Carrier Oils ::

This post is in relation to the use of essential oils in cosmetic and therapeutic skin care. While this post features many blends from Young Living, I still do use a variety of essential oil brands.

When using essential oils internally and topically, you usually need to use a carrier oil. This oil extends the life of pricier essential oils, and makes application (or consumption) easier and safer. Generally speaking, a good ratio is 4-5 drops of carrier for 1-2 drops of essential oil.  I realize that doesn’t seem like much, but therapeutic grade oils are strong; a little goes a long way! Always be sure to read your labels. Any high quality oil (including Young Living) will tell you whether or not it’s safe to use any particular oil straight. If you have sensitive skin, you will want to always use a carrier when applying essential oils. 

Please don’t take to heart anything you see on the internet that says a skin irritation is a sign of “detox.” People really seem to like to use this word where it doesn’t belong. If you experience itching, irritation, or redness, discontinue use immediately. Be kind to yourself, and use your best judgement. 

There are many carriers you can use; it really depends on the application. This post will go over some common carrier oils, with examples of how I use them. 

My top three carrier oils are olive (buy here), jojoba (buy here), and coconut (buy here). These oils are easy to find, and are useful for a wide variety of applications around the home. I also keep almond oil (here) and a vitamin E oil blend (here) on hand for skincare purposes.

Olive oil is a heavier oil that does not absorb quickly. I find that it’s good in small doses, and works well as a cleanser. I always have it in my kitchen, so it’s a good oil to use in a pinch.


  • Many people who take essential oils orally use olive oil as a carrier. I personally have no experience, but 1 or 2 drops of a chosen oil can be added to a capsule, and diluted with olive oil or vegetable oil blend. Make sure to always, always check labels before you do this.
  • I like using olive oil as a heavy duty moisturizer for my feet before putting on socks. My favorite oils to use for this are lavender, peppermint, and Valor (YL blend).
  • Olive oil blended with corn flour or almond flour and a drop of essential oil (I like lavender; frankincense is also good for skincare) makes for a nice facial scrub. Use in the shower and let the steam open your pores. Rinse gently with warm water and a soft washcloth.

Jojoba oil is my go-to carrier when it comes to everyday essential oil application. It is lightweight and easily absorbed by our skin, which makes it perfect for facial care. I keep a small bottle of jojoba with my essential oil stash for easy use. Grapeseed is a similar lightweight oil, I simply prefer jojoba. Either oil is a good starting point.


I use coconut oil for oral care and skin that needs a little more hydration. Coconut oil is a great multipurpose oil to have around. This oil can cause some drying or irritation on ultra-sensitive skin, so you may want to do a small patch test before use.


  • For a healing mouth rinse, use two tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 or 2 drops of Thieves (YL blend). Swish for as long as you like; I usually do this in the shower. Follow with a gentle, warm water tooth-brushing.
  • I use coconut oil with a drop of lavender oil to heal cracked lips and dry, rough patches on my feet.

In addition to the three oils above, I keep a bottle of almond oil and a smaller bottle of vitamin E oil blend in my pantry. Almond oil is a really wonderful oil for massage purposes, and as an addition to homemade skincare products. Vitamin E is nourishing for the skin, and can also be used in homemade products to extend the shelf life.


  • Almond oil can be used in any (non-facial) application you would use jojoba oil. I love blending it with peppermint oil for an after work (or workout) leg massage. Almond oil takes a little bit longer to absorb than either jojoba or grapeseed.
  • Many vitamin E oil blends can be taken internally in combination with essential oils (see method mentioned above).
  • I use a combination of 4 drops vitamin E oil (which is blended with wheat germ oil), 2 drops frankincense, 2 drops lemon, 1 drop wintergreen on my nails to help with cracking and peeling (on my toenails, especially). I blend the oils together, then apply with a cotton swab.
  • Add almond oil and vitamin E to a homemade moisturizer blend. I’m using a combination of shea butter, coconut oil, and almond oil blended with 3 drops each of peppermint, grapefruit, and a couple drops vitamin E!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me!

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