Carrier Oils — Main Bases

Carrier oils, also called base oils, are used as the foundation for building scented body and facial oils, for the purpose of massage or application, and bath oils. The carrier oils allow you to properly dilute essential oils in order for them to be applied to the skin.

Ideally, these vegetable, nut, and seed oils should be cold-pressed, unrefined, and additive-free.

The selection you make for a base will depend on the treatment or type of skin care or specific use. Essential oils can also be added to unscented lotions and creams. Aloe vera gel is also appropriate for some applications.

Main Carrier Oils

Used alone or supplemented with other oils:

Sweet Almond Oil

Prunus amygdalus var dulcis
Suitable for all skin types
Very light yellow in color, mostly odorless
Rich in protein, unsaturated fatty acids, and vitamins A, B1, B6, and E
Softens skin and very nourishing, easily and quickly absorbed by the skin
Particularly beneficial for sensitive and dry skin
Soothing to inflamed and irritated skin
Useful for prematurely aged skin
Long shelf life
Often used in massage

Apricot Kernel Oil

Prunus armeniaca
Suitable for all skin types, especially useful on sensitive and mature skin
Pale yellow in color, mostly odorless
Quickly penetrates and softens skin
Highly nourishing
Long shelf life
Often used in body and face blends

Peach Kernel Oil

Prunus persica
Suitable for all skin types
Softens skin and highly nourishing
Long shelf life

Grapeseed Oil

Vitis vinifera
Suitable for all skin types
Pale green in color, odorless
Light on the skin, provides satin-smooth finish
Contains vitamin F
Often used in massage

Hazelnut Oil

Corylus avellana
Suitable for all skin types
Considered appropriate for acne
Deeply penetrating, very nourishing, stimulates circulation
Yellow in color, helps to act as filter against the sun

Sunflower Oil

Helianthus annuus
Suitable for all skin types
Pale yellow in color
Contains vitamin F
Shorter shelf life

Corn Oil, Peanut Oil, Safflower Oil, Soya Bean Oil

Suitable for all skin types
Pale yellow in color
Contains vitamins, minerals, and protein


Also see Supplemental Carrier Oils for details about oils such as avocado oil, borage seed oil, calendula oil, evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, macadamia nut oil, olive oil, rose hip oil, sesame oil, st john’s wort, and wheat germ oil which can be used in combination with the main base oils above.

Print article to PDFDownload PDF