Essential Oils are concentrated extracts which contain the essence of the plant parts from which they are extracted. Essential oils are used for a variety of purposes including skin care, hair care, as a remedy for skin and hair issues and for their aroma. But these oils cannot be directly applied on the body in their concentrated form as it can cause allergic reactions, burning sensation, redness and swelling. Hence these concentrated oils are diluted with carrier oils in a particular ratio depending on the intended use.
What Is A Carrier Oil?
Carrier Oil is commonly known as base oil or vegetable oil which is used to dilute essential oil before applying it on the skin or hair or any part of the body. These oils carry essential oils into the skin, hence known as a carrier oil. Carrier Oils are easily absorbed into the skin because they are lightweight and non-greasy and devoid of strong scent. Unlike essential oils, the carrier oil is not volatile and easily absorbed by the skin. Due to these properties carrier oils are often blended with essential oils, so that they carry all the beneficial properties of essential oil into the skin. Carrier Oils also have their own set of beauty benefits as well as health benefits.
Tips To Select Best Carrier Oil
Carrier Oil should be blended with essential oils in correct proportion to enjoy the benefits of both essential oils as well as a carrier oil. But carrier oil or base oil should be selected with utmost care while choosing a carrier oil you need to keep the following things in mind:
- Odour: Few carrier oils have a distinct aroma and when blended with essential oil, alter the aroma of essential oil. Hence select a carrier oil which is unscented or has got a mild scent.
- Absorption: Carrier oil should be lightweight and non-greasy so that it is easily absorbed by the skin.
- Skin Type: While choosing carrier oil, your skin type should also be kept in mind. Some carrier oils may be not suitable for people with sensitive skin or acne prone skin.
- Shelf Life: Some carrier oils go rancid after a short period of time. So choose the carrier oils and store them accordingly.
- Cold Pressed and Organic: Always make sure you use cold pressed and organic carrier oils as they are not chemically treated and their pure form retains the benefit.
Guidelines To Dilute Essential Oils With Carrier Oil
Always check the authenticity of carrier oils before purchasing it. Make sure that you always buy cold pressed and an organic carrier oil from a trusted source. Most carrier oils are safe on skin, but some people might be allergic to them. If you’re applying anything new on your skin, do a patch test by applying a small amount of oil on the back of your ears and check after 24 hours for any skin irritation symptoms.
Dilution of essential oil differs basis use. Typically a 1-2% dilution is used in adults for long term use on skin and hair. Higher concentrations are used only for short term application on localised areas of skin that are affected by skin problems and then washed off after a few minutes in most cases. Different essential oils and the contexts in which they are being used defines the dilution and usage guidelines, so make sure to customize your use basis the particular context and basis the recommendation from experts.
General guidelines and ratios are given below
Diluting essential oil with a carrier oil for adults:
Check recipes from expert sources for the exact dilution ratios. The following conversion table might be useful when diluting essential oils for different purposes.
- 1% dilution: 6 drops of essential oil per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil
- 2% dilution: 12 drops of essential oil per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil
- 2.5% dilution: 15 drops of essential oil per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil
- 3% dilution: 20 drops of essential oil per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil
- 5%dilution: 30 drops of essential oil per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil
- 10%dilution: 60 drops of essential oil per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil.
Diluting essential oil with a carrier oil for children:
- .5 to 1% dilution: 3-6 drops of essential oils per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil.
Note: The use of essential oils for children, pregnant or expecting women and people under medical care should be done only after a recommendation by their doctor.
After diluting essential oils with carrier oils in the above-mentioned ratio, stir it well and store it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
Note: These measurements are just for information purpose. Expert advice is always recommended.
Best Carrier Oils For Essential Oils
Based on factors such as aroma, better absorption, shelf-life and their popularity as carrier oils, we have summed up some of the best carrier oils which help to nourish, moisturize your skin and at the same time enhances the beneficial properties of the essential oil.
Below mentioned is the list of carrier oils that blend well with essential oils and are popularly used for this purpose. We’ve also mentioned their beneficial properties and the typical shelf life for these carrier oils in the market.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is extracted from dried coconut kernels. Virgin coconut oil is very beneficial for your skin as well as your overall well being. Coconut Oil is rich in antioxidants which increase its healing power. It also contains antibacterial and antifungal property due to which it fights all types of skin infections and keeps your skin healthy. Coconut Oil helps to nourish and moisturize your skin. Coconut Oil is rich in lauric acid which helps to increase its shelf life. Coconut Oil helps to keep your hair, skin and nails healthy and well nourished.
2- 4 years
2. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba Oil is extracted from the seed of the Jojoba plant. Jojoba Oil acts as an excellent moisturizer because it structurally resembles your skin natural oil-sebum. Jojoba Oil is a natural humectant as it forms a protective layer on your skin and retains moisture of your skin. Jojoba Oil is lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin, without leaving it greasy. Due to its non-comedogenic nature, it is very beneficial in treating acne and pimple. It has got anti-inflammatory property due to which helps to soothe the dry, flaky and inflamed skin. It has got antibacterial as well as antifungal property due to which it effectively treats many skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. Jojoba Oil does not get oxidized very soon, hence has a long shelf life.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is extracted from the fruit of the Olive tree. Cold pressed Virgin Olive Oil is very beneficial for your health and skin. This oil has got culinary use as well. It is used for baking fishes and dressing salads. Olive Oil is rich in Oleic Acid due to which it is very beneficial for your heart and cardiovascular system. It helps to increase the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in your blood. Olive Oil is rich in antioxidants which help to fight free radical responsible for cellular damage. Olive Oil has anti-inflammatory property due to which it helps to soothe itchy and irritated skin and scalp. It helps to nourish and moisturize your skin and scalp. Olive Oil also has healing properties due to which it can be used to treat minor cuts and wounds. Its antibacterial property helps to fight skin infections. It is also used as a leave-on conditioner to manage your dry and frizzy hair.
4. Almond Oil
Almond Oil is extracted from the dry fruits of the almond tree. Cold pressed Almond Oil is rich in Vitamin A and E. It helps to nourish your skin and scalp. It is lightweight and hence readily absorbed by the skin. It moisturizes your skin and effectively treats dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Massage with Almond oil increases blood circulation, hence rejuvenates your skin. Almond Oil is hypoallergenic in nature due to which it can be safely used on sensitive skin also. It is rich in antioxidants which helps to fight free radicals and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Almond Oil is rich in Oleic and Linoleic acid due to which it exhibits anti-inflammatory property, thus helps to soothe irritated and inflamed skin cells.
5. Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot Kernel oil is extracted from apricot kernels by pressing the apricot kernels using a mechanical method. Apricot kernel oil is lightweight and mild having a slightly nutty aroma. It is easily absorbed by the skin without leaving it greasy. Apricot kernel oil is somewhat similar to almond oil. It also exhibits anti-inflammatory property due to the high content of oleic and linoleic acid. It has antibacterial property due to which it helps to fight skin infections. It is rich in antioxidants which help fight free radicals thus protecting your skin from cellular damage.
6. Argan Oil
Argan Oil is extracted from the kernels of the argan tree which is a native of Morocco. Argan Oil is well known for its anti-ageing properties. It helps in the growth and repair of the damaged cells and also helps in cell regeneration. Due to its healing properties, it effectively fights early signs of ageing. Argan Oil nourishes and moisturizes your skin as it is rich in Vitamin A, E and essential fatty acids. It exhibits anti-inflammatory properties due to which it is very effective in treating sunburns and tan. Argan Oil also helps to increase the elasticity of the skin, thereby reducing the appearance of stretch marks. It is also effective in treating acne, scars and blemishes.
7. Rosehip Oil
Rosehip Oil is extracted from the seeds and fruit of the rose plant. Rosehip Oil is very beneficial to your skin as it helps to nourish and moisturize your skin making it soft and supple. It is an excellent anti-ageing oil, which helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It helps to fight acne and dark circles. It is loaded with vitamins and essential fatty acids which help to nourish and rejuvenate your skin. Rosehip oil helps to protect your skin from sun damage and helps reduce hyperpigmentation. Rosehip Oil boost collagen formation which helps to increase the elasticity of your skin and improves its texture.
6 months (refrigerated)
8. Grapeseed Oil
Grape seed Oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of grapes. Grape seed oil is rich in antioxidant- proanthocyanidin, which fights free radicals and helps to even out your skin tone and is also beneficial in treating hyperpigmentation. These antioxidants protect your skin from sun damage. Due to its anti-inflammatory property, Grapeseed oil is very effective in treating acne and pimple and helps in reducing scars and blemishes. Grape seed oil is rich in Vitamin E which helps to increase the elasticity of the skin, nourishes it and helps to keep your skin moisturized. It is loaded with the goodness of Vitamin C, which helps to boost collagen production, thereby helping in cell growth and regeneration.
9. Avocado Oil
Avocado Oil is extracted from avocado fruit. This oil is loaded with anti ageing properties, as it contains essential fatty acid which is readily absorbed into the skin, thus providing moisturization and nourishment to your skin. It exhibits anti-inflammatory property due to the high concentration of oleic and linoleic fatty acids, due to which it is very beneficial in treating various kinds of skin infection like eczema and psoriasis. Avocado oil is rich in Vitamin E and minerals such as potassium and lecithin which help to moisturize your skin and keep it well nourished. Avocado Oil possesses healing properties as well due to which it is used in treating minor cut and wounds. It is loaded with antioxidants which help to protect your skin from sun damage.
10. Castor Oil
Castor Oil is extracted from the beans of Ricinus communis plant. Castor oil is known for it therapeutic value. It is a well-known laxative, used to treat constipation in babies as well as in adults. Castor Oil acts as a natural humectant which helps to retain moisture of your skin by forming a protective layer over it. Castor Oil has antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory property due to which it helps to treat acne and pimple, by fighting the bacteria responsible for causing acne and also soothes the acne prone skin. It also exhibits wound healing property. This oil is excellent for treating all kinds of hair problems like hair loss, dandruff etc.
Now you are aware of the best carrier oils, you can choose wisely which carrier oil is best suited for you depending upon your skin type and the essential oil that you are going to use to harness the best of both essential oil and carrier oil.
Know more about diluting essential oils in our Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. Now that you know about the carrier oils which work best with essential oils, check out the list of the most popular essential oils and their benefits and pick the one that fits best for your needs!