What Are Carrier Oils and Why Do We Need Them?

Perhaps you are new to essential oil usage and you have heard or read the directions to use a “carrier oil” with your essential oils, but you aren’t quite sure what a “carrier oil” is or what it does. Carrier oils play a very important part in essential oil usage and we want you to know how and why they are used.  In this post we will identify what carrier oils are, why we need them, and talk about some specific carrier oils and their benefits.

carrier oil


First things first, what is a Carrier Oil?  A carrier oil is an oil that is used to dilute essential oils.  They allow the essential oils to be applied comfortably to the skin.  While essential oils are oils that are distilled from the leaves, roots, bark, and flowers of a botanical-carrier oils are created by pressing the seeds, nuts, and more fatty portions of plants.  They allow the essential oils to be “carried” onto the skin, comfortably.  Each carrier oil has its own natural benefits and we will discuss some of them later in this post.

Why Do We Need Carrier Oils?  Essential oils are considered volatile, meaning that they evaporate very quickly and contain the natural properties and aromas of the plants from which they originated.  For some essential oils, this can make them too strong to use “straight up” or directly to the skin.  You may have heard some oils referred to as “hot” oils, these are oils that are known to cause skin irritation if applied directly to the skin.  By using a carrier oil, the essential oil can be diluted, reducing its smell and its concentration without reducing its effectiveness.

How Do We Use Carrier Oils?  Almost never do we see something “concentrated” that doesn’t need some sort of dilution process.  Essential oils are no different.  On the side of each bottle of Young Living essential oils you will find a recommended dilution rate for that particular oil (as seen in the photo above).  The most common dilution ratio is 2 drops of essential oil to 1 tsp. of the carrier oil of your choice.  I love using roller ball bottles for this exact purpose.  No waste!!  I mix up the oil of my choice and the carrier oil needed into a roller bottle (available through Young Living) then when that particular oil is needed, I can roll it safely onto my skin.


What Oils Can Be Used as a Carrier Oil?  The list of possible carrier oils is quite long.  First let me caution; margarine, butter, and petroleum jelly derivatives should never be used as carrier oils.  For our purposes in this article today, I will share some key facts about the 5 carrier oils I use most and why.

V-6-Young-LivingV-6 (Only Available Through Young Living

  • This special Young Living blend, combines fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil (contains a lot of vitamin E and acts as a natural preservative), sunflower oil, and olive oil
  • Moisturizes and nourishes the skin

**There is a warning for those who may have a nut allergy with this oil.

Vitamin E Oil   

  • Vitamin E is great to repair damaged skin
  • Helps skin retain its natural moisture
  • Has amazing anti-aging qualities
  • Has almost no scent
  • Has a long shelf life

Jojoba Oil

  • I Love this oil!!!!
  • Not at all greasy to the skin
  • Slightly nutty aroma
  • Great for skin and hair
  • Long shelf life

Fractionated Coconut Oil

  • Unlike regular coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil is liquid at room temperature
  • Leaves skin with a smooth, silky texture
  • Great source of essential fatty acids
  • Long shelf life

Olive Oil

  • Olive oil is easy to find and probably is already on hand in your house
  • Has a thicker consistency that will leave the skin with an oily residue
  • Great source of Omega Fatty Acids
  • Has a short shelf life

Carrier oils vary in their consistency and shelf life, but are very easy to find, and can be mixed and matched until you find the right blend for your needs.  I really hope that this has helped you understand the world of carrier oils.  Please don’t hesitate to post your questions, should you have some remaining.

For those of you who are regular essential oil users, what are your most used carrier oils and why?



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