Carrier oils serve to dilute the essential oil before applying it to your skin. They act as the base for “carrying” the essential oil that is being mixed into it. Compared to essential oils, you’d use a greater amount of the carrier oil to make sure you properly dilute the essential oil.
This method also has the benefit of combining the effects of the essential oils PLUS those of the carrier oils, promoting smoother skin, relaxing the muscles, and a lot more. There are various carrier oils to choose from and it’s important to know which ones to use for what application.
The Most Popular Essential Oil Carrier Oils
Below is a list of some of the best essential oil carrier oils that you can use to mix in your essential oils to have exceptional effects on the body. I’ve included information on scent, and texture so you can make your best choice. Use the carrier oil to dilute the essential oil prior to topical application. You should always dilute your essential oils prior to applying them on your skin.
How Much Essential Oil Should You Add to Your Carrier Oil?
To make a basic blend, combine one fluid ounce (30 mL) of carrier oil with 12 drops of essential oil. This makes about a 2% dilution, which is common and regarded as safe for adults. If this is too much, start with 6 drops of essential oil to each 1 fl. oz. of carrier oil. This would be a 1% dilution and possibly all you need. Also, the 1% dilution is recommended for children and the elderly, as they are more likely to have sensitive skin. Always start conservative! You can always add more later if you find that everything works well with your skin.
1. Almond Oil
I personally love almond oil, not only because it’s reasonably inexpensive, but it is also a very light oil, and very easily absorbed by your skin. Its is quite nutritious with lots of vitamins including A, B and E. Almond oil works wonderfully for all types of skin. It is especially useful for a facial massage as it helps balance the moisture levels in your skin, helps to improve your complexion, and gives you that special “glow of youth”! It was my first essential oil carrier oil, and I’d recommend it any day!
Almond oil has a very slight nutty smell, though not overwhelming at all. I find it quite sweet and pleasant actually. You can of course always add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to personalize your spa-at-home experience.
A quick word of warning if you’re allergic to peanuts: almond oil is often produced in the same factories as peanut oil. If you have peanut allergies, be cautious. It’s possible that you are also allergic to Brazil nut, hazelnut, almonds and walnut. Check it out with your health care practitioner first if you’re unsure.
2. Jojoba Oil
Sweet Almond Oil’s most natural match is Jojoba oil. If combined, the two oils have qualities that are closest to the natural oils of our own skin, making them great for all applications from massage to cosmetics.
Coming with a golden color, a lot of people also consider jojoba oil as one of their most favorite oils to use. It doesn’t really have much scent on its own. Derived from the jojoba beans, jojoba oil possesses an indefinite shelf life and can be stored for a longer period of time when compared to other carrier oils. It is easily absorbed by the skin and the jojoba oil mimics collagen (the main structural protein of the various connective tissues in animals), making it relaxing to the skin, especially for those who have hypersensitivity, eczema, psoriasis and acne. There are a lot of ways that you can use jojoba oil, you can use it either as is or together with other carrier oils (recipes below) to dilute your essential oil of your choice. 118ml of Jojoba Oil cost only around $13 on Amazon.
3. Apricot Kernel Oil
Coming from the kernel of the apricot plant, this carrier oil is known for its pale yellow color. What makes apricot kernel oil so great is that it works well when used with the aging skin and it’s a common ingredient for many cosmetics that can have the price of up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Just one or two drops of the apricot kernel oil can exhibit its benefits, providing a great deal of benefit for dry, inflamed and even sensitive skin because of its content of oleic and linoleic acid, as well as vitamin A and vitamin E. This carrier oil is lightweight and smells faintly sweet; it can be absorbed by the skin without leaving a greasy or oily feeling after use. Apricot kernel oil can be used as is or together with other carrier oils since it still exhibits its full effects regardless of the mixture, making it a great choice for those looking for good essential oil carrier oil. But do know that the apricot kernel oil can leave stains on clothes so be careful. And you can get it for as little as around $8!
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties. There are countless health benefits to using coconut oil topically to your skin. Coconut oil comes in both refined and unrefined versions. For use in aromatherapy, you actually cannot use unrefined coconut oil since it sets like butter in the jar and can only be scooped out in chunks rather than a liquid version. Therefore, it is made available in the form of a “fractionated” carrier oil that is smooth, oily, and very useful for aromatherapy applications.
Fractionated coconut oil will feel very smooth to the skin, but won’t clog pores. Coconut oil seems to be among the slightly more expensive carrier oils, a bottle iof 118 ml is about $14 on Amazon. However, what’s great about the Plant Therapy brand of carrier oils, is that this one here comes with a handy pump for the oil bottle, which makes use and application so much easier!
5. Olive Oil as An Essential Oil Carrier Oil
Most commonly used in cooking, olive oil can also be used for cosmetics as carrier oil. There are a lot of benefits that you can get by using olive oil which includes relief from ear pain and joint pain. Olive oil is one of the emergency oils that you can use if you don’t have anything else on hand. Its scent is sweet and pleasurable, though not completely neutral compared to other oils. Using a small percent together with other essential oil carrier oils lets you take advantage of the benefits that olive oil can bring, but perhaps avoid the scent if you find it otherwise overwhelming. Olive oil contains a lot of proteins, vitamins and minerals that can help the skin grow smoother and rejuvenate the hair’s lost shine and smoothness.
6. Argan Oil
Argan oil is really nice to use on your face as it has restorative qualities for your skin cells. It helps with the skin elasticity, softens wrinkles and fine lines, and restores nutrient content to skin cells treating an array of skin conditions. It is very gentle, yet effective. Argan oil is derived from argan trees of Morocco, which are nutrient-rich, large, majestic trees. Argan Oil is the natural moisturizer your skin needs, and helps to naturally and noticeably soften and heal your skin.
Argan oil has a sweet smell to it, and some batches of harvest can have quite a faint smell to it. It depends a little bit on the time the oil was harvested. Spring and summer harvests have a less deep smell, whereas fall and winter crops tend to smell a little deeper. Overall, to the new nose, it could be described as smelling ‘nutty’.
7. Rosehip Oil
Another facial skin care favorite carrier oil is rosehip oil – also known as rosehip seed oil. It is rich in Vitamin C and essential fatty acids, and protects the skin by increasing cell turnover. This aids the cells in your skin to re-generate, which is why some say rosehip oil contains anti-aging benefits.
To further explain, these anti-aging benefits of rosehip oil come due to its chemical structure. Rosehip oil contains many polyunsaturated fatty acids, and when absorbed through the skin, these fatty acids convert to prostaglandins, which are involved in cellular membrane and tissue regeneration.
Rosehip has a somewhat particular scent so I advise you to try a smaller sized bottle to start.
8. Black Seed Oil
Known as “the healthiest oil on the planet”, black seed virgin carrier oil is one my newer discoveries in carrier oils. It is also known as Black Cumin Seed Oil and extremely high in essential fatty acids, about 70-80%, which is comparable to Evening Primrose and Borage Oil.
Black seed contains an amazing amount of anti inflammatory, pain relieving, and antibacterial substances and antioxidants. These anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent choice for a carrier oil as it is in and of itself also a remedy for a variety of skin conditions stemming from inflammation. This particular type of black seed oil by Jade Bloom is a non – GMO oil, which is nice. It is extracted through a cold press process, it’s virgin and unrefined. The Jade Bloom brand guarantees a pharmaceutical grade and 100% pure oil attained through selective sourcing.
Smell-wise, black seed is earthy, deep and herbal, and therefore best mixed with other aromas that are also woody and strong, such as Juniper Berry, Atlas Cedar, Fir Balsam, Cypress, Sandalwood or Spruce.
It is recommended to avoid black seed carrier oil in pregnancy and lactation.
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Carrier Oil Blends
If you’re hesistant (or overwhelmed) about choosing just one carrier oil, I can happily recommend a few carrier oil blends to you. From Plant Therapy, you can get the “Clear Complex”, “DermiSoothe”, and “Near Perfection” carrier oil blends – all of which are mixed for a blend that’s good for various types of skin. In overview:
Clear Complex Carrier Oil Blend
The Clear Complex carrier oil blend contains Grapeseed Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Vitamin E Oil. If you have a good nose, you can definitely pick out the slight hemp seed oil smell. It’s very well balanced though and together, these amazing oils create a smooth scent. As a power pack, they will help your oily skin become healthier and blemish free!
Use this blend as your daily moisturizer for oily skin. Even oily skin needs moisturizing after daily exposure to the elements. Apply carrier oil (and any other essential oils you wish to add), directly to a clean face 1-2 times a day. Here are some amazing essential oils for skin care.
DermiSoothe Carrier Oil Blend
DermiSoothe works amazing on reddened, rough skin. The five carrier oils in this blend are combined to help soothe your skin, and smooth out the parts of your skin that are blemished.
For example, if you ended up with too much sun, windburn, winter chapped skin, or skin that is rough or red due to dietary intolerance, this carrier oil blend is for you! Apply topically on the affected areas as needed throughout the day. DermiSoothe Contains: Almond Oil, Apricot Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, and Vitamin E Oil.
Near Perfection Carrier Oil Blend
The Near Perfection carrier oil blend helps reduce the appearance of skin imperfections and marks. Its revitalizing blend of 5 carrier oils include Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Tamanu Oil, and Vitamin E Oil. Tamanu oil is amazing on its own, whose oil is pressed from the dried kernel of the fruit of the tamanu tree. It does have a somewhat strong earthy, nutty scent, but it’s definitely something I love that about this carrier oil!
For achieving best results, use this blend two times daily on the affected areas. For 3-5 minutes, massage it on the areas that need it, gently, but thoroughly. You may need some patience here with yourself and your skin, as improvements may need weeks before they become visually noticeable.
This blend comes in three sizes for your convenience: 2 oz @ $11.95, 4 oz @ $14.95, and 16 oz @ $32.95. Once you’ve found your favorite(s), just order the big bottles like I do!
The Best Carrier Oils For Facial Use
When it comes to caring for the skin on your face, more rules apply than on other parts of your body. You really have to take into account if you have very sensitive skin, or sensitive areas of your skin. Some people have specific needs for the so-called “T-Zone” on your face, which includes forehead, nose and chin.
Argan oil and rosehip oil both work great for use on your face!
Not Sure Which Carrier Oil You’ll Like?
I get like this all the time. I learn about all the options and then I think “well, now how do I know which one I’ll like?” I suggest you start with the Sweet Almond Oil. It’s very neutral, soft, and I find it very soothing.
I love using essential oils in my diffuser, but it is often overlooked that you can also apply essential oils topically. With all topical applications of essential oil, you should always dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil as to avoid possibly burning your skin. This is especially true if you already know you have sensitive skin! So carrier oils are forgotten or overlooked. Essential oils do have their benefits but combining them with carrier oils just stacks their benefits. Choose any of these carrier oils and see how wonderful the effects become!
In essence, you probably want a carrier oil that is almost scent-free so that when you mix it with your chosen essential oil, all you smell will be the essential oil. On the other hand, you might like to go for the added health and beauty benefits of the carrier oil itself in your application, so your oil of choice may vary a bit.
Carrier Oil Mixing Recipes
If you’re wondering what the best ratios are of carrier oils to make the most commonly liked combinations, here’s some help for you:
Almond Oil and Jojoba Oil Mix
Combining these two oils is a match made in heaven – they have been used together for years. When combined, an almond oil – jojoba oil mix has qualities nearest to your own natural skin oils, making the mix suitable for most skin types. Use this combo for massages, moisturizers, or cleansing creams. The typical ratio to use is 3/4 parts almond oil and 1/4 part jojoba oil. If you’re measuring by teaspoons for example, that would make 3 tsp almond, 1 tsp jojoba. If you’re mixing larger quantities, scale as needed. Then, add essential oils
What do you think? Do you like to use carrier oils? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for reading, sharing, and participating in our discussion. xoxo, Emma