What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are said to be naturally extracted liquid substances which are obtained from various parts of an aromatic plant. Extracted through a process called distillation, they are produced from the roots, flowers, leaves, seeds and other parts of a plant. These oils are filled with the goodness and characteristic scent of the plant source. Essential oils contain the desired therapeutic and relaxing properties of the plant they are extracted from, making their smell wonderful. Essential oils can be extracted from your most-preferred aromatic plants, like Lavender, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Mint, Sage and many more.
Since they are famous for catching the true essence of a plant, they are given the name “Essential oils.” They are of potent nature and contain a much higher percentage of aromatic compounds than other types of oils. This is why one must always dilute it before applying it to the skin topically. There are several other ways to make use of essential oils. One can also smell them after diluting them. This is done for therapeutic purposes and leaves the individual extremely relaxed. That is why this process is known as Aromatherapy. One can also make use of essential oils for depression, stress and anxiety.
What Are Carrier Oils?
Carrier Oils refer to plant-based or vegetable oils that are of thick texture, with little to no scent of their own. They are known as “Carrier oils” as they are used to dilute essential oils and blend them into remedial products. If one does not dilute essential oils using carrier oils, the oil’s therapeutic properties will be of no use. This is because the high concentration of essential oils is likely to evaporate without being absorbed.
Also known as base or fixed oils, carrier oils are extracted from the fatty parts of a plant, like seeds, nuts and kernels. They need to be prepared attentively. Otherwise, they will alter chemically. One can also use carrier oils to prepare Aromatherapy blends or use them as a moisturizer for their skin.
Carrier oils are filled with the goodness of fat-soluble Vitamins and essential fatty acids. These nutrients help in the proper nourishment of the skin. Apart from that, they are also helpful in repairing skin damage and guarding the skin’s barrier from harmful microbes. These oils also support the tone, shape and elasticity of skin molecules.
Essential Oils VS Carrier Oils
There are many points of difference between essential oils and carrier oils that people do not know about. From their distinct scent to their different benefits, a lot of factors make them different from one another.
Essential oils are highly fragrant as they are filled with the goodness of aromatic plants like Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, Sandalwood and many more. Due to their beneficial therapeutic properties and use in Aromatherapy, they are highly concentrated, adding a pungent smell. This therapeutic property allows one to make use of essential oils for fear and anxiety.
On the other hand, carrier oils are not so scented, bearing little or no fragrance at all. They are not extracted from the aromatic parts of a plant and are obtained from the seeds, nuts and kernels. This is why they are not as scented as the essential oils. They are used as a base for essential oils in Aromatherapy instead. They are also used to make Aromatherapy blends as they do not possess a strong scent of their own.
2. Applying On Skin
Essential oils cannot directly be applied to the skin as they are highly concentrated oils. If one directly applies this oil to their skin, they are bound to get irritation and burns, and their skin is bound to start reacting negatively. Some people also tend to develop an allergic reaction if essential oils come in direct contact with their skin. So, to be on the safe side, applying the diluted version of essential oils topically on your skin is always advisable. You can dilute these oils using carrier oils as they individually do not cause any harmful effects on the skin.
Also, before applying the diluted version of essential oils to your skin, it is essential to conduct a patch test. This is to make sure you do not develop any allergic reactions to the same.
On the other hand, Carrier oils are nutritious oils that do not evaporate immediately and are not harsh as essential oils. Instead, they are considered to be ideal for blending with essential oils and can be directly applied to the skin. You can also use these oils as moisturizers for your skin. One is not prone to developing allergic reactions to the same.
Essential oils are highly concentrated and volatile in nature. This is why they cannot be applied directly to the skin. They are potent and are used in small quantities for therapeutic purposes. They also contain a high percentage of aromatic compounds as they are derived from the roots, leaves, seeds, flowers and herbs of aromatic plants.
On the other hand, Carrier oils are considered to be skin-friendly and are not very potent. They are also non-volatile, which makes them useful for direct application to the skin. They are also not highly concentrated, which makes people use them as moisturizers on a regular basis. They are derived from the not-so aromatic parts of a plant, like the seeds, nuts and kernels. In order to make essential oils steady for application on the skin, one can blend them with these carrier oils.
The Bottom Line
While essential oils possess volatile yet therapeutic properties, carrier oils can be directly applied to the skin due to their non-buoyant nature. If you are looking for the perfect oil to make use of in Aromatherapy, the diluted essential oil is the right way to go. But, if you are looking for an oil that can be beneficial for the skin, go for carrier oils, as you will not regret it.
If you wish to know more about the factors that differentiate essential oils from carrier oils, read this article until the very end.