Posted on 07 June 2015
Carrier oils are generally oils made from vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. They often go by Carrier Oils, Base Oils, Vegetable Oils, or Fixed Oils. These base oils are filled with essential fatty acid which is why they are so beneficial and the uses are endless. Most of these oils can be used in cooking, cleaning, skincare, hair care, massage, aromatherapy, cosmetics, homemade beauty and cleaning products, healing and medicinal purposes and practically anything else you can think of. Carrier oils are also often used to dilute essential oils since essential oils are extremely concentrated and can be harmful if they are used undiluted or improperly. Choosing a Carrier oils is just as important as choosing essential oils because each has its own unique properties and can be used for many different things.
Different Methods used for Carrier Oil Extraction
Cold Pressed: The most natural State of any oil. Pressed through a machine for extraction and is the highest quality without losing any of its nutrients. In order to find the best cold pressed oils contact the oil manufacturer and ask them if their oils are considered Raw. If they truly are raw oils they won’t be heated more than 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The Raw Cold Pressed Oils are the best.
Expeller Pressed: Really similar to Cold Pressing but expeller pressed oils are pressed in slightly higher temperatures between 120 degrees to 200 degrees. The heat comes from the friction of the machine and oftentimes the natural qualities of the oil can become compromised and the oil isn’t as full of nutrients.
Solvent Extracted: Uses a solvent such as hexane to extract oils. Hexane is a possible carcinogen and the solvent used to extract the oil is often found in the oil after processing. Nutrients and Fatty Acids are destroyed. If the oil you are purchasing doesn’t have a label showing that it was Cold Pressed or Expeller Pressed in most cases it was solvent extracted (this goes for organic too).
Unrefined: After the oil is pressed a screen is used to filter and remove dust or small particles from the oil without compromising its nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids. The best high quality oils are unrefined.
Refining or part refining (including “fractionated” oils): These oils are completely different from the natural state of cold pressed unrefined oil and most of the nutrients have been destroyed. The process is made to preserve the oil for a long shelf life. Colors and odors are removed using high heat, freezing, bleaching, and deodorization which completely damages important nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids. If you have a choice between part refined or refined, choose part refined but try to purchase unrefined oils when available.
Extra Virgin, Virgin, and regular: Extra Virgin Oil would mean it has only been pressed 1 time. Some companies press the olives multiple times to obtain more oil and this makes the oil quality less pure. Virgin would mean pressed more than once.