Carrier Oils

A carrier oil is a base oil, or combination of base oils used in a mixture. They are called carrier oils because they dilute essential oils and absolutes before being used. Essential oils and absolutes are extremely potent compounds that need to have their aroma and physical properties tamed down before being used in cosmetics, aromatherapy and topical skin use.

When purchasing carrier oils make sure to purchase cold-pressed oils. The process of cold pressing does not damage the molecular structure of the oil. Highly refined oils created in the presence of heat could also contain other additives from the manufacturing process. Those additives can cause harm to the buyer and take an “all natural” claim and make it false.

Make sure the species of the plant (botanical name) is noted on the product to ensure that it is actually what you are buying and this will also ensure a chain of custody to your product label.

If the word “fragrance” is anywhere on the product it means it is a mixture and not a pure product!

When purchasing oils the criteria should be:

  • 100% Pure

  • Non-GMO

  • Cold-Pressed

  • Organic*

    • Although there is a big push to certify products as organic and although many oil producers want the certification, the process can be expensive and is not standardized across the world. Some products are produced organically but have not been certified as organic because of the many different rules in different countries where these oils are produced.

Shelf life needs to be considered as well. Oils have a high fat content so they have a limited shelf life before they go rancid. Shelf life of unopened containers of oil are listed below, once opened the shelf life is typically much shorter. There are steps that can be taken in order to ensure the longest shelf life for your expensive products. Keeping oil sealed and in a cool, dark area will help to prevent oxidation and spoilage.

  • Most carrier oils will last a year on the shelf, some are shorter, some are longer, the most common oil shelf life spans are listed below.

  • Putting oils in a refrigerator will also extend their life

  • Wheat germ oil, reship oil and evening primrose oil are examples of oils with a much shorter shelf life, around 6-8 months

  • Jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax, coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil and babassu oil have longer shelf lives, some extending to 5 years.

There are over one hundred acceptable and usable carrier oils, we will describe the 20 of the most commonly used carrier oils and their properties. (Click on the links below for in depth descriptions of the oil)

  • Argan Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Avocado Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Babassu Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Castor Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Coconut Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Emu Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Flaxseed Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Grapeseed Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Hemp Seed Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Jojoba Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Moringa Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: 3-5 years with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Neem Oil

    • Botanical Name: Azadirachta Indica
    • Shelf Life: 2 years with proper storage
    • Origin: India
    •  
  • Olive Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: 2 years with proper storage, 6 months once opened
    • Origin:
  • Rosehip Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: 6 months with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Sweet Almond Oil

    • Botanical Name:
    • Shelf Life: 1-2 years with proper storage
    • Origin:
  • Tamanu Oil

    • Botanical Name: Calophyllum Inophyllum, Calophyllum Tacamahaca)
    • Shelf Life: 5 years with proper storage
    • Origin: Polynesia
  • Wheat Germ Oil

    • Botanical Name: Triticum Vulgare
    • Shelf Life: 6 months with proper storage
    • Origin: Worldwide (product of wheat)

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