Carrier oils are a big part of any successful essential oil experience, yet they are often overlooked or misunderstood.  
What are carrier oils?
Carrier oils are stable oils that are an excellent medium of the dilution and application of essential oils.  These oils are naturally derived from vegetarian sources and have a neutral smell.
Why are carrier oils used?
By their nature, essential oils are volatile.  They have a strong scent and evaporate rapidly.  This can often make them too strong to apply undiluted.  Carrier oils are the opposite, slow to evaporate and they do not have a strong aroma.  
Which carrier oil should I use?
The choice of carrier oil is usually a personal preference.  Because carrier oils can vary widely in their characteristics, you should mix and match until you find the one that is just right for you!
Carrier oils can also be blended, which is great for adjusting the oil to fit your preferences.  One of my favorite carrier oil blends is V-6 from Young Living.
Below is a list of some of the more popular carrier oils.

  • 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

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

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

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

Carrier oils help you get the most out of your essential oils.  Give them a try today!
*Caution: May cause a reaction to those with nut allergies.