Differences between Carrier Oils and Essential Oils
If you are planning on blending and mixing oils for cosmetic use that is either to apply on the skin or hair you need to know what type of oil you are using.
Carrier oils are vegetable oils which are obtained or rather derived from fat of a plant like seed the nuts or kernels; Essential oils on the other hand are taken from the bark, roots, stems, leaves as well as aromatic portions of the plant which are non-fatty.
Examples of Carrier oils are the following: Sunflower oil, Apricot ,Kernel oil, Arnica oil, Avocado oil, Calendula oil ,Canola oil ,Castor oil ,Corn oil, Evening Primrose oil, Grapeseed oil ,Hazelnut oil, Jojoba oil Peanut oil, Safflower oil, Sesame oil, Soy oil, St. John’s Wort oil, Sunflower oil ,Sweet Almond oil ,Vitamin E oil Walnut oil, Wheat germ oil.
Obviously you can see some oils normally used for cooking, that doesn’t mean that you can just get the sunflower oil in your kitchen though.
Remember that many oils found in grocery shops are usually very processed and some contain petroleum residue.
Look for oils marked organic and cold pressed as they contain the highest amount of minerals, proteins and vitamins which are vital for aromatherapy and cosmetology.
Examples of Essential Oils include the following list; Cedarwood, Lavender, Thyme, Rosemary, Peppermint, Ylang ylang, Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Tea Tree, Chamomile, Jasmine, Rose, Marjoram.
www.nenonatural.com gives the following distinction regarding the potency of the two oils;
“Carrier oils are not very potent or concentrated; this is to say they will not normally burn or irritate your skin if applied directly.
Essential oils, on the other hand, are very potent and should never be applied to skin directly as they can burn right through it or cause very severe skin irritation! They have to be diluted in carrier oil. Lavender is one of the milder essential oils for skin but even then, direct application is NOT recommended.”
Essentially drops must only be used a few drops at a time (which is why they are sold in really small quantities unlike carrier oils which are sold in bigger bottles) and must be mixed in a carrier oil using this measurement as a guide.
For a tablespoon of Carrier Oil you need about 5 to 9 drops of Essential Oil(s) to use.
Other facts to remember in case you forget which oil belongs to which family are the following tips given by nenonatural.com;
“Carrier oils for consumer use are normally sold in clear, plastic bottles of 60 ml minimum and frequently much larger volumes. Essential oils for consumer use are normally sold in 10 ml dark glass bottles.”
In terms if shelf life it’s essential to remember that essential oils degrade and evaporate faster when exposed to light and also please never ever put them in plastic as they degrade the plastic and become dangerous that’s why they are sold in glass bottles.
They are also thinner and have a stronger scent e.g. tea tree oil Essential oils are thin oils with strong aromas whilst carrier oils are thicker (more oily), don’t easily degrade or evaporate and also have a less strong scent.
So as a general of thumb, you can use carrier oils on their own but you generally have to mix essential oils with carrier oils, water or a humectant like glycerine.
That’s it for this week, remember to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay beautiful and healthy and remember to drink water and smile.