What is a Carrier Oil? - Best Carrier Oil for Essential Oils

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Naturally Blended

What is a Carrier Oil?

By: Retha Nesmith, Certified Aromatherapist


-We use these words a lot but not everyone knows what a carrier oil is. Carrier oils are VERY important when using essential oils. So in this post, I wanted to talk about what a carrier oil is and why I recommend the use of a carrier oil when using essential oils.

Plant Therapy Carrier Oil - Almond, Coconut, Apricot

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 on their own have different therapeutic properties. The choice of the carrier oil will depend on what therapeutic benefit you are looking for. A carrier oil is used to dilute essential oils before they are applied to the skin. A carrier oil will also help “carry” the essential oil into the skin. OK stop! The name now makes sense 🙂 

Plant Therapy Carrier Essential Oil Lemongrass

What is an essential oil, then?

An essential oil is a volatile oil, highly concentrated oil,  obtained from plants, possessing the odor and other characteristic properties of the plant. The purest essential oils come from carefully cultivated and wild grown plants from climatic and geographic regions throughout the world. Essential oils are usually extracted by distillation or solvent extraction. An essential oil is actually not oily, and should evaporate.  

Diluting Carrier Oil

Now I want to explain why I believe it is very important to use a carrier oil when using an essential oil! Did you see the last part that I highlighted? Essential oils should evaporate! If you dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil before applying it to your skin, the carrier oil will help prevent the essential oil from evaporating! That means you are getting more essential oil into your skin which means you need LESS essential oil! AND the therapeutic properties of the essential oil will ONLY be strengthened by the carrier oil! Another reason you need to dilute essential oils is because they are strong and can cause serious damage! You can find more information about this at aromaweb.comFor more information on diluting essential oils go HERE!

Plant Therapy Essential Oil Dilution Guide

🙂 I hope this explains most everything! AND I hope it answers most all of your questions about carrier oils and diluting essential oils! 🙂 Please leave any questions in the comments!

48 thoughts on “What is a Carrier Oil?”

  1. Just starting out… I have a few doTerra and Young Living that I received as a gift for Mother’s Day a year ago. I have been researching, researching, reading, reading more, and hoping to decide. Plant Therapy has come up on my board so many times. NO ONE ever told me about a carrier oil and today I learned through your blog and education of using one. I only wish that you offered CHAT online as that is a great thing for customers. I’m giving PLANT THERAPY a shot… today.. And love the pricing!

    1. Let us know what you think, Brenda! We’re sure you’ll love being a part of the Plant Therapy family!

  2. When difusing one of the Children approved oils what do I put in the diffuser with it? and what is the best carrier oil to use with the calming my child to make my own roller? I am trying to figure out how to diffuse and also use my own roller.

    1. Andrea, when you use a diffuser, you only want to use water and the essential oil-no carrier oil should be included. A carrier oil to use for your own roller bottle would be any at all that you would like to use! A popular choice is Fractionated Coconut Oil.

    1. Yes absolutely! The essential oils enhance the carrier oils, however the carrier oils stand alone as being very beneficial for a variety of skin concerns.

  3. Are the synergy blends already diluted with carrier oils? I don’t think they are but I’m just double-checking since I’m having trouble finding a recommended dilution based on each synergy. Do you have a chart like that? (Also, the blog entry for candida fighter on April 13, 2013 mentions a protocol from an ND but it doesn’t include a dilution. It seems like it advises to use the synergy undiluted. Is that correct?) Thanks in advance.

    1. A good rule of thumb is 1 drop of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil for adults and 1 Tablespoon of carrier oil for children. This is easy to remember and most all essential oils are fine to be used this way.

  4. I have some oils I use almost daily. eucalyptus and peppermint for sinuses, black pepper, cumin and a couple others for arthritis. I only mix a very small amount so I won’t waste any of the EO that I don’t use. How do most people handle this? Should I mix a larger amount and save it in a bottle?

    1. We have a lot of customers who premake larger batches. If you store in the refrigerator, those larger batches will last 6 months to a year. If not stored in the refrigerator you are looking at probably 2-6 months shelf life.

  5. I was in a hurry when I bought the Germ Fighter and didn’t realize you carried the liquid coconut carrier oil. Since I want to start using the GF right away, can I mix it with solid coconut oil (which is all I can find)? If so, what would the ratio be and would there be a shelf life for premixes?

      1. What do you mean “if I’m using it for myself”? Also, what would the shelf life be? I’d like to mix a batch up so I don’t have to keep making small amounts over and over.

        1. I meant to use that dilution if you are using it for yourself. If it is for a younger child I would double that dilution, which would be 2 tablespoons for 1 drop of Germ Fighter. If kept refrigerated the shelf life would be at least 6 months but up to a year. If not kept refrigerated you would get 2-6 months shelf life most likely.

  6. I was hoping that you would list which oils to use for what. Could you maybe do a blog article on how to select a carrier oil?

  7. I had purchased essential oils from a few different companies before discovering Plant Therapy. I’ve found PT’s oils to be high quality and competitively priced, which is why I keep coming back! =)

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