As most of us know, essential oils are potent and are for the most part, too strong to use directly. Carrier oils, also known as vegetable or base oils are the perfect companion for essential oils, not only as diluting agents, but also to extend ways of treating conditions according to individual needs. Along with hydrosols, carrier oils have water-soluble and hydrophilic plant molecules that are not present in an essential oil itself. As our brain is made up of fatty acids, our bodies need to consume the fatty acids and nutrients present in carrier oils. The large molecular structure of carrier oils that makes them a great channel to retain and carry the essential oil onto the skin. As essential oils have a volatile molecular structure, the role of the carrier oil is to trap these molecules, enhancing absorption by the skin and preventing evaporation. This can enhance the healing properties of an essential oil, increasing its effectiveness and promoting safer use.
The most common carrier oil is fractionated coconut oil, but there are many other carrier oils out there that may better match your individual needs. Carrier oils can be used as a mixture or alone, depending on their chemical profile and properties. Due to their soothing and softening features, they will most likely prevent irritation. Less quantity, used more often, will have a better therapeutic effect on your body. It will also be less harmful as compared to using larger doses less frequently. As carrier oils have amazing properties on their own, they can be used independently on a daily basis as well.
Some of the benefits of using vegetable carrier oils include:
Lowers the risk of skin irritation
Holds antioxidant properties
Helps soften and nourish the skin
Restores the barrier function
Amazing for massages