What is carrier oil

What are Carrier Oils?

What is carrier oil

Until I studied aromatherapy I was always dumbfounded by carrier oils. I was never sure what oil worked with which essential oil. Or wondering which carrier oil was best to use, since there are so many different carrier oils to choose from. So I’m hoping to shred some light for those of you who are still unsure what carrier oils are.

Carrier oils (sometimes named base oils) are natural plant based oils which are then combined with essential oils to dilute the formula and create a safe barrier before being applied directly to the skin or used in aromatherapy. Because of the volatile nature, diluting essential oils is a nesscesity to avoid bad skin reactions.

The name carrier aptly comes from the term ‘to carry essential oil onto the skin‘.

Most carrier oils are either lightly scented or unscented making them the ideal choice to enhance essential oil essence. Some carrier oils you maybe already familiar with, as these can still be used on their own without the need of essential oil.

You will often find a mix of carrier oil and essential oil blends in beauty products such as body lotions or dry oil sprays. As well as aromatherapy devices such as reed stick diffusers and fragrance room sprays.

The ratio of carrier oil to essential oil can vary. But I always aim for 3 parts carrier oil to 1 part essential oil.

The types of carrier oils

  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Hemp Oil
  • Hazelnut Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Jojoba Oil

It’s important to note, certain oils may trigger reaction in but allergy sufferers. So please be careful deciding which carrier oil to use.

Best carrier oils to use


Popular massage oils are Sweet Almond oil, Fractionated Coconut oil, Jojoba oil or Sunflower oil. These oils are light and less greasy. They smell amazing and hydrate the skin.

For the face opt for thinner oils such as Sunflower oil or Grapeseed oil to avoid blocked pores.

Aromatherapy devices

Sweet Almond oil or Safflower oil are perfect carrier oils for room scents, reed stick diffusers.


Like all oils, carrier oils should be stored away from heat and direct sunlight to prevent the oil from going off quickly. Look out for cold pressed oils as they are processed with minimal heat.

15 thoughts on “What are Carrier Oils?

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