A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels or the nuts. It is used with essential oils to dilute them for a specific application. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils and carry them onto your skin. Many essential oils should be diluted before using. While many can be used ‘neat’ (undiluted), diluting helps spread the essential oil over a larger part of the skin.
Carrier oils are also great if you get an essential oil in a sensitive part of your body (eyes!). You do not want to use water as water and oil don’t really mix. Simply rubbing a carrier oil around the area will help relieve the discomfort.
Difference between an Essential Oil and Carrier Oils
Essential oils are distilled from the leaves, bark, roots and other parts of a plant. Essential oils are very concentrated and are volatile, meaning they evaporate quickly. Carrier oils are pressed from the fatty parts of the plant. They do not evaporate quickly and do not have a strong aroma.