essential oils & carrier oils: quick & easy beginner’s guide

oils are not all created equal. which for me, meant countless hour researching the differences and uses. which also means, YOU get a compact post on both essential oils and carrier oils! WOOHOO!

please do consult your healthcare professional and local certified herbalist and aromatherapist to ensure any herbs and EOs used are okay for you (no contraindications for any ailments). these people have formal educations for a reason.

beginner's guide to essential oils and carrier oils

let’s go over some basics!

essential oils and carrier oils are VERY different. and since i have both of them all over my posts, it’s past time i publish this post!! and as you know, i’m a fan of lists. so here goes your quick beginner’s guide! —


  • distilled plant oils
  • very strong aroma
  • highly concentrated and must be diluted (to avoid skin & eye irritation)
  • never go rancid, but lose their effectiveness the more they’re exposed to air
  • evaporate quickly
  • used in aromatherapy (stress relief, mood balancing, boosting immune systems, etc.)
  • add them to anything with carrier oils, like lotion, bath oils, etc., or without, like air fresheners, hair fresheners, or homemade shampoos/body washes, etc.

types of essential oils (just a few examples):

  • bergamot
  • eucalyptus
  • grapefruit
  • lavender
  • lemon
  • orange
  • patchouli
  • peppermint
  • rose
  • tea tree
  • vanilla
  • ….etc., etc.

uses for essential oils:

  • THIS site has over 100 EO’s and their uses, separated by what you’re wanting from aromatherapy AND also in alphabetical order. it’s a EO gold mine! seriously guys, aromatherapy is so incredibly interesting. i wish i had the training of an aromatherapist. on that note, i will not get into which oils should be used for which health-related things (immune system, etc). that should ONLY be handled by a trained aromatherapist!! they have certification for a reason! some EO’s are not safe in certain amounts or for certain purposes (warning statement at very bottom). a few other examples include:
  • massage – 5 drops per tsp. of base oil or lotion
  • inhale- 1-2 drops in boiling water or on a tissue
  • bathe- 8-10 drops in bath water
  • body- 5-15 drops in 4 oz of base product
  • washing machine- 10-20 drops per load
  • car vent- 2-3 drops in 1/2 the vents

and below is a chart from a trusted company, just to simply explore EO uses… just to get a feel for what they can do!



  • cold-pressed vegetable oil from the “fatty” part of plants (like nuts) *
  • little to no aroma
  • shorter shelf life (except vitamin e, which is a natural preservative)
  • don’t evaporate like EO’s
  • used to dilute EO’s & aid in their absorption
  • can be used for massages, lotions, creams, bath oils, lip balms

types of carrier oils:

  • apricot kernel oil
  • avocado oil
  • borage seed oil
  • coconut oil
  • cranberry seed oil
  • evening primrose oil
  • grapeseed oil
  • hazelnut oil
  • hemp seed oil
  • jojoba oil
  • macadamia nut oil
  • olive oil
  • peanut oil
  • sesame oil
  • sunflower seed oil
  • sweet almond oil
  • *emu oil (not a vegetable oil obviously, but still considered a base oil with other carrier oils. quick story- my grandparents used to have an emu farm, so i grew up slathering straight emu oil on me for EVERYthing. and eating their large eggs. and swimming with them. fun times, fun times…)
  • **cocoa butter and shea butter aren’t carrier oils, but they are still great for moisturizing the skin!

uses for carrier oils:

  • THIS is the same great site, only the page for carrier oils. it’s such a great resource!

WHERE TO BUY either EO’s or carrier oils: check your local organic store. or check trusted companies that sell online, like mountain rose herbs (USA) and NHR (UK).

see guys? not too difficult, right? 🙂 EO’s and carrier oils are WONDERFUL!!

what do YOU use EO’s and carrier oils for??


***when buying EO’s, please ask for the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). it’ll cover how to handle the oil, its toxicity, how to store it, etc. i know mountain rose herbs will provide them if asked. check around before you use an EO!! don’t mix some up just because someone’s blog gave you a “great” EO recipe for calming kids down (i’ve seen it, and it made me upset to say the least).  as always, BE SMART about what you’re putting on/in your body, and do your research 🙂

**** warning about EO’s, from mountain rose herbs.

  1. Do not use at all, or under the supervision of a qualified expert:(these are the most hazardous of essential oils, possessing very high oral and dermal toxicity): Bitter Almond, buchu, camphor, sassafras, calamus, horseradish, mugwort, mustard, pennyroyal, rue, savin, savory, southernwood, tansy, thuja, wintergreen, wormseed and wormwood.
  2. Do not use during pregnancy: aniseed, balsam peru, Bay (laurel), basil, benzoin, bergamot, bitter almond, basil, birch, cajeput, camphor, cedarwood, celery seed, chamomile (blue), cinnamon (bark and leaf), cistus, clary-sage, clove, cornmint, cypress, dill seed, douglas fir, eucalyptus, eucalyptus lemon, fennel, grapefruit, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, lavender (spike), lemon, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, lemon verbena, lime, lovage, marjoram, myrrh, myrtle, nutmeg, oakmoss, oregano, parsley seed, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine (scotch), rose, rosemary, sage, savory, spikenard, st. johns wort, sweet marjoram, tangerine, thuja, thyme, valerian, wintergreen, and yarrow
  3. Do not use on skin (ever): Ajowan, cinnamon bark, cassia, clove leaf-stem-bud, costus, elecampane, bitter fennel, oregano and pine
  4. Do not use if you have high blood pressure: Hyssop, rosemary, sage or thyme
  5. Do not use if you have epilepsy: Sweet fennel, hyssop, sage, rosemary and wormwood
  6. Skin irritants: Angelica root, bergamot mint, birch, bitter almond, cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, clove bud, costus, grapefruit, hyssop, lavender (spike), lemon, lemon verbena, lime, marjoram, orange peppermint, oregano, parsley seed, peppermint, pimento berry, pine, savory, spearmint, tagetes, tangerine, red and wile thyme and wintergreen
  7. Will make skin more sensitive to sunlight: most concentrated citrus oils, angelica, bergamot, and lemon verbena.
  8. Not to be exposed by mucous membranes or ingested: all absolutes, allspice, ajowan, amyris, benzoin, calendula, cinnamon (bark and leaf), Douglas Fir, Jasmine, Lemon Myrtle, manuka, myrrh, oregano, parsley seed, pennyroyal, pine (scotch), savory, st. johns wort, tarragon, tea tree, thuja, and thyme.

(oils pictured in main pic taken from NHR)


Published by

alexraye //

54 thoughts on “essential oils & carrier oils: quick & easy beginner’s guide”

leave your comments and questions below -

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s