Simply, it's an oil used to dilute or 'carry' essential oils or other strong oils comfortably onto the skin. A carrier oil is a vegetable oil extracted from a plant, mainly from the seeds, kernels or nut.
There is a huge range of carrier oils available, and all have their own unique uses and benefits.
It's important to think of these three questions when choosing a carrier oil.
Where will the oil be used?
What is the main benefit I am seeking?
Will it suit my skin type?
For example, I want to make a facial serum for dry, aging skin and I want it to moisturise and help reduce wrinkles. In this case, a base of Rosehip Oil is perfect as a rich, healing oil. It's a little expensive as a massage oil, but for a serum it's very economical! The addition of Vitamin E and a drop of Frankincense Essential Oil would make this serum a dream come true!
Or... I'm making a beard oil for my husband. His beard is coarse and he wants to soften it, but he also suffers from breakouts. The perfect carrier oil in this case would be a blend of Jojoba Oil and Castor Oil. Jojoba Oil is the closest mimic of the natural sebum in our skin, and combined with a natural humectant like Castor Oil has the ability to deeply penetrate and soften his beard without clogging his pores or leaving a greasy residue. I would add Copaiba, Lavender and Cedarwood Essential Oils for the win!
If you need help choosing the perfect oils for you, check out our blog for a simple guide to the uses and benefits of carrier and essential oils.