When I first started with essential oils I was perplexed as to the why and how of diluting. I heard olive oil was an option, tried it and hated it. It was so greasy. Then I kept hearing fractionated coconut oil this fractionated coconut oil that. What did it matter if it was fractionated or not? I had plenty of regular coconut oil on hand, but it was not fractionated. Did that matter? What I learned was…it depends on what you are doing with the essential oil.
What is a carrier oil? Carrier oils and essential oils are different. Carrier oils you can use a lot of. Essential oils you only use a drop or two. Carrier oils are base or vegetable oils. Examples of these are coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, mineral oil, grapeseed oil, olive, etc.
The reason carrier oils are used is to dilute the essential oil before it is applied to the skin. Lets face it. Essential oils are powerful little drops of goodness. When using them on children, the elderly, & individuals with sensitive skin it is safest to dilute them with a carrier oil before applying them to the skin. Using carrier oils does not decrease the effects of them, it simply carries the essential oil into the skin diluted, slowing the absorption, but sill providing the therapeutic benefits to the individual. The person will still get the therapeutic benefits of the essential oil, but at a slower rate for their bodies to absorb and process. Make sense?
Hot oils such as cinnamon, thyme, clove, oregano (there are more, read your labels), should be diluted for everyone because well, they are hot.
Another way to use carrier oils is to seal in an essential oil. For example I use Soothing Blend essential oil topically on tired muscles, specifically after running. First, I rub a few drops of Deep Blue or Aromatouch onto the area of need, and then I rub a carrier oil on top of it. Using a carrier oil this way drives and seals the essential oil in for added therapeutic benefits.
Carrier Oil We Use:
- Coconut Oil (the regular kind you can find at the grocery store) is temperature based. It remains solid until somewhere around 76 degrees. When applying essential oils topically that need diluting this kind of coconut oil is a fine option. I appreciate coconut oil because it is non-greasy, absorbs easily, and has very little if any real scent to it. Perfect for homemade salves, chapstick, deodorants, etc. But will not work for roller bottles recipes because it solidifies. Plus coconut oil is amazing stuff, but that is for another day.
- Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) is coconut oil with the fatty components removed. Therefore it is always a liquid. It is silky smooth and absorbs easily, facilitating the absorption of essential oils. Perfect for roller bottles. FCO and coconut oil can both be used in massage, with children, sensitive skin, and hot oils- it is simply a personal preference.
- Almond and Jojoba Oils are just a couple other options we have tried. Both work for roller bottles. I prefer to use coconut oil or FCO, but these work too.
- Olive Oil can be used, it is greasy and has a thick viscosity making it acceptable in a pinch but not ideal.
There are other carrier oil options, but these are what I have tried and used for my family. I tend to find something that works and stick with it 🙂 Have questions? Shoot me an email!
Have a Happy Day!