Last month, I blogged about using essential oils & Hydrosols for Skincare, & this month I’m continuing with Carrier Oils. Essential Oil Blends need to be diluted in a carrier oil like Grapeseed, Fractionated Coconut or Jojoba oil before topical use. This is to prevent any irritation, redness or sensitization to your skin. If you have sensitive skin, then you will know that choosing the right carrier oil is just as important as choosing your essential oils.
Carrier Oils have different properties, purposes & absorption rates. They work well in Skin Care, & Bath Products. Carrier oils are vegetable oils that are defined as lipids & are largely composed of fatty acids. They derived from the fatty part of plants like the kernels, nuts or seeds.
Some Carrier Oils to Consider:
Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus Amygdalus var dulcis): one of the earliest cultivated fruit trees, and are indigenous to the Middle East. Sweet Almond Oil cold-pressed from the nuts, is rich in protein, Vitamin. A, B1, 2 & 6, Vitamin E & minerals. Shelf Life: 1 yr. This emollient oil is good for all skin types, itching, burns & inflammation. Shelf Life: 6 mo – 1 yr. (keep refrigerated) (Avoid if you have nut allergies)
Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis): it’s actually a plant wax & its chemical composition is similar to our skin’s sebum. Jojoba oil contains protein, minerals, plant wax & myristic acid. It is good for all skin types. Jojoba oil is useful easing irritation of eczema & psoriasis. It can be used at full strength or as an additive to your blend. Shelf Life: up to 5 yr.
Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus Armeniaca): is cold -pressed from the kernel inside the pit of the apricot. Is a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, & minerals, Vitamins & GLA. Its light texture is good for dry, mature, sensitive and inflamed skin, as well as the itching of eczema. Shelf Life: 6 mo – 1 yr. (keep refrigerated). (Use Caution if you have Nut Allergies.)
Grapeseed Oil (Vitis vinifera): is heat extracted from the seeds. (In its natural state, it doesn’t smell great). The refined oil is almost odorless & contains vitamins, minerals protein, and linoleic acid. May cause sensitivity for some skin types. Shelf Life: 6 mo -1 yr.
Rosehip Oil (Rosa rubiginosa): an oil that is growing in popularity, it’s solvent extracted from the seeds of the rose bush. Try as an additive in an overnight moisturizing treatment for wrinkles, premature aging, burns & treating scars following surgery. Shelf Life: 6 mo. (keep refrigerated)
Argan Oil (Argania Spinosa): hand-pressed from the nuts of the fruit of the Argan Tree that only grows in Morocco. This stable oil is high in lipids & Omega 6 (linoleic acid) & Omega 9 (oleic acid). Try this oil as an additive for mature, dry or sunburned skin, eczema & psoriasis; has anti-inflammatory properties. Shelf Life: 1- 2+ yr. (keep refrigerated)
Fractionated Coconut Oil (Cocos nuciferaL): is a refined oil, heated to separate the liquid oil from the solids of regular coconut oil. Good for most skin types. Coconut oil may be drying & may irritate some sensitive skins. Shelf Life: Indefinite.
Avocado Oil (Persea Americana): extracted from the Avocado flesh, this oil is rich in vitamin A & D as well as lecithin & Potassium. Avocado oil is soothing for sun-damaged, dry & mature skin. It is mild enough to use on eczema, psoriasis & diaper rash. Shelf Life: 1 yr. (keep refrigerated)
Rice Bran Oil (Oryza Sativa): gaining in popularity, this cold-pressed, inexpensive oil is rich in Vitamin B & E, fatty acids & is mild enough to use on babies & children. Try it for dry, flaky, sensitive, mature or delicate skin. It is a good carrier oil for people with nut allergies. Shelf Life: 6 mo – 1 yr. (keep refrigerated)
Camellia Seed Oil (Camellia japonica): this is another oil that is growing in popularity, it comes from China & Japan. Try this lovely oil for mature, dry or damaged skin. Shelf Life: 1- 2 yr. (keep refrigerated)
Hemp Seed Oil (Cannabis Sativa): a dark green oil that does not contain any of the psychoactive substances found in the plant. It does contain saturated fat & omega 3, 6, & 9 essential fatty acids. Hemp Seed Oil is helpful for inflammation, acne & dry, or itching skin. Shelf Life: 6mo – 1 yr. (Should be refrigerated).
Infused or Macerated Oils:
Vegetable oils like Sunflower, Sweet Almond, or Olive Oil that have plant material added to them; the carrier oils act as a solvent to draw out the various properties of the plant material.
Calendula Oil (Calendula Officinalis): native to the Mediterranean area of Europe. Calendula is useful for bruises, broken or varicose veins, wounds, as well as eczema, dry, chapped or cracked skin. Use as an additive to your blends up to 25%. Shelf Life: 9 mo -1 yr. (keep refrigerated)
Carrot Oil (Daucus carota): this infused oil is made with the Wild Carrot Root pulp. It’s rich in Beta Carotene, vitamins B, C, D, & E. Try it for premature aging, dry, itching skin as well as eczema & psoriasis. (Don’t confuse this oil with Carrot Seed Essential Oil) Shelf Life: 6mo – 1 yr. (Should be refrigerated). Use as an additive to your blends up to 10%
When you look at this list it can be a little confusing to decide which oil to use to suit your needs. You may want to try:
For Body Massage or Moisturizer: Add essential oils at a 1% dilution to your carrier oil. Consider using Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, or Grapeseed Oil for their slip. Carrier oils to use as an additive: Avocado Oil, Rice Bran, Camellia Oil or Jojoba Oil. (Grapeseed Oil may stain sheets).
For Facial Use: Add Essential Oils at a 1% – 2% dilution to your carrier oil depending on your skin’s sensitivity.
For All Skin Types: Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil. Carrier oils to use as an additive: Argan Oil, Camellia Seed Oil.
For Dry, Mature or Sensitive Skin: Try Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil. Carrier oils to use as an additive: Rosehip Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, Argan Oil, Calendula Oil, Carrot Oil.
For Oily Skin or Acne: Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba Oil, & Apricot Kernel Oil. Carrier oils to use as an additive: Argan Oil, Camellia Seed Oil
For Redness or Rosacea: Rice Bran Oil, Jojoba Oil. Carrier oils to use as an additive: Camellia Seed Oil, Rosehip Oil, Calendula Infused Oil,
- When applying carrier oils to your face, massage gently and don’t pull on the delicate skin around your eyes.
- Carrier oils are natural products so make your blends in small amounts and use within 2 – 6 mo depending on the oils that you choose. Carrier Oils have a limited shelf life so I don’t recommend buying them in Cosco sizes.
- Keep your blends in a cool, dry place, or the refrigerator. (They don’t do well in a hot, steamy bathroom.)
Everyone’s skin is different so it may take a bit of time to find the right carrier oil for you. As your stage of life, lifestyle, seasons and yes, your skin change, you may find it necessary to change up your carrier oil too. But as you can see, there are many to choose from no matter what your needs are.
My Blog is for Information Only & is not meant to diagnose or replace Medical Advice.
Essential Oils should not be ingested & always need to be diluted before topical use.
Battaglia Salvatore. (2003) The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia,