There are many types of carrier oils from all sorts of seeds and nuts. Examples of carrier oils are sweet Almond, Apricot kernel and Peach kernel which are almost identical. Others include:
Carrier oils that you obtain in the grocery store should be labeled checked to see if they are cold-pressed. Many oils bought in the grocery store are heated and therefore have less therapeutic benefit. So look at the label, make sure it is cold-pressed both for eating and for skin care.
Mineral oil is not used in aromatherapy because mineral oil is not a natural product. It is inexpensive and often used even in high-end cosmetics. It is also thought that mineral oil can prevent essential oil absorption into the skin.
Essential oils do not go rancid but they can oxidize with time. Carrier oils, however, can go rancid and oxidize. Carrier oils that you purchase should be natural and unadulterated.
Iodine number is the iodine value (or "iodine adsorption value" or "iodine number") in chemistry is the mass of iodine in grams that is consumed by 100 grams of a chemical substance. An iodine solution is yellow/brown in color and any chemical group in the substance that reacts with iodine will make the color disappear at a precise concentration. The amount of iodine solution thus required to keep the solution yellow/brown is a measure of the amount of iodine sensitive reactive groups.
One application of the iodine number is the determination of saturation of fatty acids as double bonds in fatty acids also react with iodine compounds. The higher the iodine number, the more unsaturated fatty acid bonds are present in a fat.
Non-drying oils are the most stable and they include Olive, Almond and Peanut. Non-drying oil is oil that does not harden when it is exposed to air. This is as opposed to drying oil, which hardens completely, or a semi-drying oil, which partially hardens. Oils with an iodine number of less than 115 are considered non-drying.
Semi-drying oils are Corn, Cottonseed and Sesame. A semi-drying oil is oil that partially hardens when it is exposed to air. This is as opposed to a drying oil, which hardens completely, or a non-drying oil, which does not harden at all. Oils with an iodine number of 115-130 are considered semi-drying.
Drying oil is oil that hardens to a tough, solid film after a period of exposure to air. The term "drying" is actually somewhat of a misnomer - the oil does not harden through the evaporation of water but through a chemical reaction in which oxygen is absorbed from the environment (auto-oxidation). Drying oils are a key component of oil paint and many varnishes. Oils with an iodine number of over 130 are considered drying. High levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids characterize drying oils. One common measure of the siccative (drying) property of oils is iodine number. Some commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, tung oil, poppy seed oil, Perilla oil and walnut oil.
The most stable oils are Avocado, Palm Kernel, Castor, Safflower Oleic, Coconut, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Sunflower Oleic, Jojoba, Olive, and Wheat Germ
Personally, I always make choices of oils that are stable, and grown and harvested near me. Oils grown in Africa or Asia may be very good but the cost of transporting them is hard on the oil as well as on the environment. Choose organic, choose local over non-organic and exotic. Make your own infused oils using Olive Oil and fresh herbs. I make a special therapeutic oil called Bruise Juice and a skin care oil with fresh Calendula called Calendula infused Oil.
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