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What Are the Best Carrier Oils for DIY Essential Oil Recipes?

Last updated: June 6, 2022

There’s no denying the power that certain scents have for transforming your overall wellbeing. If you’ve ever felt a nostalgic pull on your heartstrings when you smelled cinnamon and thought of the holidays, then you already know just how strong a scent can bring a specific memory to mind or cause you to mentally step back in time.

Aromatherapy is just one of the many uses for essential oils. While certain types of these oils are known for altering your mood, such as lavender being helpful for relaxation, others are also known for having physical effects that include helping to ease inflammation in your skin or addressing common health conditions such as fungal infections.

Trying out a few DIY recipes is a great way to begin using essential oils as part of your natural health care regimen, but it is common to wonder which carrier oils are the most effective for creating salves, balms and rubs that help you feel your best.

The right carrier oil for you to use in a recipe depends upon your intended goals. Certain oils are heavier, which makes them perfect for moisturizing. Others are known for having additional components, such as omega-3 fatty acids, that increase the effects of your favorite recipes.

Exploring the benefits and potential uses of these top carrier oils for DIY recipes helps you start making potent lotions that go the extra mile for helping you to meet your wellness goals.

Fractionated Coconut Oil

While regular coconut oil stays in solid form unless it is warmed up, this type maintains its liquid state. You’ll prefer fractionated coconut oil for recipes that you don’t want to warm up before using. Its versatility makes it possible to use in any recipe that calls for a different type of carrier oil that you might not have available.

In addition to using this type of oil for skin care recipes, it is great for using on your hair and beard since it has conditioning properties that prevent split ends and frizziness. The anti-oxidative effects of this oil can also extend the shelf life of your more delicate essential oils.

Coconut Oil

This other form of coconut oil is less expensive and easily found at most general grocery stores, and you can even use it in your favorite vegan-friendly cookie recipes. Since it solidifies at around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll want to make sure that you store your DIY essential oil lotions accordingly.

While the solid state may cause it to clog rollers, this carrier oil is great for using in recipes where you may want to cover a large part of the body. For instance, you might want to use it in a recipe that’s designed to ease back pain after a workout.

Jojoba Oil

This is one of the milder carrier oils with a light scent that is easily covered up once you start missing it with essential oils. People tend to love using this carrier oil in recipes where there is a chance that it might come into contact with clothing because it doesn’t stain.

On top of being great for making family recipes that you might use on kids, you’ll also love that it is full of vitamin E and B, which enhances the effects of products that you make for your skin and hair.

Olive Oil

This is another pantry staple that you can grab in a pinch when you are inspired to try a new recipe and don’t have other options on hand. However, you might find that its stronger odor and greasy feel leaves it on the lower side of your favorites list.

The main benefit of olive oil is that its tendency to sit on the skin makes it good for recipes where you want to allow time for the essential oils to soak in. The antioxidants combined with longer soak-in time makes it helpful for healing itchy and dry patches of skin such as you might have with eczema.

Sweet Almond Oil

Steer clear of this essential oil if you have nut allergies, and make sure to do a patch test with any recipes that you make to use on kids or people with extremely sensitive skin.

If you can use it, then almond oil has tons of vitamin E that helps to prevent aging along with reducing the oxidative effects of too much time in the sun. The vitamin A in this carrier oil can also help to soothe skin irritations and reduce the appearance of scarring.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is another fun one that people love for its light application in DIY recipes. With the right dilution rate, you’ll find that it helps essential oils glide onto your skin and hair without feeling greasy afterwards.

Similar to other types of oil, you might even find it useful to keep this one around for use in food recipes, which extends the use of the product.

Hemp Seed Oil

This natural oil comes from cold-pressed hemp seeds, and it is full of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids that are well-known for their healing and anti-aging properties. In the DIY natural recipe world, it is known for having super moisturizing effects for your skin and hair.

Despite its ability to rehydrate extremely dry skin, you’ll find that it doesn’t leave a residue. This makes it great for mixing into relaxing salves and lotions that you’ll want to use on your hands.


How Is a Carrier Oil Different From an Essential Oil?

A carrier oil is typically vegetable-based and used for a variety of purposes that includes cooking and including in beauty products. Carrier oils tend to have little to no scent, and they are absorbed easily by the skin.

Essential oils are quite potent, but their potency is more easily influenced by factors such as exposure to sunlight and oxygen that can reduce their strength.

Since these are extractions, they are much stronger than when you find the same ingredients included in a formula or recipe. Using carrier oils helps to dilute the essential oils so that they don’t cause irritation and to help them penetrate the skin.

What Are the Best Carrier Oils for Aging Skin?

Aging skin can have varying levels of dryness and oily patches depending upon which life stage you are in.

Women who are undergoing the early hormonal fluctuations of menopause may find that using a lighter oil, such as grapeseed or hemp seed, prevents their recipes from contributing to mid-life breakouts.

Older adults may need to explore carrier oils that offer the protective qualities that come from being high in antioxidants, and they may prefer a slightly heavier lotion or mask. For these aging adults, almond and jojoba might be best.

What Is the Best Carrier Oil for Pain Relief Recipes?

Most people prefer to use thick, heavy creams that allow essential oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus to penetrate deeper into the muscles and ligaments that contribute to pain.

If you plan to whip up a few DIY recipes for post-workout soreness or arthritis, then you might want to try coconut oil in either of its forms. Olive oil is another option that glides on to skin well during massages and rub-downs.

How Do You Mix Carrier and Essential Oils?

The whole purpose of mixing in a carrier oil is to dilute the potency of essential oils that could be too strong for your nose or skin to handle. Although a recipe should provide a ratio, it helps to know the approximate dilution rates for facial lotions and massage oils.

Typically, you’ll use a specific number of drops of essential oil for one-ounce of carrier oil. For a general face lotion, you might prefer to go gentler with a 3% dilution rate, but you could go stronger for a massage lotion that won’t be so close to your sensitive nose.

Doing some experimenting with your favorite recipes helps you to find that sweet spot that gives you the most benefits for healing those little ailments that get in the way of your personal happiness.

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