Aromatherapy Natures Way Hand & Body CremeCarrier Oils, Lotions and Creams

Carrier Oils are extremely important in use with essential oils because most quality essential oils are very potent and need to be diluted before applying to the skin.

A few basic rules and suggestions:

Use seed or nut oils, because they contain essential fatty acids and are not been modified by heat or processing, they are a better choice than heavier vegetable oils like soybean, olive. Olive oil is nourishing, and it has a distinctive smell some people may not like.

Keep all carrier oils in cool, dark places. Heat and sunlight can shorten their shelf life.  If the oil smells off, don’t use it. It will ruin your blend and cannot be covered up with aroma from essential oils.

Use cold pressed oils rather than expeller pressed. Expeller pressing is a mechanical process which produces friction and heat up to 120˚F. Heating oil can create rancidity.

Cost considerations play an important factor in the selection of carrier oils. Grape seed oil is a versatile, economic choice but it has a relatively short shelf life.

The addition of anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E can prolong the shelf life of your carriers when used at a 5% concentration.

Here is a quick synopsis of a many carrier oils:

Grape Seed (vitis vinefera), good all-purpose oil, reasonably priced, short (6-9 month) shelf life.  High in linoleic acid, easily absorbed into skin. Safe for all skin types.

Sweet Almond (prunus amygdalus)- popular among massage therapists due to its excellent glide and low fragrance, produces a lasting yellow stain on fabrics, tends to be more expensive  Note: almond is a seed not a nut.

Jojoba (simmondsia chinensis)-actually a wax not an oil; anti inflammatory; low fragrance; long shelf life (3+years) because it does not contain triglycerides; more expensive. Adding 5% to oil blend can prolong the shelf life of a blend. It has a great number of uses including skin moisturizing, hair conditioning, use as a sunscreen, and to soothe irritated skin.

Macadamia (macadamia integrifolia)-good glide, little fragrance, very emollient, long shelf life, more expensive

Coconut oil (cocos nusifera)-because it is high in saturated fats, it has a long shelf life, up to 2 years. When the oil is fractionated, it stays liquid and is a good massage oil. Coconut Oil holds the essential oil scent beautifully. 

Evening Primrose is a wonderful source of essential fatty acids, short shelf life and expensive.

Apricot Kernel is a little expensive, but a lovely, healing oil.

Avocado oil contains many nutrients, is quite thick and should be combines with a lighter oil, such as sweet almond oil.

Calendula oil is infused oil from marigold flower petals. You can make it yourself.  Fill a jar about 1/3 to ½ with fresh shredded blossoms. Fill the jar to the top with oil.  Let it set in the sun for 2 weeks and strain. Alternately you can place the oil over the flowers and gently heat 2/3 hours and then strain.

Rose Hip Seed oil is one of the more expensive oil carriers. It is high in essential fatty acids and nutrients.  Women’s problems respond well to Rose Hip Seed Oil.

Sesame Seed oil is good for skin problems, including Eczema.  Because it is expensive, add it to a carrier mixture.

Sunflower Seed oil is general purpose, nice for massage oil.

Wheat germ oil can be added to your massage oil combination for vitamin E and preservation.  It has a distinctive odor and dark color.  It is great for renewing the skin.

Avoid:  Canola oil is not recommended although it is sold in health stores. Much of the canola oil is genetically engineered.  Peanut and Palm oil may cause more sensitivity, so best to avoid them.

Recommended usage: 10 drops of essential oil in 1-ounce carrier oil is a standard dilution.  More or less is used depending on your intuition. Young children and the elderly require fewer essential oils in a one-ounce dilution.

Lotions and Creams  Lotions are more liquid and creams are thicker.

The most important thing to look for is safe ingredients in your carrier oil, lotion or cream. There is a lot of information about harmful ingredients and you will want to avoid them in your carriers.

I finally found a lovely Organic Cream that I use in my blends and recommend in your DIY blends. Fractionated Coconut oil will be added to my DIY Supplies page soon.

I offer them on my website