Carrier Oil 101: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Carrier Oil for Essential OilsFebruary 8th, 2021
Essential oils are liquid gold. They have a myriad of uses and carry potent compounds that work wonders, mostly for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. However, they could also cause irritation when directly applied to the skin or when directly inhaled. That’s when carrier oils come into the picture. These are used to dilute powerful essential oils and safely “carry” them into your skin. Learn how to choose the best carrier oil for your essential oils in this ultimate guide.
What is a Carrier Oil
A carrier oil is derived from the seeds, kernels, or nuts of a plant and is used to dilute essential oils and carry the potent liquid onto the skin, hence, its name. Essential oils on their own are volatile, so diluting them with carrier oil is a critical safety procedure. Carrier oils should be as natural as possible as essential oils are already rich and risky on their own. Carrier oils can be easily blended with essential oils depending on your desired viscosity, absorption, lubrication, and aroma.
How to Choose a Carrier Oil
There is a range of carrier oils, each holding various therapeutic properties. Consider the following things when choosing a carrier oil for your essential oil:
- Odor: Some carrier oils have a particular scent that when they are mixed with an essential oil, its aroma may be altered.
- Shelf Life: There are carrier oils that have a longer shelf life than others.
- Skin Type: Since some carrier oils are derived from nuts, you should take this into consideration especially when you’re allergic. Moreover, absorption of carrier oils varies per skin type.
Best Carrier Oils to Choose From
There are many types of carrier oils you can use. To give you a good place to begin with, here are the best and most popular carrier oils used to dilute essential oils for skincare, massage, and aromatherapy:
Fractionated coconut oil
This type of coconut oil is perhaps the best carrier oil you could ever use on any essential oil. Due to its amazing properties such as its ability to remain liquid regardless of temperature and its resistance to rancidity, fractionated coconut oil is a top choice for aromatherapy. Its smooth and silky temperature makes it ideal as a carrier oil for massage essential oils— when combined, it creates a sheer oil that is non-sticky, non-greasy, and feels light on the skin. Since this type of carrier oil is odorless, it goes well with all types of essential oils, regardless of the scent and notes.
This oil is especially recommended for skin care essential oils as it’s high in linoleic acid, which is ideal for delicate and sensitive skin. It has a very moisturizing compound, making it a good carrier oil for beauty and cosmetics. Grapeseed oil has a light and natural sweet aroma that also makes it great for aromatherapy for its relaxing scent—this carrier oil blends well with essential oils with fruity notes such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit.
Jojoba is actually a liquid wax, but it makes a great carrier oil for hair care products due to its hydrating properties. One amazing feature of jojoba oil is that it is very similar to the oil that’s naturally found in the skin, so it’s highly recommended for all skin types, especially oily skin. It has a delicate, sweet, nutty scent that’s best for essential oils with woody and earthy notes, such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
Argan oil is rich in vitamins A and E, and has monounsaturated fatty acids. This makes it an excellent carrier oil for hair and skin care as it has nourishing properties. Argan oil on its own is considered a magnificent beauty oil due to its healing and restorative abilities. Its scent can vary from a nutty aroma to a light citrus fruit fragrance, depending on how much of the oil is organic.
Sunflower oil is a non-comedogenic carrier oil which is non-irritating, non-sticky, and does not clog pores. The best thing about this oil is that it is easily accessible and is very affordable. Packed with vitamin E and other antioxidants, sunflower oil can help protect the skin from wrinkles and premature aging, making it an ideal carrier oil for beauty essential oils.
Pressed from rosehips, this type of oil is high in vitamins A and C that protects the skin from the adverse effects of the sun. It’s a terrific carrier oil for massage oils, moisturizers, and dry skin remedies. With its nutty and earthy scent, it blends well with essential oils of the same aroma, as well as oils with floral tones.
How to Mix Carrier and Essential Oils
The following dilution ratios should start you up once you’ve chosen the perfect carrier oil for your essential oil:
- For one teaspoon of carrier oil, add 1 drop essential oil for a 1% ratio, 2 drops for 2%, and 5 drops for 5%.
- For one tablespoon of carrier oil, add 3 drops essential oil for 1%, 6 drops for 2%, and 5 drops for 5%.
- For one fluid ounce of carrier oil, add 6 drops of essential oil for 1%, 12 drops for 2%, and 30 drops for 5%.
Feel free to mix and match carrier oils and essential oils to suit your needs until you find the perfect combination for you. Just remember to take into consideration the carrier oil’s consistency, shelf life, scent, absorbency for best results. For an infallible carrier oil that works well with any type of essential oil, go for fractionated coconut oil— you can get your own bottle of this luscious carrier oil here. Happy blending!