When I first started using essential oils, I totally didn’t get the need to use a carrier oil.
Now, though, I know that carrier oils are just as important as the essential oils.
I foolishly applied the aromatic oils directly to my skin. I’m very lucky I didn’t develop skin irritation or a sensitivity to any of the essential oils I used too liberally.
Aromatherapy Carrier Oil
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Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. In fact, they’re so strong that it’s been said the just one drop of peppermint oil is the medicinal equivalent of 15 to 70 cups of peppermint tea. I’ve heard varying estimates, so this is the wide range. But it gives you some idea of the potency of essential oils. So, if you’re planning to use essential oils for massage, you need to dilute them. A carrier oil is the perfect medium.
Essential Oils vs Carrier Oils
Despite their name, essential oils really aren’t oils. They aren’t oily. If you put a pure essential oil on a piece of construction paper, and check back about 20 minutes later, the aromatic “oil” shouldn’t leave a trace. That’s because aromatic oils are “volatile” and evaporate rapidly. So, if you put them on your skin, you need a carrier oil to help “carry” the medicinal compounds into your cells.
Carrier oils can potentially play a therapeutic role, aside from protecting your skin from the strength of the aromatic essential oils.
This is something I didn’t realize when I first started learning about essential oils. In fact, I even thought it was okay to ingest them. I’d put them in my tea, when I wasn’t putting them directly on my body.
Best Ways to Use Essential Oils for Aromatherapy
My first bottles of essential oils went quickly. That’s because I was using them wrong. The little I knew about essential oils was gleaned from social media. I absorbed a lot of bad advice, delivered by well-meaning salespeople involved in multilevel marketing networks. I totally didn’t appreciate the strength of essential oils.
Now, after years of using them, I have great respect for their potency. It really is true that less is more when it comes to essential oils. You need just a little. And, if you plan to use them on your skin, they should be mixed with a more neutral carrier oil.
A carrier oil is believed to make your oils work better. Because aromatics are volatile, they tend to evaporate fast. You don’t want this to happen before they reach your bloodstream. You need an oily substance to carry them into your body.
Good Carrier Oils For Essential Oils
You probably already have a good carrier oil in your kitchen pantry. Olive oil and grapeseed oil are good carriers. However, you should make sure you’re using real olive oil. That’s because olive oil fraud is a huge problem in the Mediterranean region. So I make sure the olive oil I use comes from a good source in California.
I do the same with my grapeseed oil, which I order online. Knowing what I know about oil fraud, I believe it’s important to use a trusted brand only.
What’s a Good Brand of Carrier Oil?
Otherwise, if you need a good carrier oil, I highly recommend anything made by Plant Therapy. This company is 100 percent committed to quality aromatherapy and carrier oils. One of the most popular types of carrier oils is fractionated coconut oil. This is much lighter and less oily than regular coconut oil, which is why it’s often used in roller bottle recipes.
I like to rotate my carrier oils, as well as my essential oils. Everything seems to work better for me when I don’t use the same ingredients too many days in a row. So here’s a selection of popular Plant Therapy carrier oils, including fractionated coconut oil. (I often recommend this brand most often on this site, because I use it myself.)
Sweet almond oil is another carrier that’s often recommended for skin problems, aging skin and for helping to lighten dark under eye circles.
How To Use Carrier Oils
So now I know, for massage purposes, that high-quality carrier oils are just as important as essential oils. Using essential oils the right way means you’re using a lot more of the carrier than you are the aromatic.
How To Blend Essential Oils With Carrier Oils
A typical recommended adult dilution ratio is 2 percent of essential oil. (Or, 1 percent if you plan to use the mixture on your face or on a large area of your body.) Also, children and the elderly would need a lower strength dilution than adults.
To calculate the correct amount, think in terms of drops. Adding 3 drops to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil yields a 2 percent dilution.
Even though it doesn’t seem like you’re using much of the aromatic essence, a little bit is all you need. I never cease to be amazed at the power of essential oils. Even diluted, the essential oil retains a strong smell.
Essential Oils and Carrier Oils
I don’t want to get too carried away with carrier oils. Essential oils are very important. There’s a lot of talk about purity. There’s also a lot of misleading information.
When I first started using essential oils, I assumed I had to buy them from multilevel marketing distributors. In fact, I was so brainwashed that I didn’t think I’d receive any therapeutic benefits if I didn’t buy MLM.
However, I decided to try Plant Therapy. I was so happy with the quality that I did some research. The brand is not sold through an MLM network, which means you don’t have to pay several layers of commissions on each bottle. Part of the company’s mission is to make top-quality, affordable essential oils, so everyone is able to own them.
Plant Therapy works with world famous essential oil expert Robert Tisserand. Each batch is tested twice for purity and potency, and one of these test is done by an independent lab. I’ve been using Plant Therapy oils for years, and I absolutely love them and I like to tell my readers about them.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.