Carrier oils are a part of my daily life. I use them as base to apply my essential oils topically, I use them for homemade skincare and health products and I use them in my skincare routine. There are many different types of oils on the market and all of the oil mentioned below I personally own and have used so I will only speak on those oils today since I have first hand experience with them. Links to where you can purchase high quality oils have been provided.
A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels or the nuts. A word of caution if purchasing from the supermarket is that often their oils will NOT be cold pressed. They will have been heated and will have lost a lot of their good properties. The only oil I purchase commercially is olive oil and I mainly use it for cooking and not for medicinal reasons or skincare purposes.
Below are the four main ranges of quality available on the market:
Cold Pressed – Is the quality of oil I use 99% of the time and usually can not be purchased in stores. This method helps the oil maintain its original state, constituents and depth. Temperatures are rigorously controlled to ensure no therapeutic benefits are lost to heat. Although not a practical method of extraction for all vegetable oils on the market it is highly regarded as the extraction method of choice.
Expeller Pressed – In this method of extraction a small amount of heat is produced simply through the frictional heat created by hydraulic presses. This makes the oil suitable and economical as a base for cosmetics because of its fairly undisturbed molecular state. It also makes excellent food grade oil.
Refined – fully processed oil that has been exposed to all methods of refinement. It will have no color, odor or scent. This makes for economical oil in cosmetics and body care products, but it is not the healthiest as a food grade oil.
Unrefined – A method of extraction and screen filtering where no additional refining process has taken place. This helps oil retain a rich, strong flavor and color. The end product is most exquisite for food and cosmetic preparation. Unrefined oils are always darker in color and richer in scent.