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Carrier Oil is a term given to base oils that dilute essential oils before topical application, as the latter are much too potent to apply directly to the skin. Despite also being referred to as vegetable oils, not all Carrier Oils are derived from vegetables; many are pressed from seeds, nuts, or kernels. Also referred to as “fixed oils,” due to the fact that they do not quickly evaporate from the skin’s surface and remain “fixed” on the skin.
Each Carrier Oil is comprised of different components that exhibit distinct characteristics, such as color, viscosity, and penetration speed, while offering therapeutic properties. They generally contain components such as fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that improve the look and feel of skin and hair by adding moisture, soothing irritation, and reducing the effects of dryness. The choice of a Carrier Oil is dependent on the desired result.
To be used in aromatherapy, it is recommended that the oil is obtained through cold pressing. In this process, the oil is extracted by crushing the plants, else fragile nutrients in the oil can be damaged if they are extracted with heat.