15 November 2008

Carrier oils also known as base oils or vegetable oils. They are so named because they carry the essential oil onto the skin. It derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels or the nuts. Carrier oils are not made from herbs or fruits. Aromatherapy carrier oils are almost entirely made from vegetable oils.

Carrier oil used to dilute essential oils, CO2s and absolutes before applied to the skin, if applied to the skin undiluted can cause severe irritation or reactions in some individuals.

Not all fixed oils/base oils are vegetable oils. Emu oil (from the emu bird) and fish (marine) oils are also classified as fixed/base oils, but these animal-based oils are generally not used for aromatherapy work.

Different carrier oils offer different properties and the choice of carrier oil can depend on the therapeutic benefit being sought, color, overall aroma and shelf life of your final product.

Carrier oils are generally cold-pressed vegetable oils derived from the fatty portions of the plant. Unlike essential oils that evaporate and have a concentrated aroma, carrier oils do not evaporate or impart their aroma as strongly as essential oils.

Carrier Oil Color
There are many colors for essential oil, and it doesn’t matter when selecting a carrier oil for blends, but it may influence the color of final product if you blend the colorful oils each other.

Carrier Oil Contain
Carrier oils contain fat soluble vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Some oil contain a high level of beta carotene, such as Seabuckthom Berry Oil, makes the oil orange and vivid. Some also contain tocopherols (Vitamin E), which is acts as anti-oxidants. This Vitamin E both helpful for the skin and generally help extend the shelf life of the oil.

Uses and Health Benefits
The vegetable oils having nourishing and therapeutic properties of their own, make them the perfect carriers. Carrier oils are also excellent for massage and skin care.
Carrier oils provide good lubrication for substances in their own right; carrying important healing substances, vitamins and minerals. They support the skin's ability to function, to breathe, to absorb light, to regulate the skin's temperature, soften the skin and give it elasticity.

Carrier Oil Processing Method
Shop for carrier oils that have been cold pressed or cold expeller pressed. This indicates that the oil has been pressed from the fatty portions of the botanical without the use of added heat. The process can still generate heat due to the friction of the method, but cold expeller pressed oils are processed under conditions that keep the heat to a minimum. Oils that simply say expeller pressed have not been processed to maintain low heat levels. When oils are processed without cool conditions, the high temperature degree and duration of the processing method can harm the fragile nutrients in the oil.

How much does It Costs?
Carrier oils can vary greatly in price based on several factors, such as :
  • The botanical it's made from.
  • The process.
  • If it's organic, the quantity that you're purchasing, and the source that you're purchasing it from. This costs more than conventional oils. Be sure the oil is certified before buy.
How to Shop the Carrier Oil?
It is not wise to buy aromatherapy carrier oil in your local grocery store, because most of the carrier oils are not cold-pressed but heated-processed. You better should by the cold pressed or cold expeller pressed, because the high temperature degree and duration of the processing method can harm the fragile nutrients in the oil and have less therapeutic benefit. The best base oils which are 'cold pressed' will usually have a rich color and a characteristic aroma.

Mineral oil is not used in aromatherapy because mineral oil is not a natural product. It is also said that mineral oil can prevent essential oil absorption into the skin.

It’s better you buy carrier oils at specialist aromatherapy shop or health food store. Watch for dust on the bottles when buying oils locally. That can indicate the oil has been sitting around for awhile. Look for oils that are not blends of two or more oils and that have no additives.The aromatherapy carrier oils that you purchase must be natural and unadulterated to prevent the oil from going bad too rapidly.

Examples of carrier oils are :


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