So we talked about essential oils, but what do we mean when we talk about carrier oils ? What are they ? Why do we use them and which one to choose ?
We use carrier oils for topical application (application of essential oils to the skin). Technically a carrier oil does just what its name refers to; it carries the oil onto the skin for absorption. Using a carrier oil increases absorption of the essential oil into the skin, even if it dilutes its potency. As we know, essential oils are volatile. Therefore, using a carrier oil will make sure the essential oils actually get into the skin and only a minimum evaporates. To preserve the essential oils' delicate chemical profile, it is highly recommended to use carrier oils that 100% pure vegetable oils.
There are lots of different oils available to use as a carrier oil. Most of them contain long chain fatty acids than can oxidize over time. This is why those carrier oils undergo a process of fractionation in order to prolong their shelf life. A great advantage to be doing this is that it changes the texture from solid to liquid, makes it lightweight and even non greasy!
As mentioned earlier, there are a lots of different options offered to you such as coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, linseed oil, rosehip oil, apricot kernel oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, wheat germ oil, calendula oil, walnut oil, etc.
I'd like to tell you about a few oils to help you choose what would be best for you.
Fractionated coconut oil;
This is probably the most popular one. It is excellent to moisturize the skin and is also great for your hair. Fractionated, coconut oil is odourless, tasteless and won't stain your clothes if you were to drop some on them by mistake. It is very calming for the skin so it's great for skin conditions that are inflamed. Very convenient and cost efficient option.
Jojoba oil; Jojoba oils is used in a lot of skin and hair care products. It is great for all skin types, but especially for oily and acne prone skin because the excess of sebum is dissolved in jojoba. Same for oily scalps, does wonders! It absorbs really well. It is very soothing for inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and psioriasis.
Rosehip oil; Rosehip is another very popular oil for the skin. All floral essential oils are known for their benefits to the skin so it comes to no surprise to see this one as a favourite, especially when it comes to facial creams. It is made from cold pressing the seeds of rose hips. It is known to have anti-aging properties and great for cell regeneration. As the previous carrier oils mentioned, it is also very calming for inflammatory skin condition. But also, it is good for menopause and PMS symptoms. It is recommended to combine with calendula oil to treat stretch marks and scars.
Almond oil; This one is a favourite for massages as it absorbs very well and is moisturizing. Sweet Almond oil is rich in vitamin D and is great for all skin type. It's a good all-rounder.
Apricot oil; I just wanted to make sure to mention an oil which is great for sensitive skin (along with avocado and grape seed). This oil actually comes from the kernel of the apricot. It is light yellow color, lightweight and absorbs well. Apricot oil is rich in vitamins A, B and E which are great for skin rejuvenation. It leaves the skin silky smooth and is a great moisturizer.
I hope this gave you a good insight on carrier oils and which one to use for what. Don't over complicate it and go with what you think you'd be best for you. Really, there are no right or wrong as long as you dilute your essential oils to the safety standards.