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Understanding The Difference Between Essential Oils And Carrier Oils

When it comes to natural remedies and holistic wellness, essential oils and carrier oils have a
special mention in most cases. These oils play a crucial role in aromatherapy, skincare, and
overall well-being. However, many get confused while choosing between the two due to
similarities in their basic source and the suffix “oils” in their name.  But understanding the
differences between essential oils and carrier oils becomes important when the intent is to make
the most of their unique properties and benefits. Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts derived from various parts of plants,
including flowers, leaves, bark, stems, and roots. These oils capture the plant’s aromatic
compounds, rendering them their distinctive scents and therapeutic properties.  Due to their
concentrated nature, essential oils cannot be used directly for any of the aforementioned

Key Characteristics:

Potency: Essential oils are extremely concentrated, they can’t be used without proper
Aroma: They possess strong and distinct fragrances due to their volatile compounds.
Therapeutic Benefits: Essential oils offer a range of physical, emotional, and mental
benefits, including relaxation, immune support, mood enhancement, and more.
Evaporative Nature: Essential oils tend to evaporate quickly and easily which raises the
need for proper storage temperature and specific conditions for these oils.

Carrier Oils

Carrier oils, also known as base oils, are derived from the fatty portions of plants, such as
seeds, nuts, or kernels. Unlike essential oils, carrier oils do not carry volatile aromatic
compounds from plants. They are used to dilute essential oils, making them safe for topical

Key Characteristics of Carrier Oils:

Stability: Carrier oils have longer shelf lives than essential oils due to their lower
Mild Aroma: Carrier oils have a neutral or subtle aroma, allowing them to blend well with
essential oils without overpowering their scents.
Nourishment: These oils are rich in vitamins, fatty acids, and other beneficial
compounds, providing nourishment and hydration to the skin.
Absorption: Carrier oils are generally absorbed more slowly by the skin, making them
an ideal choice for extended use and massage therapies.


Arezou offers age specific rituals to help you to pick those that are customised for your skin type.  


Can Pure Essential Oils And Carrier Oils
Be Used Together? 

Carrier oils are the best partners for natural essential oils. While carrier oils help dilute the other, essential oils act as a natural preservative and aromatic ingredient for carrier oils. However, you must consult a certified aromatherapist to understand which carrier and essential oils can be mixed together for the desired effect or as a solution for individual problems. 

Ishita Saxena 
Licensed Aromatherapist

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