Essential Oil vs Carrier Oil: Difference and Comparison

A large variety of oils are used by people for various kinds of activities.

Similarly, Essential Oils and Carrier oils also have multiple applications in our Day to day lifestyle. These oils are derived from various natural products extracted from different parts of plants mainly seeds and nuts.

Key Takeaways

  1. Essential oils are highly concentrated, volatile compounds extracted from plants, used for their aromatic and therapeutic properties.
  2. Carrier oils are derived from the fatty parts of plants, such as seeds, nuts, or kernels, and serve as a base for diluting essential oils before applying them to the skin.
  3. Mixing essential oils with carrier oils ensures safe and effective usage, as applying undiluted essential oils can cause skin irritation or other adverse reactions.

Essential Oil vs Carrier Oil

Essential oils are compounds extracted from aromatic and medicinal plants. The oils capture the plant’s essence that is their scent and flavor so they are used in aromatherapy. Carrier oils are the lipid, or fatty, extracts of plant seeds that are used to dilute essential oils so they can be used in skin care.

Essential Oil vs Carrier Oil

Since Essential oils are not feasible to apply on-screen carrier oils are used as a diluent in which essential oil is added and applied over the skin.

The essential oil extracted as the natural oil has a very strong aroma i.e even a small quantity of this oil has a concentrated odor like that of lavender, sandalwood, vanilla, pods oil.

Carrier oils don’t possess an attractive essence and have a very ordinary odor, unlike essential oils. Carrier oils are easily available found in lump sum quantity and at an affordable price.

Like oils derived from coconut trees, olives, almond seeds, etc. Whereas, Essential oils are available in small quantities and are most expensive to afford.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonEssential oilsCarrier oils
Extracted fromFats and oils from the parts of the plant like seeds and nuts by the process of cold processingVarious parts of plants like flowers, pods, etc. by the process of distillation.
Application on skinIt can easily be applied to the skinIt shouldn’t be applied to the skin directly.
ConcentrationGenerally mild and diluteHighly concentrated, before application needs to be diluted using a carrier oil.
PricingIt is cheap and affordableIt is expensive and possesses great value as the demand is high.
VolatilityThese oils are not volatile and are mostly liquid at room temperature.These oils are volatile. At room temperature, these oils evaporate releasing the fragrance.
OdorNot very attractive. And a very light scent.There is a good and attractive fragrance of even a small quantity of drops.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils are naturally derived from various plant parts which have a basic property that all the oils secreted by these oils are volatile and aromatic. These oils are extracted from the plant part by the process of distillation.

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A variety of essential oils have been derived from this process. As long as 90 different types of essential oils have been found to date.

Essential Oils are very pure and concentrated. They have a very strong odor.

Even a small quantity of this oil generates an attractive fragrance. These oils are diluted in a carrier oil before application on the skin or added in small quantities in cosmetic products.

Essential oils also have a significant medicinal value. As lavender oil is used to treat insomnia and is capable of curing anxiety.

Eucalyptus oil is used during coughs and nasal congestions. Various other similar oils show anti-inflammatory properties, relieve nausea, etc.

Essential oils show great demand in the perfume and food industry.

essential oils 1

What are Carrier Oils?

Carrier oils are the fatty and oily substances extracted from the greasy parts of a plant. Mostly, seeds and nuts. They are prepared using the cold process.

It is mainly vegetable oil. This oil has a very ordinary and light odor which is not very catchy.

Unlike essential oils, they are non-volatile i.e. they are liquid at room temperature and won’t vapourize at normal temperature. Carrier Oils are mild to apply on the skin so can easily be applied and consumed without any further process.

The most significant use of Carrier oils is that its used as a diluent which means a small quantity of essential oil is added to the carrier oil to make essential oil feasible for its application. Carrier oils are used to “carry” essential oil to your skin.

Carrier Oils are very cheap and few carrier oils are edible as well. Carrier oils are available in both refined and non-refined forms.

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Carrier oils have multiple household and medicinal uses like for nourishment of the skin, to prevent acne, moisturizers, hair care, etc. Almond oil, Coconut oil, Olive oil are a few examples of some of the most commonly used Carrier oils.

olive oil

Main Differences Between Essential Oil and Carrier Oil

  1. Essential Oils are strong highly concentrated whereas Carrier Oils are mild.
  2. Essential Oils aren’t safe for application whereas carrier oils are safe to apply on skin. That is why essential oils are diluted in a carrier oil before application.
  3. Essential Oils are very aromatic give a very pleasant fragrance. Carrier Oils have very ordinary and less odor.
  4. Essential Oils are capable of evaporating at room temperature i.e. they are volatile. Carrier Oils are non-volatile.
  5. Essential Oils are expensive by cost. While Carrier Oils are way cheaper and available in large quantities.
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References

  1. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2019/6981305/
  2. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA481353613&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=10921095&p=AONE&sw=w

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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