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An Overview of Carrier Oils (Base Oils)

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Carrier Oils may be applied directly on the skin, and/or essential oils may be added for use as body, bath or massage oils. As most holistic aroma therapy treatments involve massage, it is important that Carrier Oils are pure, unadulterated and naturally extracted.

Vegetable oils are the most familiar carrier oils used in aromatherapy as they have many interesting properties & benefits. Store away from heat & strong light sources. (May be refrigerated to extend shelf life). External use only.

Almond ~ Prunus dulcis ~ amygdalus var. dulcis

The earliest use of almond oil dates back to the Romans who used it
extensively in skincare preparations. Sweet Almond is a well tolerated,
light, nonintrusive base oil for massage with a faint or no fragrance.

  • Protects,
    nourishes & pampers the skin.
  • Ideal
    for chapped or irritated skin.
  • Has
    excellent penetrating properties.
  • Beneficial
    regardless of skin type or age.
  • Particularly
    good for dry, sensitive skin.

Kernel ~ Prunus armeniaca

A wonderful light texture making it very easily absorbed by the skin. Especially
suitable for facial massage blends. Good for the treatment of mature, dry, sensitive
or inflamed skins.

Oil (Refined) ~ Persea americana

Contains 64% oleic, 19% palmitic, 14% linoleic, 3% palmitoleic & 1% linolenic
acids. Contains also vitamins A, B1-B2, D, E. Reputed to be rapidly absorbed
into the skin, although in practice this depends on the skin type. Used in nourishing
products for dry and dehydrated skin. Can be very useful on people with highly
absorbent skin.

~ Organic not certified

Botanical Name: Calophyllum inophyllum
Country of Origin: Madagascar
Method of Extraction: Cold Pressed
Plant part used: the fruits/seeds (berries) from the shrub
also known as Tamanu Oil, is thick, viscous and dark grey-green to black in

A traditional medicine in the South Pacific where it is used for its analgesic
and anti inflammatory properties. The fruits are expressed to yield a pasty
mass rich in triacylglycerols. The paste itself is used in several countries
as a healing and analgesic agent in the treatment of burns.
properties ~ external uses only:
* may be helpful with various problem of the hair & scalp.
* excema and psoriasis
* maybe be effective for shingles (especially when used with Ravansara)
* claimed to have anti inflammatory and pain relieving properties, which may
be helpful in cases of sciatica and rheumatism.

Use with caution on sensitive skin as it may be an irritant. Use as a base oil
or as an 10% additive to your blends. (as it is a rubefacient)
Carrier Oil for Aromatherapy & Massage by Len Price

– Gold of Pleasure

Refined, cold pressed, is a clear, bright yellow oil with a light pleasant odor.
Camelina Oil, also called “Gold of Pleasure Oil,” is obtained from the seed
of the cruciferous annual plant Camelina sativa. The plant is also called “false
flax” as it was often found growing wild in the flax fields. It is particularly
valuable as a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s). Camelina
Oil is a remarkable oil, as it has a high content of PUFA’s of both the omega-6
& omega-3 families. As a matter of fact it is one of the richest sources
of omega-3 fatty acids with a 40% alpha-linolenic acids, eicosapentaenoic and
docosahexaenoic acid. The essential fatty acids have a very clear effect on
the skin & act as “anti-aging” agents, by enhancing the barrier function
of the epidermis, reducing the trans-epidermal water loss and improving elasticity
of the skin.
Oil can be used as an emollient to soften the skin, protect it against the influences
of the weather & improve elasticity.

Primrose ~ Oenothera biennis

Method – Cold Pressed
Plant part – seeds

Primrose is a tall, spiky plant that would burst into bloom only in
the early evening and would soon die, which is where it gets its name.�
This would lead to the formation of pods containing tiny seeds (similar
in size to mustard seed) from which the oil is obtained.� It can grow
almost anywhere.

American Indian medicine men were the first to recognize its potential
as a healing agent and used to brew the seed pods to make an infusion
for healing wounds.

oil is highly unsaturated, however, rich in fatty acids. Especially,
high levels of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), a substance much like the
body’s own chemical metabolism regulator.

Acid Composition:


Stearic …………………………………..1.8%
Oleic …………………………………….6.7%
Linoleic …………………………………73.8%
Gamma Linolenic …………………………..10.2%
Other Fatty Acids ………………………….1.3%


Evening Primrose has been found to be effective for the treatment of:

useful for dry scaly skin,
* dandruff conditions,
* helpful for eczema,
* beneficial for those with psoriasis,
* dry or prematurely aged skin,

* rheumatoid arthritis.
* accelerates wound healing

is very fine & readily absorbed into the superficial layers of the
skin. Use in a 10% dilution with another carrier oil. Also, an excellent
massage oil, mixed with lavender for treating anxious children.

to refrigerate to extend shelf life.


Carrier Oils for AT & Massage by Len Price
The Complete Guide to AT by Salvatore Battaglia

Coconut Oil

A favorite of massage therapists. Can be used as 100% of the blend. For a richer
blend, mix with jojoba or almond. Absorbs readily into the skin. Ideal for facial
massage due to its non greasy nature. Mixed with essential oils for treating
bed sores and other ulcers have achieved encouraging results. Fractionated Coconut
is chemically clean & contains few contaminants likely to interfere with
healing. Is odorless & does not go rancid making it suitable for blending
essential oils for bath, skin & massage products. Long shelf life.

Oil ~ Vitus vinifera

Has a very fine texture & quickly penetrates the skin. It possesses no odor
& is used in massage oil blends & facials oils.

Corylus avellana

Hazelnut oil is made from the kernel. It is rich in vitamins, minerals &
proteins. Easily absorbed, it lubricates & nourishes all types of skin.
It tones & tightens the skin and helps to maintain firmness & elasticity.
It also helps strengthen capillaries. Add hazelnut oil to facial oils due to
its skin nourishing & softening qualities and to encourage cell regeneration.

Oil ~ Simmondsia chinensis

Unique because this oil is not composed of fat but liquid wax. Ideal for use
in cosmetics due to its molecular stability & its natural moisturizing &
healing properties. No rancidity level. Suitable for all skin types. Beneficial
in the treatment of certain dry scalp & skin. Perfect media for creating
your own signature Scent!

Nut Oil – Aleurites moluccana

Kukui Nut Oil is derived from the fruit of the Kukui Nut tree, the official
tree of the state of Hawaii. This oil is high in linoleic & linolenic acids
around 42%, olec acid 20% which are essential fatty acids vital for the metabolism
of healthy skin. It is a clear oil, high in polyunsaturates. Has a reputation
of being excellent for the treatment of superficial burns, chapped skin and
some minor skin diseases. Suitable for all skin types and is soothing to dry

Nut Oil – Macadamia integrifolia, or Macadamia ternifolia

Family: Proteaceae
Method of Extraction: Cold Pressed

This oil is made up of triacylglycerols that contain monounsaturated
fatty acid units (80%) and has good resistance to rancidity.

oil is particularly unusual in having a high percentage of Palmitoleic
acid units not commonly found in other carrier oils.

typical fatty acid profile of Macadamia:

……………………………………0.6 -1.6

Palmitic ……………………………………7.0 -11.0
Palmitoleic ………………………………18.0 – 25.0
Stearic ……………………………………..2.0 – 4.0
Oleic ………………………………………55.0 – 62.0
Linoleic ……………………………………..1.0 – 4.0


It is a highly nourishing and emollient oil recommended for dry and
mature skin. Due to the high Palmitoleic acid, which is also found in
sebum, Macadamia oil has often been recommended for older skin which
starts to dry as the sebum production diminishes.

oil makes a pleasant massage oil with good keeping properties as it
has a long shelf life. It is also a skin lubricant and is easily absorbed
by the skin.

has been describing as the ‘vanishing’ oil. The high levels of Palmitoloeic
acid units found in Macadamia oil are not found in any other known plant

Used in products that afford protection from the aging effects of the
sun. In hair care it is utilized in brilliantine’s and hot oil conditioning

Salvatore Battaglia: The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy
Len Price: Carrier Oil for Aromatherapy & Massage

Seed Oil ~ ORGANIC ~ Rosa mosqueta-rubirosa – Expressed from
the seeds

Researchers in Chile have found a natural oil that provides beneficial
effects to the skin.

is the oil extreacted from the seeds of the rose bush that grows wild
in the south of Chile, a cool and very rainy mountain region. The oil
pressed off the Rosehip seed contains an amazing 77% fatty acids (linoleic
and linolenic).

acids have a very important functions in the regeneration of skin cells
and repair of damaged tissues. Over the years, RoseHip Oil has been
shown to retard the signs of premature ageing and provide excellent
results in the treatment of burns, scars and unsightly spots on skin.

applied consistently during two or three months RoseHip was found to:

  • reduce
    wrinkles and signs of premature ageing.
  • help
    counter the drying effects of the sun which are usually first noticed
    in fine wrinkles or ‘crows feet‘ around the eyes and mouth.
  • attenuate
    scars (surgical and accidental) and improves the color of same.
  • also,
    avoids the formation of the keloid type of scar (lump) which may appear
    after a surgical procedures.
  • provide
    excellent results in treatment of skin that has been burnt or exposed
    to radiotherapy.

Rosehip Oil
is massaged into the affected area with fingertips until completely absorbed.

Seed Oil ~ Sesamum indicum

High in Vitamin E, B complex vitamins, minerals: calcium, magnesium
& phosphorus. Ideal for skin care as a natural moisturizer. Suitable
for all skin types. A comparatively stable oil, does not turn rancid
on contact with air. Has a distinct oily, nutty odor.

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