Best Aromatherapy Carrier Oils to Use with Essential Oils

Best Aromatherapy Carrier Oils to Use with Essential Oils

Aromatherapy carrier oils are necessary because some of the best essential oils used for aromatherapy are too harsh for topical application.

Others will evaporate from the surface of the skin faster than they’re absorbed, so they need a little help making their way beyond the surface. In order to reduce the risk of skin irritation and improve absorption rates, these essential oils are combined with carrier oils.

These aromatherapy carrier oils  are often recognized for their culinary applications or health benefits for the skin, but they don’t always have the strong therapeutic benefits of many other essential oils. What all carrier oils do have are the following characteristics:

  • Safe for topical application
  • Smooth application without leaving a sticky or gooey mess
  • Sourced from natural plants
  • Neutral scent
  • Lacking in volatility

Popular Aromatherapy Carrier Oils

The lack of volatility and lack of a strong smell are what makes aromatherapy carrier oils suitable for topical application. They’re less likely to irritate the skin, and they won’t interfere with the natural scent of the therapeutic oils with which they’re mixed. It’s important to keep at least one of these oils on hand at all times if you’re using oils for topical application, so let’s explore some of the most popular options.

  • Apricot Kernel Oil: This is a light oil with moisturizing qualities, and it’s often used in high-quality anti-aging skincare products. It also has healing properties that are helpful for dry or irritated skin due to the presence of fatty oils and vitamins. It has a light yellow color, so you may not want to get it near white fabric. (Click here to see our recommendation...)

  • Coconut Oil: It seems everyone is now cooking with coconut oil, but it also has value as a carrier oil. The regular oil that you may already have in your kitchen starts out in a solid state and can add a coconut scent to oil mixtures, but it can also leave the skin feeling slightly greasy. For better absorption and to prevent that oily film over the skin, use fractionated coconut oil. It doesn’t have a noticeable scent and boasts excellent absorption qualities.  (Click here to see our recommendation...)

  • Evening Primrose Oil: Some carrier oils have a short shelf life but come with other benefits. This oil is often combined with those carrier oils to help extend their shelf life. It’s also a good antioxidant for the skin.  (Click here to see our recommendation...)

  • Grapeseed Oil: The benefits of cooking with this oil are often debated, but its value in terms of aromatherapy is uncontested. It’s commonly used in massage oils because of its ability to moisturize and soften the skin while leaving a light shine on surface skin. (Click here to see our recommendation...)

  • Jojoba Oil: This oil is often used outside of aromatherapy to treat many skin afflictions, including sunburns and acne. It’s valued as a carrier oil because it absorbs into human skin quickly and can help moisturize the pores.  (Click here to see our recommendation...)

  • Olive Oil: You probably already have this oil in your kitchen, but it’s good for a lot more than preparing fresh, healthy salad dressings. You can use it as a general carrier oil for topical application, and the extra virgin variety will deliver maximum nutrients to benefit your skin.  (Click here to see our recommendation...)

  • Sweet Almond Oil: This oil has a light fragrance that many people find appealing, so it can slightly enhance the aroma of oil mixtures. It’s loaded with vitamin E and is often used in skincare products. (Click here to see our recommendation...)

Even if you don’t use your essential oils for topical use at this point, it’s a good idea to have at least one of the aromatherapy carrier oils on hand. You never know when you will want to dilute an oil with therapeutic benefits at the last minute, and you may want to dilute oils used for the benefit of a child. Olive oil and coconut oil have other applications in the kitchen, so they’re your best picks if you won’t use a carrier oil regularly.

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