Carrier oils or lotions are really just a fatty substance that will dilute the amount of essential oil you would be exposed to if you were to apply it topically. There are many oils and lotions out there and it doesn't have to be complicated ;). You just want to use an oil or lotion that you like. We are going to discuss a few options and then you can choose what is best for you.
Now Jojoba is actually a liquid wax not an oil but it has a fatty content to it, very similar to the sebum in our skin and works nicely with most essential oil blends as it is nourishing and not drying, it doesn't seem to alter the aroma of the blend or stain the clothing. Now don't dump some on your clothes and then be mad if it stains, I just mean it doesn't seem to stain with the limited use of an oil blend like we create. :)
Fractionated Coconut Oil
This is coconut oil that has been altered from its usual solid coconut oil state so that it stays liquid all the time. It blends nicely with most things and is less expensive than some other carrier oils like organic Jojoba. Can be irritating to some skin so best to skin test prior to use.
This is a wonderful oil for facial oil washes as it is wonderfully moisturizing and helps improve skins elasticity. It is full of antioxidants, Vitamin E and omegas. Blends easily with essential oils for blends, body oils and oil cleansers.
Sweet Almond Oil
This is a great general purpose oil that can be used in blends and body oils. It blends nicely but should be noted those with nut allergies should use caution.
There are many, many more options so feel free to play around and try several options available and choose the one that is right for you.
Why Dilute Essential Oils
When we apply our essential oils topically we want to dilute them for several reasons, first being that we want to reduce our risk of skin sensitization from any particular essential oil, secondly it reduces the amount of essential oil needed in our recipe to get our desired effect which makes things more cost effective as the consumer but also is environmentally helpful as it reduces the necessary oil yield from the plants. I've written more about dilution on our blog you can read about it here.
Dilution and Bath Salts
I recommend diluting your bath salts, Epsom salt, Himalayan Salt or other salt product does not dilute the essential oils nor does it help them disperse. Of course water and oil don't mix so adding a carrier oil helps disperse the oils so they are not just floating on the surface of the bath water. When diluting for the tub you can add a couple milliliters or teaspoons of fatty oil, avocado, jojoba, coconut, even whole milk or heavy cream will work! I know as crazy as it sounds milk baths can be extremely soothing to the skin and you just might enjoy it! I add the essential oils to whatever carrier I'm going to use then drop in and swish around in the tub.
Bath Salt Recipe
3 oz of Salt, Epsom, Himalayan, Dead Sea
3 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
2 drops Lavender Essential Oil
1 drop Sandalwood Essential Oil
Mix essential oils into 1-2 teaspoons carrier oil and add with salts to bath water and enjoy
How to decide
How do you decide which carrier oil or lotion to use? Do you have one you love the feel of more than others? Do you keep coconut oil or avocado oil in your kitchen all the time and just want to use it? Any of these are viable options and you can get great results. We personally use Organic Jojoba in all of our blends because we just love it! I use it in my massage practice and all of our blends because it has become my favorite. It has a luscious texture that doesn't seem to leave me feeling oily and for me that is important. So try a few and see which one you like best. The good news is you can change it up and give a different one a try any time you like.
Be sure to comment and let me know what your favorite carrier oils are and why, I'd love to try some new ones and you always have the best ideas!