How to Choose a Carrier oil

Essential oils and carrier oils aka base oils go together like peanut butter and jelly! And just like you choose an essential oil for a particular concern, carrier oils have their own particular benefits too. Are you new to essential oils? Want to learn more about carrier oils? Do you want to start making your own beauty products with your essential oils but need help selecting a carrier oil that will work best with your skin type? Then you’re going to love learning about the most commonly available carrier oils and their claim to fame!

Your guide to choosing a carrier oil to use with essential oils

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A carrier oil or base oil, is a vegetable oil that is derived from the nut, seed, or kernel of the plant. It’s best to choose a vegetable oil that is cold pressed and organic if you can. Essential oils are lipid (fat) soluble, so they are easily absorbed into a vegetable based carrier oil. Essential oils are very small in molecular size and are extremely potent. You may only need one drop of essential oil, but need to cover a larger area on the body than you can spread one drop onto. Using a carrier oil allows you to cover more area. So for general dilution as long as you’re using a cold pressed vegetable oil, you’re good. You can also read a previous blog post about how to dilute essential oils. But, this post is going to go into detail on the benefits of the most commonly used carrier oils.

You might be wondering. What’s the Difference between Base Oils and Carrier Oils?

It’s kind of an interchangeable term, since they are both vegetable oils used to dilute and carry essential oils into the body. When you see the term base oil, it is usually in reference to creating a premixed blend of vegetable oils and essential oils. Some vegetable oils also need to be diluted and mixed with other base oils. You’ll see examples below in the various carrier oil descriptions.

The Viscosity of Carrier Oils.

Viscosity is a measurement of a liquids thickness. Some carrier oils are thicker than others. The thinner the carrier oil the faster and deeper it will absorb into the body. For example, if you are targeting sore muscles, you want to choose a lighter carrier oil that will penetrate deeper into the tissue. Do you want to inhale the essential oil longer?  Layer it over a base oil of coconut to create a barrier and keep the essential oil from evaporating quickly.

The Viscosity of butters and carrier oils to use with essential oils.

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One of the ways I love to use my essential oils is to make my own beauty products. I had wanted to get away from the traditional products I had been using, but I didn’t know where to start. So I did some research. First, I wanted to learn which essential oils would be best for my skin’s needs. Then I needed to learn which carrier oil would be best to use. I have acne prone skin so the thought of using vegetable oils on my face took a little getting used to. But, after discovering my moisturizer (that I thought was good, CeraVe) had parabens amongst other ingredients, I’d rather avoid, I took the plunge. I’ve been making my own serum in place of moisturizer for 6 months now and my skin has actually improved and become less oily!!! I know can you believe it? Read on to see which carrier oil is best for your skin type.

Common Carrier Oils and their Uses

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Common Carrier Oils and what they’re good for:

Sweet Almond Oil has a very pale yellow color and is obtained from the kernel. It contains glucosides, minerals, and vitamins. Rich in protein and good for all skin types. Sweet Almond oil helps relieve itching, soreness, dryness, and inflammation. It can be used 100% as a base oil.

Apricot Kernel Oil has a pale yellow color and is obtained from the kernel. It contains mineral and vitamins and is good for all skin types, especially prematurely aged, sensitive, inflamed, and dry skin. It can be used 100% as a base oil.

Avocado Oil is dark green in color and derived from the fleshy pulp surrounding the seed. It contains vitamins, protein, lecithin, and fatty acids. Avocado oil is useful for all skin types, especially dry and dehydrated skin, or those with eczema. Use as an addition to another base oil, 10% dilution.

Borage Seed Oil is pale yellow in color and comes from the seeds. It contains gamma Linoleic acid, vitamins, and minerals. Good for regenerating and stimulating the skin and can be used with all skin types. Use as a 10% dilution in another base oil.

Evening Primrose is pale yellow and contains gamma linolenic acid, vitamins, and minerals. Excellent in the treatment of psoriasis and eczema. Helps to prevent premature aging of the skin. Use a 10% dilution in another base oil.

Grapeseed Oil is almost colorless or pale green. It contains vitamins, minerals, and protein. Useful for all skin types and can be used 100% as a base oil.

Hazelnut Oil is yellow and comes from the kernel. It contains vitamins, minerals, and protein. It has a slight astringent action and is good for all skin types. Can be used 100% as a base oil.

Jojoba Oil is yellow and derived from the bean. It contains protein and minerals. It’s a waxy substance that mimics collagen. Useful for all skin types, especially those with inflamed skin, psoriasis, eczema,  or acne. As well as hair care. Highly penetrative. Use as a 10% dilution to another base oil.

Olive Oil is green and contains protein, minerals, and vitamins. It is soothing and useful for rheumatic conditions, hair care and cosmetics. Use as a 10% dilution with another base oil.

Safflower oil is pale yellow. It contains proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Useful for all skin types and can be used 100% as a base oil.

Sesame oil is dark yellow. It contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, lecithin, and amino acids. Useful for all skin types, especially those with psoriasis, eczema, rheumatism, and arthritis. Use a 10% dilution to another base oil.

Sunflower oil is pale yellow and contains vitamins and minerals. It can be used on all skin types and 100% as a base oil.

Wheatgerm oil is yellow/orange in color. It contains protein, vitamins, and minerals. Useful for all skin types, especially those with eczema, psoriasis, or prematurely aged skin. Use as a 10% dilution with another base oil.

Young Living’s V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex is a blend of six organic vegetable oils – Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sesame Oil, Grapeseed oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Wheatgerm Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Olive Oil. This oil complex nourishes the skin, has a long shelf life, does not clog pores, and will not stain clothes. It can be used to dilute essential oils or can be used 100% as a base oil to create custom blends, formulas, and massage oils.

If you’d like to make up a batch of your own serum using essential oils and base oils. My recommendation is to start slow. Use just one essential oil at a time for at least two weeks before incorporating another oil. You want to be able to gage how well each essential oil is working. This will also help you to identify if a particular oil does not agree with your skin. For me, that oil is carrot seed essential oil. If you’re going to use multiple essential oils, stick to mixing singles and not blends.

General Guidelines for diluting essential oils

If you want to learn more about using essential oils, you need a reference guide! I send one out to everyone who enrolls with a Premium Starter Kit. Through the end of this month and possibly into April, depending on how long supplies last. I’m also giving away The Chemical Free Home Part Two, this book contains some great tips and recipes for how to use essential oils. As well as an amber glass bottle dropper with Young Living’s V- 6 carrier oil and an all access pass to Oil Moxie, our teams private resource site and FB group.

Are you already an oiler? What’s your favorite carrier oil? Do you love using essential oils in your DIY beauty recipes? If so, I’d love for you to share below!

Happy Oiling,

Become a wholesale member with Young Living's Premium Starter Kit.

Source: The Complete Book Of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

Source: The Chemical Free Home Part Two

Disclaimer: The information on this website is based upon my personal use. You can read the full disclaimer here.
 

Comments

  1. says

    Found you through pinterest. SO thankful for this post because I’ve been wondering about the different carrier oils and this is so well put together. Thank you!

    • katiedefalco says

      HI Lindsay,
      Thanks for asking! I like jojoba the best. It mimics our skins natural oils so for those with oily skin it kind of sends an alert to our body that sounds something like… ok, sebum glands we’re good on oil, no need to make more! 🙂
      Thanks again for reaching out, Katie

  2. Tawnya says

    When talking about the carrier oils, you mention in some of them to dilute 10% with other base/carrier oil. Do you mean only 10% of the oil to another base oil or do you mean the carrier oil needs to be diluted by 10%? For example; wheatgerm oil needs to be diluted so would you do 10% wheatgerm oil to 90% another base oil or do you mean 90% wheatgerm oil to 10% of another base oil? I hope I’m making sense.

    • katiedefalco says

      Hi Tawnya,

      This is a great question! Lets continue your example of wheatgerm oil. You would use 10% of wheatgerm oil to 90% of another base oil.
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to reach out to me for clarification. 🙂
      Take care and happy oiling!
      Katie

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