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What Are Carrier Oils And Which Ones Should I Use?
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Essential Oils And WellnessNatural Beauty

What Are Carrier Oils And Which Ones Should I Use?

By April 2, 2019 August 31st, 2019 No Comments

Whether you are an essential oils enthusiast, or are just beginning your journey with oils, you will be using carrier oils for so many things. So what is a carrier oil?

It’s basically what it sounds like – it carries essential oils and allows you to use them more efficiently. You mix carrier oils with a few drops of essential oils to be used on your body to promote general wellness, as well as specific benefits depending on the type of carrier oil and essential oil used.

Carrier oils allow you to dilute the ultra concentrated essential oils for safe and comfortable application on the skin or hair.

To enjoy all the benefits that essential oils have to offer, you will be using them in a wide variety of ways. You can diffuse them, you can add them to a bath or beverage, and you can mix with carrier oils for a topical application to your skin, face, hair and more.

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How To Mix Essential Oils With Carrier Oils

Mixing essential oils with carrier oils is super easy to do. By following some basic guidelines, you’ll be able to start using your oils topically right away.

There are a few different uses for carrier oils. You can mix them in a small roller bottle, for quick and easy application to your wrist, chest, back or feet.

You can mix them in a small spray bottle to be used as a perfume and to breathe them in throughout the day. You can mix them together in a larger spray bottle to use as a hair spray.

You can make a bottle of massage oil to have on hand whenever you have had a long day.

Things you’ll need:

what are carrier oil and how do you use them with essential oils

Carrier Oil To Essential Oil Ratio

Each essential oil is different. For example, gentle oils such as lavender or copaiba don’t need to be diluted at all and can be applied directly to skin. However, you might still prefer to dilute, especially for the little ones.

Stronger oils you will definitely want to dilute. If you are using Young Living oils, you can simply peel back the label on the bottle to see the recommended ratio.

For example, PanAway, a popular and powerful oil, should have a 1:4 ratio of essential oil to carrier oil. 1 drop PanAway to 4 drop of carrier oil.

If an oil calls for a 1:1 ratio, that simply means 1 drop essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil. Equal parts!

So there aren’t hard and fast rules other than

  • Each oil is different, make sure to read the bottle
  • Default to extra dilution for kiddos. If a normal ratio is 1:1 for adults, then start with 1 drop essential oil to 5 drops carrier oil for kids.

You can store your mixture in small roller bottles for easy topical application. You can add it to small spray bottles to be used on your hair or clothing. You can add it to a glass bottle or jar if it’s more of a rub or if it’s for a massage.

It’s also convenient to buy a carrier oil that comes in a pump bottle. You can very quickly add a pump of oil, such as fractionated coconut oil or V6 oil to your hand, pour in a drop or 2 of essential oil, mix in your hands and apply right away.

This is super easy for when you don’t have a specific roller made up, or you left it in the car. So for some of the carrier oils that you find yourself using often, opt for a pump bottle 😉

Adding Carrier Oils To Roller Bottles

Roller bottles are super simple to make. Typically, you can first add a few drops of essential oil to the bottle, then fill the rest up with carrier oil. No super complicated math here!

For a 10 ml roller bottle, you can typically add about 40 drops of essential oils, then fill the rest of the bottle with your carrier oil.

(there are about 15 drops per ml, so if you had 45 drops of essential oils, that would be about 3 ml. Then 7 ml would be for carrier oil).

For children, you can do between 5-15 drops of oils (depending on the strength of oils used) before adding your carrier oil.


Carrier Oil List

There are so many different carrier oils. Essentially, any oil that can be made from a plant, whether from the seeds, flowers, leaves, stalks, fruit, etc, can be considered a carrier oil.

They are not all created equal. Some can be used for almost anything, and some should only be used for very specific purposes. Some might work wonders for you, but won’t produce the same results for your friend, as their body, skin, hair type is different.

Many carrier oils are extremely affordable, but some are very rare and expensive as a result. And so the list can go on. There are a lot! This list is not exhaustive, but it will give you a good place to start when looking at different carrier oils for essential oils.

So here is a list of the different types of oils. Below this is our recommended oils for specific uses.

Coconut Oil

Coconut carrier oil is one of the most popular oils used with essential oils. People in tropical parts of the world have been using it for centuries as a moisturizer and it contains many other skin supporting benefits.

The molecular structure of coconut oil allows deeper skin penetration, and it’s saturated fat content helps to moisturize the skin. It can promote a smooth and even skin tone.

It also contains antimicrobial properties, which stops the growth of microorganisms (bacteria, fungus, etc), which means that this carrier oil aids with skin conditions such as acne, eczema, cold sores and more.

Coconut oil can be processed in a number of different ways. Virgin is the least processed and keeps the coconut oil as pure as possible. However, virgin coconut oil will be solid at room temperature. You’ll need to melt with some warm water prior to mixing with essential oils.

Fractionated coconut oil is also known as liquid coconut oil. One of the fatty acids, lauric acid, is removed via distillation. Lauric acid is a healthy saturated fat, which is great for the skin, but keeps the oil solid. Removing it allows for a liquid oil that is easier and quicker to use.

Fractionated coconut oil is soluble with other oils and is perfect for mixing with essential oils. This is arguably the best carrier oil and most widely used.

Get coconut oil here.

Jojoba Oil

Another very popular carrier oil is Jojoba Oil (ho-ho-ba). Technically a wax, Jojoba carrier oil comes from a shrub that grows in the southwestern US and northern Mexico.

Native Americans have been using this oil for a long time to treat bruises and sores.

Jojoba Oil is naturally anti-inflammatory and is great for massaging and relaxing the skin and using on inflamed skin. It absorbs well and can be used to support skin with mild acne. It is also commonly used to help psoriasis, sunburn and chapped skin.

Mix this with essential oils to create skin and hair care products such as face moisturizer, hair moisturizer, lip balm and even makeup remover.

You can also use this waxy oil to prevent razor burn when shaving. Because it’s all natural and won’t clog pores, this oil can be an effective shaving cream replacement to be be used before shaving to prevent cuts, and after shaving to support the healing of any cuts.

Get jojoba oil here.

Rosehip Seed Oil

Rosehip Oil, or Rosehip Seed Oil, is another amazing oil for the skin. This oil has been used for centuries by the likes of Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans.

Rosehips are the fruit left on a rose plant after the flower dies. They look like tiny cherries and are packed full of amazing properties.

This oil is filled with essential fatty acids which rivals the skin benefits of coconut oil. It’s considered a dry oil, which allows it to absorb quickly into the skin and won’t leave an oily residue.

It contains Vitamins A, C, E and F, and lots of antioxidants. Rosehip oil can provide anti-aging benefits and protection from age spots. It can help with stretch marks and reduce acne scarring. It’s vitamin C content can boost the immune system.

Unlike Jojoba Oil, which has a long shelf life and isn’t likely to go rancid, Rosehip oil definitely can go rancid. Store in a cool, dark place to keep it fresh.

Get rosehip seed oil here.

Argan Oil

Argan Oil is a rare oil made from the kernels of the argan tree which only grows in Morocco. It’s loaded with Vitamin A, vitamin E, antioxidants omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid.

With all of these amazing properties, Argan oil can be used to moisturize, tone and exfoliate the skin. It can help to reduce inflammation caused by acne.

Because this oil is rare and more expensive, it is recommended to add a few drops of Argan oil to another carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, to create products like body moisturizers.

Get argan oil here.

Grapeseed Oil

While commonly used for cooking, this oil is great for the hair and skin as well due to it’s vitamin E content and it’s high levels of moisturizing fatty acids.

Moisturize the hair or skin by using an unrefined grapeseed oil carrier oil. Also great for massages, this oil can leave a glossy film on the skin.

Get grapeseed oil here.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil comes from a wildflower grown in North America. While the flower itself is commonly eaten, this plant is mostly known for its seeds, which is where we get the oil from.

High in essential fatty acids, this carrier oil can promote healthy skin to those who suffer from acne, eczema and psoriasis. With its anti-inflammatory properties, this oil can also support nerve function and skin elasticity.

It can even help to support hormonal function within the body through PMS. Evening Primrose is great for acne as it works at the root of the problem (supporting hormone balance) as well as works topically to support healing of the skin.

Get evening primrose oil here.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet Almond Oil, as well as almonds in general, have an incredibly wide variety of uses that can benefit people, animals, and even our planet. But we’ll focus on it’s benefits as a carrier oil.

The perfect oil for soft, nice feeling skin, sweet almond oil is a very popular carrier oil for essential oils.

The oil itself is light and absorbs easily into the skin. Because of the this, it’s great for adding an essential oil with antimicrobial or cleansing properties, to allow it to easily get into the skin to clean it your pores.

Almond oil is mild and hypoallergenic, allowing you to use it on the most sensitive skin, including your babies. It’s great for really dry skin.

This oil works best when warmed (by rubbing in your hands) before application. Almond oil is also great to in a diffuser because it’s light. It will allow your essential oil aroma to spread more easily.

Get sweet almond oil here.

Avocado Oil

Avocado’s are known to be one of the healthiest foods right now. So much so, that Avocado oil (when mixed with soybean extract) has become an officially recognized prescription drug in France. The oil itself is pressed from the fruit, not the seed like many other vegetable oils.

The oil is full of healthy fats which supports healthy skin. It can help skin that suffers from psoriasis and other skin conditions.

You can use avocado carrier oil to moisturize the hair and improve texture. Rub some oil on cracked heels, apply to problem skin, or use as a makeup remover by adding a drop or 2 to a cotton ball.

Get avocado oil here.

Olive Oil

Not only a popular choice for cooking, extra virgin olive oil can be used to hydrate skin, promote faster wound healing, and support your bodies ability to fight infections.

It can support problem skin by reducing inflammation and stopping the growth of bacteria.

Get olive oil here.

Arnica Oil

This amazing oil has been used as a medicinal oil for 500 years. The bright yellow flowers from the arnica plant are steam distilled to produce a powerful oil.

Because Arnica Oil is so strong, it’s always meant to be diluted when applying to the skin. You’ll typically notice an additional base oil listed on the ingredients when you buy this oil (such as olive, almond or grapeseed oil). You shouldn’t even inhale this oil unless it’s diluted.

It’s that serious.

But it’s amazing benefits make it very popular for natural first aid. It can be used to support the healing of bruises as well as muscle pain, sprains and inflammation. Just don’t use it on broken skin or while pregnant or breastfeeding, and keep it away from the little ones.

Check out this arnica massage oil blend here.

Since you technically can’t sell pure arnica oil (because it’s considered toxic due to it’s strength), do research into any product that says ‘arnica oil’ without any additional ingredients.

V6 Oil

V6 carrier oil is a base oil from Young Living that combines the following 6 vegetable oils: Coconut oil, sesame seed oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil, sunflower seed oil, and olive oil.

This Young Living carrier oil makes it super easy to get benefits from multiple oils to mix with your favorite essential oils.

Learn more about V6 oil here.

And that’s not even it! There are so many carrier oils for essential oils. You can spend a long time trying new oils and finding out what works best for you. Here are a few other oils out there that you can try.

  • Seabuckthorn Berry Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Watermelon Seed Oil
  • Neem Oil
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Broccoli Seed Oil
  • Camelia Seed (Tea Oil)
  • Macadamia Nut Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Borage Seed Oil
  • Cranberry Seed Oil
  • Hazelnut Oil
  • Kukui Nut Oil
  • Meadowfoam Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Pecan Oil
  • Pomegranate Seed Oil

So What Is The Best Carrier Oil?

Well, it depends on what you need it for, and it depends on who is using it.

For example, if you need a carrier oil that’s great at supporting healthy skin that shines beautifully, and you naturally have super dry skin, you’ll want a specific oil, while someone who has naturally oily skin might opt for a different carrier oil.

So there is no “best” carrier oil, there is only the best one for you at that specific moment.

But, we’ll try our best to pick the best carrier oils for essential oils in a few different categories 🙂

The Best Carrier Oil

If we (and the general population) had to choose the overall best carrier oil, it would be coconut oil. With so many benefits for your skin, your hair, and even your insides, this oil is the perfect choice if you are just looking for a single oil to start with.

Check out our favorite fractionated coconut oil here (liquid).

Check out our favorite solid coconut oil here.

Use coconut oil in roller bottles, on your kids, for massage. I probably wouldn’t use it on the face very much, as it could clog your pores.

The other best carrier oils would [probably] be jojoba oil and V6 oil from Young Living (since it’s got 6 oils in one, am I right??)

The Best Carrier Oil For Skin

There are so many good carrier oils for skin. Most, if not all carrier oils, have some skin supporting properties. It really just depends on your skin type, the climate you live in, and what you are trying to accomplish.

But if you are looking for the overall best carrier oil for skin, look no further than jojoba oil. This oil closely mimics the natural oils of the body, it doesn’t clog pores, it doesn’t stain. It will definitely help those with oily skin. 

Get jojoba oil here.

The 2nd and 3rd best carrier oils for skin are rosehip seed oil and argan oil, both of which are perfect for those who have dry skin. 

Best Carrier Oil For Face

Yes, your face is mostly skin, but you treat your face a little differently than you would treat your arm or hands.

With that in mind, the best carrier oil for your face might just be jojoba oil. Yes, we know it’s listed above as well. It just does wonder to mimic the bodies natural oils.

It’s great for moisturizing the skin and making your face glow!

Get jojoba oil here.

Other great carrier oils for the face are sweet almond oil and apricot kernel oil.

Best Carrier Oil For Hair

We want the best for our hair. And that means taking care of it naturally with oils that make us feel better and look better.

The best carrier oil for hair (is probably) argan oil. It moisturizes and strengthens hair, helps with dry scalp and dandruff and makes your hair feel softer. 

Get Argan oil here.

I’d say the 2nd and 3rd best carrier oils for hair are avocado oil and jojoba oil. 

Best Carrier Oil For Massage

A good massage won’t only relieve your muscles, it will also make your skin feel amazing.

The best carrier oil for that purpose is would be an arnica oil blend. The arnica oil would work to soothe muscles and bring amazing relief, while the other carrier oils blended with it will provide amazing feeling skin.

Get the arnica oil massage blend here.

Other great carrier oils for massage are sweet almond oil and grapeseed oil.

Cheapest Carrier Oil

And of course, if you are on a budget the cheapest carrier oil might be the olive oil in your cabinet. However, if using olive oil, you want to make sure its high quality, extra virgin.

If you don’t already have that on hand, the cheapest carrier oils tend to be sweet almond oil, coconut oil or grapeseed oil, with sweet almond oil usually being the cheapest of the 3.

If you are looking for the cheapest oil per ounce, you can buy this sweet almond oil in bulk.

If you are looking at spending the least amount of money right now, then a 4 oz bottle of almond oil will likely be the cheapest.

Carry On, Friend

While there may be countless carrier oils out there to try, don’t let it overwhelm you. If you stick to coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil and 1 or 2 others, you will be a happy camper.

Once you feel confident with those, start trying some of the more unique oils! If you have found some less common ones t be your favorites, please let me know so I can make sure to try them myself, if I haven’t already. Leave me a message or comment on Instagram


If you are interested in trying Young Living essential oils and you are not yet a member, you can head here to sign up and become a wholesale member for the best pricing 🙂

Getting Started With Oils

To get started, you’ll need to get a Starter Kit, which you can learn all about here 🙂

Young Living Starter Kit

Disclaimer: The statements on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to be medical advice. Suggestions here are specific to Young Living and should not be combined with oils from other sources. Examples and experiences do not guarantee similar results. Read our full disclaimer here


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