Essential Oils vs Carrier Oils: Powerful Partners for Good Health

Now that we are learning more and more about essential oils, other types of lipids are going to come into play. How do we know which one to choose? Is sandalwood oil the right choice or should I be using jojoba oil? These are all very good questions, and I will do my best to anticipate and answer your questions in the next thousand words or so. Our goal is to better help you decide what products would work best for you. To answer this question, we need to dig into each of these two types of products.

Essential oils and Carrier Oils Comparison

​Essentials

​​Carriers

  • Many health benefits
  • Volatile chemical compounds
  • Pure extracts
  • All natural
  • Smell good
  • A little goes a long way
  • Lasts long
  • Thin in consistency
  • Many health benefits
  • Non-volatile compounds
  • Pure extracts
  • All natural
  • Light smell that doesn’t overpower scents
  • Has a shelf life of up to one year
  • Thicker in consistency

What Are Essential Oils?

essential oil in a jar with a lavender flower on the side

These volatile compounds extracted from hundreds of flowers, berries, stems, leaves, bark, and spices all over the world, have a myriad of physical and mental health benefits. There are two ways in which lipids are extracted from their host plants, and that’s through cold pressing and steam distillation.

The first, cold pressing, is simply squeezing and poking rinds until the lipids inside are released and collected. This method is primarily used for citrus lipids like orange, lemon, and grapefruit. Steam distillation is used for every other kind of oil. Without getting too complicated, steam moves through the host plant carrying with it the lipids out. The oil and water are collected in a container and then separated. The oil part is the sought-after essence of that plant.

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What Are They Used For?

lavender essential oil
There are so many things pure extracts are used for, and I have written a piece on that. That said, some of the more common issues that spark the use of aromatic lipids are eczema, acne, insomnia, anxiety, depression, insect bites, repelling insects, stress relief, and headaches.

It may be worth mentioning that every oil on the market does not relieve all these symptoms. Different lipids do different things, just like different vegetables give you different vitamins and minerals. So research the oil you want to use to make sure it gives the benefits you are looking for, or you may check out our guide.

Who Should Buy These?

buy 2

Anyone who has a nose for things that smell great should dabble in extracts. There are so many, and they can be blended together to create your own scents. There are three ways that people use them, which are the following: inhalation, topical use, and consumption. Of course, we never recommend for anyone to consume anything internally before checking with his or her doctor or healthcare professional.

That said, when diluted, essences are wonderful scents that can fill your room via an ultrasonic diffuser or through by topical application after it is blended in an appropriate carrier oil. Speaking of…

What Are Carrier Oils

In short, these lipids are the base of many blends that extract fans use to reap the topical benefits of their extracts. Still, there are a number of ways these lipids will benefit you as well. The many carrier lipids available are all derived from natural hosts, just like their scented counterparts. But they are not collected in the same way.

Depending on the carrier oil, it can be extracted in several ways. Cold pressed, expeller pressed, solvent extracted, CO2 extracted, infusion/macerate, refined, bleached, deodorized, or winterized.

I would like to add that there are certain lipids that may seem like a good carrier oil for blending with your extracted scent, and you can experiment and research more about it on your own. It should be said that some lipids don’t work well as carriers and these include butter, margarine, and vegetable shortening. As for acceptable options, try sweet almond, fractionated coconut, and jojoba.

What Are They Used For?

Unlike essences, which can be used in three ways, carrier lipids are limited to one or two only. There is no point of diffusing or inhaling the aromas of carrier lipids because they are less potent in their aroma and are primarily used as a base for scented blends. They can be ingested, depending on the carrier. One example is olive oil.

olive-oil-salad-dressing-cooking-olive

The most popular use of carrier oils is topical treatments, as the base of a blend, which I mentioned earlier. You can apply them alone if you like but why stop there, when you can add a few fragrant drops and enhance your massage or foot rub.

Who Should Buy These?

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Anyone who loves essential lipids should try out the different types of carriers available. Currently, I use sweet almond, but I am going to start experimenting with avocado and fractionated coconut lipids very soon. If you aren’t ready for essentials but would like to try carriers, that’s fine. I would suggest checking out jojoba, which has a ton of health benefits all it’s own.

Conclusion

As much as we intended to write a piece that showed the differences between essential and carrier oils, which do exist, there is no denying after researching that they were created to complement each other. You can use the carrier oil topically without the essential but not the other way around. Essential lipids can be harsh on the skin if they are not diluted well with a carrier substance like water or an appropriate oil. If you have any information about carriers or essentials that you’d like to share with us, leave us a comment in the section below. If you found this article helpful, share it with your friends. Everyone should have access to a better mind, body, and soul.

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