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.
Sweet Almond Oil
I personally love sweet 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. Sweet 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!
Sweet 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.
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 to dilute your essential oil of your choice. 118ml of Jojoba Oil cost only around $13 on Amazon.
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!
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. It will feel very smooth to the skin, but won’t clog pores. Coconut oil seems to be among the more expensive carrier oils, a bittke iof 118 ml is about $16 on Amazon.
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.
Black Seed Oil
Known as “the healthiest oil on the planet”, black seed virgin carrier oil by Jade Bloom 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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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.
What do you think? Do you like to use carrier oils? Share your thoughts in the comments below!