Body & Soul: Carrier Oils 101

An essential-oil delivery system, these basic oils are also great for your skin.

| October/November 2011

Carrier oils are so named because they help “carry” the scented oils of aromatherapy, which are sometimes highly concentrated and too strong to use directly on the skin. Thanks to their own properties, carrier oils—also known as natural oils, base oils or fixed oils—also can help deliver health, beauty and a state of well-being.

6 Healing Herbal Oils  

Relaxing Massage Oil
Revitalizing Foot Oil
Energizing Massage Oil
Lavender Healing Oil
Head Calming Oil
Body Oil 

Try These Editor-Recommended Carrier Oils.

The most common way to use carrier oils is in combination with essential oils, which are highly concentrated aromatic plant extracts, usually of a single plant. They come in a wide variety of scents, ranging from common (rosemary and peppermint) to the more exotic (patchouli and sandalwood). Because these oils are so concentrated, they are usually too strong to be used directly on the skin, which is where carrier oils come into use.

Mixed together, they can be daubed onto or massaged into your skin. Sometimes one drop of an essential oil is all you need, and with carrier oils you can deliver that drop of essential oil to your whole body. Another common way to use carrier oils is to infuse them with herbal and plant ingredients. To accomplish this, fresh or dried herbs are placed in airtight containers and covered with oil. After a week or two, the oil absorbs the scent and healing properties of the ingredients.

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