Choose the Best Carrier Oils for Essential Oils & Explore the World of Aromatherapy
Carrier oils have many uses and benefits, making them an essential ingredient in natural beauty routines. They are derived from plants through methods that retain their natural properties, such as cold-pressing or expeller-pressing, ensuring that they are pure and unadulterated.
One of the critical reasons carrier oils are so essential is their ability to aid in absorbing essential oils. They help to evenly distribute essential oils on the skin, allowing for better absorption and enhancing their therapeutic benefits.
Unlike essential oils, carrier oils offer versatility, as they can be used in various applications, including skincare, hair care, massage therapy, aromatherapy, and DIY beauty recipes. They are commonly incorporated into skincare products to provide hydration, nourishment, and other beneficial properties to the skin.
In hair care, carrier oils moisturize and nourish the hair, improving its texture and promoting health. In massage therapy, carrier oils offer a smooth glide and lubrication during massages. They are also used in aromatherapy to dilute and carry essential oils for safe skin application or inhalation.
Additionally, carrier oils are popular ingredients in DIY beauty recipes, allowing for customized formulations for skincare and other beauty treatments. Their versatility and benefits make them a key component in many natural and holistic beauty routines.
This blog will shed light on how to use carrier oils with essential oils and the best oils to use and add in your skincare.
The Best Carrier Oils For Essential Oils
Carrier oils and essential oils have long been a topic of interest in aromatherapy for their therapeutic benefits. Carrier oils are plant-based oils and are extracted from the fatty portions of the plant's seeds and kernels and are basically "carriers" for your essential oil.
It is also important to choose the right carrier oil as there are different carrier oils for various purposes. So lets talk about some of the best carrier oils that are used to dilute essential oils.
1. Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is a natural oil obtained from the seeds of the sweet almond tree (Prunus dulcis), a tree native to the Middle East and Mediterranean regions. Sweet almond oil as a carrier oil is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins A, B, and E making it a popular ingredient in skincare, hair care, and nail care products.
Sweet almond oil goes best with light oils like jojoba oil as a base for massage blends or as a moisturizer for the face and body. Research shows that almonds are a valuable source of dietary lipids and protein (1). Almonds contribute to a healthy nutrient profile thanks to their dietary fiber and vitamins.
How to use: Mix sweet almond oil with other carrier oils, such as lavender, frankincense, and bergamot oil, to create a luxurious body oil. The easiest way to mix your essential oil with carrier oils is to add them in a clear glass bottle and shake well.
This blend combines the soothing properties of lavender essential oil with the grounding and centering properties of frankincense essential oil and the uplifting and calming properties of bergamot essential oil. It's perfect to use as a massage oil, or as a calming addition to your shower routine.
Must Read: Benefits of Using Almond Oil for Skin
2. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is a natural oil extracted from the seeds of jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis). Jojoba oil contains wax esters that are similar to sebum which is produced by our body. Jojoba oil is a light oil and contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids that moisturize the skin.
This golden-colored oil is extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant and is known for its similarity to the skin's natural sebum. Jojoba oil is known for its moisturizing, balancing, and soothing properties. It is non-greasy, easily absorbed into the skin, and suitable for all skin types, making it a popular carrier oil in skincare products.
How to use: Add jojoba oil with essential oils like argan oil and olive oil in a bottle and shake well to create your own therapeutic blend. This blend combines the moisturizing and nourishing properties of argan oil with the hydrating and antioxidant properties of olive oil and the balancing and conditioning properties of jojoba oil. It's excellent for use as a facial oil or cuticle oil.
Jojoba oil is a great carrier oil and can also be used as a hair and scalp treatment by applying a few drops to the scalp and massaging or as a hair oil for added shine and moisture.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural oil extracted from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). It is a versatile oil that has been used for various purposes for centuries. Coconut oil is great for moisturizing and is mainly composed of saturated fats that are a good energy source, and the body too is able to quickly absorb them.
This versatile oil is derived from the flesh of the coconut and has a light, pleasant scent. It is solid at room temperature but melts on contact with the skin. Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and has deep moisturizing effect not only on the skin but as well as nourishes your hair strength, making it suitable for skin care and hair care (2).
How to use: To use it as a carrier oil it simply combine coconut oil with olive oil or argan oil, to create a nourishing hair treatment. Apply the oil blend to damp hair and leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour before shampooing. This can help moisturize and condition your hair, leaving it nourished and silky.
4. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a natural oil extracted from the flesh of avocados (Persea americana), and its use as a carrier oil has progressed rapidly. As a carrier oil, it contains high monounsaturated fatty acids and is excellent to use with essential oils. Additionally, avocado oil is rich in vitamins A, D, and E, making it ideal for stimulating collagen production and keeping your skin moisturized and protected from damaging UV rays.(3)
How to use: There are great skincare benefits of using avocado oil especially if you have dry or dehydrated skin. Simply combine avocado oil with other carrier oils, such as jojoba, argan, or rosehip, to create a moisturizing facial oil. To do this, mix equal parts of the essential oil with your preferred carrier oils in a dark glass bottle, and apply a few drops of the oil blend to your clean and toned face. Gently massage it into your skin to help replenish and retain moisture, leaving your skin soft, smooth, and hydrated.
Must Read: Benefits of Avocado Oil
5. Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip oil is a natural oil derived from the fruit of the wild rose (Rosa canina) plant. Rosehip oil is mainly known for its high content of essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and oleic acid (4). It provides moisturizing properties and helps lock in hydration, keeping the skin soft and supple.
Additionally, rosehip oil can help keep the skin free from dehydration as it contains vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and flavonoids.
How to use: Rosehip oil can be used with other carrier oils, such as castor or grapeseed, to create a gentle and effective face oil cleanser. Mix one part rosehip oil with one part of the other carrier oil, and gently massage the oil blend onto your dry face, using circular motions. Rinse with warm water or wipe off with a damp cloth.
6. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is a natural oil is made from the evening primrose plant's seeds (Oenothera biennis). It contains several important compounds, including essential fatty acids such as gamma-linolenic acid and linoleic acid, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids making it an excellent carrier oil for skin care (5).
These fatty acids are necessary because the body cannot produce them independently and must be obtained from dietary sources.
How to use: Combine evening primrose oil with other carrier oils, such as coconut, shea butter, or almond oil, to create a luxurious and moisturizing body lotion. Mix the oils in a ratio that suits your preferences. Apply the lotion blend to your skin after showering or bathing. Massage in circular motions for a pampering body treatment.
7. Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot kernel oil is a natural oil extracted from the seeds of apricots (Prunus armeniaca). One of the main components of apricot kernel oil is oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid (6). Oleic acid has various health benefits and helps to moisturize and nourish the skin, promoting a soft and smooth complexion. Mix apricot kernel oil with other carrier oils, such as rosehip, jojoba, or argan, to create a nourishing and rejuvenating facial serum.
How to use: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of apricot kernel oil with a few drops of essential oil in a bowl. Apply to the skin and massage gently. Use as a facial oil by applying a few drops to clean, damp skin and gently massaging in circular motions. Apricot kernel oil can also be used as a hair oil for added moisture and shine by applying a few drops to the ends of the hair or as a scalp treatment by massaging into the scalp.
8. Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is a natural oil extracted from the hemp plant's seeds (Cannabis sativa). Hemp seed oil is rich in vitamins E and B, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants (7). Additionally, hemp seed oil is a rich protein, fiber, and carbohydrate source. The unique combination of these compounds makes hemp seed oil benefits for skin care, heart health, and overall well-being.
How to use: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of hemp seed oil with a few drops of essential oil in a bowl. Apply to the skin and massage gently. Use as a facial oil by applying a few drops to clean, damp skin and gently massaging in circular motions. Hemp seed oil can also be used as a hair and scalp treatment by applying a few drops to the scalp and massaging, or as a hair oil for added moisture and shine.
9. Calendula Oil
Calendula oil, also known as marigold oil, is a natural oil extracted from the petals of the calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis). It is known for its rich composition of various beneficial compounds. One of the key compounds of calendula oil is carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lutein, which are natural pigments that give calendula its characteristic bright orange-yellow color (8).
How to use: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of calendula oil with a few drops of essential oil in a bowl. Apply to the skin and massage gently. Use calendula oil as a facial oil by applying a few drops to clean, damp skin and gently massaging in circular motions. Calendula oil can also be used as a healing ointment for cuts, bruises, or rashes by applying directly to the affected area.
10. Camellia Seed Oil
Camellia oil is a natural oil derived from the seeds of the Camellia oleifera or Camellia sinensis plant, which is the same plant used to produce tea leaves. Camellia oil is high in antioxidants and vitamins E and A, which help protect the skin from environmental damage and promote healthy skin (9).
Additionally, it contains polyphenols, squalene, and other beneficial compounds that contribute to its potential skin nourishing, moisturizing, and protective properties. Camellia oil is widely used in skincare and hair care products due to its lightweight texture, non-greasy feel, and potential benefits for skin and hair health.
How to use: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of camellia seed oil with a few drops of essential oil in a bowl. Apply to the skin and massage gently. Use as a facial oil by applying a few drops to clean, damp skin and gently massaging in circular motions. Camellia seed oil can also be used as a hair oil for added moisture and shine or as cuticle oil for nourishing the nails and cuticles.
11. Tamanu Oil
Tamanu oil is a natural oil extracted from the seeds of the tamanu tree (Calophyllum inophyllum). Tamanu oil contains calophyllolide, an aromatic organic compound with anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. It is rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and antibacterial compounds, making it beneficial for acne-prone or damaged skin.
Research conducted in 2020 showed that using black cumin and tamanu oil, the researchers successfully eliminated two bacterial compounds.
How to use: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of tamanu oil with a few drops of essential oil in a bowl. Apply to the skin and massage gently. Use as a facial oil by applying a few drops to clean, damp skin and gently massaging in circular motions. Tamanu oil can also be used as a spot treatment for acne, scars, or wounds by applying directly to the affected area.
12. Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is a natural oil from the seeds of pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo). It has a dark green texture and is known for its nourishing and antioxidant properties. It is rich in vitamins A, C, and E and essential fatty acids, making it beneficial for dry or damaged skin.
How to use: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin seed oil with a few drops of essential oil in a bowl. Apply to the skin and massage gently. Use as a facial oil by applying a few drops to clean, damp skin and gently massaging in circular motions. Pumpkin seed oil can also be used as a body oil for moisturizing dry skin or as a scalp and hair oil for added hydration and shine.
13. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is a natural oil extracted from sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum), a flowering plant native to Africa and India. It is known for its rich composition of various beneficial compounds. It is rich in vitamins E and B complex and essential fatty acids, making it beneficial for all skin types.
How to use: Mix sesame oil with other carrier oils, such as castor, jojoba, or grape seed oil, to create a gentle and effective facial cleansing oil. Combine 1 part of sesame oil with 1-2 parts of the other carrier oil. Massage the oil blend onto your dry face; this can help cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural oils, leaving it clean, soft, and hydrated.
14. Meadowfoam Oil
Meadowfoam oil, also known as Limnanthes alba seed oil, and is extracted from the seeds of the meadowfoam flower, a native wildflower found in North America. Meadowfoam oil is particularly prized for its high content of long-chain fatty acids, specifically eicosenoic acid, which is rare in other plant oils.
Meadowfoam oil is one of the best carrier oil because of its high contents of fatty acid that provide excellent moisturizing and emollient properties for the skin, helping to lock in moisture and maintain a healthy skin barrier.
How to use: Make a hydrating lip balm by combining meadowfoam oil with other carrier oils, such as beeswax, cocoa butter, or shea butter. Melt equal parts of meadowfoam oil and the other carrier oil with beeswax or cocoa butter in a boiler, and pour the mixture into lip balm containers. Allow it to cool and solidify, then apply it to your lips as needed. This can help moisturize and protect your lips, keeping them soft and smooth.
15. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is a natural oil extracted from the seeds of grapes (Vitis vinifera), which are typically a byproduct of the winemaking process. Grapeseed oil is known for its light texture and versatility in skincare products. It is rich in vitamins E and C and essential fatty acids, making it suitable for all skin types, including oily or acne-prone skin.
How to use: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil with a few drops of essential oil(s) in a bowl. Apply to the skin and massage gently. Use as a body oil to dampen skin after a shower or bath for lightweight hydration. Grapeseed oil can also be used as a hair oil to tame frizz and add shine or as a base for homemade massage oils and scrubs.
How to Use Essential Oils with Carrier Oils
Since essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause adverse reactions on a sensitive skin, hence before applying essential oils it is always advised to dilute the essential oil and also make sure that the user has no skin conditions that may harm the skin area.
Here's how to use a carrier oil with essential oils:
- Choose your carrier oil: There are various carrier oils to choose, some common carrier oils include sweet almond oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, and grapeseed oil. Carrier oils are used as a base oil and possess unique properties and benefits, so choose your favorite carrier oil and the one that suits your needs and skin type.
- Choose your essential oils: Select the essential oils you want to use based on their therapeutic properties and the intended use of the blend. It's important to use high-quality, pure essential oils to ensure their effectiveness and safety.
- Determine the dilution ratio: It is highly recommended to follow the dilution ratio of essential oil with the preferred carrier oil to mix with. For example, to make a 1% dilution, add 1 drop of essential oil to every 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. A safe and effective dilution ratio for most adults is 1-2% essential oil to carrier oil.
- Mix the oils: In a clean glass bottle or jar, combine the carrier and essential oils in the appropriate dilution ratio. Close the bottle or jar and shake well to mix the oils.
- Use the blend: Apply the blended oil to the skin as needed. Doing a patch test before using the blend on a larger skin area is recommended to ensure that you don't have an allergic or other adverse reaction.
Ultimately, the choice of carrier oil is a personal decision, influenced by factors such as skin type, desired therapeutic effects, and individual preferences. It is recommended to conduct a patch test and consider any allergies or sensitivities before incorporating a carrier oil into your essential oil blends.
By understanding the unique properties of different carrier oils, you can tailor your aromatherapy experience to suit your specific needs and enjoy the full benefits of essential oils.
What are some popular carrier oils that I can use?
Some popular carrier oils include coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and grape seed oil.
How do I choose the right carrier oil to mix with my essential oils?
It is important to consider the health benefits of the oil and the type of application you are using it for. Different carrier oils also have different textures and scents which may impact your choice.
Why do I need to use a carrier oil?
Essential oils are too strong to be applied directly on the skin or ingested. Carrier oils help to dilute them making it safe to use.
• The use of carrier oils in aromatherapy massage and their effect on skin
• Single hair fiber assessment techniques to discriminate between mineral oil and coconut oil effect on hair physical properties https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32949101/
• The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1676360/
• Rosehip (Rosa canina L.) Oil https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-12473-1_43
• Recovery of Tocopherols, Amygdalin, and Fatty Acids From Apricot Kernel Oil: Cold Pressing Versus Supercritical Carbon Dioxide https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ejlt.201800043
• The Composition of Hemp Seed Oil and Its Potential as an Important Source of Nutrition https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J133v02n04_04
• Cosmeceutical potential of geranium and calendula essential oil: Determination of antioxidant activity and in vitro sun protection factor https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.12789
• 11 - Camellia Oil and Tea Oil https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9781893997974500176
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