Carrier Oils and How to Dilute Essential Oils

Peppermint Soul Blog Post
September 30, 2016
Peppermint Soul Blog Post

Carriere Oils

Diluting essential oils simply means mixing them with a carrier oil before topical application. A carrier oil is a fatty oil like coconut, olive, grapeseed, almond, or V-6 oil.

  • Essential oils are volatile and want to evaporate. Diluting essential oils in a fatty carrier oil traps the essential oil, causing it to last longer on your skin.
  • Diluting does not dilute the effectiveness of the essential oils.
  • Diluting essential oils will keep “hot” oils from sensitizing your skin causing a hot sensation. This is important especially for babies, kids, and people with sensitive skin. If an oil is hot on your skin, simply grab a carrier oil and rub some on top of the hot area. (See more info on babies and kids here.)
  • How much to dilute depends on the purpose for using the oil, age of the person, the oils being used, and the person’s usage history. It could anywhere from 1 drop per teaspoon of carrier oil to a 50/50 mix to using the essential neat (without diluting).
  • When in doubt about diluting, start with a high dilution ration (less essential oil and more carrier oil) and work your way up. You can always add more essential oils as needed.

There are many carrier oils to choose from. Which one you use is mostly a personal preference. If you have a nut sensitivity, you will want to avoid carrier oils that come from nuts.

Oils that should not be used as a carrier oil include:

  • Mineral oil
  • Canola oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Petroleum jelly

Some popular carrier oils are (although this is not an extensive list, there are many varieties):

If using a lotion, it’s important to use a natural lotion without synthetic ingredients. Synthetic ingredients will interfere with the effectiveness of the essential oils and could cause a reaction.

When shopping for carrier oils, the main thing you want to look for is cold pressed or cold expeller pressed oils (fractionated coconut oil is an exception as it is distilled to filter out a fraction of the oil so it is liquid).

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