The English Aromatherapist


Supermarket Carrier Oils

Supermarket carrier oil

I’ve previously written about the importance of diluting essential oils.


Before essential oils are used on the skin, they need to be diluted in a “carrier oil” (also known as a base oil, vegetable oil or fatty oil).


Despite the marketing claims of some brands, it’s really not a good idea to apply neat essential oil to your skin – no matter how pure it is.


Carrier oils


As I’ve discussed before in Why Dilute Essential Oils? carrier oils are not merely a neutral tool to dilute your essential oil. They actually offer amazingly therapeutic properties that are especially useful in skincare.


These days, there are so many fabulous carrier oils easily available to buy online – there’s more to life than FCO!


Can we use supermarket oil?


When you learn about the types of carrier oils used in aromatherapy, you might have noticed that some of these are on the shelves of your local grocery store – usually at a much cheaper price than aromatherapy suppliers.


You’d be surprised what you can pick up with your weekly shop. For example, my local Tesco sells avocado, hemp, sunflower, grapeseed, olive, sesame and coconut oil – not in the beauty section, but the ‘Cooking oils’ aisle.


So are these suitable to dilute essential oils for application on the skin?


Grocery store carrier oil for essential oils


My opinion


For skincare purposes, it’s better to choose a carrier oil that’s suited to your needs. If you want therapeutic value, go for the best you can afford.


But for the purpose of just diluting your essential oils – yes, I think it’s acceptable to use supermarket carrier oil. It’s a valid option for home users on a budget. After all, not everyone can afford to use expensive carrier oils like jojoba all the time.


The way I see it, it’s better to use a supermarket carrier oil than no carrier oil at all. Try to choose organic, cold-pressed and unrefined oil where possible. I’m not saying you should use any old cheap and nasty stuff!


I’ve often picked up a big jar of organic Vita Coco coconut oil at the supermarket when it’s on special offer – to me, it makes sense to save delivery costs on something so heavy and bulky!


Just remember that some carrier oils like grapeseed have a relatively short shelf life (approx. 6 months after opening). So bear that in mind before you fork out for a giant 5 litre bottle! That’s why carrier oils like jojoba and fractionated coconut oil are so popular – they have a much longer shelf life.


In conclusion


So, can we use carrier oils from the supermarket? Well, you’ll get different answers from different people. Professionals will generally disapprove!


In my opinion, if you just want to make a quick blend to massage your feet, or whip up a quick roller blend for yourself – I think good quality supermarket oil is absolutely fine. There are cases where you just need something to dilute your essential oil. In these circumstances, it’s wiser to save on the carrier oil and splurge on a really good quality essential oil (and you certainly do NOT want to buy your essential oils at the supermarket!)


Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice to treat yourself to some expensive carrier oil. But you can save this for when you need its therapeutic benefits – and use the cheap stuff when it doesn’t matter.


What are your thoughts? Are you picky about your carrier oils?


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