What to consider when choosing and buying carrier oils:
Carrier oils or base oils are very different to essential oils, they are fatty, usually made from nuts, seeds & fruits of plants and work well as a base to dilute essential oils in. They have many nourishing and nutritional properties in their own right and can be used on the skin with out essential oils, e.g. as a massage, bath or cleansing oil. They are also particularly enjoyable drizzled on salads, and incorporated into foods. Olive oil is a great example, and it is one that I often use in my blends as it’s so nourishing.
I usually use cold pressed, un-refined base oils, which means that they are mechanically pressed (literally squashed) from the seed, fruit or nut of the plant, and undergo no further treatment. Many oils, especially in skin care products, can be refined to remove any scent, sediments, colours or individualities that they naturally contain -usually because manufacturers want to make each product and batch identical, which is not the way nature works -scents, colours and nutritional values can vary from harvest to harvest, and from various locations depending on environmental factors and production methods. Oils are often heat treated to deodorise them which destroys many if not all of the nutrients.
I much prefer oils in their natural cold pressed state as you get so much more out of them. They are usually left with a light nutty or seedy scent, which I really enjoy, but note that it can have an impact on the smell of your blend, especially things like macadamia nut or coconut oil which have very familiar scents which could overpower the smell of any essential oils you are using. So, there are occasions when you might prefer to use a deodorised version.
I also prefer to use organic oils, although lately I have noticed a huge lack of integrity around organic products and especially the use of the word organic. Growing something organically works in harmony with nature and considers the impact it has on the environment. Unfortunately there are many loops to jump through to become certified and often that is just not practical or possible for many small businesses who can often feel much more caring and passionate about their products than big corporations who have no problem ticking the organic boxes.
As with everything, there are many factors to consider and there is no right or wrong, only to allow yourself the space to choose what feels right for you, and be aware that it can change all the time.
Check out for my blog: A list of Carrier Oils & their Uses , covering a range of popular base oils and their benefits…