Also known as carrier oils, base oils are complementary oils that need to be mixed with essential oils to create a distinctive aroma. They are mostly derived through cold-pressing from many sources such as seeds, kernels, nuts, or any parts of a plant that contain high amounts of fats. Cold-pressing, by means of crushing the plants, is the recommended way of extracting them as there are fragile nutrients in the oil that can be damaged if they are extracted through heat.
Because they are extracted from the above-mentioned botanicals, base oils contain many minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants, and many others. Base oils are light and permeable. Unlike essential oils that have strong and pungent scents, carrier oils have scents that range from neutral to sweet and nutty scent.
Base oils are not volatile and do not evaporate quickly. These oils can also be used to improve the shelf-life of your essential oils in aromatherapy applications. This makes them even more suitable to be used in aromatherapy such as in a deep massage.
What is the best base oil for aromatherapy massage applications?
Containing the highest number of antioxidants, coconut oil is deemed to be the best base oil for aromatherapy applications. It is extremely light and blends well with most essential oils. Moreover, there are many types of coconut oil, so it is best to know which one you should be using in such applications.
As previously mentioned in one of our blog articles, unrefined or virgin coconut oil is unquestionably the best type of coconut oil for it has not undergone any synthetic processes, thus retaining its natural composition. However, unrefined coconut oil is relatively viscous and would not work well when used in aromatherapy. This is why we recommend using fractionated coconut oil.
Fractionated coconut oil is made from a process called fractionation with the purpose of keeping the coconut oil in liquid form. It is the most ideal oil for aromatherapy applications because it is less viscous, non-greasy, odourless, highly stable, and has a longer shelf life. For optimal results, pair this oil with lavender essential oil or sandalwood essential oil.
If you are not into coconut oil as being the most ideal base oil in your aromatherapy applications, there are also other base oils that you can choose from including jojoba oil and sweet almond oil. These base oils offer nearly the same benefits to that of coconut oil and can be definitely used in aromatherapy.
This oil is derived from the seeds of the Jojoba plant and is prized for its ability to resist rancidity and stability. It can withstand high temperatures and has a long shelf-life. Just like other carrier oils, jojoba oil has a nutty and subtle aroma. Additionally, jojoba oil can be best mixed with german chamomile essential oil or tea tree essential oil.
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil came from the kernels of sweet almonds that contain high levels of unsaturated fatty acids. This oil has a strong, nutty smell. This base oil provides moisturising benefits for the skin and leaves your skin looking soft and smooth.