Five of the Best Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy & DIY Bath and Body Recipes
Carrier oils are natural oils that have been pressed and extracted from plants. Essential oils are very concentrated and therefore, aside from a few select oils, most of them are too strong to be applied full strength directly to your skin. A carrier oil dilutes the essential oil to a safe ratio to avoid harsh reactions or skin irritations. Strong oils that require dilution, are often referred to as “hot” oils. Hot oils include cinnamon bark, clove, lemongrass, peppermint, oregano, thyme, and Thieves blend. There are a few oils, such as Lavender, that do not need a carrier oil – however, it is always recommended that you do a patch test before applying any essential oil to your skin.
To perform a patch test:
- Apply 1-2 drops of the essential oil to a patch of skin such as the forearm.
- Observe that area of skin over the course of 1-2 hours for any noticeable reaction; usually reactions occur within 5-10 minutes.
- If you experience a hot or burning sensation or if you develop a rash, add a carrier oil to the affected area as often as needed.
Carrier oils not only safely dilute essential oils, they also help with extending the application and the benefits of the essential oils. When essential oils are applied directly to the skin, they typically evaporate quickly. The carrier oil will not only extend the life of the oil and its aroma, but it also increases its ability to be absorbed into the skin.
Five of the Best Carrier Oils
Almond oil is ultra rich and moisturizing, loaded with plenty of vitamins, and it really packs a punch when using on dry, itchy skin or dry, damaged hair. Almond oil works well for soothing skin irritations such as eczema and psoriasis.It is also great to use in shampoo and deep conditioning treatments, body and hand washes, and/or shaving lotions.
Avocado oil is moisturizing and loaded with plenty of vitamins, including A, D, and E. These antioxidants are great for your skin, especially dry skin, cracked feet, and dry and damaged hair. Avocado oil is ideal in lotion bars, body washes, shampoo and deep conditioning treatments, foot scrubs and lip balms.
Coconut oil comes in two ways- virgin coconut oil, which is a solid when stored at room temperature, and fractionated, which is in liquid form. The fractionated coconut oil is odorless and ideal for a massage oil. The virgin solid form, is also odorless and rich and creamy. It works best in body butters, lotions, creams, and lip balms.
Grapeseed oil is silky and smooth when applied to the skin and it also absorbs quickly. It works exceptionally well for oils with very pungent and strong fragrances. Due to it’s ability to absorb into the skin quickly, it works great in DIY deodorants.
Jojoba oil is great for oily skin. It absorbs into your hair and skin and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling. Jojoba oil works well in body washes, face washes, and in shampoos and conditioning treatments.