By: Retha Nesmith, Certified Aromatherapist
-We use these words a lot but not everyone knows what a carrier oil is. Carrier oils are VERY important when using essential oils. So in this post, I wanted to talk about what a carrier oil is and why I recommend the use of a carrier oil when using essential oils.
First things first, what is a carrier oil? A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually the seed, nut or kernels. Carrier oils on their own have different therapeutic properties. The choice of the carrier oil will depend on what therapeutic benefit you are looking for. A carrier oil is used to dilute essential oils before they are applied to the skin. A carrier oil will also help “carry” the essential oil into the skin. OK stop! The name now makes sense 🙂
What is an essential oil, then?
An essential oil is a volatile oil, highly concentrated oil, obtained from plants, possessing the odor and other characteristic properties of the plant. The purest essential oils come from carefully cultivated and wild grown plants from climatic and geographic regions throughout the world. Essential oils are usually extracted by distillation or solvent extraction. An essential oil is actually not oily, and should evaporate.
Now I want to explain why I believe it is very important to use a carrier oil when using an essential oil! Did you see the last part that I highlighted? Essential oils should evaporate! If you dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil before applying it to your skin, the carrier oil will help prevent the essential oil from evaporating! That means you are getting more essential oil into your skin which means you need LESS essential oil! AND the therapeutic properties of the essential oil will ONLY be strengthened by the carrier oil! Another reason you need to dilute essential oils is because they are strong and can cause serious damage! You can find more information about this at aromaweb.com. For more information on diluting essential oils go HERE!
🙂 I hope this explains most everything! AND I hope it answers most all of your questions about carrier oils and diluting essential oils! 🙂 Please leave any questions in the comments!