What are Carrier Oils? How to use Carrier Oils for Essential Oils

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What are carrier oils? Carrier oils for essential oils.
What are carrier oils?

What Are Carrier Oils And Why Are They Important?

Did you know that you can enjoy the benefits of essential oils by applying them directly to your skin? 

Yes, it’s true!

These are called topical essential oils.  But to do this safely, you need to use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil first.

Carrier oils are non-volatile and vegetable-sourced oils that are basically the partners of essential oils.

These oils work together to safely deliver the benefits of essential oil directly to your skin.

In this article, I’ll go through what carrier oils are, the best carrier oils to use, as well as their benefits.

So, let’s learn more about these carrier oils, shall we?

Let’s jump right in!

What are Carrier Oils?

Essential oils are volatile substances and they evaporate quickly. They’ve also got the natural aroma of the plant they were made from.

What would be a perfect companion for essential oils?

Well, a carrier oil should be the following things:

  • Obtained from vegetarian sources
  • Neutral in smell

So, what are carrier oils?

Carrier oils are non-volatile, which is why they serve as great companions for essential oils.

There are a lot of oils that can act as good carrier oils so you’ll have to choose which one is the best for you and the end result you are trying to achieve.

Why are Carrier Oils Used?

If you topically apply essential oils by themselves, they’ll prove to be too strong and that’s why they need to be diluted.

Carrier oils, on the other hand, don’t evaporate or have a scent of their own. This makes them the perfect companion to dilute essential oils.

By using a carrier oil you can be sure that:

  • The concentration of the essential oil is reduced
  • There is no change in the therapeutic quality of the essential oil

But, there’s a catch.

Like anything high in fat, carrier oils themselves have a low shelf life which can range between six months to a year.

The Different Types of Carrier Oils You Can Use

The list of all the different carrier oils that you can use is endless. But as a rule of thumb, you should use a carrier oil that is:

  • Of the highest quality
  • Contains no additives

Other than that, you should also choose between cold-pressed and unrefined oils.

Cold-pressed oil, as the name suggests, are unheated and therefore retain all of their properties.

On the other hand, unrefined oils have been refined a little but still retain their strength and richness.

Popular Carrier Oils for Essential Oils

As I mentioned before, a good carrier oil should meet the criteria of having a neutral smell and should be from a vegetarian source.

So, this means that there are a lot of options that you can choose from!

But there are certain oils that have been preferred over others.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Serial Oil Name Oil Properties
1 Grapeseed Oil
  • Moisturizing
  • Light and thin in consistency
  • Good for massages
2 Sweet Almond Oil
  • Sweet aroma
  • Moisturizing
  • Rich in Vitamin E
  • Good all-purpose carrier oil
  • Quick Absorption
3 Jojoba Oil
  • Long shelf life
  • Moisturizes hair and skin
  • Nutty aroma
4 Olive Oil
  • Thick consistency
  • Strong aroma
  • Popular choice
5 Coconut Oil
  • Coconut aroma
  • Solid white in color
  • Moisturizing
  • Long shelf life
6 Shea Butter
  • Solid at room temperature
  • Nutty aroma
  • Moisturizes skin
7 Cocoa Butter
  • Solid at room temperature
  • Chocolate aroma
  • Can be blended with other carrier oils

Studies have shown that oils high in linoleic acid are best suited for people that have oily skin.

On the other hand, oils high in oleic acid are best for those who have dry skin.

Your Guide to Diluting Essential Oils

Did you know that some essential oils are actually poisonous if you ingest them?

That’s true!

And, most can cause problems if you don’t apply them topically with the help of a carrier oil.

So, not only does the carrier oil ensure better absorption of the essential oil, it also helps in reducing the dangerous side effects of it.

Here’s a guide that’ll help you dilute the essential oils to your liking:

  • 0.25%: Ideal for children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years.
    This means using one drop per 4 teaspoons of the carrier oil.
  • 1%: Recommended for children above 6 years of age, elderly people, and pregnant women.
    This means using one drop per 6 teaspoons of the carrier oil.
  • 2%: This is ideal for adults and means using one drop per teaspoon of the carrier oil.
  • 3%: Ideal for health concerns such as muscle pain or injury.
    This means using two drops per teaspoon of carrier oil.

Keep in mind that using essential oils without diluting them could do more harm than good. Make sure that you apply them topically using a carrier oil.

Moving on…

Why Apply Essential Oils Topically?

Using essential oils topically can help them get absorbed into the skin at a fast rate and get into the bloodstream faster.

Topical administration can help you locally get the benefits of an essential oil.

So, you see, topical administration of essential oils has a lot of benefits. Here are some examples of their uses and benefits:

Skin Care

You can enjoy the benefits of essential oils by applying them directly onto your skin but diluting them with a carrier oil first.

Most skin care products boast of having certain essential oils in them, but the truth is that the concentration of the oils is not enough.

You can use the following oils to get the best results for your skin:

  • Lime oil
  • Orange oil
  • Lemon oil
  • Patchouli oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Sandalwood oil
  • Cedar oil

And several more!

Hair Care

Do you have dull, frizzy hair? Are you concerned about dandruff and dry hair?

Well, applying essential oils directly to your hair can help you with that!

Following are the essential oils great for your hair:

  • Castor oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Chamomile oil

And more that target these areas of concern.

Migraines and Health Concerns

Did you know that peppermint essential oil helps with migraines?

Tea tree oil, Eucalyptus oil, and lemon oil are known to help with respiratory issues.

For joint pain, Clary Sage, Juniper, and Frankincense essential oils are known to be really effective.

What I’m trying to say is that essential oils have a variety of different uses and advantages when topically applied to the skin. And for that, the assistance of a carrier oil is necessary for the best results.

Qualities of a Good Carrier Oil

When looking for a good carrier oil for essential oils, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind in order to make the right choice.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

  • Neutral fragrance: A good carrier oil should ideally be odorless or have a neutral fragrance
  • Good shelf life: A carrier oil should have a shelf life of at least six months
  • Non-refined: Non-refined oil has been processed to some extent but still retains its qualities
  • Cold-pressed oil: If you can afford them, cold pressed oils make excellent carrier oils. The reason for this is that no heat is used to extract the oil and all of the nutrients in the oil are still there!
  • Good absorption: A good carrier oil should be able to be absorbed quickly by the skin for the maximum absorption of the essential oil
  • Addresses your skin concerns: If you’re applying the carrier oil to your skin, it should help you with your skin issues. For dry skin, oils like coconut oil, Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter are best suited.

Keep in mind that a good carrier oil can help you a lot in the long run! So, choose wisely keeping all the underlying factors in mind!

Oils You Should NEVER use as a Carrier Oil!

I’ve gone into great detail about the things that make a good carrier oil.

Now, I’d like to go through some of the things that don’t make good carrier oils at all so that you don’t repeat my mistakes!

So, let’s get started!

The following are oils that are best left alone:

  • Butter
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Margarine
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Mineral oil

Keep away from these at all costs! Don’t waste those precious drops of essential oils on these!

The Verdict: What Are Carrier Oils?

If you’re looking for a good carrier oil, you should look for a good vegetable-based oil that has a neutral smell.

The thing with essential oils is that they’re volatile and they evaporate quickly.

So, in order to topically enjoy the benefits of an essential oil, you should choose a carrier oil that suits your primary needs as well as your budget!

There are two types of carrier oils that you should look out for:

  • Cold-pressed oils: They retain all of their nutrients since they’re not heated
  • Unrefined oils: These are partially processed and retain most of their nutrients

I hope this article helped you understand what are carrier oils and their uses. Leave comments if you’ve got any questions or concerns and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!


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