Learn how to use carrier oils to dilute essential oils. We’ll talk about what carrier oils are, the best ones for different uses, dilution ratios and more.
If you’ve been using essential oils for a while, then you have heard the term carrier oils mentioned before. However, if you’re new to essential oils, you may not be familiar with the term.
If you don’t have a good resource to reference, you may be scratching your head about what they are and how to use them.
Reasons to Use a Carrier Oil
Carrier oils are commonly used for diluting essential oils when applying them topically to the skin. They help dilute the essential oil so it is not as potent or hard on the skin.
It’s not considered safe to use essential oils on skin that haven’t been diluted. It’s especially important to use a carrier oil to dilute the potency of essential oils when working with sensitive skin, elderly skin or babies and children.
An added benefit of using a carrier oil is that it can help get the essential oils in to the system in an effective manner and prevent the essential oil from “flashing off” (evaporating).
How to Dilute Essential Oils
In most cases, when using essential oils, they are applied topically to the skin, either on the area of the body that needs extra support, or the bottoms of the feet on reflex points.
For example, let’s say you are dealing with head tension and want to use some lavender and peppermint on your head for soothing.
You would open the bottles up first, put a drop or two of the carrier oil in your hand, then add a drop or two of the essential oils. Then you apply the diluted mixture to your head, temples, etc.
Or you can use any number of essential oil recipes for different uses.
Making Roll On Essential Oil Blends
I like to buy empty roller bottles and make my own blends in them since we have several we use frequently. That way it’s already diluted with the carrier oil so it saves time, and it makes the essential oil go further, which saves money too!
A common question when diluting essential oils with a carrier oil is what ratio of essential oil to carrier oil is best.
Essential Oil Dilution Chart
Here is the recommended ratio for diluting essential oils with a carrier oil.
You will have to take into account that everyone is different, and people react differently to the oils. Some need more, some need less, so use caution and common sense.
1. Diluting essential oils for babies
For babies use a 0.3% dilution ratio. This would be about 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of the carrier.
2. Diluting essential oils for kids
For kids, use a 1.0% dilution ratio. That’s about 1 drop of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of the carrier.
3. Diluting essential oils for adults
For adults, use a 2.0%- 4.0% dilution ratio. This is around 3-6 drops to 1 teaspoon of the carrier.
For a 10 ml roller bottle, I use about 10 drops of whatever essential oil I am using, and then top it off the rest of the way with a carrier oil.
Please note that if you are using the oils aromatically, a carrier oil is not needed. It is only for use on the body itself. Do not add carrier oils to your essential oil diffuser. Please do not ingest essential oils without the guidance of an aromatherapy professional.
Now that you know how to mix essential oils with carrier oils, how do you know which carrier oil is best for your needs?
Choosing the Best Carrier Oil for Essential Oils
There are several carrier oil options out there, so it can be overwhelming to choose one.
In this list of carrier oils, we’ll talk about the most commonly used ones so that you can see their origins, benefits and pros or cons so that you can make a good choice for yourself and your family.
Many of them have similar benefits but some have different ones as well, so depending on what you are using them for, you may want to choose one over another.
1. Fractionated Coconut Oil
This is the carrier oil you will probably see listed in recipes or articles most often, in relation to carrier oils, and it’s the one that I most often use and recommend. Coconut oil itself is widely known for being so healthy and having a plethora of benefits, and the fractionated version of it is no different in that way.
It is a saturated oil that has a high concentration of capric and capricylic acids which are great for your body. The only difference is that the fatty acids have been removed from fractionated coconut oil in order to give it a longer shelf life and remove the odor, while saving its wonderful qualities.
Another benefit of fractionated coconut oils is that it is very thin since the fatty acids have been removed. Unlike normal coconut oil, it’s liquefied and does not get clumpy or thick.
It won’t clog your pores and goes nicely on the skin. If you are using it as a carrier in a roller ball bottle, or a pump, you don’t have to worry that it will clog it up.
I also really like fractionated coconut oil because it has no scent to it at all, so it will not affect the scent of the essential oils you use it with.
2. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil has been nicknamed the “Gold of the Desert” and it comes from a desert shrub that can be found in Arizona, Mexico and California. The oil has a golden color and it is odorless, which is a bonus when using with essential oils so that you get the full scent of the oils themselves without interference.
It is moisturizing and emollient, which makes it a great carrier oil for skin and hair, so I like to use it in DIY beauty recipes. It’s a great addition to any hair care or skin care items you may make yourself.
I find it to be the best carrier oil for face products.It hydrates very well so it great for dry skin. Our skin excretes an oil called Sebum and Jojoba oil is very similar to it, so for anyone who has an issue with that, it’s a great thing to help their skin issues.
It contains many minerals and it can create glowing skin and help smooth the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks and other skin issues. It also helps protect the skin from the sun’s effects.
While I love jojoba oil, it’s one of the more expensive carrier oil choices, so I reserve its use for my homemade skincare products.
3. Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet Almond oil is made from, you guessed it, almonds. It is popular Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean.
It contains lots of fatty acids, Vitamin C, Potassium, Zinc and minerals and vitamins. It is great for anything related to beauty. Wonderful for skin and hair and is used widely for culinary uses also.
It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark circles under the eyes, delays signs of aging, removes impurities from skin so it’s a great makeup remover, rejuvenates skin, helps chapped lips, smooths wrinkles and also is great for hair and for your scalp.
There are 2 types of almond oil, so this is a good thing to take note of: One is bitter oil that can actually be toxic to your body, so always be sure that the oil says it is the “Sweet” in the title when making essential oil combinations.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
EVOO, as it is commonly called, can be a great one to start out with if you are new to using a carrier oil, as most people already have it in their home and it can be less expensive than some of the other oils.
It is a great moisturizer and wonderful for anything skin related.
It is one of the only cooking oils that is made by mechanical means with no solvents or chemicals to affect the oil’s properties. It is made by crushing the olives and extracting the juice.
Can be best used for makeup remover, nail health and skin protection. It has anti-aging properties, is an antioxidant and contains Vitamin E.
5. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is exactly what it sounds like and is extracted from the seeds of grapes. Most commonly grapeseed oil is made from the seeds of wine grapes, which would otherwise be thrown away, so it helps to use up the plant fully.
One con to it is that is it chemically extracted from the seeds,which does affect the scent and the flavor of the oil somewhat. It gives a nuttiness to the smell, but also makes the oil more affordable for consumers.
It is a polyunsaturated oil and this type of oil can go rancid faster than others so I wouldn’t recommend buying it in large quantities. I personally tend to avoid it.
It is full of fatty acids, Vitamin E, flavonoids and polyphenols. It is a thinner oil so it works well as a carrier in blending or use in massage when making essential oil mixes. It can be useful for skin, cosmetics and culinary use.
One thing to note about using grapeseed oil is to be sure you purchase the “food grade” type, as the other can be harmful to your body. Refrigerate it or store in a dark, cool place to keep it from going rancid too quickly.
6. Rosehip Oil
Another oil you’ll frequently see in DIY beauty recipes is Rosehip Oil. This is traditionally added to recipes where you really want to boost the moisturizing benefits.
Rose hip oil has anti-aging properties so it’s great to use in homemade skincare products like face creams. It contains high levels of vitamin C and Vitamin A, so it can help brighten skin. It’s also full of fatty acids and antioxidants, so if you have dry skin, you’ll want this ingredient on hand.
I don’t typically use it as a carrier oil on its own, but I’ll use it along with jojoba oil or sweet almond oil for a mixture that’s to be applied to my face. It’s also great to use in essential oil hair recipes either with argan oil or on its own.
7. Other Carrier Oil Choices
While the above carrier oils are most often used, coconut oil makes a great carrier too. You can also whip it with essential oils and keep it in a jar for all sorts of skin soothing applications.
Some people also really love to use avocado oil as a carrier oil. I cook with it all the time, but don’t tend to reach for it with my essential oils.
Argan Oil is another wonderful carrier oil to consider that has so many benefits. An unscented lotion that is natural and does not contain any fillers or perfumes is another great way to apply oils as well.
Knowing how to use carrier oils to dilute essential oils is an important safety topic for families. I hope this information helped you discover the best carrier oil for your needs and that you have a lot of fun discovering new essential oils recipes to make.
To learn more about using essential oils safely with your family, be sure to check out the Essential Oil Binder from Nourishing Joy.