Essential oil (except for a few exceptions) should never be used undiluted on the skin, and needs to be mixed with a carrier oil (also referred to as a base oil) to dilute the concentrated molecules and to help spread them over the surface of the skin, and this is done by diluting them in carrier oils. These oils are normally obtained by cold pressing and is inert - and not volatile as essential oils.
As a rule of thumb, you would normally need about 30 ml of carrier oil to perform a full body massage.
When essential oils are being used, they are mostly used in aromatherapy massage, since the ingestion of pure essential oils falls within the medical science gambit, and must not be undertaken by the lay person.
Carrier oils, also referred to as base oils, are fixed oils (since they are not volatile) and are from vegetable origin extracted from either nuts or seeds.
The dilution ratio of essential oil depends on various factors such as the way in which it is used, and the age of the client being treated. For more information on the rate of dilution of essential oils, please click here.
Some people look for carrier oils with a specific smell - for instance, people sometimes look for "almond oil" that smells of almonds.
If you have an almond oil, smelling of almonds, you either have a highly toxic oil (bitter almond oil) or it is sweet almond oil with a synthetic fragrance.
Our carrier oils are 100% pure base oils - no preservatives, no fragrances or ANY other compounds - just the pure cold pressed oils. As such these oils DO NOT have a fragrance - except that you may faintly discern a smell if you have a keen sense of smell,
Most carrier oils are extracted using a "cold pressed method", in which no external heat is applied to help force the oil from its oil containing cells, and it is this type of carrier oil you should buy.
Most people do not have allergic reactions to these base carrier oils, but if you have a problem with a nut allergy, it would be wise to do a skin-patch test before using a nut based carrier oil.
After a carrier oil has been extracted it can be refined through various processes to attain certain desirable (and some undesirable) effects.
Carrier oils can also posses their own therapeutic properties and they also enhance the absorption of the essential oils through the skin.
Most carrier oils are furthermore rich in fatty acids as well as other nutrients.
Herewith, a list of the most widely used carrier oils as used in aromatherapy.
The above is by no means a complete list of carrier oils, but are the most used oils in aromatherapy.
As can be seen from the list above there is a good variety to choose from, and although carrier oils are used for diluting the essential oils in aromatherapy massage, the carrier oils as such can also impart vary valuable properties to the massage, since they all have one or more of their own characteristics.
The choice of a carrier oil will also depend on the therapist giving the massage, as heavier oils give more "traction" on the skin, which helps when giving a deep massage, while other lighter oils provide more "slide" which is useful when giving a relaxing massage.
For this reason, professional therapists normally have a selection of carrier oils on call, to mix as required for the specific massage to be performed.
"Technical oils" sometimes used in normal body massage are not used in aromatherapy massage, and although far cheaper than vegetable carrier oils, do not give the client the same effect, and also leave the skin feeling "tacky" and like baby oil, is a mineral oil, which forms a barrier and will prevent the essential oils from penetrating and being absorbed by the skin. This as such is counterproductive to the therapeutic effect of essential oils, and should be avoided.