Carrier Oils: What are they?
Carrier Oils are oils that we (and others) use to “carry” Essential Oils, mostly because Essential Oils are soluble in fat and mix easily into them. But also because Carrier Oils have their own well-known properties as well, being derived from vegetarian sources.
Why do Essential Oils need Carrier Oils?
Because they should rarely, if ever, be used in incredibly high doses or pure. Much like many of our products, a little Essential Oil goes a long way!
There are different types of Carrier Oils that can be used; it really depends what you are trying to achieve as to which you might select. We use a range in our products depending on the usage; for example we use a lighter oil for lip care that is non greasy, moisturising and importantly odourless.
Some of them tend to be lighter and less greasy than others so are very common in skin care, creams and lotions. Examples of these we use at Oomeo Ltd. would be Sweet Almond Oil or Apricot Kernel Oil.
The heavier ones, which also tend to be the more expensive types, are oils such as Jojoba Oil and Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
So in short, how do Essential Oils and Carrier Oils differ?
Carrier Oil tends to be extracted from nuts, seeds or fruit through cold processing / pressing. *Emu Oil being our exception! They tend not to have any smell, or only a very slight smell, and are quite thick in consistency.
Essential Oils tend to be extracted from plants or shrubs through distillation (water or steam usually). The parts of the plant might include: roots, bark, stems, leaves, flowers. Essential Oils tend to be very aromatic, and are much thinner than Carrier Oils in their consistency.
But we rarely use one without the other because they are a bit like peas in a pod!