What Are Carrier Oils?
A carrier oil is given the name because it “carries” other oils. Carrier oils are normally scentless or only slightly scented. I will say that this will also depend on how good your nose is.
Carrier oils are essential to aromatherapy massage as they are used to dilute the essential oils before being used on the skin. High-grade essential oils can cause skin irritations in people with sensitive skin so it’s a requirement to dilute them with carrier oils if you are going to use them topically.
People often think that carrier oils are only vegetable-based oils but this isn’t the case. A lot of carrier oils actually come from seeds, nuts, kernels, as well as plant matter. I’ll be giving you a list of carrier oils in a little while and you’ll see from that just how many places you can find carrier oils.
Another interesting thing about carrier oils is that they are also called “fixed” oils. this term is used to describe their ability to stay on the skin longer before evaporating.
The majority of essential oils tend to evaporate quickly before being absorbed by the skin whereas carrier oils are not as volatile and will stick around longer.
Is Carrier Oil Pure?
The quick answer to this is: Sometimes.
It really comes down to how the oil is extracted. There are a few different ways that companies use to extract oil from natural materials and each one has its pros and cons.
The best you can ask for is Cold Pressed.
This is the same process as expeller processing but the temperature is kept under 120 degrees. The problem is that the harder the material, the harder it is to extract the oil and that toughness equates to heat being generated.
This is why some things cannot be called cold-pressed because the temperature is higher than 120 degrees while the oil is extracted.
There are other kinds of extraction but the problem with them is they add either chemicals or other inorganic matter to the process which ends up in your finished oil.
If you can find cold-pressed, that is the purest you can get. Just remember to get your oils from a reputable company as it’s easy to say “cold-pressed” on a label.
Is Carrier Oil Good For The Skin?
Carrier oils are not just good to use in aromatherapy massage, they are awesome because of their own medicinal properties.
Some are amazing for the skin, some are so-so, it depends on the oil in question.
In the list I will be providing, you’ll see what their properties are so you can pick an oil that works for what you’re trying to get help with.
Here’s a little sneak peek though, look out for Jojoba and Coconut oils in the list, they might make life happier.
Can I Use Carrier Oil On My Hair
Yes, you can, the real question is ‘should’ you. Now, I’m not saying there’s anything against these oils and they all are fantastic at what they do but just to put an oil on your hair is a little bit redundant.
If you are looking to make a formulation of carrier oils for your hair then the answer is yes you should.
Carrier oils have properties to help your hair no matter what you need but I wouldn’t say there’s a single one that would be good to use alone. there’s strength in numbers.
Can I Put Carrier Oil On My Beard
You absolutely can. Just like the hair on your head, you can use more than 1 at a time to give your beard the best feel and health.
Carrier oils such as Argan, Jojoba, and Avocado work amazingly well on the beard as you will soon see.
You can mix multiple carrier oils, add some essential oils and make a DIY beard oil.
If you’re going to buy a beard oil though, Make sure you get a really well made one. My personal recommendation right now is BeardGuru. High quality, well-formulated and made in the USA.
I have the Smooth Whiskey oil and balm, and they’re working great for me.
If you just want a quick fix, I recommend them.
What Is Carrier Oil Used For
As you’ve already seen, carrier oils are used in a multitude of places, the most well-known being in aromatherapy massage.
Apart from that, they are also used in soaps and other beauty products, especially from boutique or cottage industry companies.
You’ll find a lot of “home-made” soaps use a few carrier oils because of the medicinal properties they have.
Another place you’ll find them in in moisturizers and body lotions because of the way the oils hydrate the skin. I’m not saying they are all good products but sometimes what they say in the marketing blurb isn’t too far wrong.
Can You Put Carrier Oil In A Diffuser
While it is possible to put carrier oils in your diffuser of choice, you absolutely shouldn’t!
Carrier oils have very little scent and are thicker than essential oils. This viscosity will cause all kinds of problems by blocking up the spray head. It goes the same for “baby oil” which is a mineral oil, not good for diffusers.
Can You Eat Carrier Oil?
Most carrier oils can be ingested without much problem, although some of them would raise the question of why you would want to.
Coconut and Olive oils are both “carrier oils” and are great to add to your food, especially olive oil on some freshly toasted bread, topped with garlic, crushed tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves… Mmmm!
While those two are great to eat, there are some like Jojoba and Apricot Kernel oil that can cause problems when eaten. Jojoba will pass through the system undigested and will come out the same as it goes in, this can look like a medical condition called steatorrhea.
Apricot oil can potentially cause cyanide poisoning if too much is taken, I haven’t looked into the studies that have been done so I can’t say one way or the other just yet.
Can You Use Carrier Oil As Lube?
If you are planning to use condoms then no, any oil will break down the latex, at that includes carrier oils.
I’m not going to give you a lecture on safe sex if you’re having sex, I would hope you’re smart enough to take care of business properly.
Assuming you’re in a situation where condoms are not needed, you have a host of fun options to play around with.
I would recommend Coconut oil, get the cold-pressed, solid when cold kind.
While it is solid, it soon melts with body heat so I’ll leave that implementation to your imagination. Just make sure you’re both safe to consume nuts, you don’t want some anaphylactic shock interrupting the fun!
Another always on hand option is olive oil. This stuff is slippery, safe and I haven’t ever run across anyone that has an olive allergy. The only potential downside to EVOO is it is messy to apply and gets everywhere. if that’s your thing though, use Olive Oil and have fun!
The best thing is that not only are these oils safe, they will give your southern parts the benefits of the carrier oil’s properties.
As a side note, if you are adding toys to your playtime, I would make sure they are safe to use with oil-based lubes or they will start to break down pretty fast.
What Carrier Oil Should I Use? (list of carrier oils and their medicinal uses)
So, we’re finally here. I’m sure that a lot of you have skipped all the rest and headed straight here if so, welcome to the post!
I wanted to give you a list of the most commonly used carrier oils and tell you about their properties so you can choose the carrier oil that will best suit your needs.
So let’s jump in with most well-known carrier oil of them all, Olive Oil!
Olive Oil As A Carrier Oil
Not just a tasty oil for your salads, Olive Oil also has a bunch of great medicinal benefits.
Olive oil is packed full of vitamins E, A and D which are great for skin, nails, and hair.
It’s also antibacterial, although not as powerful as others on this list, it still shouldn’t be overlooked.
Olive oil is also full of antioxidants and fatty acids that fight inflammation. Inflammation in the body is the leading cause of many diseases that we face in the modern age.
There has been some evidence that inflammation is a contributing factor in Type-2 Diabetes, heart disease and cancers. 
Olives and virgin olive oil have been shown to prevent bone deterioration and reduce osteoporosis symptoms by protecting the bone density.  *read the warning below before clicking this link*
Because it is easy to find, you should have no trouble adding this amazing oil to your daily cooking or skincare routine.
 ** https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997441/
** WARNING: The first part of this study was conducted on rats and might be disturbing for some readers. I DO NOT condone any kind of animal testing and this article is linked for the “Human Studies” and “Conclusion” portions only.
Jojoba oil isn’t as well known as Olive and Coconut but you will find it used a lot in various skincare products. Just like the other two oils on the list so far, Jojoba is anti-inflammatory so it’s great for skin irritations like acne and will soothe the redness.
Just like Coconut oil, Jojoba oil is a great moisturizer, especially for dry skin.
An added bonus is that Jojoba oil’s make up resembles your own body’s natural oil so your body can’t tell the difference. this means that it is more readily accepted and used by the body while reducing the possibility of it blocking pores.
Jojoba oil can also boast antibacterial properties making it great to apply to broken skin and other irritations.
It’s also very rare to find any allergic reactions to Jojoba, making it a super safe oil to use.
This is another oil that contains vitamin E, making it great for hair and also sunburn.
While eyesight is normally associated with carrots, Avocado oil can also parade its ability to help the eyes thanks to its high antioxidant (lutein) content.
If you suffer from age-related eye issues, increasing your intake of lutein may help you out.
Avocado is another healing oil, while studies haven’t come out with just how effective it is, I would say that while it does help the healing process, it isn’t as effective as Coconut oil.
Internally, Avocado oil has been shown to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and detoxes the entire body.
Because of its high levels of potassium and vitamin E, Avocado oil can eliminate free radicles and keep your blood vessels nice and strong.
It can also help in weight loss due to helping blood move to the muscles during workouts and sports while making you feel fuller for longer.
As an added bonus, Avocado oil also aids the body in absorbing vitamins nutrients so you
Another use of Avocado oil is in treating bone density in teeth. You can use Avocado oil to ease mouth pain and strengthen teeth by oil pulling with it. You can use a combination of Avocado and Coconut to really attack any mouth issues you might have.
This one seems to have been making a huge splash in mainstream media lately. It’s been “discovered” by celebrities from all over the world and they’re now promoting its use, which is great.
While it’s just been shown the spotlight, its actually been used for centuries, going all the way back to the Mayan and Native American peoples. Science, as always, is reluctant to say that Rosehip oil has any medicinal benefit, here is what herbalists and users have found to hold true.
Rosehip oil is astringent which means it will tighten tissue, this is especially useful if you’re looking to reduce wrinkles and crows feet.
It’s also great at evening out skin tone and giving your skin a redient glow.
There is also some talk that it has healing properties but when you have Coconut oil on hand, I would suggest that for healing.
Two things that it does really well, though, is hydrating and moisturizing.
Most of the oils on this list share a lot of the same traits but Rosehip oil stands along with sd Jojoba oil for its ability to make the skin feel soft, supple and able to take on the world.
As a side note, the older you get the less collagen your body produces, it’s just one of those facts of life. This will cause your skin to feel looser and not as elastic as it used to. Rosehip oil can help you bring the spring back into your skin because it promotes collagen creation in the body due to its high levels of vitamins A and C. These vitamins are needed by the body to make collagen. Rosehip oil also inhibits the enzymes that like to break down collagen in the body so if you are starting to see your skin loosening, start using Rosehip oil.
Coconut Oil As A Carrier Oil
Another easy to find oil is Coconut. A lot of stores are carrying Coconut oil these days and in a pinch, you can hit up Amazon. By why do you want to use Coconut oil? Let’s take a look.
Coconut oil is great to use in aromatherapy massage as the oil its self has very effective moisturizing properties that work well for all types of skin.
because of its moisturizing power, it also delays the effect of wrinkles and sagging skin.
Just like Olive oil, Coconut also has antioxidant properties that can help to reduce aging as well as reduce inflammation.
Coconut oil is also great for healing cuts and repairing burn wounds. Now, depending on how you were burned, you don’t want to put oil on the burn until it starts to heal as oil can trap more heat inside the burn and make it worse.
If you are planning to eat Coconut oil, you will most likely see weight loss as well as increased HDL cholesterol levels. It’s also been said that people have felt more energized and had seen increased liver function and health. The medical community is still out to lunch on whether these claims are true but I’m more willing to trust in a patient’s statement and feelings than lab results.
If you are dealing with any mouth issues such as periodontal disease or gum disease, Coconut oil is also your friend as it can be used to “oil pull” and rid your mouth of infection.
If you want to know how to oil pull or how to get rid of toothache, I’ve written about it in Home Remedies For Toothache that will help you out.
Vitamin E Oil
So here we have the oil that has been cropping up in other oils, Vitamin E oil. There is a secret to this wonderful vitamin and that is.. Vitamin E is a grouping of other vitamins and is not actually a vitamin its self.
There are two kinds of vitamin E oil you’ll find, 1 is in capsules to be ingested and the other is to be used topically. The reason for this is potency and possibly because of the oil being mixed with other things.
There has been some talk that vitamin E can be used to treat and prevent skin cancers. There have been some tests that have reportedly said that there is no link between vitamin E and skin cancer, but other people say different.
One thing that is for sure though, if you want to reduce pigmentation of the skin (Melasma), vitamin E oil has shown to have great results after 8 weeks.
As we’re on the topic of skin, vitamin E is great for dry, itching skin because of its soothing and hydrating nature.
If you suffer from acne, vitamin E might be your savior but don’t use too much of it as it can also block the pores.
Vitamin E oil has been used to help with psoriasis and pressure sores with good results. If you have skin issues and you want a more natural treatment, Vitamin E could be the one for you.
Taken internally it is pretty safe but watch your intake. Do not take more than you;re instructed as the side effects can be fatal.
The best way to get Vitamin E is through food such as nuts, seeds, and green vegetables.
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet Almond oil is not really at the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to carrier oils. While it is great for massage and aromatherapy due to its non-greasy nature, it’s got other tricks up its sleeves.
Hair and nails love Sweet Almond oil because of its chemical make up.
It can be used to brighten the complexion, strengthen nails and hair, and leave the hair feeling smooth and silky without feeling greasy.
Sweet Almond oil can be used to heal sunburn and other skin rashes, soothe acne, tighten the skin and hydrate it.
If Coconut oil feels too heavy and the other oils feel too greasy, try Sweet Almond oil. It has a lighter feel, is absorbed into the skin more readily and has much less chance of blocking pores.
Also known as “liquid gold”, Argan oil has been used for centuries and originates from Morocco.
This is another oil that shares a lot of the same traits as the others on this list but with a few differences. While you can use most of these oils on your hair to great effect, Argan oil will also treat split ends and keep the frizz to a minimum.
It’s also great for the skin, promoting anti-wrinkle, collagen boosting and anti-stretchmark powers. One added bonus to this oil though, is that it will balance your skin’s natural tendency. if you have overly oily skin, it will balance it out without overly drying your skin. It works the other way around, too, if your skin is dry, Argan oil will hydrate it back to health.
Grape Seed Oil
I bet you can’t guess what properties Grape Seed oil has!
Joking aside, Grape Seed oil is great for the skin, it lightens skin tone, heals acne and does something a little different, it tightens pores. This gives your skin a much smoother look and helps to avoid environmental pollutants getting into your pores.
Grape Seed oil can be used in cooking and can improve circulation when ingested. It is also known to reduce blood pressure, help with kidney function, protect the liver and can help with brain function.
Not bad for a tiny little seed!
Pumpkin Seed Oil
The last but not least of the list is Pumpkin Seed oil. If you come from a Medeterainian country, you’re no stranger to these seeds. In Spain, they are served in bars as a bar snack and you’ll often see people munching on them between meals.
Pumpkin Seed Oil is great at many things including strengthening the heart, the brain, and the liver. It can help with overactive bladder and even give relief for menopausal symptoms.
Another thing that science is looking into is the effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on the prostate. While it does help with the bladder, it can also prevent an enlarged prostate.
You can also use it on your skin to reduce inflammation as well as for its antibacterial properties.
Pumpkin Seed oil is worth having around if you have any of these issues.
Can Vegetable Oil Be Used As A Carrier Oil?
Tenichanlly, yes you can but first, you have to define what you mean by “vegetable oil”. The stuff you buy in the store that says “Vegetable Oil” on the label is going to be a mixture of various plant-based oils like Safflower, Sunflower, and Soy Bean.
While this is fine if you’re planning to use it for massage, you might find that the scent is a lot stronger and might not be appealing.
Another thing to be aware of is the health issue surrounding vegetable oil. Some doctors say it is healthy, others say otherwise.
Like the oils above, you have to also look into where and how they are processed. If the company has introduced some elements to the oil that you don’t want in your body, you should be aware of it when you buy your carrier oil.
The bottom line is if you’re in a bind and you need some carrier oil and all you have on hand is vegetable oil, use it and you should be fine.
Which Carrier Oil Is Lightest?
On the list I have given above, probably Jojoba would be the lightest carrier oil. Other oils have crossed my path but I haven’t researched them yet so I didn’t feel it was appropriate to add them to the list. Keep checking back though as I will update the list once in a while with new oils as I find them.
Are Carrier Oils Safe During Pregnancy?
Some are, some come with warnings. Here’s the breakdown of oils and their safety level during pregnancy and after.
- Olive Oil = Safe
- Coconut Oil = Safe
- Jojoba Oil = Safe
- Avocado Oil = Safe
- Rosehip Oil = Safe
- Vitamin E Oil = Safe
- Sweet Almond Oil = Moderate*
- Argan Oil = Safe
- Grape Seed Oil = Safe/Moderate **
- Pumpkin Seed Oil = Safe
* There has been a study done in Italy that shows Sweet Almond Oil causing premature births in 37% of the women. The study didn’t follow the women from beginning to end of the pregnancy and they didn’t record what supplements or medications the women were taking apart from Sweet Almon Oil. So I would suggest talking to your doc before you soak yourself in Sweet Almond Oil.
** There have been whisperings that Grape Seed oil is bad to use when you’re pregnant but I haven’t found anyone stating why or providing any published studies on it… Use it at your own discretion.
Carrier oils might just be the base of whatever you’re creating but they can be a great source of vitamins and other helpful properties. You could just mix a few base oils together, add a few drops of 1 essential oil for scent and get all the healing benefits you need just from that.
Although I have said it before it bears repeating again, make sure you get all of your oils from reputable companies and make sure they are high quality. It might be cheaper to by an off-brand from China but trust me, pay the extra and know that what you’re putting on your skin is safe.
Hopefully, you learned something and had some questions answered with this post. I will be updating it with more carrier oils as I research them so make sure to check back often!