Essential oils are powerful plant allies that can soothe and calm. However, if applied undiluted to the skin, many essential oils and absolutes can cause irritation, redness or other reactions. This is where carrier oils shine. A carrier oil is usually a vegetable oil (many are made from nuts or seeds) used to dilute essential oils and absolutes before they are applied to the skin. They are named carrier oils because they “carry” essential oils onto the skin in a safe manner.
Each carrier oil offers different benefits. Jojoba oil absorbs easily because it’s the closest to our sebum which makes it great for facial creams, etc. Coconut oil is moisturizing and serves as a protective layer, helping to retain the moisture in your skin. Natural lotions, creams, body oils, bath oils, lip balms and other moisturizing skin care products are also made using vegetable (carrier) oils.
Remember, if you are making products with these oils, note the shelf life of each of the oils used.
Popular examples of vegetable oils that are used as carrier oils:
Almond Oil - rich in Vitamins A & E, one year shelf life
Coconut Oil - barrier moisturizer, two-year shelf life
Grapeseed Oil - light and easily absorbed, one year shelf life
Jojoba - moisturizing and easily absorbed, indefinite shelf life
Olive Oil - rich in Vitamin E, anti-inflammatory, up to 3 year shelf life
Pomegranate Seed Oil - high in Omega-5’s, great for skin care, 1-2 year shelf life