Carrier Oils

What are carrier oils?

Carrier oil is used to dilute essential oils before they are applied to the skin in massage and aromatherapy. They are so named because they carry the essential oil onto the skin. Powerful, highly concentrated essential oils may cause skin irritations and that is where the carrier oil comes in. Carrier oils blended with essential oils are often applied during massage, acting as a needed lubricating agent making it easier to absorb into the skin when working larger areas and muscles. 

Carrier oils

Carrier oils do not contain concentrated aromas, unlike essential oils, although some, such as olive, have a mild distinctive smell. They also do not evaporate like essential oils, which are more volatile.

The carrier oils used should be as natural and unadulterated as possible. Many people feel organic oils are of higher quality.

How are they made?

Cold-pressing and maceration are the two main methods of producing carrier oils.

There is a range of different carrier oils, each with various therapeutic properties. Choosing an oil will depend on the area being massaged, the presenting conditions and the clients sensitivity and requirements.

All carrier oils should be kept cool, and away from strong light, to prevent spoilage.

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

What is Aloe Vera? For many centuries aloe vera has been used for medicinal purposes in several cultures: Greece, Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan and China. Even though aloe vera is a gel and not an oil, it does make for a good carrier. Aloe vera as a carrier has great healing qualities which makes it …

Apricot Kernel (Prunus armeniaca)

What Is Apricot Kernel? The origin of the apricot is disputed. It was known in Armenia during ancient times, and has been cultivated there for so long, it is often thought to have originated there. Apricot kernel oil was used in ancient Chinese medicine about 3000 BC. The semi-oily texture makes it a good choice …

Argan (Argania spinosa)

What is Argan? The argan tree is native to Southwestern Morocco and the oil has been used for generations to treat skin infections, bug bites, and skin rashes. Today, it is used as a moisturizer for hair and skin. It is known as “liquid gold” and “Moroccan gold” in the beauty industry. The oil is …

Avocado (Persea americana)

What is Avocado? The avocado may have originated in southern Mexico but was cultivated from the Rio Grande to central Peru long before the arrival of Europeans. Thereafter, it was carried not only to the West Indies (where it was first reported in Jamaica in 1696), but to nearly all parts of the tropical and …

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

What is Calendula? Ancient cultures recognized and used the healing properties of calendula. It is native to Mediterranean countries but is now grown as an ornamental plant throughout the world. Calendula can be used alone, but is best added to other carrier oils. It is an excellent base for massage oils, salves and lotions. Advantages Stimulates …

Coconut (Cocos nucifera)

What is Coconut? Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Ayurvedic medicine texts written in Sanskrit about 4,000 years ago report the health benefits of coconut oil.  Southeast Asian countries consider coconut the “tree of life” because of its highly …

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

What is Evening Primrose? Originally, evening primrose was used by Native Americans to make poultices and heal wounds. It was also traditionally eaten and used as a leaf vegetable. Nowadays evening primrose is mainly used for the production of its oil, which has a range of therapeutic properties. Small amounts of evening primrose are often …

Grapeseed (Vitus vinifera)

What is Grapeseed? Grapeseed oil is obtained from the pulverised kernels of wine-producing grapes (Vitis vinifera) by pressing or extraction. Oil obtained in this manner is then refined. The vine is one of the oldest cultivated plants. It was cultivated both by the Egyptians, in 3500 B.C., and by the Babylonians and Indians. Advantages · …

Hazelnut (Corylus avellana)

What is Hazelnut? Hazelnuts have been important in the diets of humans since prehistoric times. Evidence of the nuts has been found in many Mesolithic and Neolithic sites in Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Archaeologists have also found the remains of filberts 5,000+ years old in prehistoric excavations from China. Hazelnut is an excellent carrier oil …

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)

What is Jojoba? Jojoba is native to the semiarid regions of southern Arizona, southern California and northwestern Mexico. Jojoba (pronounced ho-HO-ba) is being cultivated to provide a renewable source of a unique high-quality oil. Native Americans extracted the oil from jojoba seeds to treat sores and wounds centuries ago. Jojoba is actually a liquid wax …

Macadamia (Macadamia integrifolia)

What is Macadamia? Macadamia nuts are native to Australia – north eastern New South Wales and central and south eastern Queensland. The aborigines would express the oil from the nuts and use it for skin rejuvenation and as a carrier where it was mixed with other plant extracts to treat ailments. Macadamia is rich in …

Olive (Olea europaea)

What is Olive? The true origin of the olive is not known but is speculated to be Syria or possibly sub-Saharan Africa. For more than 6000 years, the cultivated olive has developed alongside Mediterranean civilizations. Olive oil tends to be a little overwhelming because of its smell but it can be blended with other oils …

Peach Kernel (Prunus persica)

What is Peach Kernel? The peach tree is native to China and was introduced to the United States in the 17th century. Peach kernel oil is derived from the pit of the peach by using the cold pressed technique, thereby, maintaining top grade potency. The oil is utilized for various medicinal and cosmetic applications.   …

Rosehip (Rosa mosqueta)

What is Rosehip? Rosehip seed oil is a pressed seed oil, extracted from the seeds of a wild rose bush in the southern Andes. It has been used by the people of Chile for hundreds of years as a cosmetic treatment for the skin. Rosehip oil may aggravate acne in high concentrations. It can be …

Sesame Seed (Sesamum indicum)

What is Sesame? Numerous wild relatives of sesame occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago. It was a major summer crop in the Middle East for thousands of years. Sesame oil has a very distinct scent so …

Sweet Almond (Prunus amygdalus dulcus)

What is Sweet Almond? Sweet Almond originated in Asia and is cultivated around the Mediterranean Basin for its fruits. It is mentioned by ancient authors, and the Bible traces its native origin to Palestine. Sweet almond oil is obtained from the dried kernels of the almond tree. The oil is good for application to the …

Walnut (Juglans regia)

What is Walnut? Early history indicates that walnuts came from Persia. However, prior to that time, there are other indications that show the walnut was grown in many parts of the world including Egypt, Eastern Europe, Asia, South and North America, and Greece. Usually blended with several other oils, the beneficial effects of walnut oil …

Wheat Germ (Triticum vulgare)

What is Wheat Germ? Wheatgerm is native to the United States. The oil is extracted by cold pressing the germ of the wheat kernel. Wheatgerm should not be used by anybody with an allergy. Wheat germ oil is a thick oil so it is best to add it with other carrier oils to get a …