A carrier oil is an oil used to dilute an essential oil. Most often you’ll see almond oil being used but you can also use coconut oil, olive, apricot, avocado, macadamia, hemp, flaxseed or walnut. Any unrefined, raw oil, and preferably organic of course. Coconut oil absorbs into the skin very quickly without leaving a sticky or greasy residue, but it does have a strong fragrance. I usually use hemp, macadamia and avocado as that’s what I have in my pantry and fridge, and they don’t have a strong scent. Use the same oils in the kitchen and your medicine chest.
Why Do We Need A Carrier Oil?
Some essential oils are quite strong so they need to be broken down with a milder oil. Oregano and Wintergreen for example are both ‘hot’ oils, meaning they’re so strong they may actually burn your skin if applied directly. This is especially true for sensitive skin. And the area you’re applying it to makes a difference. Feet can usually take oils applied straight, but your face, neck and chest is more tender so should be diluted.
It’s also a good idea to dilute your oils when applying to an infant, toddler, small child or animals. You’ll also need to dilute your oil when you want to get a small amount of essential oil over a large area – like for a massage.
How To Use A Carrier Oil
The easiest way is to add the carrier oil into the palm of you hand then add in a few drop of your essential oil. Or you can make more by using a jar (for oils that solidify in winter) or a squeezey bottle for massaging. Roller bottles are fun as you can make fragrances to rub on your wrists and behind your ears. Or try a spray bottle – this’ll make it easy to apply a diluted blend of oils onto scraped knees, small scratches and insect bites. Solid oils are good for chest rubs, and sore muscles. I usually add 1 drop of essential oil per tablespoon – ish.
Use only 100% ‘pure essential’ oils – never a ‘fragrant’ oil. These are synthetic, smelly, toxic and nasty.