05 May What is a carrier oil? Can I use normal coconut oil or does it have to be fractionated?
This graphic will answer the question of what is a carrier oil:
Using a carrier oil PRIOR to applying an essential oil slows down the absorption process (does not inhibit it), therefore slows down the therapeutic onset. Applying a carrier oil AFTER essential oil application enhances therapeutic onset. Either way, the carrier oil prevents potential rapid evaporation.
Competing aroma is the main consideration when selecting a carrier of choice.
I personally prefer Fractionated Coconut Oil which simply means that the fatty acid triglycerides are separated from the whole coconut oil. It is these fatty acids that make normal coconut oil go solid at certain colder temperatures. By fractionating (this is not a chemical process, but a physical process that removes the fatty acids), this keeps the oil in a liquid state, making it easier for use in application (i.e. while giving a massage, it allows the essential oil to glide on smoothly and travel further while absorbing quickly) and to combine with essential oils in containers such as sprays or roll-on bottles. The fractionating process also increases shelf life and makes it odourless and colourless. It’s great on the skin and doesn’t clog pores. Normal coconut oil has tremendous benefits too but may be more cumbersome to use as a carrier oil.