Basics of Carrier and Essential Oils

Organic Carrier and Essential Oils

Essential oils are concentrated aroma liquids from plants, often called the essence of the plant’s fragrance. In contrast carrier oils are so called base oil or vegetable oils, used to dilute essential oils before they are applied to the skin. They are so named because they carry the essential oil onto the skin.  

Essential oils can be in found in fruits, seeds, flowers, leaves, fruit skin,fruit peel and partially in shell, bark, husk and roots. They don’t dissolve in water. Some essential oils are stable and some of them are volatile and can evaporate at room temperature. Because of this volatile essential oils should not be used by people with sensitivities.If you have any health issue or allergy you should consult your doctor prior to use of essential oils.

Carrier oils are readily found in skin and kernels of plants. They do not dissolve in water and are stable at room temperature. Because of this they are an ideal medium for diluting, preserving and safe use of essential oils often used in beauty and bath care industry.

There are two main means of harvesting carrier and essential oils. First one is press and the second one is distillation. Harvesting by press can be as hot or cold. For hot process plant is crushed and the oil is cold pressed from it. For hot press first plant is exposed to heat to sear and then pressed. Hot press technique obtains more oil, however, most of its minerals and vitamins are lost in the heating process. With cold press technique plant is not exposed to heat and obtains less oil, however,  as no heat is involved the integrity of oil is preserved and good and high quality oil is obtained. While both methods obtain high quality carrier and essential oils, the extracted oil are often accompanied by impurities with very high boiling points that decrease purity of essential oils.  

Second harvesting technique is distillation. This has been the most common way of carrier and essential oil harvesting since medieval times. Harvesting by distillation can be done with steam, water or combined steam and water method. Usually it is used to harvest pure essential oils free of high boiling point impurities. The process brings the boiling point of impurities down so they can be easier separated from essential oils.  

We use a total of 21 oils to make our products16 of which are non-volatile organic essential oils and the remaining 6 are organic carrier oils. We only use non-volatile organic essential oils which are anise, bergamot, cinnamon, clove, cocoa, coconut, eucalyptus, jasmine, lavender, lemon, sweet orange, palmarosa, peppermint, pine, sandalwood and violet. Of these anise, clove, coconut, eucalyptus, lavender, cinnamon, jasmine, palmarosa, peppermint, pine, sandalwood and violet essential oils are extracted using steam distillation process. Bergamot, cocoa, lemon and sweet orange essential oils are extracted using cold press process. The 5 organic carrier oils we use are argan, babassu, castor, grapeseed and olive oil, all of which are extracted using cold press method.

Each of these oils has specific benefits that we will cover more in upcoming articles, so check back often.