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Properties and Uses of Aromatherapy Carrier Oils for Essential Oils

Aromatherapy Carrier Oil

Aromatherapy carrier oils are a way to dilute essential oils for use on your skin. The most common type of carrier oil for essential oils are vegetable or nut oils. However, you can also use butters, such as cocoa or shea butter, or lotions or creams. Look for high-quality products, organic when possible.

Most carrier oils can go rancid, some faster than others, so it's important to store them in a cool, dark place away from heat and moisture.

Aromatherapy Carrier Oils

There is no one best carrier oil for essential oils. Choosing a carrier to use for applying essential oils to your skin depends on your skin type, allergies or sensitivities, and personal preferences.

Almond oil is a popular massage oil that's good for all types of skin. It contains linoleic acid and vitamin E and may help relieve itching and dryness.

Apricot oil is a light oil that's rich in vitamins A and E and in oleic acid. It has regenerating, toning, nourishing, and softening properties. It's particularly good for dry and mature skin.

Argan oil is made from the argan tree that grows primarily in Morocco. The oil contains vitamin E, which is good for skin.

Avocado oil is a rich oil that also contains vitamins E and D, beta carotene, and linoleic acid. It's especially good for dry and fragile skin but isn't recommended for oily skin.

Borage oil, black currant seed oil, and evening primrose oil are high in the fatty acid GLA, which helps keep skin healthy and repair sun damage. These oils are particularly good for dry, mature, and aging skin, but they have a very short shelf life.

Castor oil is too thick to make a good massage oil but works well in making lip balms and other cream products because it creates a protective barrier on the skin. Castor is also good for brittle nails.

Cocoa butter contains vitamin E and other vitamins and minerals and it nourishing and softening. Other butters you can use as aromatherapy carrier oils include shea butter and mango butter.

Coconut oil is high in antioxidants. Virgin or fractionated coconut oil makes a good massage oil, while refined coconut oil works in soaps and lotions. It's especially good for dry, sensitive, mature, and damaged skin.

Grapeseed oil is a light oil that absorbs quickly and is good for all skin types. It tightens and tones skin.

Hazelnut oil is good for oily skin and helping get rid of blackheads.

Jojoba oil is good for all skin types and especially useful for dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, sunburn, and arthritis. This oil is also good for hair, and it's recommended for making products to prevent hair loss. Another advantage of jojoba is that it doesn't go rancid like most vegetable oils because it's a wax, not an oil.

Macadamia nut oil is a light, regenerative oil that's good for most skin types. It may help heal minor skin irritations.

Olive oil promotes a smooth, radiant complexion and helps maintain skin elasticity.

Rosehip seed oil is highly regenerating and healing. It's good for most skin types, especially for scarring, stretch marks, wrinkles, and pigmentation spots, and for damaged hair.

Sesame oil (not toasted sesame, which has a strong aroma) is soothing and softening.

Tamanu oil (Calophyllum inophyllum) is cold-pressed from the nuts of the tree. The oil has skin-nourishing properties and may help relieve various skin conditions.

Walnut oil has soothing refreshing emollient qualities.

Wheat germ oil is regenerating and helps relieve inflammation. It's good for dry, mature skin and for eczema and psoriasis.

More Information

Although not an oil or butter, you can also use aloe vera gel as an aromatherapy carrier oil. It penetrates skin deeply, promotes cell repair, and helps relieve inflammation.

One oil NOT to use as a carrier oil for essential oils: Mineral oil is difficult for skin to absorb and clogs pores.


The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care
Making Aromatherapy Creams and Lotions
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art

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