· Essential Oils · The Best Carrier Oils For Your DIY Health & Beauty Products
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The Best Carrier Oils For Your DIY Health & Beauty Products

Essential Oil Mistakes

I’ve used many different types of carrier oils in my health and beauty DIYs, but I haven’t ever explained, in any detail, the benefits to each type of oil. Today I’m rectifying that situation. Here is everything you need to know about using and choosing the perfect carrier oil!

Carrier oils are basically neutral oils that “carry” an essential oil to the skin. Because pure essential oils are so potent, sometimes it’s necessary to mix them with another oil for easier application. For example, you can use just a few drops of lavender oil in an entire container of lotion. The benefits of the lavender are still there, plus some of the benefits from the carrier oil!

When it comes to choosing the best carrier oil for you, consider your skin type and the texture that you want the final product to be. To learn more about diluting essential oils and which essential oils can be applied directly to the skin, click here.

Olive oil is a simple carrier oil that you probably already have in your kitchen! You’ll want to get a good quality, extra virgin olive oil for skin care, but it’s great in recipes like this pre-shave oil and this beauty mash. It’s fairly inexpensive, moisturizes, and contains antioxidants like vitamins A and E. It is fairly thick, however, and doesn’t absorb into skin very well.

Coconut oil has a thick consistency that solidifies at room temperature (unless you live in a warm climate, but you can always store it in the fridge!) It’s perfect for making salves, thicks scrubs, hair masks, and lotion-like concoctions. It’s naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, it’s an excellent moisturizer, it can penetrate hair better than other oils, and it smells delicious!

It’s also a lighter oil that doesn’t leave your skin too greasy-feeling (depending on your skin.) Some people swear by using coconut oil alone on their face. Click here to learn 28 ways to use coconut oil! And remember to always look for unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil.

Fractionated Coconut Oil: To get the benefits of coconut oil without the solid consistency, you can try fractionated coconut oil (FCO). I use fractionated coconut oil for roller bottle application – it’s perfect for this headache buster stick or this roll-on deodorant!  I also use FCO in my antibacterial foaming hand soap, because it moisturizes while it cleans!

Sweet almond oil is another popular choice for a moisturizing oil that’s light and nourishing. It has a slightly nutty smell, absorbs into your skin well, naturally contains vitamin E, and it blends with other oils really well. Almond oil is great for sensitive, oily, or dry skin and works perfectly in this anti-aging facial serum, this eye serum, and in this body butter!

Grapeseed oil also contains vitamin E, plus omega 6 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It’s light and easily absorbs into your skin, plus it really doesn’t smell like anything – which allows the smell of your essential oils to come through! It also happens to be an astringent, so it will tighten and tone the skin while clearing up acne. Be sure to look for grapeseed oil that has been minimally processed, like this one! It works great for oil cleansing.

Hemp Seed Oil:  80% of hemp seed oil is fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3), giving it many unique benefits! It’s great for thick hair, strong nails and soft skin, plus it contains vitamin E and vitamin D, making it a great treatment for eczema, pre-menstrual stress and inflammation. It’s good for your immune system, heart health, brain and eye development.

Jojoba Oil is a great oil that’s light, unscented, and works well with almost any skin type. It’s a little waxy, but does absorb into the skin leaving it very soft and silky. Jojoba oil is great for skin care because it contains vitamin E, minerals, and is antibacterial. It works really well in this treatment for dry, flaky scalpthis hair conditioning treatment, or as a makeup remover!

Avocado oil is a little thicker than other oils, and it’s ideal for dry skin and aging/mature skin. This is because it contains vitamins B, E, D and A; fatty acids; and proteins. I have absolutely loved using it in this homemade hair serum! It’s very nutrient rich, but a little too thick for my preference when it comes to using it directly on my skin.

There are many other oils out there with all kinds of different benefits, but (in my opinion) these make the best carrier oils for using your favorite essential oils!

Do you have a favorite carrier oil?

What essential oils do I use?
Have a question about essential oils? Curious about what brand of essential oils I prefer? Find the answers in my Essential Oils FAQ!

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Essential Oils

  • This is to anyone out there…I have a plastic tub of coconut oil (about the size of a peanut butter jar), which says it is simply pure coconut oil. Now, when I see pictures of Jillee’s coconut oil, it looks all beautiful and fluffy. It reminds me of Crisco if you would whip it up for something, you know? Real white and creamy. MINE, on the other hand, looks as though it has a more fatty content, like when you first open a sauce and use it the first time. I’m sorry, it’s hard to explain in words! So, it has no smell and melts in my hand or when I rub it on my skin. Is what I am talking about ok? Is it common, depending on the brand, perhaps? I would LOVE any feedback and I thank you in advance. God bless! :-)

  • I use multiple oils for face-washing and DIY, depending on the season and weather. My skin is critically dry and very sensitive, and has a tendency to either abrade or tear. (It’s not a skincare thing. I’ve been trying to see a geneticist for a year to confirm something that would explain my entire family.)

    My favorite all-year oils are jojoba (which is technically a wax) and walnut (a very delicate oil that needs refrigeration). Now and again, I’ll add some avocado or argan if I’m feeling fancy (or dry). I also have a little trick that helps me look 15 years younger than my actual age (which, for the record, means I look about 24 on the average day, and younger when my stress is down).

    I mix 2:1 argan and pomegranate seed oils, and apply a few drops of the mixture to washed, bare skin after I shower, swim, sweat, or remove my makeup. It goes around my eyes, mouth, and T-zone, after which I apply what’s on my hands to the rest of my face and ears. Sometimes I put a bit more on my throat and décolletage. Follow with a good moisturizer, spot treat any damage with Neosporin (and/or prescription wound cream, which isn’t antibiotic, but is sterile), and finish with a good lip balm. YMMV on whether you want to use Neosporin. I don’t get a say.

    • Susan, sounds like you’ve got a lot of unanswered questions, but you seem to handle and “trial & error” through it! Hope you get the answers that you need soon. The best to you and your family! :-)

  • […] up by rubbing your feet with your favorite carrier oil, I chose coconut oil. You could also try this heel repair stick to maintain your soft, beautiful […]

  • Does anyone have a favorite brand of essential oils. I have been taken out at the knees by a tiny little deer tick and have been out of work for a year. Point being, I am very price conscious.

    Thanks folks ❤

  • I primarily use argan oil. I put it in a dark glass bottle with a dropper and add a few drops of lavender essential oil to it. Occasionally I will use sesame oil it’s very light.

  • Lovely post Jillie! As an aromatherapist I truly appreciate all the underrated benefits of a good carrier oil, I literally coat myself in them head to toe on a daily basis :) My latest fav is Pumpkin Seed oil- great for face serum! Thanks again, great read!

    • Angie, I just got into oils about 2 months ago. I wish I could sit down with you and just learn! :-) I got an amazing 2000ml diffuser and have such a time figuring out what and which to put in and what goes with what!! And you, being an aromatherapist! How do you become one? I am 65 and just NOW trying some new things in my life. And shortly after I got into EO’s, I heard/read that they are very dangerous to use around cats…of which I have 2. So now, $200+ later, I wonder if I made a nad choice? I love my oils and I love my cats. Torn between two lovers, as that old song said. Well, I wish you well and if you have any words of wisdom, please let me know! Stay safe and God bless! :-)

  • I cannot tolerate almond oil (so I never buy anything made by Jergens) and my sister is allergic to olives, so I use olive oil sparingly in my products. My go to, is coconut oil and argan oil. Thank you for the great article.

  • A cautionary note to your readers, Jillee: After reading and hearing everywhere of the great uses for coconut oil, I tried it on my face. I had blackheads everywhere! And I am 66 years old! So the ladies need to be watchful–and if they develop these nasty little things, it’s due to the coconut oil!

    • I have been using the oil treatment on my face for about a month-and-a-half now. I have used coconut oil as a carrier oil,then I used almond oil and now I am using grapeseed oil as the carrier. I am still getting a lot of acne. Any suggestions of what I can do before I give up? Phyllis

  • Thanks so much for this information. I tend to use fractionated coconut oil and olive oil the most, simply because I’m more familiar with them. This encourages me to experiment a bit more.

  • LOVE COCONUT OIL…………….Use it for face moisturizer, toothpaste, in recipes and cooking, and I give a small amount to my cat to lick off my fingers daily as it makes his coat so silky soft………………

  • Thanks for doing a post on the carrier oils. This will really come in handy. I print some of these too. I often find myself telling family members about certain posts . If I see something I like and want to share I’ll post it on Facebook.

  • As you spoke about using some of these oils in your hair (yikes), I thought I would share my odd–but remarkably effective–regimen for washing my hair. I wash it with 2 tablespoons (T.) baking soda mixed in a cup of warm water, then rinse with warm water. Next, I mix 2 T. vinegar in a cup of water & pour through my hair, then rinse with water. This does not strip the hair’s natural oils & will eliminate the need for special hair treatments. And–believe it or not–my hair has grown longer than it’s ever been, and it stays clean a little longer.

  • Thank you for the very helpful post! I’ve been dabbling in homemade health and beauty items and wanted to make something for my husbands grandmother that would benefit her aging skin. I’ve been looking thru Pinterest for a good comparison. Then here it was in my email this morning.

    • Hemp seed oil goes rancid very fast. You’re supposed to store it in the fridge after opening, and most of what I’ve read said it should last a year, but none I’ve bought has lasted that long (maybe if you get it right from the refiner it would). It tastes good for things like salad dressing, but I don’t buy it anymore cause it always goes bad before I use it all. Here’s a website with a list of oils and their average expiration: http://www.gardenofwisdom.com/carrieroils.html

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