A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels or the nuts.
If applied to the skin undiluted, essential oils, absolutes, CO2s and other concentrated aromatics can cause severe irritation, sensitization, redness or burning or other reactions in some individuals. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential and other oils prior to topical application. The term carrier oil is derived from their purpose in carryingthe essential oil onto the skin. Aloe vera gel and unscented body lotion are also commonly used as "carriers." For the scope of this article, however, we will be focusing upon the use of natural vegetable oils as carriers.