural ingredients, carriers in this case, are wonderful to blend with your essential oils. Lists of carriers include cold pressed vegetable oils, jojoba oil (a liquid wax), hydrosols, herbs, sea salt, sugars as an exfoliant, milk powders, clays and muds.
Aloe Vera is great for prematurely aging skin, sensitive or inflamed skin. I’ve used this successfully on poison ivy.
Apricot Kernel CP (cold pressed) is wonderful on prematurely aging skin, sensitive and inflamed and it absorbs easily into the skin.
Argan is similar to Sweet Almond in that it is great for all skin types, especially those prone to eczema or has sensitive skin and is very soothing. I also love this for my hair. Take a small amount and work into your hair. It disappears without an oily feel to the hair. It goes well with Bergamot essential oil for Dermatitis and Cedarwood essential oil for itchy relief, dandruff and eczema.
Arnica Infused Oil is often applied externally on unbroken skin to treat sore muscles and joints as well as bruising and sprains and strains. Try making a salve for arthritic conditions. Arnica is a Rubefacient meaning it does its work by bringing more blood to the injured area causing a slight irritation. Below is a recipe for making a salve:
Avocado is very healing because it’s deeply moisturizing and safe for all skin types, anti-bacterial and an anti-wrinkle.
Babassu Oil is interchangeable with Coconut Oil in most recipes as it is just as moisturizing and nourishing. It is an especially beautiful restorative agent for the skin and scalp. The oil readily melts at body temperature, such as when rubbed onto hands; it is soothing, acting as an emollient.
Baobab oil is highly penetrating, deeply nourishing and softens dry skin. It is known to restore and re-moisturize the epidermis. Moisturizing for dry skin and hair, absorbs easily and quickly, improves the skin’s elasticity & tone, cell regenerator, relieves Eczema and Psoriasis. Alleviates pain from burns and regenerates epithelial tissue quickly. It is extremely stable and provides a fairly good measure of unsaturated and saturated fats.
Calendula Infused Organic Oil is anti-inflammatory, wound healing (cicatrisant), especially stubborn wounds, varicose veins, skin infections, cuts, punctures, scrapes, burns and chapped skin or lips.
Carrot Seed Oil is another great oil for premature aging, itching, burning, dryness, psoriasis, eczema, rejuvenates the skin, reduces scars.
Cranberry Seed Organic Oil is anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, relief from hot skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rashes, broad spectrum UV-protectant, anti-oxidant
Coconut: Conditioning, protectant, spot treatment for acne, wound healing, helps keep other carrier oils from going rancid.
Emu: Emu is 100% Triglyceride which equals nearly a complete neutral lipid. Excellent for muscle and joint aches. Results are remarkable.
Organic Hemp Seed Oil is cold-pressed and unrefined Anti-inflammatory, used for healing skin infections, has anti-oxidants properties, moisturizing for the skin, skin protecting, culinary purposes, it changes its wonderful skin healing properties. The butter should be hard and yellow.
Jojoba: Protects the skin but allows it to breathe. Helps control acne and is a wonderful anti-oxidant.
Kpangnan (pronounced Pawnya) is even more moisturizing than Shea butter and has a slight warming effect on the skin when applied. Studies have found that Kpangnan contains a high amount of stigmasterol, an unsaturated plant sterol that contains anti-inflammatory and pain relieving agents. Organic and unrefined will give you the best butter for skin preparations. As soon as it is refined it changes its wonderful skin healing properties. The butter should be hard and yellow.
Marula oil (wildcrafted) serves as a fantastic carrier oil and is characterized by a delicate aroma and light yellow color. Rich in oleic acid, Marula is hydrating and can help increase epidermal smoothness. Known to protect and nourishes the skin, good for oily skin and hair, relieves Dermatitis, Eczema, and Psoriasis. It helps heal sunburns, and chapped/irritated skin. It’s a great anti-oxidant and can be used around the eye area for fine line treatment. It’s got antibacterial action - used to treat wounds and burns and has free-radical scavenging properties.
Neem has anti-bacterial properties and is an anti-inflammatory, fungicide, conditioning, restores skin, antiseptic, and insecticide, great for Psoriasis, skin diseases, herpes, allergies, itching and sunburns. Neem has a very strong scent that can over power the scent of an essential oil.
Olive Oil is perfect for conditioning, cleansing, softening, absorbs well, and is an anti-oxidant.
Rose Hip is so loved. It’s remarkable for damaged, agitated skin. Also good for dry mature skin.
Shea feels elegant to the skin, anti-inflammatory and is used for dry skin, eczema and more.