Essential oils can be used in many different ways to improve your health and environment. The process of extracting essential oils from the plants they’re derived from produces a concentrated substance that is very potent. You only need to use a very small amount of essential oils. When applying them directly to the skin, essential oils should be diluted in carrier oils to avoid skin irritation.
Carrier oils, also known as base oils, are vegetable oils that are made from the fatty part of a plant, like the seed, nut or kernel. Carrier oils contain nutrients that benefit the skin and can complement the healing properties of the essential oils.
Carrier oils are available in several different colors, scents and viscosities. Which oil you choose and how much you should use will depend on which essential oil you’re planning on using and how they might work together. As a general rule of thumb, you only need a few drops of essential oils per ounce of carrier oil, with the essential oil only making up about 1%- 5% of the mixture.
Here are some of the carrier oils that are commonly used with essential oils:
- Jojoba Oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Wheatgerm Oil
- Peach Kernel
- Grapeseed Oil
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Cranberry Seed Oil
- Hazelnut Oil
There are also several other options that can be used as carrier oils. Take the time to decide which feels best on your skin and which gives you the desired scent and benefits. Most carrier oils have a sweet, nutty smell that blend well with other scents.
Essential oils can also be mixed with distilled water or vegetable butters instead of carrier oils. Some common vegetable butters that work well with essential oils for skin care are shea butter and cocoa butter.