Choosing a Carrier Oil

Posted by on May 22, 2020 at 1:50 PM

Choosing a carrier oil to use with essential oils is more than personal preference. The kind of carrier you use can not only affect the absorption rate, but can also enhance therapeutic properties of the essential oil you are using. To extend their shelf life add Vitamin E, it is a natural preservative.

Lotions: Due to their high water content, lotion is a good choice for situations where you want fast absorption. The water in lotion quickly evaporates, and makes it ideal for injuries such as sore muscles and joints. Avoid lotions made with petroleum-based oils or synthetic fragrances. Arnica lotion makes a wonderful base for anti-inflammatory muscle blends.

Oils: Oil is a great choice for massages, as it is not as quick to absorb into the skin as a lotion, and provides a good medium for a good, long, rub. Thicker than lotion, oil is heavier and allows the essential oils to linger longer on the skin.

Any oil you have at home for cooking will suffice in a pinch. Here are a few of the better choices:

Jojoba oil (technically a wax) is a great carrier oil choice due to its light aroma close resemblance to our skin's own natural oil. Not only is jojoba oil moisturizing, its anti-inflammatory properties make it a perfect base for a muscle rub. Most carrier oils have a 6-12 month shelf life, but jojoba oil's antioxidant properties prevent this oil from going rancid.

Avocado oil has a mild aroma. This oil is a wonderful choice for dry, wrinkled skin due to its ability to improve the skin's elasticity and increase hydration. Avocado oil is also ideal for use in an anti-scar blend as it promotes cell regeneration. Avocado oil provides relief from arthritis pain and surface inflammation.

Coconut oil can be quite firm, depending on ambient room temperature (although fractionated coconut oil is liquid at room temp). You can also find 96 degree coconut oil when wanting a firmer base, say for deodorant. Coconut oil is an excellent choice for sensitive skin and won't clog pores.

Olive oil: inexpensive and long shelf life.

Butters: The best option for when you want essential oils to slowly absorb over a longer period of time.

Shea butter makes a wonderful base for lip balms and even deodorant. An excellent moisturizer, shea butter is perfect for dry heels, stretch marks, and a wide range of skin issues.

Cocoa butter not only has a pleasant aroma, but has antioxidant properties. As a fat, cocoa butter repels water, creating a breathable “seal” which softens the skin. Cocoa butter also contains a decent amount of vitamin E, and acts as a lubricant. Especially helpful for treating fine-line wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. You may want a refined oil or butter when trying to create a certain scent.

Note: Water is not recommended as a carrier, as it does not effectively mix with essential oils. Such as adding to a bath…dilute in oil before adding to tub.


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