Carrier Oil vs Essential Oil - A Quick Guide

Carrier Oil vs Essential Oil - A Quick Guide

An Essential Oil Quick Guide: Carrier Oil vs Essential Oil - What are the differences?

Carrier oils are used in aromatherapy as a base to dilute essential oils before they are applied topically. They help "carry" the essential oils onto the skin. In this post I share their similarities and differences, as well as how they can BOTH benefit your health and wellness.

Carrier Oil vs Essential Oil

Carrier Oil vs Essential Oil - A Quick Guide by Loving Essential Oils

Carrier Oils

Essential Oils

Natural oils made from the fatty part of a plant, usually from the seeds, nuts, or kernels Concentrated oils made from a variety of plant and tree parts, like leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, bark, wood, resin, and fruit
Most common extraction method is cold pressed Most common extraction method is steam distillation (citrus oils are usually cold pressed)
Fixed oils; they don't evaporate Volatile oils; they evaporate quickly
Can apply liberally to the skin as is (no dilution needed), or can be used as a base to dilute essential oils Too strong to apply to the skin, should be diluted in a carrier oil before applying topically to the skin
Bland, little to no aroma Highly aromatic
They nourish and moisturize the skin, as well as protect it They offer therapeutic properties and unique aromatherapy benefits


The term "carrier" can also refer to any substance used to dilute essential oils. These commonly include creams, unscented lotions, butters, and aloe vera gel.

Examples of Carrier Oils

Skin is your body's largest organ so it is important to keep it healthy. The nourishing and moisturizing properties of carrier oils can help you accomplish this. Here are a few favorite carrier oils:

Examples of Essential Oils

Here are some examples of essential oils:

Benefits of Using Carrier Oils with Essential Oils

When using essential oils, it is best to use the smallest amount of drops necessary to achieve the desired benefits.

Diluting them with a carrier oil helps achieve this without lessening the effect of the essential oil. In fact, using them together actually saves money, prevents wasting precious oils and allows more time for the essential oil to absorb into the skin.

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Carrier Oil vs Essential Oil - A Quick Guide by Loving Essential Oils


Jennifer Lane - Certified Aromatherapist

BIO: Owner and founder of Loving Essential Oils. I am a Registered Nurse and Certified Aromatherapist that loves to look toward essential oils and aromatherapy for all natural physical, emotional and spiritual support. I love creating and sharing DIY Essential Oil Recipes & Blends. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your essential oil journey!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, nor is it a substitute for medical advice. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Post may include affiliate links. See full disclaimer.