In this article, we examine what carrier oils are, and how people can use them alongside essential oils.
What is a carrier oil?
Essential oils are distilled from the aromatic leaves, bark, and roots of plants. If applied to the skin directly, they can cause reactions, such as severe irritation, redness or burning.
Carrier oils are used to dilute the essential oils and help “carry” them into the skin. Aloe vera gels and unscented body lotion are also sometimes used as carriers.
Carrier oils are vegetable oils, such as coconut oil or avocado oil, that have been derived from the seeds, kernels, or nuts of a plant.
To be used in aromatherapy, it is recommended that the oil is obtained through cold pressing. In this process, the oil is extracted by crushing the plants. Users claim that the fragile nutrients in the oil can be damaged if they are extracted with heat.
While some are odorless, most carrier oils have a faint smell that is sweet and nutty. Unlike essential oils, they do not evaporate.