If you’re using essential oils you’ve probably already been sold on the importance of diluting essential oils with a carrier oil.
Dilution offers the added benefit of protecting the skin from sensitivities and aids in absorption all while extending the life of your oils. BUT….there’s so many carrier oils to choose from!
Carrier oils have different consistencies and can be used a variety of ways in combination with essential oils or on their own. Just like essential oils, they have their own unique benefits and with a little knowledge, you can ensure you are getting the best of both worlds.
Please note that this post includes affiliate links which means I make a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase through the links in this post.
How to Choose a Carrier Oil That’s Right for You
Here’s a list of commonly used carrier oils and the benefits of each.
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is a light oil, fairly inexpensive and is easily absorbed into the skin. It works beautifully with all skin types and offers Vitamins A, B and E which the skin adores. Sweet almond oil improves complexion because it balances the moisture levels in the skin. A light nutty scent, sweet almond oil complements most essential oils.
Buying Sweet Almond Oil: Personally I have never purchased this oil as I seem to have a reaction to eating almonds so I have never wanted to try the oil. That said, here’s a variety of options to choose from. Canadians, see some buying options here.
Coconut Oil/ Factionated Coconut Oil
Offering a wealth of health benefits coconut oil combines fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties. When combined with the properties of the essential oils this combo packs a punch and can support wellness efforts. The fractionated variety comes in an oily smooth texture that glides nicely on the skin without clogging pores. It’s a little on the pricier side for carrier oils but offers relief for dry or problematic skin.
Fractionated coconut oil works well for diluting oils for general use as well as making roller bottles. Regular coconut oil (in solid form) is most often used in DIY beauty recipes such as vapour rub, body butter, body scrubs, lip balms etc.
With its light, thin consistency Grapeseed oil is often combined with essential oils for massage and topical application. It leaves behind a light glossy film on the skin, is high in linoleic acid and increases moisture when used on the skin.
Aside from fractionated coconut oil, this is the carrier oil I use most often as I like its thin consistency and it’s great low price.
Jojoba offers a medium consistency with a slightly nutty aroma. With superior absorption, it closely mirrors the skins natural oils and is a favourite because of that. Moisturizing for both skin and hair, Jojoba Oil offers a long shelf life which is ideal for this pricier oil.
Apricot Kernel Oil
Packed with powerful antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E apricot kernel oil is the perfect choice for using on sensitive or inflamed skin. It is a strong anti-inflammatory on its own adding effectiveness to any blends. Apricot kernel oil has a beautiful aroma and can be easily incorporated into any beauty routine.
Buying Apricot Kernel Oil: I haven’t used this as a carrier oil however you can see some buying options here.
Need a Carrier Oil in a Pinch?
If you are needing a carrier oil but don’t have any of the ones listed above then olive oil is an option to use in a pinch. As you likely know olive oil is quite thick and leaves a very oily feeling so it’s not ideal for regular use (in my opinion). I have used olive oil when making a small batch of my lip sugar scrub, however I found the smell to be very unpleasant since I was applying it so close to my nose.
I encourage you to experiment with carrier oils alone and combined with your favourite essential oils. You’ll find that you prefer certain consistencies over others, you’ll notice the difference in their scents and you’ll easily be able to identify which oils your skin responds to.
Which carrier oil do you use most often?