Carrier Oils

What are Carrier Oils and Why Should I Use Them?

Carrier oils are naturally derived from vegetarian sources and have a neutral smell. They aren’t volatile like essential oils which make them great for dilution and application.  Essential oils are volatile. They evaporate rapidly and contain the natural smell and characteristics of the plant. This can make them too strong to apply undiluted. Carrier oils do not evaporate or have a strong aroma, making them perfect for diluting especially strong essential oils thus reducing the concentration of the essential oil without altering its therapeutic qualities.
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When you dilute an essential oil with a carrier oil, you can also control its concentration before applying. This will be different for everyone. For example, one person might think that lavender essential oil is very strong and would need to dilute this oil using 1 drop of essential oil and 5 drops carrier oil. Other people might not think it is that strong for them so they will use one drop lavender essential oil and one drop carrier oil. Pick a ratio that is right for you.
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All carrier oils have a limited shelf life and eventually go rancid. Some carrier oils have a short shelf life and should be used within six months, while oils with a longer shelf life may stay good for up to a year or more. It’s important to store oils in their original air-tight containers in a cool, dark place, such as the pantry, to maximize shelf life.
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Carrier oils can vary widely in their consistency, absorption, aroma, shelf life, and other characteristics. They can be blended to change or combine their properties, so you can mix and match until you find the blend that’s just right for you!
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Fractionated coconut oil

This is my go-to oil to use in roller bottles with my essential oils. I use this one the most because I really like the feel of it. It leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized and it’s not greasy feeling at all. This oil also has a very long shelf life so you don’t have to worry about it sitting on your shelf for a long period of time.
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  • Absorbs well into the skin
  • Light consistency
  • Shelf life is 5+ years
  • No aroma at all
  • High in essential fatty acids
  • Used for cooking too but only if it is labeled for cooking
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Sweet almond oil

*caution* – may cause a reaction to those with nut allergies. This oil is great to use in roller bottles with your essential oils as well. It absorbs quick but does leave a little oil on the skin. Not really greasy feeling but I think that everyone has different experiences with this oil.
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  • Medium consistency
  • Moisturizing
  • Absorbs quickly but leaves a little oil on the skin
  • A bit of a sweet aroma
  • Shelf life is 1 year

 

Argan oil

I really love this oil! I use it on my face, hair, and skin and I even use this in my favorite body butter recipe. It really does help keep my skin moisturized especially during the long winter months! Michigan winters can be brutal!! Great on your hair if you have damaged ends and to tame the flyaway hair that won’t lay down flat! A little bit goes a long way on your hair so just use a drop or two, rub your hands together, and apply to hair where needed.
  • Very moisturizing and can be used on your skin and hair
  • Light consistency
  • Shelf life is 2 years
  • No noticeable aroma
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Jojoba oil

If I don’t have the Argan oil on hand I will use the jojoba oil to make my body butter. I feel it has the same consistency and absorbs well into the skin and doesn’t feel greasy at all.
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  • Moisturizing for skin and hair
  • Shelf life is 5 years
  • Has a slight nutty aroma
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Grape seed oil

This oil is light and thinner than the other oils and works really well for a massage oil. It is very moisturizing but it will leave a little bit of oil on the skin.
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  • No noticeable aroma
  • Moisturizing but will leave a little oil on the skin
  • Light and thin in consistency
  • Great for a massage oil
  • Shelf life is 1 year
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Avocado oil

Great to use as a massage oil. It has a slight nutty aroma but mixes well with essential oils and doesn’t alter the aroma of them at all in my experience.
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  • Slight nutty aroma
  • Has a natural supply of vitamin A, E, & D and antioxidants
  • Shelf life is 1 year
  • Moisturizing and great for your skin and hair
  • Used for cooking too but only if it is labeled for cooking
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Olive oil

Great for your skin and cooking too! I honestly don’t use this oil on my skin because I personally find it a bit too thick for me. A lot of people love it and works great for them so again it just depends on what works for you.
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  • Easy to find oil used for topical and culinary purposes
  • Good source of omega fatty acid
  • Thicker consistency and leaves an oily feel on the skin
  • Shelf life is 2 years

Final Thoughts

I have used many different carrier oils but I have found that I always go back to the same carrier oils that work for me. You will have to try them out and see what will work best for your skin too:)
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