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MAIN CARRIER OILS
USED IN AROMATHERAPY

(Scroll down for specific carrier oils)

Carrier Oils, Essential Oils

Carrier oils are so named because they "carry" an essential oil (EO) to the skin. Carrier oils refer to base oils that are used to dilute essential oils before applying them directly to your skin. You'll find by reading below that each carrier oil has different properties which may benefit one person more than another for various reasons ranging from texture and aroma to preventing allergic reactions.

I always label and blend my carrier oils and essential oils in clear plastic bottles that have a pop top for easy use.

Carrier oils are typically cold-pressed oils that are produced from the fatty portions of a specific plant. Carrier oils do not evaporate like Essential Oils (EO's) do, and carrier oils can go rancid where (EO's) will not.

The main carrier oils are listed below: Typically most oils purchased at a grocery store will not be cold-pressed, with the exception of olive oil and a few others (read the label first). Oils that are not cold-pressed have been heated and have a minimal therapeutic effect. The color is the give-away. So when you purchase a carrier oil listed below, make sure they are natural. Health food stores are probably your best bet. The only exception I would make is an oil that has natural Vitamin E (like Wheatgerm Oil) because it acts as natural preservative.

What about Mineral oil? Mineral oil is not used in aromatherapy because they do not penetrate the skin, therefore the EO will not be absorbed. For this specific reason, I do not recommend replacing mineral oil with any other carrier oil, especially when making castor oil packs.

Almond, Sweet Oil
Apricot Kernel Oil
Avocado Oil
Borage Oil
Calendula Oil
Cocoa Butter
Coconut Oil
Evening Primrose Oil

Grapeseed Oil
Hazelnut Oil
Jojoba Oil
Kukui Oil
Macadamia Nut Oil
Olive Oil
Peanut Oil

Pecan Oil
Rose Hip Oil
Sesame Oil
Shea Butter
Sunflower Oil
Walnut Oil
Wheatgerm Oil

ALMOND, SWEET OIL

Botanical Name: Prunus amygdalus var. dulcus
Aroma: Nutty, slightly sweet and Light
Texture: Absorbs moderately, slightly oily and leaves the skin feeling slightly oily.
Color: Almost completely clear with a trace of yellow
Add'l Info: Considered to be the perfect all-purpose carrier oil. Blends well with Avocado Oil.

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APRICOT KERNEL OIL

Botanical Name: Prunus armeniaca
Aroma: Slight
Texture: Usually non-irritating. Absorbs moderately and is somewhat oily.
Color: Almost completely clear with a trace of yellow.
Add'l Info: Contains B Vitamins. Because of its texture, this makes it perfect for blending massage oils. This oil will not leave you feeling greasy or slippery. It also softens the skin.

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AVOCADO OIL

Botanical Name: Persea americana
Aroma: Medium. Somewhat sweet and nutty
Texture: Thick, leaves a fatty, almost waxy feel to the skin.
Color: Deep olive green
Add'l Info: Blend a 10% dilution of avocado oil with another carrier oil. Excellent for mature and dry skin types. Contains B Complex and Vitamins E and A.

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BORAGE OIL

Botanical Name: Borago officinalis
Aroma: Sweet and light
Texture: Thin to medium, somewhat oily on the skin
Color: Light yellow
Add'l Info: Excellent for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis. Borage oil can go rancid quickly. It is also expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of borage oil with another carrier oil.

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CALENDULA OIL

Botanical Name: Calendula officinalis
Aroma: Spicey sweet aroma
Texture: Thin
Color: Yellow to Amber
Add'l Info: CALENDULA OIL SHOULD NOT BE USED BY ANYONE THAT HAS AN ALLERGY TO RAGWEED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Comes from the Marigold and works well blended with Sweet Almond Oil. Great for reducing inflammation. It is also expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of calendula oil with another carrier oil.

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COCOA BUTTER

Botanical Name: Theobroma cacao
Aroma: In unrefined cocoa butter it is very sweet and rich with a chocolate aroma. In refined cocoa butter the aroma is not as noticeable.
Texture: At room temperature the cocoa butter is solid and difficult to work with and will more than likely break-up into pieces.
Color: Tan with a yellow hue
Add'l Info: In order to use the cocoa butter it will be necessary to blend it with other oils in order to make it more manageable. It can be used in creams or lotions.

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COCONUT OIL

Aroma: Coconut aroma
Texture: Easy to spread and non-oily
Color: Light
Add'l Info: It is also expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of coconut oil with another carrier oil.

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EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

Botanical Name: Oenothera biennis
Aroma: Sweet and light
Texture: Thin and its not oily on the skin.
Color: Medium yellow
Add'l Info: Excellent for treating skin
conditions such as psoriasis. Evening Primrose Oil can go rancid quickly. It is also expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of evening primrose oil with another carrier oil. Can be used in creams.

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GRAPESEED OIL

Botanical Name: Vitus vinifera
Aroma: Sweet, light, with a small nutty aroma.
Texture: Thin fine texture, leaving no oily residue
Color: Almost clear with a tiny hint of yellow/green.
Add'l Info: Inexpensive. May have some trace amounts of chemical solvent in the oil because of the manner in which it is extracted. It has the possibility of turning rancid quickly. If it is stored in a dark bottle in a cool dark area, you may not have any problems with rancidity. Blends well with Avocado Oil.

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HAZELNUT OIL

Botanical Name: Corylus avellana
Aroma: Nutty, light and slightly sweet
Texture: Thin and is slightly oily on the skin
Color: Pale yellow
Add'l Info: I've found this is an excellent oil for those with oily skin. Helps to prevent dehydration of the skin.

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JOJOBA OIL

Botanical Name: Simmondsia chinensis
Aroma: Light and nearly odorless
Texture: Silky and usually absorbs well on the skin. Can feel waxey.
Color: Yellow
Add'l Info: This oil is really a wax. It usually does not go rancid very quickly. It is also expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of jojoba oil with another carrier oil. Great skin conditioner for most skin types.

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KUKUI OIL

Botanical Name: Aleurites moluccana
Aroma: Nutty, light and sweet aroma
Texture: Thin and its not oily on the skin.
Color: Clear with a slightly yellow hue
Add'l Info: Excellent for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis. Kukui Oil can go rancid quickly. It is also expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of kukui oil with another carrier oil.

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MACADAMIA NUT OIL

Botanical Name: Macadamia integrifolia
Aroma: More aromatic than other nut oils and is very sweet.
Texture: Because it is a thicker oil, it will leave an oily film on the skin.
Color: Clear with a slight yellow hue
Add'l Info: Blend a 10% dilution of macadamia nut oil with another carrier oil.

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OLIVE OIL

Botanical Name: Olea europaea
Aroma: Smells like olives.
Texture: Heavy and oily.
Color: Use the greenest oil you can possibly purchase. The greener the oil, the closer it is to pure cold pressed.
Add'l Info: May be blended with a 10% dilution of olive oil with another carrier oil.

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PEANUT OIL

Botanical Name: Arachis hypogeae
Aroma: Light with a slighty nutty aroma
Texture: Thick and is very oily on the skin.
Color: Clear
Add'l Info: PEANUT OIL SHOULD NOT BE USED BY ANYONE THAT HAS AN ALLERGY TO PEANUTS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. It is used in some massage oil blends. Always let your massage therapist know if you are allergic to peanuts before the massage begins just in case they use a peanut oil blend. Peanut oil is generally Good for those who have arthritic conditions.

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PECAN OIL

Botanical Name: Carya pecan
Aroma: Extremely light with nutty aroma.
Texture: Medium and slightly oily on the skin.
Color: Clear
Add'l Info: It has the possibility of turning rancid quickly. If it is stored in a dark bottle in a cool dark area, you may not have any problems with rancidity.

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ROSE HIP OIL

Botanical Name: Rosa mosqueta
Aroma: Mild with an earthy aroma.
Texture: Light and leaves the skin slightly oily
Color: Clear
Add'l Info: Excellent for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis. Rose Hip Oil can go rancid quickly. It is also expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of evening primrose oil with another carrier oil.

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SESAME OIL

Botanical Name: Sesamum indicum
Aroma: Medium, sweet, and nutty.
Texture: Slightly thick and leaves the skin slightly oily
Color: Pale yellow
Add'l Info: May be blended with a 10% dilution of sesame oil with another carrier oil. Good calcium source.

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SHEA BUTTER

Botanical Name: Butyrospermun parkii
Aroma: Nutty aroma
Texture: Solid and workable at room temperature. May leave a waxy feeling on the skin.
Color: Cream colored
Add'l Info: Typically used in lotions and creams

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SUNFLOWER OIL

Botanical Name: Helianthus annuus
Aroma: Sweet and light
Texture: Thin with no oiliness on the skin
Color: Clear with a yellow hue
Add'l Info: Go for the unrefined sunflower oil.

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WALNUT OIL

Aroma: Rich and with a nutty aroma
Texture: Delicate
Color: Light
Add'l Info: It is expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of walnut oil with another carrier oil.

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WHEATGERM OIL

Aroma: Wheat aroma and slighly nutty
Texture: Thick and sticky
Color: Golden orange-brown
Add'l Info: WHEATGERM OIL SHOULD NOT BE USED BY ANYONE THAT HAS AN ALLERGY TO WHEAT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. High in Vitamin E which gives powerful healing properties. Usually included in a blend for preservation and anti-oxidative properties. Because of this you can blend a 10% dilution of wheatgerm oil with another carrier oil. If it is blended with preferably almond or grapeseed oil, then use 25% wheatgerm to 75% almond or grapeseed.

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GENERAL SAFETY NOTICE:

ALWAYS SEARCH for more information for your own educational purpose. This page is NOT considered fully complete and NOT a guarantee for accuracy.

ALWAYS conduct a skin patch test before applying ANYTHING new to your skin. DO NOT apply ANY undiluted essential oils directly onto your skin.

DO NOT take any essential oils internally.

IF YOU ARE pregnant or have ANY medical problems DO NOT use essential oils without first consulting your physician.

PUT SAFETY FIRST and consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using any essential oils with children. Use EXTREME caution when using any essential oils with children using only the gentlest oils at an extremely low dose.

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DISCLAIMER

**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.