confused by carrier oils?

we use the words “carrier oil” a lot around here, but not everyone knows what a carrier oil is!

carrier oils are very important when using essential oils because essential oils are never supposed to be applied undiluted to the skin. here we’ll talk about what a carrier oil is by doing a deep dive and teaching when to use it.

what are carrier oils?

first things first, what is a carrier oil? a carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually the seed, nut, or kernels. carrier oils also have their own different therapeutic properties, and your choice of the carrier oil should depend on what therapeutic benefit you’re looking for. a carrier oil is used to dilute essential oils before they’re applied to the skin.

why do you need carrier oils?

if you dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil before applying them to your skin, the carrier oil helps prevent the essential oil from evaporating, enhancing their usefulness. that means you’re getting more of the essential oil absorbed into your skin. the therapeutic properties of the essential oil are then strengthened and enhanced by the carrier oil you choose.

so now we know what they are, and why we need them… let’s take a look at a few different carrier oil’s and their unique benefits.

each carrier oil will bring its own benefits to the table.

the answer to “which carrier oil is best for me?” is somewhat dependent upon your skin type. for example:

  • organic argan (all types, but especially mature skin)
  • sweet almond (all skin types, especially oily)
  • avocado (mature and very dry skin)
  • organic jojoba (since Jojoba is a plant wax that closely mimics the structure of skin’s own sebum, it’s ideal for many skin types)
  • hemp seed 
  • fractionated coconut
  • rosehip carrier oil extra virgin

*please note: this isn’t a complete list. it's just the ones we carry.

organic argan oil

organic argan carrier oil is beloved in the cosmetic industry for its incredible conditioning and anti-aging properties. rich in vitamin e and essential fatty acids, argan oil is known to make dull complexions glow, help diminish the appearance of fine lines, and restore skin elasticity.

*while allergic reactions are rare, people with nut allergies should consult with their physician before using this product.

great for these skin types:

  • all skin types
  • sensitive skin
  • dry skin
  • breakout-prone skin

Uses:

  • use as a facial moisturizer to improve skin elasticity on skin that is prone to acne.
  • add to natural unscented hair products to help moisturize dry hair

sweet almond oil

sweet almond carrier oil is an excellent emollient that helps to soften and recondition the skin. It penetrates easily and can soothe dry, irritated areas. it is excellent for all skin types.

this is a great carrier oil for roll-on topical essential oil blends. also useful as a bath or massage oil; sweet almond is a great addition to lotion bars, sugar or salt scrubs, and balms.

*made from almonds (a tree nut). although our expert states skin reactions to nut oils are rare, those with nut allergies should consult their medical practitioner before coming into contact with sweet almond oil. massage therapists: note that this oil may stain linens.

great for these skin types:

  • all skin types
  • irritated skin
  • dry skin

uses:

  • add to lotions, bars, sugar or salt scrubs, and balms.
  • add to massage oil blends.

avocado oil

avocado carrier oil contains vitamins a, b, d, e, and beta carotene. it’s a deeply penetrating monounsaturated oil, slightly thicker and with a heavier feel than most carrier oils.

a small amount of avocado oil (5-10%) is typically added to other carrier oils to enrich vitamin content and help nourish the skin. this oil is used mostly by product makers (particularly so in soaps, lotions, and creams).

great for these skin types:

  • very dry skin
  • mature skin
  • sun-damaged skin
  • dry hair

uses:

  • add to other carrier oils to improve skin-nourishing properties.

fractionated coconut oil

coconut oil absorbs very quickly into the skin, making it ideal for use with any essential oil or blend for quick topical application. because it readily penetrates the skin, this oil is perfect for rollerball blends, creams, and lotions. plus, it leaves no greasiness on the skin.

fractionated coconut oil also produces a barrier on the skin, but will not clog pores, making it great for all skin types.

great for these skin types:

  • All skin types

uses:

  • use as a skin moisturizer.
  • avoid skin irritation by using as a natural makeup remover.
  • keep hair lustrous and smooth by adding to natural hair care products.
  • add to rollerball blends, cream, and lotions

jojoba oil

gmo-free jojoba (golden) is a favorite carrier “oil,” but jojoba isn’t actually an oil. it’s a liquid wax! it closely resembles the natural sebum (oil) our own skin produces and is rich in vitamin e.

because it is high in antioxidants, it can help slow down the rate of oxidation when added to other carrier oils. it has become a very popular carrier in the cosmetic and aromatherapy industries because of its excellent skin care properties.

great for these skin types:

  • oily skin
  • blemish-prone skin
  • reddened skin
  • rough or dry skin

uses: 

  • use as a skin moisturizer, ideal for any skin type.
  • remove makeup naturally by using Jojoba oil to promote overall healthy skin. additionally, it’s non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores.
  • use a few drops to moisturize and nourish hair.
  • treat a dry scalp,  keep it flake free, and help with hair regrowth by adding to your hair care products.
  • use to soothe skin after too much sun.
  • smooth onto chapped/reddened skin to help relieve redness.
  • gently pat around the eyes to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.