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Oils

Carrier Oils

Carrier oils also referred to as base oils or vegetable oils are used to dilute essential oils, CO2s and absolutes before applying to the skin. Please see the What are Carrier Oils? article for more information on what carrier oils are and how they are used. Below is a list of many of the commonly used carrier oils.

 

Almond, Sweet
Botanical Name: Prunus amygdalus var. dulcus
Aroma: Light, slightly sweet and nutty.
Texture: Slightly oily, leaves a slight oily feeling on the skin. Absorbs semi-quickly.
Color: Virtually clear with a tinge of yellow.
Notes: Sweet Almond oil is considered to be a good all-purpose carrier oil to keep on hand and is moderately priced.

 

Apricot Kernel
Botanical Name: Prunus armeniaca
Aroma: Faint
Texture: Somewhat oily, absorbs semi-quickly.
Color: Virtually clear with a tinge of yellow.
Notes: The semi-oily texture makes this oil helpful in massage blends.

 

Avocado
Botanical Name: Persea americana
Aroma: Medium. Somewhat sweet, fatty and nutty in aroma.
Texture: Thick, leaves a fatty, almost waxy feel to the skin.
Color: Deep olive green.
Notes: If not carefully used or used in a small dilution with another carrier, it may overpower a blend.

 

Borage
Botanical Name: Borago officinalis
Aroma: Light and sweet.
Texture: Thin to medium, leaves a somewhat oily feel to the skin.
Color: Light yellow.
Notes: Is said to be excellent in treating many skin conditions. Borage oil is expensive and is usually blended in a small (often 10%) dilution with other carrier oils. It goes rancid rather quickly.

 

Cocoa Butter
Botanical Name: Theobroma cacao
Aroma: Unrefined cocoa butter is rich and very sweet . It has a chocolaty, "cocoa" aroma. The cocoa aroma is less noticeable in refined cocoa butter.
Texture: Solid and hard to work with at room temperate. Breaks into pieces.
Color: Yellowish tan.
Notes: Cocoa butter needs to be blended with other materials/oils to be workable. Suitable for use in lotions and creams.

 

Evening Primrose
Botanical Name: Oenothera biennis
Aroma: Light and sweet
Texture: Thin, leaves only a trace of oiliness on the skin.
Color: Medium yellow.
Notes: Evening Primrose is also said to be excellent in treating many skin conditions. It is expensive and is usually blended in a small (often 10%) dilution with other carrier oils. It goes rancid quickly.

 

Grapeseed
Botanical Name: Vitus vinifera
Aroma: Light, slightly sweet with a hint of a nutty aroma.
Texture: Thin but leaves a glossy film on the skin.
Color: Virtually clear, has an almost unnoticeable tinge of yellow/green.
Notes: Unlike most other carrier oils, grapeseed oil is solvent extracted and may have trace amounts of chemical solvent remaining. I have heard mixed reports on the shelf-life of grapeseed (some have said it goes rancid rather fast). I usually go through a bottle of grapeseed once each six months and have not discovered any problems with rancidity when stored in an amber bottle in a cool dark area.

 

Hazelnut
Botanical Name: Corylus avellana
Aroma: Light, nutty, somewhat sweet.
Texture: Thin and only leaves a slightly oily film on the skin.
Color: Light yellow.
Notes: It is said to be a good choice for those with oilier skin.

 

Jojoba
Botanical Name: Simmondsia chinensis
Aroma: Light to medium in aroma, not as sweet as the nut oils. The aroma is distinct but pleasant.
Texture: Light and silky. Absorbs well.
Color: Yellow.
Notes: Jojoba "oil" is actually a wax. It is a somewhat pricier oil and is frequently blended in a small dilution (10%) with other oils. It has a very long shelf-life.

 

Kukui
Botanical Name: Aleurites moluccana
Aroma: Light, sweet, pleasant, nutty.
Texture: Thin. Absorbs well, leaving only a trace oily feeling on the skin.
Color: Clear with a hint of yellow.
Notes: It is said to be excellent in treating many skin conditions. It is a somewhat more pricier oil. It goes rancid rather quickly.

 

Macadamia Nut
Botanical Name: Macadamia integrifolia
Aroma: More fragrant than sweet almond and some of the other nut oils, it is very sweet, fatty and nutty in aroma.
Texture: Thick and leaves an oily film on the skin.
Color: Clear with a tinge of yellow.
Notes: If not carefully used or used in a small dilution with another carrier, it may overpower a blend.

 

Olive
Botanical Name: Olea europaea
Aroma: Typical aroma of olive oil used in cooking (smells somewhat like olives).
Texture: Heavy and rather oily.
Color: Light to medium green.
Notes: If not carefully used or used in a small dilution with another carrier, it may overpower a blend.

 

Peanut
Botanical Name: Arachis hypogeae
Aroma: Like Pecan, it is extremely light in aroma with a slight fatty, nutty quality.
Texture: Thick and leaves a very oily film on the skin.
Color: Virtually clear.
Notes: Peanut oil should not be used by anyone that has an allergy to peanuts. Because of it's oiliness, it is said to be a good choice for inclusion in massage blends. It has been said that it is a good oil to use for those with arthritis.

 

Pecan
Botanical Name: Carya pecan
Aroma: Extremely light with a hint of a fatty, nutty aroma.
Texture: Medium thickness, leaves a slight oily film on the skin.
Color: Virtually clear.
Notes: It is said that it goes rancid somewhat quickly. I have used only one bottle of Pecan oil and did not discover any problems with rancidity when stored in an amber bottle in a cool dark area during my use of the oil over about 4-6 months.

 

Rose Hip
Botanical Name: Rosa mosqueta
Aroma: Mild and perhaps earthy aroma.
Texture: Light and leaves only a hint of oil on the skin.
Color: Virtually clear.
Notes: It is said to be excellent in treating many skin conditions. It is expensive and is usually blended in a small (often 10%) dilution with other carrier oils. It goes rancid rather quickly.

 

Sesame
Botanical Name: Sesamum indicum
Aroma: Medium with a distinctive sweet, nutty sesame scent. May overpower a blend if not diluted with another carrier oil.
Texture: Mildly thick, leaves an oily film on the skin.
Color: Light yellow.
Notes: Sesame oil may overpower a blend if not diluted with another carrier oil.

 

Shea Butter
Botanical Name: Butyrospermun parkii
Aroma: Nutty, fatty.
Texture: Solid but permeable at room temperature.
Leaves an oily/waxy feeling on the skin.
Color: Off-white/cream.
Notes: Suitable for use in lotions and creams.

 

Sunflower
Botanical Name: Helianthus annuus
Aroma: Faint and sweet.
Texture: Thin and does not leave an oily residue.
Color: Virtually clear with a tinge of yellow.
Notes: When choosing sunflower oil, strive to get unrefined oil.

 

Important Note: The information provided in the Oil Profiles area is for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.

General Safety Information: Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an oil that you've never used before.
For very in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand.



IMPORTANT!!

Hazardous Essential Oils

The list shown below contains essential oils that should not be used in aromatherapy without the express administration by a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Many should not even be used by a qualified practitioner. Do not assume that an oil is safe to use if it is not on this list.

 

Ajowan
Trachyspermum copticum

 

Almond, Bitter
Prunus dulcis var. amara

 

Arnica
Arnica Montana

 

Birch, Sweet
Betula lenta

 

Boldo Leaf
Peumus boldus

 

Broom, Spanish
Spartium junceum

 

Calamus
Acorus calamus var. angustatus

 

Camphor
Cinnamomum camphora

 

Deertongue
Carphephorus odoratissimus

 

Garlic
Allium sativum

 

Horseradish
Armoracia rusticana

 

Jaborandi
Pilocarpus jaborandi

 

Melilotus
Melilotus officinalis

 

Mugwort
Artemisia vulgaris

 

Mustard
Brassica nigra

 

Onion
Allium cepa

 

Pennyroyal
Mentha pulegium

 

Rue
Ruta graveolens

 

Sassafras
Sassafras albidum

 

Thuja
Thuja occidentalis

 

Wintergreen
Gaultheria procumbens

 

Wormseed
Chenopodium ambrosioides var. anthelminticum

 

Wormwood
Artemisia absinthium

 

Important Note: The information provided in the Oil Profiles area is for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.

General Safety Information: Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children.