WHAT ARE CARRIER OILS?
Carrier oils are naturally derived from vegetarian sources and have a neutral smell. They aren’t volatile like essential oils, which makes them an excellent medium for dilution and application.
WHAT AREN'T CARRIER OILS?
Vegetable shortening, butter, and margarine are best left in the kitchen—they’re not intended for topical use. Mineral oil and other petroleum derivatives like petroleum jelly should also not be used as carrier oils.
HOW ARE CARRIER OILS USED?
Essential oils are volatile, which means they evaporate rapidly and contain the natural smell and characteristics of the plant. Carrier oils can be paired with essential oils to dilute, thus reducing the concentration of the essential oil without altering its therapeutic qualities. When you dilute an essential oil with a carrier oil, you can also control its concentration before applying.
Like other substances that are high in fat, carrier oils have a limited shelf life, meaning that eventually they can go bad. Depending on the type, oils with a short shelf life should typically be used within six months, while oils with a longer shelf life may stay good for up to a year. It’s important to store oils in their original air-tight containers in a cool, dark place, such as the pantry, to maximize shelf life.
Carrier oils can vary widely in their consistency, absorption, aroma, shelf life, and other characteristics. Carrier oils can be blended to change or combine their properties, so you can mix and match until you find the blend that’s just right for you!