Carrier Oils vs. Essential Oils: How Are They Different?

Posted by Laura Pop on

Carrier Oils vs. Essential Oils: How Are They Different?

Everyone has one question when debating carrier oils versus essential oils: How are they different? We’ve mentioned carrier oils a few times on this blog, but it’s worth understanding how they differ from traditional essential oils. The discrepancies between the two aren’t overly complicated, but not knowing them could cause minor skin injuries. For your aromatherapy convenience, here’s the answer.

Basic Differences

As we all know, essential oils are aromatherapy products that produce medically beneficial fragrances. They’re made from concentrated materials from plants that possess specific qualities. For example, people use lavender oil for its relaxing effects on the mind, body, and soul.

Carrier oils are slightly different. They, too, are made from plant materials; however, they’re far less concentrated. In fact, most carrier oils have no scent at all. This makes them safer for direct skin applications. Typically, the plants used to make carrier oils—which include coconut and sesame oils—are fattier than sources for essential oils.


Carrier oils are safe to apply directly to the skin, but the high concentration of plant materials found in essential oils can cause irritations such as rashes and blisters. Instead, they’re great products for diffusers and misters.

Now, if carrier oils don’t contain much fragrance, why use them for aromatherapy? To properly enjoy essential oils on the body, you must create a mixture of essential and carrier oils. This dilutes the plant concentration and keeps your skin healthy and happy.

Benefits for Skin Health

Carrier oils aren’t just safe for the skin—they actually benefit your skin’s overall health! These products moisturize dry patches, reducing ashiness, redness, cracks, and wrinkles. It’s nice to enjoy all the positives of aromatherapy and give your skin a physical boost in health and appearance at the same time. And since an essential oil–carrier oil mixture won’t irritate, you don’t have to worry about any progressive skin damage that requires stronger medical solutions. In the aromatherapy world, we call that a win-win!

So, carrier oils versus essential oils: How are they different? In truth, they’re really not unalike from one another. The key discrepancy is the concentration of plant matter in carrier oils. If you want to enjoy aromatherapy directly on the skin, check out the carrier oils for sale here at Escents.

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