The Best Carrier Oils for Essential Oils and Men

Hey guys, a fairly quick one today in the world of essential oils and men. Over the past few months many of my posts have discussed the use of carrier oils. I have included them for such activities as shaving, massage and muscle relief. I have usually outlined the use of coconut oil as the carrier. Why? The answer is simple, because that is the one I have in the house. But it did make me realize a gaping hole in my manformation levels. So here is a list of the best carrier oils for essential oils.

What is a carrier oil?

A carrier oil is any natural oil that is used with Essential Oils. Popular carrier oils include:The Best Carrier Oils for Essential Oils and Men - Use of carrier oils

  • Coconut Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Almond Oil

The best carrier oils are those with little scent. They can be in either liquid or paste form and are used to dilute essential oils. However, they do not reduce the effectiveness of the essential oil due to the fact that they are not volatile and provide a stable base for them. The best carrier oils are cold pressed and many provide their own additional benefits to the user.

Note: Vegetable oil, butter, margarine or petroleum jelly should never be used as carrier oils.

Why use carrier oils

There are a number of manly reasons why carrier oils are used. These include:

To dilute ‘hot’ and strong oils

Some essential oils are considered ‘hot’ due to the fact they can cause a hot or burning sensation. Many of these oils however hold great benefit when applied to the skin. I use peppermint and panaway on my ankles before sport. Mixing them with a carrier oil allows for the benefits to be realized without the risk of damage to the skin.

To assist with their use as an aftershave (or perfume)

Due to their volatility, essential oils do not actually stay on the skin for long. The addition of a good carrier oil allows for greater interaction with the skin to keep the aroma lasting longer. This method can be used to moderate the aroma of some of the stronger oils such as any from the citrus stable.

To help them spread

When Essential oils are being used for a massage type activity, carriers oils allow them to be more evenly spread over the skin.  Carrier oils are also a lubricant. Try rubbing plain essential oils on your skin. Ouch!

What are the best carrier oils?

Ok, I use two carrier oils almost exclusively, Coconut and Grapeseed. Why? Because when I first started using essential oils we had coconut oil in the cupboard. Later a friend of ours gave us a massive bottle of grapeseed oil. I don’t know where he even got it from. He just asked me one day if I wanted it?

I use the coconut oil for anything that I want as a ‘paste’ type composition, such as shaving creams, sports rubs etc. For the liquid form of Coconut oil, you can use fractionated coconut oil. Much easier to use in roller bottles and for massage oil. However, I prefer to use grapeseed oil for making blends in roller bottles. Watch this space, manly blends post coming soon. I will outline them first, then in the interests of full disclosure, will talk about a few others too.

Coconut oil (Cocus nucifera)

Coconut oil is used extensively in cooking but also as a commonly used carrier oil due to its dual composition (paste and liquid form) and added benefits. On its own it is a known moisturizer used in many skin care products for the skin, hair, and lips – and of course the manly beard. It has a distinct, but low odor and is popular as a carrier due to the fact that it leaves a thin layer on the skin giving maximum benefit of the essential oil being used with it.

Coconut oil can be purchased as a solid which will soften at room temperature. In warm temperatures however it will ‘melt’ to a liquid form so it will need to be kept in a cool place in summer. If you live in a cold climate however and wish to use it as a carrier for blends, you may need to look at purchasing fractionated coconut oil. It is more expensive than the solid type but saves you the problem of it solidifying in your roller bottle.

Coconut oil

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Grapeseed oil (Vitus vinifera)

Grapeseed oil
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Grapeseed oil is pressed from the seeds of grapes found mainly in the northern hemisphere and consists of a slightly sweet and nutty aroma. It’s non-carrier oil uses include:

  • Health – It contains large qualities of Vitamin E making it good for the immune system and as an Anti-inflammatory.
  • Cooking – Grapeseed oil contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids – although many researchers are still not convinced on the health benefits of grapeseed oil for ingestion.
  • Skin care – In addition to Vitamin E, grapeseed oil is also rich in vitamins C and D which makes it useful in dealing with scars, wrinkles and stretchmarks.
  • Hair health – The same vitamins that are good for the skin are also good for the hair. And as grapeseed oil is a little lighter than coconut or olive oil, it is popular as it is not as greasy in the hair or beard.

As with coconut oil, it leaves a slight layer on the skin making the impacts of its essential oils last a little longer. It’s heavy vitamin concentration and anti-inflammatory qualities also allow it to add to the benefits of the essential oil with which it is being used.

Jojoba oil (Simmondsia chinensis)

Jojoba Oil
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Jojoba oil is another popular carrier oil derived from the seed/bean of the Jojoba shrub, native to the south wester parts of North America. Jojoba oil is actually often considered a wax rather than an oil which makes it extremely

useful when using essential oils in massage and skin care. In fact, researchers have found that the wax produced by this plant is similar to the protective wax produced by human skin to help keep it smooth and moisturised. These properties mean it is able to penetrate deep into the skin. It is a little stronger in aroma than some of the other carrier oils but nonetheless, it is quite pleasant.

Its qualities obviously make it a very good carrier oil for massage when mixed with other moisturising oils such as lavender and its high anti-inflammatory properties and is often used in acne care, making it a good match for such essential oils as tea tree and peppermint. As with grapeseed oil, Jojoba oil contains high levels of vitamins A, D and E which are known to be very effective in healing the skin and hair. I am thinking also about giving this one a shot for my foot rub and in my shaving cream.

Other Carrier Oils

The three carrier oils highlighted above a what I consider to be the best and most effective for the manly uses of essential oils. There are some others however that are also quite effective. And if, like me, you have decided to just use what you have in the cupboard, then here is a brief run-through of a couple of them.

Avocado Oil (Persea americana)

Avocado Oil
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Avocado oil is pressed from the fleshy pulp near the pit of an avocado and used extensively in cooking and salad

dressings. In terms of advantages as a carrier oil, avocado oil contains many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents to assist in skin care including:

  • Calming itchy skin – for use with frankincense for insect bites
  • Healing chapped skin
  • Hydrating and moisturising skin – Again, maybe good for shaving
  • Protecting against skin damage – use with Lavender on the old man hands after a long day

If using for skin care purposes, avocado oil will work well with essential oils such as lavender, geranium, tea tree and frankincense.

Olive Oil (Olea europaea)

olive oil
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Olive oil is produced by pressing whole olives and is used extensively in cooking and food preparation. In terms of use as a carrier oil, olive oil is not as popular due to the oily residue it leaves on the skin and in the hair as well as the fact that its scent can interfere with the aromas of some oils. It does however contain many of the same qualities as the other carrier oils mentioned including vitamins A, D, K and E, anti-aging antioxidants and hydrating squalene making it also good for hair, skin and nails.

Almond Oil

Almonds are another product that is used extensively in the food industry – often as an alternative to dairy. Almond oil (often referred to as Sweet Almond Oil) is made by pressing almonds and has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. Its commonly accepted benefits include:

  • Lightening dark under eye circles
  • Providing relief for sunburn
  • Relief for eczema and rashes
  • As a makeup remover
  • Healing brittle nails (due to its zinc content)
  • In hair care products to help restore this protective barrier.

Again, as with most other carriers it is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins as well as potassium, and zinc. You could certainly do worse than using this one if it is the one you have access to.

Almond Oil
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Witch Hazel (Hamamelis)

Not technically an oil, but with its highly regarded antiseptic, anti fungal, and antibacterial qualities, it is starting to be used a little more with essential oils. Witch hazel can be used as an astringent and may reduce inflammation and redness which makes it a very good addition to a Northern Lights Blue Spruce (my favourite essential oil) in the preparation of those manly aftershaves etc.

Witch Hazel
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How much carrier oil do we need?

Essential Oils and Men - man pouring oilThis is not an exact science, but the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy recommends the following:

  • For young children: 0.5 to 1 percent dilution = 3 to 6 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier
  • Adults: 2.5 percent dilution = 15 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier
  • Adults during aromatherapy: 3 percent dilution = 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier
  • To provide temporary relief to concerns such as muscle pain – 5 percent dilution = 30 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier

Note: These are to be used strictly as a guide only. If any irritation or sensitivity is experienced when using these dilutions it is advised to further dilute or stop applying the mixture until medical intervention is undertaken.


So there you have it… Carrier Oils 101. I hope this has been helpful and keep an eye out for some videos in the very near future on how to use carrier oils with essential oils.

Until then

Have Fun


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My name is Paul and I live on the east coast of Australia with my wife and six year old son. I also have 19 and 23 year old daughters. I am an ex government and bank worker who took a bit of a sea change and opened my own business by the beach with my amazing wife. If you can do it, try it. You will never look back. You want to know more about me, read my About Me page

18 thoughts on “The Best Carrier Oils for Essential Oils and Men”

  1. This is actually the first time I’ve heard about carrier oils.  You opened up a new understanding for me!  Immediately when you mentioned coconut oil, that resonated with me because we ALWAYS have it in the house and it is amazing for the skin.  Truth be told it makes for great popcorn as well when you make it old school style in a pan.  I saw your rec for coconut oil.  They also sell a fairly large tub at Costco, but I’m not sure if it’s organic and EV.  We’ve never used grapeseed oil, does it feel any different on the skin?

    • HI Micah, If I am being honest, the one from costco is probably fine – unless you really want organic and obviously depending on how it was sourced (big companies do not always have good records), I wouldn’t be too concerned about using it.

      I probably prefer the grapseed on the skin, in fact after it is applied you really don’t get any oily feeling at all which i do sometimes notice with the coconut.  We live in a warm climate so grapeseed is more stable for us than coconut also.

      Thanks for stopping by


  2. Man versus Oils, reminds me of that show man versus food lol, love that show. Anyways, I actually use coconut oil as a base for my essential oils. I find it has a nice scent that I enjoy. Reminds me of a Thai coconut dessert. (I am from Thailand) Thanks to your post I will give grapeseed oil a try. I seriously thought of cooking it only, will try to use it for mixing with essential oils. Very informative post. Thanks!

  3. To be honest before reading this article I had no clue about what is a career oil and I am glad that I found this article because this article explained me what exactly it is and a lot more about it. 

    It is really great to know that there are alternatives like this out there to cure our body health instead of just using artificial medicines.

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. It is really informative.

  4. Wow, this is a comprehensive review of carrier oils.  i have been using coconut and olive oil for a long time and have never really differentiated the  difference in terms of carrier oils.  Is there any effect on long term use of carrier oils? Would you recommend long term usage? I have bookmarked your website so that I can visit again to review the carrier oils.

    • Hi Rutz, to be honest I have not really looked into long term use.  They are natural but of course as with anything there has to be some moderation.  Leave it with me and I will do some reasearch and update my post.  I will let you know when you know when I am done.


  5. Hi

    Pretty nice review about this oils. These are really essential on health, especially on our skins and muscles. They are really need to be used for old people. The carrier oils are the most important in my opinion after reading the review because looking good outside is too important. Having bumps after shaving is not pretty look. Lol. making my skin stronger is really priority for me. That is why i lay premium on my skin care.

    Thank you this

  6. Very useful post! I have a friend that makes her own blends of all kinds of essential oils and swears by them in regards to the health benefit they provide. As a recipient of several concoctions she has come up with, I can vouch for them as well. She does try to stick with the manly varieties for me as she knows how sensitive my skin and pride is.

    The coconut base carrier oil is what she uses the most, although I have seen some products that she uses olive oil with as well. I did not really consider creating my own manly oils, but after reading through your informative post, I believe I will try. I am sure my manly created creations will far outperform hers, but just in case I will come back here to check and stay on the manly path.

    Good tutorial, you have opened the eyes of yet another man looking for answers when it comes to all these oils and such that we can use to keep us as manly as possible without going to the other side. Thanks much until next time!    

  7. I too use coconut oil as my carrier for my essential oil concoction. It’s cheaper and more accessible here. I’ve tried grape seed before and because it was a little sweet, it sort of changes the aroma from some of the essential oils. I mostly the oils for tummy rub when I have my period pain, but I’ve never thought of making one for after-shave for my hubby. Not sure what he would think, but it’s worth experimenting this weekend to find out. 

    • Hi Cathy, the shavig cream does feel a little different but if he keeps at it, I am sure he will be a convert.  Let me know how he goes.


  8. Hi Paul

    Great post coming from a lady who works with men and essential oils for a living.

    Just a suggestion, if you like using coconut oil, but do not live in a warm climate, I am in the UK, and you find the coconut oil goes solid. Then buy fractionated coconut oil instead. It is “real” coconut oil, but stays liquid, due to an alteration in the fatty chains that makes it solid in cooler weather. It is common practice in the UK for professionals to use fractionated coconut oil or FCO and you can buy it anyway on the internet. But I would suggest buying a good quality one and organic if possible.

    Hope this helps

    Julie x

    • Hey Julie

      Great point – we do actually use the fractionated stuff even though we are in a much warmer climate down here. Makes creating our own roller bottles so much easier. thanks so much for you comments.



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