Vegetable Carrier Oils

by Socha on November 16, 2011

Cottonseed Oil

Vegetable oils are often referred to as fixed oils because they are not volatile like the essential oils.

The reason these vegetable oils are known as carrier oils or base oils is because they are a “base” for, or “carry” the essential oils which are used in aromatherapy massage. They also provide the lubrication for the skin during the massage.

What is often overlooked is that the vegetable oils have many properties and uses of their own, which complement those of the essential oils. Most have high amounts of naturally occurring vitamins and fatty acids which make them valuable for the skin even without the addition of essential oils.

Many will argue that you should always use cold pressed carrier oils, because cold pressed oils are better than refined oils. However, this is not always the case. Certain oils, for example, Sweet Almond, can be difficult to use in their cold pressed form. They may be pungent, contain bits which would irritate when used in a massage and can have short shelf lives.

In aromatherapy you will find there are times when you want a rich oil and times when a lighter oil will be more appropriate, so both cold pressed and refined oils have their uses.


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