Aromatherapy Carrier Oils

How to Mix a Carrier Oil with Essential Oils

Most essential oils must be diluted prior to coming in contact with the skin. A carrier oil, base oil or vegetable oil is used to dilute the essential oils and absolutes.

Why do You Need to Use a Carrier Oil?

Using this type of oil in the dilution is important because:

  • It is less expensive than the essential oils or absolutes.
  • Their scent is minimal and should not interfere with the therapeutic aromas of essential oils and absolutes.
  • They do not evaporate as quickly as essential oils and absolutes.
  • They are more readily absorbed by the skin.

What Are the Most Common Carrier Oils?

The list of carrier or base oil is almost endless. Generally speaking, base oils are cold-pressed vegetable oils but some nut oils are also used. The most important criteria in selecting a base oil is to ensure that you will not have an adverse reaction to it.

You should apply a small amount of oil (carrier) to your skin and wait 24 hours to see if any allergic reactions occur. The last thing you want to get from aromatherapy is a skin rash!

Here are a few common base oils:

How do You Mix Base Oils with Essential Oils?

You should aim to get a 1 to 2.5% essential oil solution. Absolutes should be diluted even more.

You should always follow the instructions provided by the aromatherapist or the oil manufacturer.

If you did not receive any instructions, here are a few examples of such solutions for diluted essential oils:

  • 2.5% Metric: Add 10 drops of essential oil to 20 ml of base oil.
  • 2.5% Imperial: Add 14 drops of essential oil to 1 oz of base oil.
  • 1% Metric: Add 5 drops of essential oil to 20 ml of base oil.
  • 1% Imperial: Add 7 drops of essential oil to 1 oz of base oil.

Once you have tested the carrier oil on your skin and have decided which essential oil you want to dilute, you need a colored glass bottle to hold your diluted essential oil. Dark glass is better because it will keep your oil from degrading with light exposure.

I recommend Cobalt Blue Boston Round Bottle with Cap.

You should count your drops carefully using an eyedropper. Once the right number of drops have been added to your base oil, close the lid and shake it well.

Make sure to label your diluted essential for content and date. A good example of such a label would be:

Essential Oil: Lavender
Carrier Oil: Grapeseed
Dilution: 1%
Date: Oct 19, 2008


dark glass bottle for aromatherapy oils

Make sure you try your diluted essential on a small area of your skin prior to using it for massages. You wouldn’t want to cause a bad skin reaction!

Any More Aromatherapy Tips?

You will learn as you go and discover which oils work best for you. Here are some tips that I can suggest:

  • As a general rule, a 20 ml bottle of diluted essential oil should be enough for a full body massage.
  • Thickening or preservation agents can be added to your diluted oils.
  • Once you have emptied your diluted essential oil bottle, reward yourself by using the rinse out water in your bathwater.
  • Essential oils and/or absolutes should not be taken orally.
  • Eye contact should be avoided. If you accidentally get a drop of essential oil in your eye, use a small amount of base oil on a soft, damp cloth to dilute it and rinse your eye with water.
  • Never increase the oil concentration past the prescribed dilution range.
  • Check with your physician and/or aromatherapist if you are pregnant.
  • Keep oils away from children, pets, and sources of heat.

Purchasing Carrier Oils Online

Are you looking for other aromatherapy supplies and carrier oils? Click on one of these products from Amazon to find out more: