What is a carrier oil?
Natural oils play a big role in the self-care philosophy of Ayurveda. Oil is synonymous to the Sanskrit word “sneha,” which also means love, imparting the fact that oil is one way to offer our skin and our bodies nourishment and self-love. While carrier oils have their own inherent nutritional benefits, as the name suggests, they are often used to “carry” another substance—whether it’s the herbal properties of plants that have been infused through an infusion process or the scent of pure essential oils, carrier oils make these properties available through their carrying or spreading ability, increasing their accessibility to the body’s tissues.
Types of carrier oils
All oils are not created equal, and from an Ayurvedic perspective, some are better for a specific dosha than others. For example, sesame oil is considered a warming oil and good for vata and kapha, whereas coconut oil is considered a cooling oil and best for pitta. Sunflower is a lighter oil and has neutral tridoshic properties; Castor oil is also good for all three doshas and has many different uses. Banyan’s oils are from pure, organic plant sources, are hexane-free, and have been expeller pressed to retain their nutritional value.
How to use carrier oils
As previously mentioned, one way to use a carrier oil is by infusing herbs of your choice. There are cold infusion methods and also traditional cooking methods. Banyan’s herbal oils have been made by these traditional cooking methods in which the raw herbs are simmered on low heat for a period of days, then extracted, leaving behind their therapeutic properties. As each oil has its own density and thickness, finding your preferred carrier oil may be a process of trial and error and knowing your particular skin type. To find the best carrier oil for your face compared to the best carrier oil for your skin, you will want to take into account your specific needs and constitution. Our Ayurvedic Profile™ quiz is an excellent place to start, with insight into your unique physical and energetic makeup, including your skin.