If you’ve ever used essential oils or a medicinal or facial oil, they are often times paired with a carrier oil. Why is that? Just what is the carrier oil supposed to do?
What Is a Carrier Oil?
Also known as base oils, carrier oils are often mixed with other oils like essential oils (EOs) to dilute these highly concentrated oils, since many EOs should not be applied directly to the skin in their concentrated form. When they are, they can cause irritation. Carrier oils dilute the concentrated essential oils so they can be applied to the skin without side effects, helping to prevent skin irritation and other adverse reactions.
Since they’re diluting the therapeutic oil, they make for a more efficient delivery system, spreading a smaller portion of the oil over a larger area, allowing for less waste of product.
Typically, they’re sourced from the nut, seed, or kernel of a plant, but are unscented or lightly scented with a faint smell that is sweet and nutty. They don’t interfere with the other oils’ (the ones they’re carrying) therapeutic properties.
Unlike EOs, carrier oils do not evaporate, so they also help to add some stability to the mixture.
Are Carrier Oils Just Used For Essential Oils?
Carrier oils aren’t just used with essential oils. They can be used for the same purposes, but with other types of therapeutic oils – or, should we say – real oils.
Chemically speaking, real oils are a type of lipid, giving them their ability to stay separated from water and give them a greasy feel. There are many types of lipids such as fatty acids, phospholipids, glycolipids, cholesterol, triglycerides, waxes, and steroids. Lipids are an essential part of your skin and support the skin’s barrier function.
These fatty oils can be ingested, used as carriers for another important ingredient, or be the primary effective ingredient itself. Many of these oils have been shown to have beneficial effects for the skin when applied topically, including nourishing, anti-aging, and rash-tempering properties.
Essential oils aren’t true oils. They’re highly concentrated hydrophobic liquids made up of volatile aromatic compounds extracted from the leaves, root, or flower of a plant. As a volatile oil, they’re ready to vaporize, quickly changing states from solid or liquid to a gas. The liquid contains the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it’s derived, its essence.
Where Does DELTA-5 Come In?
While carrier oils are typically known for their close association with EOs, they are readily seen in many other oil products, too. DELTA-5 Oil by SciaEssentials is one such instance. Dr. Alvin Berger has identified and purified a naturally occurring oil that benefits skin by reducing inflammation, wrinkling, and redness, and providing anti-aging benefits. The revolutionary key ingredient is Mountain Cypress oil, containing the powerful sciadonic acid (SA) in the highest concentrated level commercially available, formulated into a high-grade stable cosmetic oil.
SA is a unique, anti-inflammatory, eco-friendly, fatty acid derived from the seeds of the conifer. Extracted from the oil bodies, in the form of an oil, it works immediately upon applying it to your skin.
The carrier oil in DELTA-5 is a combination of tocopherols, highly therapeutic on their own! Tocopherols are part of a group of compounds forming Vitamin E: four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Vitamin E is known as an antioxidant superhero that provides awesome protection for your skin when included in body care products. It’s also known to help regenerate healthy skin cells.
Tocopherols’ antioxidant properties also help to protect products by acting as a preservative, making it a great natural way to prolong the shelf life of such a strong healing product.
What Other Carrier Oils Can Be Used?
Different carrier oils have different properties and uses. The type of carrier oil that is best for you depends on your skin type, whether you have any allergies, and how and where you’ll be applying the oil. To find the best oil for you, experiment with a couple using a patch test to see how your skin responds.
You’ll want to apply a thinner oil to your face such as grapeseed oil or sunflower seed oil, especially if you’re acne prone.
Some popular carrier oils include:
- Sweet almond
- Black seed
- Grape seed
- Coconut (both unrefined or fractionated)
- Aloe vera
- Sea salt
- Witch hazel
- Castile soap
Carrier oils should always be stored away from heat and direct sunlight to prevent the oil from going rancid quickly. When cold pressed or cold expeller pressed, the oils are processed with minimal to no heat, so those methods are preferable for preparation.