Updated: 24th November 2023
Whether you're using essential oils to create a DIY skincare routine or a bath bomb that will fill your bathroom with heavenly scents, carrier oils are a great ingredient. They help with all sorts of projects, including gift-making, self-care products and more.
Carrier oils are especially useful when it comes to diluting essential oils before using them in conjunction with other ingredients for skincare products. In this blog post, the experts at N-Essentials will teach you how to mix carrier oils with essential oils so that you can create your own custom blends.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are very potent oils extracted from various parts of plants, including:
They’re extracted from plants using either steam distillation or cold-press extraction. Essential oils are renowned for their strong, distinctive scents. These scents depend on the type of plant they’ve been extracted from; you will find a wide range of different aromas, from floral to sweet.
Essential oils are also quite volatile, meaning they evaporate quickly. As soon as they’re exposed to air, the oils release their strong scent into the surrounding area. Because of this, a little can go a long way when creating your own skincareor other DIY projects, such as home cleaners or candle making. They have a diverse set of uses in daily life, and many people like essential oils for their unique and fun nature. People have developed many hobbies and interests related to the many uses of essential oils.
However, because of their potency, essential oils alone may cause irritation, sensitivity or otherconcernsbeyond their lovely scents when used in products around you. For this reason, carrier oils are important.
What Are Carrier Oils?
Carrier oils are carrier or base oils used to 'carry' the essential oil or to help diffuse the essential oil's aroma. Carrier oils can also be used to help control how much essential oil is being used, especially when using it topically. Mixing them together lowers the potency of essential oils and makes them easier or safer to use in projects.
Carrier oils are made by cold-pressing or expeller-pressing vegetable oils from the seeds, kernels or nuts of plants. Carrier oils are mostly made up of triglycerides - meaning they have a high concentration of fatty acids like oleic, linoleic and palmitic acid.
They can be used on their own but are more often used to carry other ingredients like essential oils, in products like lotion and cleansers. Carrier oils also have a shelf life of a few years from the time of manufacture.
Unlike essential oils, carrier oils are not as potent. This means they don’t evaporate into the air as quickly and have a more stable presence – which is useful when needing to temper essential oils. They also don’t often have strong scents; many have a vegetable or a neutral smell and will dilute the sometimes overpowering aromas of an essential oil.
You can find carrier oils with varying levels of viscosity. This affects the manner in which the oils can pour. If you’d like to create a thicker, slower pour, then choose a high-viscosity carrier oil (such as avocado oil). If you want a more free-flowing pour, a lower-viscosity option would be grapeseed oil (low viscosity) or sweet almond oil (medium viscosity).
N-Essentials tip: When deciding which carrier oil to use with your essential oil, remember to consider the different viscosities of your oils alongside other properties. It will help you to find the perfect pour rate.
Which Carrier Oil Should I Use?
Carrier oils each have their own unique properties that can be beneficial, so it's important to also think about what you want from a carrier oil for your projects other than just carrying your essential oil of choice.
For example, jojoba oil is an almost scentless carrier oil. For this reason, it is a great addition to DIY projects with essential oils. It also has a long shelf life, doesn’t oxidise easily and is extremely versatile.
Here are some carrier oils we love to include in our recipes:
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is quite lightweight in texture, with a viscosity of 45 to 65 cP at 25°C. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is often used as a carrier for active ingredients. You can use it with other carrier and essential oils, such as apricot kernel, coconut, eucalyptus oil and more.
One of the lightest oils you can buy, grapeseed oil is a fantastic carrier oil for thinning out heavy or thick essential oils or mixtures. Its viscosity is 87.8±2.75 cP at 20°C. You can use it with other carrier and essential oils, such as lemon, jojoba, sweet orange oil and more.
As mentioned above, jojoba oil is a stellar example of an all-round perfect carrier oil. It’s lightweight, with a viscosity of around 210 cP, and makes a great addition to skincare products. You can use it with other carrier and essential oils, such as sandalwood, ylang-ylang, lavender and more.
You can explore the full range of carrier oils available and see what their benefits are like to make the right choice for your next recipe at N-Essentials.
How to Mix Carrier Oils With Essential Oils
When mixing essential oils and carrier oils, it is important to keep the ratio of carrier oil to essential oil in mind.
For every 30mL of carrier oil, add exactly six drops of essential oil. This is a general use ratio, which means it's suitable for most adults in self-care products such as perfumes or skincare.
For every 30mL of carrier oil, add exactly three drops of essential oil. This is a more sensitive ratio, which means it’s preferred by people who have sensitive skin or prefer more subtle scents in their perfume, haircare or more.
For every 30mL of carrier oil, add 12 to 18 drops of essential oil. This is a concentrated ratio, which should be used with caution and only under specific circumstances, such as preferring strong scents in air diffusers. Do not use this ratio for extended periods of time.
That said, every oil and person is different. It depends on your project, the oils varying viscosities and your own preference for the final ratio. It’s always wise to do more research on carrier and essential oils for your intended purpose before forging ahead.
Creating Custom Blends
Carrier oils can also be mixed together to create a custom blend. For example, if you have a carrier oil that you want to use but want to change its viscosity slightly, you can mix it with another carrier oil – such as combining avocado (high viscosity) and grapeseed oil (low viscosity).
People combine carrier oils for many reasons and can blend them based on the different DIY projects they’re going to be used in, such as wanting a medium viscosity and natural product to be used in haircare.
How to Use Carrier Oils With Essential Oils
Mixing essential oils and carrier oils is a simple process. You’ll need:
- Your preferred carrier oil or oil blend,
- Essential oils of your choice,
- Sanitised bowls, cups or jars,
- A measuring jug or cup,
- A dropper or pipette,
- A glass bottle or jar.
Step One: Choose Your Oils
Select the essential oils and carrier oils that you’d like to use. Use the above information to choose the right oils for you, as well as the right ratio for your intended use. Remember to follow all safety guidelines around the various oils and their uses.
Step Two: Measure Your Ingredients
Measure out your ingredients in your measuring jug or cup. Start with measuring your carrier oil, then transfer it to your sanitised bowl, cup or jar.
Step Three: Add Your Oils
Add the correct amount of drops of your essential oil to your sanitised bowl, cup or jar.
Step Four: Combine Your Oils
Mix your oils together. Don’t do this vigorously, as it will create air bubbles. Combine in a steady, regular rhythm.
Step Five: Store Your Natural Product
Move your combined oils to your glass bottle or jar. We advise you to use a glass product because there is less chance of the oil reacting with glass.
And you’re all done! We recommend storing your oil blend in a cool, dark place with no direct sunlight. This will help your blend to maintain its stability and shelf life.
N-Essentials tip: label your blend with the date and the dilution ratio. This will help you to track your blend and shelf life clearly. It may also help you when you create a blend in the future.
Carrier oils provide a great way to dilute essential oils while still being able to reap the benefits of their lovely scents. Get creative and have fun mixing essential oils and carrier oils by shopping our available range at N-Essentials!
Both our carrier oils and essential oils are sourced from the highest quality and come in a variety of scents and sizes to suit your needs. If you have any questions about carrier oils or essential oils, feel free to reach out to our team. We're always happy to help!