Carrier Oils — Supplemental Bases

The main carrier oils used externally for massage and some aromatherapy treatments are sometimes supplemented with other beneficial oils, such as:

Avocado Oil

Persea americana / P gratissima
Green in color, sticky when used alone
Beneficial to all skin types, especially dry skin
Nourishing, penetrates deeply
Rich in vitamin A
Also contains vitamins B, C, D, E, H, K, and lecithin
Use in blends of 10 to 15% with a main carrier oil
Store at room temperature

Borage Seed Oil

Borago officinalis
"Star Flower oil"
Pale yellow in color
Rich in polyunsaturated fats
Contains gammalinoleic / gamma-linoleic acid (GLA)
Beneficial to all skin types, especially prematurely aging skin

Calendula Oil

Calendula officinalis
Calendula is otherwise known as "Pot Marigold"
Considered to be very beneficial to problem skin
"…calendula oil provides a useful base for aromatherapy massage, not only for its own merits, but also enhance the properties of the essential oils added…" -Shirley Price in Aromatherapy Workbook
She also claims that calendula oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and vulnerary properties (see glossary).

Evening Primrose Oil

Oenethera biennis
Pale yellow in color
Rich in essential fatty acids
Used for dry skin and wrinkles, said to help prevent premature aging of the skin
Often used for itchy skin conditions and PMS / menstrual issues
"…a useful addition to treatment oils for eczema and other dry skin conditions…" -William H. Lee/Lynn Lee (The Book of Practical Aromatherapy)

Jojoba Oil

Simmondsia californica / S chinensis / Simondsia sinensis
Liquid yellow wax, light odor
Light scent
Beneficial to all skin types
Nourishing to skin (and hair), quickly absorbed, highly penetrative
Provides satin-smooth finish and feel
Nice additive to massage oil
Said to dissolve sebum so often seen recommended for acne
Long shelf life

Macadamia Nut Oil

Macadami integrifolia / M tetraphyll / M ternifolia
Beneficial to dry and mature skin, nourishing, goes on smoothly
Used on fine lines, helps skin retain moisture and suppleness

Olive Oil

Olea europaea
Green in color
Wonderfully calming, softens and smooths (skin and hair)
Often used for stretch marks, relieving to itchy skin
Olive oil is also supposedly helpful for treating cradle cap

Rose Hip Oil

Rosa canina / Rosa rubiginosa / Rosa mosqueta Chile
Great for mature skin
Sometimes suggested for burns, stretch marks, and scars
Rosehip oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids: arachidonic acid, linoleic acid, and arachidonic acid

Sesame Oil

Sesamum indicum
Dark yellow in color
Suitable for all skin types

St John’s Wort

Hypericum perforatum
Red in color due to hypericin
Said to be antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic

Wheatgerm / Wheat Germ Oil

Triticum durum / T aestivum / T estivum
Yellow to orange in color
Suitable for all skin types
Suggested for prematurely aging skin
Rich in vitamin E
Acts as preservative, anti-oxidant
"…very good for dry, cracked or mature skin. It helps prevent stretch marks and is soothing and healing in general." -William H. Lee/Lynn Lee (The Book of Practical Aromatherapy)
Use in blends of 5 to 10% with a main carrier oil

When blending base oils, Susan Worwood in Essential Aromatherapy: A Pocket Guide to Essential Oils and Aromatherapy says to "…always put the larger amounts into the bottle first, adding the other ingredients of your blend in order of greatest volume. Then put the top on the bottle and roll it vigorously between the palms of your hands, allowing the molecules of all the base oils to become well blended."

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