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September 21, 2019

IV. Carrier Oils

The following content was written as a project by one of our senior instructors, Sharon Babbert, but does not necessarily reflect the opinions of our school. It is part of a six part series. Links to the other parts will be available at the bottom of this article.*

Carrier oils, also referred to as base oils or vegetable oils, are used to dilute essential oils, and absolutes before applying to the skin. They ’carry’ the essential oil onto the skin. Different carrier oils offer different properties and the choice of carrier oil can depend on the therapeutic benefit being sought.
Carrier oils are generally cold-pressed vegetable oils derived from the fatty portions of the plant. Most oils purchased in the grocery store are not cold-pressed. Unlike essential oils that evaporate and have a concentrated aroma, carrier oils do not evaporate or impart their aroma as strongly as essential oils.
Carrier oils, however, can go rancid. Carrier oils that you purchase should be natural and unadulterated. Exceptions include buying carrier oils that have natural Vitamin E added. Vitamin E acts as a natural preservative.

Carriers can also include alcohol-based ingredients for use as toners; Epsom salts, baking soda, aloe vera gel and unscented products for the hair and skin. Active chemical products should never be used as a carrier since the oils may react unfavorably or dilute the active ingredients.



  • 2 oz. Vodka
  • 4-6 Drops essential oils (Use caution if using this on the face. Strong scents may seem overpowering.)

Add the oils to the vodka and shake well. Store in a spray or flip top bottle. Mixture will have to be shaken before each use. For the face: Apply to a damp cotton ball or pad then blot gently on the skin. For the body: spray using a sweeping motion. Blot with excess with tissues.

Other Parts 

  1. What is Aromatherapy?
  2. Essential Oils (EOs) Are Essential to Aromatherapy
  3. Making Scents of Essential Oils
  4. Carrier Oils
  5. Customized Applications
  6. Free Radicals vs. Antioxidants

*Recipes and information and instruction contained in this article are the sole recommendations of the author. Attempt at your own risk. 

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