What Are Carrier Oils

When I first started researching essential oils (EOs) I kept hearing about carrier oils (COs) and thought what in the world are they talking about.  A carrier oils is a type of oil that can be used along with your EOs to dilute them in a sense.  Carrier oils do not lessen the effect of the EOs, they act as a buffer, ensuring when applied topically they are comfortable, safe and help with the absorption of the EOs into the skin and bloodstream more slowly.  The use of carrier oils along with your essential oils helps prevent the waste of the EOs during application and COs extend the use of an EO.  Carrier oils can be mixed with the essential oils either in palm of your hand, a glass bowl, or in a roller bottle.  Always refer to the label on your EO bottle for minimum dilution ratios of adults (see graphic below for label explanation).  Also, concerning children under the age of 12, please read this article.

How do you know what type of carrier oil to buy?  I find them in both the grocery isle and the cosmetic isle at the store.  Look for oils that have been cold expeller pressed or just cold pressed, organic or organically grown plant material.

Here are a few of the types of carrier oils:

  • V-6 Vegetable Oil (from Young Living (YL)) – This is a YL proprietary formula containing fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil (contains a lot of vitamin E and acts as a natural preservative), sunflower oil, and olive oil.  An excellent CO for moisturizing and nourishing the skin.
  • Olive Oil – has a short shelf life, great source for oleic acid with a strong aroma, it’s thick consistency leaves an oily feel on the skin
  • Grapeseed Oil – short shelf life, great for massages, has a light, thin consistency
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil – long shelf life, high in essential fatty acids, liquid at room temperature unlike coconut oil, no aroma, absorbs well leaving the skin to feel silky and moisturized (non-greasy)
  • Sweet Almond Oil – great all-purpose CO, used as a moisturizer, rich in oleic acid and vitamin E, has a sweet nutty aroma, and with a medium consistency it absorbs quickly
  • Avocado Oil – relative long shelf life, great for the skin and hair with a sweet nutty aroma, has a deep olive green color and thick viscosity, leaves a waxy feel on the skin
  • Jojoba Oil – has a long shelf life, nutty aroma, medium consistency gives it a non-greasy absorption for moisturizing the skin and hair
  • Sesame Oil – relative long shelf life, pale yellow color with a medium thickness leaving an oily film on the skin
  • Hemp Seed Oil – relative short shelf life with a light-to-medium green color, slight nutty aroma
  • Coco Butter – at room temperature it is solid with a sweet chocolate aroma, best used melted and blended with other COs
  • Coconut Oil – at room temperature it is solid, has a distinct coconut aroma, has a long shelf life, solid white color and leaves a moisturizing oily feel to the skin
  • Shea Butter – at room temperature it is solid with a nutty aroma, best used melted and blended with other COs

Carrier oils can be used for:

  • Lotions
  • Massages
  • Creams
  • Lip Balms
  • Bath Oils
  • Roller Bottles

Essential Oil Conversions Helpful Tip (this is hard for me to remember, so I’m posting it here):

1 drop = approximately 60 mg
1 ml = 1/5 teaspoon
1 ml = approximately 16 drops
1 ml = fills 1 capsule
5 ml = 1 teaspoon
5 ml = approximately 80 drops
15 ml = 1 Tablespoon
15 ml = 1/2 fluid ounce

Carrier Oils For Different Skin Types:

  • Normal Skin
    • V-6
    • Sweet Almond
    • Hemp Seed
    • Coconut
    • Grape Seed
    • Sunflower
  • Oily Skin
    • Grape seed
    • V-6
    • Jojoba
    • Sunflower
    • Apricot
    • Sweet Almond
  • Dry Skin
    • V-6
    • Avocado
    • Sweet Almond
    • Rosehip
  • Sensitive Skin
    • Jojoba
    • V-6
    • Sesame Seed
    • Sweet Almond
    • Apricot
  • Mature Skin
    • V-6
    • Jojoba
    • Sesame Seed
    • Rosehip
    • Apricot
    • Sweet Almond

NOTE:  When you first try an essential oil with your carrier oil of choice, be sure to skin test it on a small patch of skin.  If you react to it or it seems too hot (burning sensation), dilute it with more of your carrier oil.  Also, if you happen to get the EOs in your eyes (you massaged in some oils on your body and didn’t get your hands washed good enough) use your CO in your eye to help dilute the EO out of the eyes.

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