Our Favorite Carrier Oils

February 12, 2019

Carrier oils are usually overlooked because they don’t contain the therapeutic constituents of other essential oils, but they are an indispensable companion to topically apply oils. Let’s break it down..

First, what are carrier oils?

Carrier oils are naturally derived from vegetarian sources and have a neutral smell. They aren’t volatile like essential oils, which makes them an excellent medium for dilution and application.

How are carrier oils used?

Essential oils are volatile, which means they evaporate rapidly and contain the natural smell and characteristics of the plant. This can make them too strong to apply undiluted. Carrier oils do not evaporate or have a strong aroma, making them the perfect pair for diluting especially strong essential oils—reducing the concentration of the essential oil without altering its therapeutic qualities. When you dilute an essential oil with a carrier oil, you can also control its concentration before applying.

Like other substances that are high in fat, carrier oils have a limited shelf life, meaning that eventually they can go bad. Depending on the type, oils with a short shelf life should typically be used within six months, while oils with a longer shelf life may stay good for up to a year. It’s important to store oils in their original air-tight containers in a cool, dark place, such as the pantry, to maximize shelf life.

Carrier oils can vary widely in their consistency, absorption, aroma, shelf life, and other characteristics. They can be blended to change or combine their properties, so you can mix and match until you find the blend that’s just right for you!

V-6 Carrier Oil Vegetable Complex
A proprietary Young Living formula combining 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
An excellent carrier oil for all your best essential oils and applications
**Caution: May cause a reaction to those with nut allergies.

Grapeseed Oil
Light and thin consistency
Well suited for massages; leaves a light glossy film over the skin
Moisturizing
High in linoleic acid
Relatively short shelf life

Sweet Almond Oil
Slightly sweet, nutty aroma
Medium consistency
Absorbs relatively quickly; leaves a slight hint of oil on the skin
Rich in vitamin E and oleic acid
Moisturizing
Good all-purpose carrier oil
*Caution: May cause a reaction to those with nut allergies.

Jojoba Oil 
Slightly nutty aroma
Medium consistency
Superior, non-greasy absorption, similar to the skin’s natural oils
Moisturizing for skin and hair
Long shelf life

Olive Oil
Popular, easy-to-find oil used in both topical and culinary applications
Thicker consistency; leaves an oily feel on the skin
Stronger aroma
Good source of oleic acid (omega fatty acid)
Relatively short shelf life

Fractionated Coconut Oil 
Unlike coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil is liquid at room temperature
No noticeable aroma
Absorbs well; leaves skin feeling silky and moisturized; non-greasy
High in essential fatty acids
Long shelf life

Coconut Oil
Solid at room temperature
Distinct coconut aroma
Solid white color
Leaves a moisturizing, oily feeling layer on top of the skin
Long shelf life

Moringa Oil (OUR FAV: read why here)
Liquid at room temperature
Smokey, nutty aroma
Yellowish in color
Antioxidant properties

Cocoa Butter
Solid and difficult to work with at room temperature
Best used when melted and blended with other carrier oils
Sweet, chocolate aroma

Shea Butter
Solid at room temperature
Nutty aroma
Cream colored
Moisturizing to skin and hair; leaves behind a moisturizing, waxy-feeling layer

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Our favorites are V-6 Vegetable Complex and Moringa oil – V-6 oil is a blend of seven food grade oils with no color or odor and is non-staining. Both of them are excellent for diluting essential oils and making blends when carrier oil is required. You can read more on the benefits of Moringa oil here and scientific research here.

For more of our favorite must-have bottles, rollers, carrier oils, label makers, etc for all your essential oil diys – check out our Oily Swag!

What is your favorite carrier oil, babe?