If you've been learning about the advantages of properly diluting essential oils, and now you want to know what to dilute them in, this post is for you!

Choosing a carrier to use with essential oils is more than a matter of personal preference. The carrier you use not only affects the absorption rate, but can also enhance therapeutic properties of the essential oil(s) you are adding to the carrier.

The carrier you use not only affects the absorption rate, but can also enhance therapeutic properties of the essential oil(s) you are adding.

If you've been learning about the advantages of properly diluting essential oils, and now you want to know what to dilute them in, this post is for you!

Choosing a carrier to use with essential oils is more than a matter of personal preference. The carrier you use not only affects the absorption rate, but can also enhance therapeutic properties of the essential oil(s) you are adding to the carrier.

Carrier Oils

For most issues, you are going to want to mix essential oils into an oil. Oils evaporate more slowly than water, trapping the essential oils on the skin. Carrier oils allow for essential oils to absorb more slowly into the skin. Although relief might take a little time, the effect will linger longer. This allows for therapeutic effects of the essential oils to work for a greater length of time.

Lotions as a Carrier

Using a lotion instead of an oil is a good choice when you want the essential oils to have a better chance at penetrating the skin. Lotions absorb into the skin more quickly due to higher water content, as hydrated skin increases permeability and aids in essential oil absorption. If you need fast absorption, such as for acute pain, water-based carriers (like lotion) are what you want. 

Butters as a Carrier

When you want the very longest staying power, look to butters. Butters are thick and prevent the essential oils from evaporating so quickly. Shea butter, cocoa butter, and mango butter are common carrier butters. Butters are solid and work best as an added ingredient when making body butter or a salve.

Aloe Vera as a Carrier

Aloe is also a good option for situations where oil may aggravate the issue. An example would be a situation where the skin needs to breathe, such as nail fungus. Burns can also benefit from using aloe vera as a carrier instead of an oil. 

Witch Hazel as a Carrier

Itchy skin can benefit from using witch hazel as a base, as can acne-prone skin due to the witch hazel’s astringent properties.

What About Water?

Water and (essential) oil doesn’t mix (we learned this in school, right?). So we generally want to avoid adding essential oils to water, where they will float on the surface of the water, touching the skin at full concentration.

An exception would be making a throat spray to soothe soreness or help alleviate tonsillitis (although chamomile tea is even better). If you do this, be sure to shakeshakeshake well before spraying, to ensure the essential oils have mixed as best as possible into the water before spraying. Pure essential oils directly on the skin can cause irritation and redness.

You can, of course, add essential oils to water when making a linen spray or cleaning sprays.

Shelf Life

Essential oils usually have a shelf life of a year or more, depending on the essential oil. Carriers, however, generally have a shelf life of less than one year. It is recommended that you make small batches of blends to avoid being left with a blend in a bottle that has gone bad due to the carrier expiring.

  • Avoid using most cooking oils, like canola and soy.
  • Toss out any oil that appears cloudy, has a foul odor, or goes rancid.
  • Purchase raw and organic whenever possible – avoiding refined, processed, and non-organic carriers

Want to learn more? Request VIP access to Carriers Profiles and you'll learn…

  1. When to choose which oils (so much to choose from!)
  2. When to use lotion
  3. Benefits of using butters as a carrier
  4. What aloe vera does best
  5. When witch hazel should be used
  6. When to use water as a carrier
  7. Which vitamins are present in the oils
  8. What the carriers help with (health issues)
  9. Which ones can be ingested
  10. My personal recommendations

And profiles for 30 different carriers: Almond (Sweet), Aloe Vera, Apricot Kernel, Argan, Avocado, Borage, Calendula, Cocoa Butter, Coconut, Evening Primrose, Grapeseed, Hazelnut, Jojoba, Macadamia, Mango Buter, Mango Seed, Meadowfoam, Lotion, Olive, Palm Kernel, Peach Kernel, Rosehip, Sesame, Shea Butter, Sunflower, Tamanu, Trauma, Walnut, Wheatgerm, Witch Hazel

Usage suggestions for: achy muscles, acne, aging, anti-bacterial properties, anti-coagulant, anti-septic, arthritis, blemishes, bloating, bone growth, bruise, bumps, burns, callouses, cell regeneration, cramps, cuts, dandruff, dermatitis, digestive, diuretic, dry scalp, dry skin, eczema, expectorant, fine lines, healing, heart disease, hemorrhoids, hypoallergenic, impetigo, increase lactation, inflammation, itching, lice, nail fungus, PMS, psoriasis, rashes, rheumatism, rhinitis, scarring, scratches, sensitive skin, sinusitis, skin health, spasms, sprains, stings, stretch marks, swelling, topical pain, ulcers, wounds, wrinkles, yeast infections

Click here to access full profiles for 30 carriers and start using them today!

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