Carrier oils are used when making essential oil blends for massage, aromatherapy and other uses. Each oil has its own specific characteristics, so it’s vital to know which carrier oil is appropriate for the results you desire.

Grape Seed Essential Oil

sliced grape oilThis oil is odorless, mildly astringent and has a light texture. Grape seed oil is useful when heavy oil is unsuitable, as in the case of oily skin or acne. This oil is somewhat expensive, and is used in aromatherapy skin care. Because it is expensive, it is often combined with less expensive oil. Occasionally this oil may cause sensitivity in some individuals.


Kukui Essential Oil

This oil is ideal for facial applications, as it is thin and light. It provides just the right amount of lubrication without feeling greasy. Then, It is rapidly absorbed deeply into the skin, making it helpful for skin conditions. It contains high levels of linoleic and linolenic acids.

Kukui nuts are native to Hawaii, and Hawaiians use kukui oil as a skin conditioner after sun exposure (it is not a sun screen). It provides skin protection against the weather (salt, sun, wind), and is know to soothe and remedy stretch marks, scars, windburn, chapping, sunburn, heat burns and radiation burn. Although it has a low toxicity level, it should never be ingested because it is a laxative. It has an odor all its own. Some consider this oil to be expensive.

Olive Oil

natural olive oilOften used for dry skin, this oil’s aroma can be a little overpowering for some. A light version of olive oil is often used for aromatherapy. Because it contains healing chlorophyll, it is often used for medicinal purposes. Olive oil is considered one of the best mediums for oils that are herb-infused and intended for medicinal applications such as salves or suppositories. Pure olive oil is very stable and can be stored unrefrigerated for one year.

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Peach Kernel Oil

This oil’s properties are similar to that of almond oil. This oil is high in vitamin E. It also contains vitamin A, vitamin B complex, lecithin and phytosterols. More pure peach oils are deep orange in color. More refined versions of this oil are pale yellow. It has a heavier texture than most other carrier oils. It is also not as popular as other oils due to its strong odor. Although good for all skin types, those with dry, ageing or damaged skin will benefit most by its use.

Rice Bran Oil

This oil is non-greasy, making it ideal for massage oils or body lotions. It flows on smoothly, and penetrates moderately. It is high in vitamin E and ferulic acid, and it does not spoil quickly.

Sesame Seed Essential Oil

sesame seed oilThis oil contains sesomolin, which is a natural preservative. Because the unrefined oil has a very strong scent, sesame is suitable as a base for herbal preparations, but unsuitable for most aromatherapy uses. It is known to be generally rejuvenating to both the skin and the whole body. Sesame also has the ability to refract some ultraviolet rays, so a small about of protection from sun damage is provided.


Sesame is readily available in India. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine commonly use sesame in their preparations. Worldwide, sesame oil is preferred about other oils by Ayurvedic practitioners.

Carrier oils are not necessarily interchangeable. They are as individual as the essential oils with which they are blended. There are also carrier oils that are not oils. There are several other common carrier oils besides those described here.

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