Ask Abby!

Confused Asks Abby:

I see all these posts about carrier oils and neat. I am so confused! What does neat mean and how am I supposed to know which carrier oil to use with which oil?


Dear Confused,

I understand your confusion! When I first started using oils, I too was lost when I would read the word neat. What on earth did that mean????

Well, let me put aside any confusion you may be feeling. Carrier oils are not a confusing subject at all. The term neat means no carrier oil is used. Just the essential oil is being applied by itself. Simple, right”

Joy, Lavender, and DiGize come to mind when I think of using oils neat. I always apply those oils without a carrier oil, UNLESS I am wanting that oil to “go further”.


Which leads us to carrier oils.

Carrier oils are oils that are made up of fat. They are greasy and they do NOT evaporate quickly.

Unlike essential oils (EOs) which are NOT made up of fat, are NOT greasy, and DO evaporate quickly.

Some of the most popular carrier oils are Coconut oil, Grapeseed oil, Avocado oil, & Jojoba oil.

My most used carriers are Coconut oil , Grapeseed oil, and Jojoba oil for my face.

I tend to not like Olive oil because it is a little extra greasy and it smells strong, which I feel like causes me to lose the aromatic benefit to some extent.I like to take my Grapeseed oil and put it in an Amber glass dropper bottle.It makes it way easier to get exact drops out than trying to pour out those drops.

You will see graphics that call for ratios of essential oils versus essential oils. Such as Dilute 1:30.

That is when I take out my glass bottle of Grapeseed oil and get 30 drops of that and 1 drop of my EO. It is super easy.


  • One of the best things about carrier oils are they help your EO to go further. Because they don’t evaporate quickly, they cover more surface area than just a drop of EO.
  • They don’t take away the benefit of the EO or require more EO. Remember, EOs are extremely powerful, potent, & concentrated little dudes! A little dab will do ya.
  • Too much of a good thing can be bad and using too many drops of EOs can actually overload your receptor sites.
  • Some of the EOs are actually “hot” meaning they can tingle your skin.
  • Oils such as Thieves, Peppermint, Lemon & Purification can irritate the skin, leave a red mark, or even burn the skin. These are times you definitely want a carrier oil!
  • When using EOs on children, ALWAYS use a carrier oil. Their skin is more delicate and thin than ours.
  • The best thing about carrier oils? They make your EOs last longer! You find you need less for the job.


I hope this takes away the confusion associated with carrier oils.

What is your favorite carrier oil?

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If you would like to Ask Abby an oil question, please email Abby at [email protected]

Abby Wilkey is a trained doula. She has worked alongside a homebirth midwife and also birthed her two boys at home. She is a stay at home wife to a loving paramedic. Abby loves using Young Living essential oils for her family’s health and wellness. In her past time you can find her sipping coffee (with a straw to protect those pearly brights!) or baking homemade bread and donuts! Abby is not a doctor, physician, or chiropractor. Therefore, she cannot treat, diagnose, or prescribe treatment for any issues. What she can do is speak from experience and wisdom while also seeking knowledge through scientific studies and research. 



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