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Choosing the Right Carrier Oils for Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Choosing the Right Carrier Oils for Essential Oils

Essential oils are packed with powerful properties that provide a range of benefits, but when applied, many must be diluted with carrier oils for safe application to the skin. There is a wide range of different carrier oils, each of which offers specific qualities that make them suitable for different purposes or for use with different essential oils.

carrier oil

Why Use a Carrier Oil?

There are several reasons why blending an essential oil with a carrier oil can be beneficial:
  • Essential oils are often too concentrated and can burn the skin or trigger a reaction. Lavender, chamomile, and calendula are among the few that can be applied directly to skin without a carrier oil.
  • Essential oils can evaporate too quickly when applied to the skin. Fatty acids in carrier oils help essential oils better penetrate the skin.
  • Carrier oils help make essential oils easier to massage onto the skin while covering a wider area.1
Choosing the right carrier oil for a given essential oil can increase the efficacy of both oils. Some carrier oils pair well with essential oils created to help with mild aches or discomfort, while others are best-suited for oils that help maintain the way skin appears.

Carrier Oils for Massagesmassage

Massaging essential oils onto the skin can help dull mild aches and discomfort in different parts of the body, as well as discomfort from overuse. 

Coconut Oil

Because coconut oil has a thicker consistency, it is ideal for use as a massage oil. Coconut oil can help dull discomfort when paired with essential oils also designed to help with mild aches.2

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is also an excellent massage oil because it doesn’t soak into the skin too quickly, so it pairs well with essential oils used to help with discomfort.

Apricot Kernel Oil

Properties in apricot kernel oil help with troubling discomfort, so it works in synergy with essential oils that help with mild aching.

Flaxseed Oil

With high levels of alpha-linolenic acid, flaxseed is a beneficial carrier oil to help aid in mild aches.

Avocado Oil

The fatty acids in avocado oil help maintain appearance in skin as well as help with general discomfort. 

Borage Seed Oil

Borage seed oil is rich in gamma-linolenic acid, a fatty acid that helps with discomfort when massaged onto the skin. Some of the most effective essential oils to use with massage carrier oils to target pain related to discomfort or mild aches include:

Allspice Essential Oil

Allspice essential oil contains eugenol, a compound that helps naturally with discomfort.

Blue Chamomile Essential Oil

Blue chamomile essential oil can help with mild aches due to high levels of chamazulene.3 Try the benefits of this essential oil in MONQ's Relieve Roll-On blend. 

Douglas Fir Essential Oil

Douglas fir essential oil contains bornyl acetate, which helps with mild aches.

Myrrh Essential Oil

A 2014 study by Egyptian researchers found that myrrh also successfully lowered discomfort levels. A German study revealed similar results.4

Cacao Essential Oil

Cacao essential oil contains sulfur, which helps flush out bad things in the body.

Wild Orange Essential Oil

Studies have suggested that the soothing effects of orange essential oil may make it useful for controlling discomfort. Wild orange essential oil has also been shown to effective in promoting mobility because the antioxidants in orange oil interrupt the response that causes discomfort.5

Lavender Essential Oil

According to studies, lavender—one of the most beneficial of all essential oils—helps with discomfort when used in aromatherapy.6

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense essential oil helps promote mobility. Frankincense is found in MONQ's Focus, Forest, and Zen Roll-On blends. Other essential oils that work well for massages include peppermint, bergamot, clary sage, juniper, eucalyptus, yarrow, clove, and cinnamon leaf.

carrier oils for skincareCarrier Oils for Skincare

Many carrier oils are rich in nutrients that help with the appearance of skin, and skin rejuvenation. When paired with vitamin-dense essential oils, certain carrier oils boost these effects, especially when it comes to aiding with changes in skin appearance.

Apricot Kernel

Apricot kernel oil absorbs quickly into the skin, so it is well suited to help skincare-related essential oils penetrate the skin’s surface. It also contains high levels of linoleic acid, which can help strengthen the membranes that make up the skin’s structural layer, and oleic acid, which helps moisturize skin.

Argan Oil

Because argan oil is packed with Vitamin A, which speeds cell turnover, it is an excellent carrier oil for use with essential oils that promote lively skin.9

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil offers high levels of palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid found in adipose tissue, allowing for its fast absorption into the body. Similarly to apricot kernel oil, it helps essential oils penetrate the surface layers of skin to the structural layer where rejuvenating can begin. Avocado oil is especially well-suited for mature skin because it helps to moisturize thinner skin that is usually slower to heal.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil offers rich moisturizing effects. However, it is important to note that coconut oil may not be the best choice for skin that is sensitive.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is packed with the antioxidants found in grapes, making it a beneficial carrier oil when used with essential oils to help promote the appearance of the skin.

Borage Seed Oil

Borage seed oil is an effective moisturizer that offers plenty of lively skin benefits, so it pairs well with essential oils that help promote the appearance of skin. Other carrier oils include babassu, jojoba, and sesame oil. Some key essential oils suited to help target promote skin liveliness and enhance the overall appearance of the skin include rosehip, lavender, lemon balm, frankincense, star anise, wild orange, clary sage, douglas fir, and neroli. Carrier Oils for Haircarecarrier oils for hair Carrier oils that are suitable for hair help enrich strands with moisture while infusing them with essential oils that boost those benefits, so the carrier and essential oils work in harmony to help add moisture, thickness, and shine to the hair.

Argan Oil

Argan oil is lightweight and rich in nutrients, so it is suitable for promoting shiny hair.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil provides nutrients essential for hair. Additionally, it penetrates the hair better than other oils, helping with hair’s texture, strength, and shine.12

Jojoba Oil

Because it is rich in Vitamin E, jojoba oil helps deeply moisturize the hair. It also improves the texture and shine of hair.

Moringa Oil

Moringa conditions hair thanks to a wealth of nutrients that infuse strands with hydration.

Castor Oil

Castor oil has been used for centuries to help improve the appearance of hair. Some of the most effective essential oils for healthier hair include:

Carrier Oils for Other Benefits

Many essential oils promote relaxation and help when you are feeling overwhelmed. Below are carrier oils to consider to help with feeling better overall.

Avocado Oil

Because it has a thick texture and slow drying time, avocado oil is well-suited for aromatherapy-based essential oils.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil naturally helps with discomfort, making it well-suited for use with essential oils that offer benefits that promotes feeling better.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a heart-friendly carrier oil that helps maintain heart health.

Black Cumin Seed Oil

Rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, black cumin is packed with benefits, including promoting overall health. Some essential oils that provide a range of health benefits and would pair well with the carrier oils mentioned above include:
  • Lavender
  • Wild Orange
  • Star Anise
  • Lemon Balm
  • Neroli
  • Frankincense
  • Blue Chamomile
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit


Because carrier oils work in synergy with essential oils, pairing the right carrier oils with your essential oils of choice can accelerate the benefits an essential oil provides while expanding the ways in which you can use essential oil. Photo credits: MaraZe/, AfricaStudio/, bitt24/, AfricaStudio/, 13Smile/, LuisaPuccini/, SakoodterStocker/, AmyLv/, SwapanPhotography/, DUSANZIDAR/

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