When working with natural oils in your products, it is extremely IMPORTANT to know the difference between carrier oils and essential oils and how to use these together.
WHAT ARE CARRIER OILS?
Carrier oils (vegetable oils, base oils) are typically derived from the fatty portion of a plant, and are used primarily to "carry" the volatile (evaporate easily) essential oils. They do not carry a strong aroma (when compared to EOs) and also do not evaporate easily. However, as they are natural oils, they do not have extremely long shelf lives. The addition of Vitamin E can serve to counteract this effect, as it acts as a natural preservative. These base/carrier oils can have a range of viscosities, meaning some are thicker than others. For example, think honey compared to water. Honey has a higher viscosity when compared to water. For this reason, some of the thicker carrier oils tend to be used as massage oils as well
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are the volatile, aromatic compounds that are distilled from various parts of a plant. They are described to capture the "essence" of the plant- hence essential oil. They are extremely concentrated, which is why they must be diluted in a carrier oil before use. Application of an essential oil directly to the skin can cause severe irritation. They generally have strong aromas, which are characteristic of the plant from which they were derived.
EXAMPLES OF CARRIER OILS
Jojoba, Sweet Almond, Grapeseed, Avocado
EXAMPLES OF ESSENTIAL OILS
Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Tea Tree
For more INFO on carrier oils and essential oils
Tips on how to store your oils