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Carrier oils are nature’s solution to essential oil dilution. Because EO’s are incredibly potent plant compounds and almost always need to be tamed before they can work their magic. If you’ve ever put pure tea tree oil on an open wound you know that it feels like it’s doing more harm than good. And if you’ve ever had your hands on a bottle of pure jasmine or rose essential oil, well odds are you paid a pretty penny and both oils are far too strong to use in their pure form. Often rose is sold as 5% pure rose oil and 95% carrier oil and it still carries the same lovely aroma.


If you’re starting to get into making your own skin and beauty products with essential oils it’s important to know which carrier oils will be best for your skin type. Carrier oils also have a role in any other types of essential oil formulations, whether they’re for housecleaning or perfume.


The Basics of Carrier Oils

  • Derived from the fatty part of plants aka. Nuts and seeds
  • Naturally unscented (except coconut)
  • Don’t evaporate in the same way as essential oils
  • Shorter shelf life than EO’s
  • Consistencies range from rock solid to soft to liquid at room temperature
  • Used in all sorts of formulations from chapstick to massage oil

Types of Carrier Oils and Their Uses


  • Apricot kernel oil

Properties: Absorbs easily, emollient properties, doesn’t leave an oily residue

Viscosity: Medium

Good for: Massage oil, baby skin, face creams, body creams, lotions, lip and hair care.

Shelf life: 1-year


  • Avocado oil

Properties: Fatty, emollient, moisturizing, rich in vitamins A and E

Viscosity: Medium

Good for: dry skin, hair and moisturizers

Shelf life: 1-year


  • Borage seed oil

Properties: High in the omega fatty acid GLA, anti-inflammatory,

Viscosity: Thick

Good for: Treating skin problems like eczema and psoriasis

Shelf life: 6-months (keep refrigerated)


  • Cacao butter

Properties: Aromatic, high in vitamin E, rich, nourishing

Viscosity: Dense at room temperature

Good for: Deep moisturizers for the body, extremely dry skin

Shelf life: 1-2 years

 

 

  • Calendula oil

Properties: Gentle, cooling, restorative

Viscosity: Thin

Good for: Babies and sensitive skin, facial moisturizers, problem skin

Shelf life: 1-year


  • Coconut oil (fractionated or extra-virgin)

Properties: Emollient, lathers, moisturizing, antibacterial

Viscosity: Hard at room temperature

Good for: Moisturizing creams with antibacterial properties, haircare, dry skin, soaps

Shelf life: 2-years


  • Emu oil (Not a true carrier oil as it’s not from a plant)

Properties: Full spectrum of essential fatty acids, moisturizing, antifungal

Viscosity: Thick

Good for: hemorrhoids, insect bites, frostbite, rashes, prevent skin cracking, moisturizing

Shelf life: 1-year


  • Evening primrose oil

Properties: Rich in fatty acids, absorbs easily into the skin

Viscosity: Thin

Good for: Skin care for oily and acne prone skin

Shelf life: 1-year (keep refrigerated)


  • Grapeseed oil

Properties: Neutral scent, lightly moisturizing

Viscosity: Thin

Good for: Massage oil, creams, lotions, bath oil

Shelf life: 1-year


  • Hazelnut oil

Properties: Astringent, high in oleic acid, nutty scent

Viscosity: Medium

Good for: Oily or combination skin, people with skin problems

Shelf life: 1-year


  • Hempseed oil

Properties: Deep green color, nutty smell, high in omega fats,

Viscosity: Medium

Good for: Facial moisturizers, lip balm, soaps

Shelf life: 6-months (keep refrigerated)

 

 

  • Jojoba oil

Properties: Composition most similar to our skin’s sebum, though liquid it’s actually a wax

Viscosity: Thin

Good for: Moisturizer for all skin types, massage oil, bath oil

Shelf life: Many years (because it’s a wax)


  • Macadamia nut oil

Properties: Also very close to our skin’s sebum, absorbs easily, high in oleic acid

Viscosity: Medium

Good for: Moisturizer for all skin types, lotions, massage oil, bath oil

Shelf life: 6-months and very sensitive to light.


  • Olive oil

Properties: Moisturizer, rich in fatty acids

Viscosity: Medium

Good for: Hair care, skin care, universal carrier oil applications

Shelf life: 1-2 years


  • Pomegranate seed oil

Properties: high in flavanoids and punicic acid

Viscosity: Thin

Good for: Oily and acne prone skin, protecting skin from sun damage, healing inflammation

Shelf life: 1-year


  • Rosehip oil

Properties: Emollient, absorbs readily, rich in vitamins and antioxidants

Viscosity: Medium

Good for: Mature and very dry skin, healing inflammation, face creams, soaps

Shelf life: 6-months



  • Shea butter

Properties: Super hydrating, protects skin, emollient, high in vitamins A and E

Viscosity: Hard at room temperature

Good for: Cracked feet and elbows, body creams, soaps

Shelf life: 2-years


  • Sunflower seed oil

Properties: High in vitamins A, D and E, moisturizing, neutral scent

Viscosity: Thin

Good for: Creams, lotions, massage oil, bath oil

Shelf life: 1-year kept out of direct light


  • Sweet almond oil

Properties: High in vitamins A and E, emollient, moisturizing

Viscosity: Medium

Good for: Soaps, lotions, massage oil, bath oil

Shelf life: 1-2 years




How to Dilute Essential Oils for a Variety of Uses


Oils for Different Skin Types


Oily

  • Calendula oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Hazelnut oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Pomegranate seed oil

Acne Prone

  • Calendula oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Pomegranate seed oil


Dry

  • Avocado oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Borage seed oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Macadamia nut oil
  • Emu oil
  • Rosehip oil
  • Shea butter
  • Sweet almond oil

Mature

  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Macadamia nut oil
  • Evening Primrose oil
  • Rosehip oil
  • Sweet almond oil

Sensitive

  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Borage oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Macadamia nut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Sunflower oil

How to Buy Carrier Oils

The best places to buy carrier oils online are mountain rose herbs and amazon. Always look for the unrefined, organic, cold or expeller pressed versions free from additives.

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