Vegetable oils are the fixed, non-volatile oils present in various nuts, seeds and legumes. Cold pressed virgin oils are expressed from these products and, being unrefined, are of the finest quality. Purifying of some oils for food use is necessary to achieve acceptable levels of odour and colour. All grades are highly suitable for use in culinary, cosmetic, soap and massage applications. Vegetable oils are often referred to as “base oils’ or “carrier oils” in Aromatherapy where they are used to dilute essential oils. This is usually achieved at a ratio of approximately 2.5% or at 5 drops in 10mL for body application, or a ratio of 1% or 2 drops in 10mL for facial application. This is purely a guide as the dilution ratio can change from weaker to stronger depending on the essential oil chosen and the application for use.

ALMOND SWEET        Prunus dulcis

There are two grades of sweet almond oil, pure and virgin. They are both excellent oils for chapped and irritated skin, and are quite light and easily absorbed by the skin. The virgin has a fuller aroma than the pure, as it is from the highest grade almond kernels. It contains vitamins A, B and a small amount of vitamin E. It keeps reasonably well.

APRICOT KERNEL        Prunus americana

A light and easily absorbed vegetable oil with nourishing properties. Apricot Kernel contains vitamin E and is very good for after sun care. Apricot Kernel is useful for inflamed or chapped skin. It’s light texture makes it a good choice as a base for facial oils or as a daily body oil.

AVOCADO        Persea americana

Can be used to soothe conditions such as eczema, nappy rash, dry skin, wrinkles and undernourished skin. A very thick oil, it works down at the base of the skin, and should be a dark green colour. Avocado is high in vitamin A, B, E, lecithin and potassium.

BORAGE         Borage officinalis

Borage is an excellent oil for skin conditions where irritation or inflammation is present. It has high levels of GLA, which is also found in Evening Primrose oil. Borage has a light texture and is easily absorbed by the skin. It suits all skin types, but is particularly useful for dry or mature skin.

CASTOR BP    Ricinus communis

Castor oil is a very thick oil, not suited to massage applications. It is used in many cosmetics and creams for its softening properties.

COCONUT    Cocos nucifera

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. It is very softening to the skin and is mostly used for cosmetics and soap making.


Cocoa Butter is very softening and soothing to the skin. It is a solid butter, that melts at skin temperature. It is very nourishing to the skin, and suitable for dry, normal and mature skin.

EVENING PRIMROSE    Oenothera biennis

Rich in essential fatty acids, particularly GLA (gamma linolenic acid) which is responsible for many of the enzyme activities carried out in the body, including blood pressure, reducing inflammation, regulating hormones such as oestrogen, progestogen and prolactin, reducing cholesterol. It can be very beneficial for irritated and inflamed skin conditions.

GRAPESEED        Vitis vinifera

The skin readily absorbs Grapeseed oil, leaving it with a soft, luxurious texture. It has a high percentage of linoleic acid and some vitamin E.

HAZELNUT     Corlys avellana

Hazelnut oil is a deeply penetrating, nourishing and moisturising vegetable oil. Excellent for use as a base for all body treatments Hazelnut oil help to carry essential oils deep into the body, or can be used alone for sensitive skin. The oil can help to balance oily skin and can help tighten and improve the appearance of open pores.

JOJOBA    Simmondsia chinensis

Jojoba (pronounced Ho-Ho-Ba) is a bush grown in the arid desert of North America. The native Americans used it for both dry and greasy skin and hair. It helps to provide a protective barrier from the elements, and can be used for all skin types, including the most sensitive skin. It is beneficial for irritated or dry skin, dandruff and dry hair.

Jojoba is an excellent base to use for a natural perfume. Simply dilute your favourite essential oils in jojoba and apply to pulse points on the neck and wrists. Jojoba is a better oil to use than other carrier oils, as it will not become rancid.

LINSEED VIRGIN        Linium usitatissumum

Linseed oil has been used for many skin conditions, it has a soothing and healing nature. It is best suited to mature skin, due to its thick nature.

MACADAMIA        Macadamia integrifolia

Highly nourishing, macadamia is recommended for older, mature skin. It is a thick oil and is an excellent oil to use before bed to allow the skin a good “night-time feed”. If you find it too thick, however, still wish to use the oil, try diluting it 50:50 with Sweet Almond oil.

OLIVE        Olea europa

A popular oil to use in soap production, it is not generally used in massage applications due to its thick texture. It is a very good oil to use in hair and scalp treatments, giving a shine and lustre to the hair. Olive oil is beneficial for inflamed or irritated skin.

PALM    Elaeis guineensis

Palm oil is solid at room temperature. It is very moisturising to the skin and is mostly used for cosmetics and soap making.

PEACH KERNEL        Prunus persica

A light and easily absorbed vegetable oil with nourishing properties. Peach Kernel contains vitamin E and is very good for all skin types, including sensitive. Peach Kernel is useful for inflamed or chapped skin. It’s light texture makes it a good choice as a base for facial oils or as a daily body oil.

ROSE HIP    Rosa eglanteria

Cold pressed from the seeds of Roses grown in Chile, Rosehip oil has proven extremely beneficial in the treatment of scars, inflamed skin conditions, acne, minor burns and wrinkles. The oil helps to promote a smooth, soft complexion. Rosehip is hydrating and nourishing to dry skin with a mild pH. Available as certified organic.

SAFFLOWER        Carthamus tinctorius

A medium textured vegetable oil that is a favourite in massage oils due to its odourless nature. Beneficial to normal/oily skin types.

SESAME        Sesamum indicum

Beneficial to all skin types, Sesame oil is often used as a massage treatment when it has been warmed slightly. Sesame oil is softening to the skin and has a soothing nature.

SHEA BUTTER        Butyrospermum parkii

A solid butter that melts on skin contact, Shea Butter is excellent for very dry skin. It moisturises and softens the skin. Shea Butter has been used for many skin conditions, and makes an excellent hand softening cream by simply placing ¼ teaspoon on your hand and massaging it into your skin. Shea Butter is used in many cosmetics for its beneficial effect on skin texture and helps to soften fine lines. Gentle warming in a bowl of hot water will melt the butter so you can add your essential oils.

SOYA BEAN        Glycine max

A light vegetable oil, Soya Bean contains beneficial levels of vitamin E. It is best suited to oily skin.

WHEATGERM PURE        Triticum durum

Wheatgerm promotes the formation of skin cells, improves blood circulation and helps to remove cholesterol deposits in the arteries, thus vitally important in combating heart disease. The oil is extremely high in vitamin E and is a natural anti-oxidant.