Carrier Oils for DIY Skin Care
Carrier oils are vegetable oils that come from seeds and nuts of a plant through a cold-processing (crushing) method. They provide vitamins, moisture, and protection to your skin.
Carrier oils are well-known for using with essential oils (as they help to ‘carry’ the essential oils to your bloodstream when absorbed), though they can also be used by themselves for moisturizing.
They are also very beneficial in skin care formulas to help products glide onto the skin more easily and may lengthen the shelf life of other ingredients (depending on the combined compounds).
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Apricot Kernel Oil • Prunus armeniaca
Apricot oil is a light carrier oil that provides moisture to sensitive skin. It spreads easily and is quickly absorbed, making it great for babies and mature skin.
Though apricot oil benefits skin on its own, it can also be blended with other carrier oils (such as almond oil) to improve skin tone and diminish the appearance of dark circles.
Argan Oil • Argania spinosa
Argan oil is light and easily absorbed into the skin, making it a crucial ingredient in moisturizing skin and hair care products.
This deeply penetrating oil softens dry patches and can protect from sun damage. It is considered one of the best anti-aging oils due to properties that help tighten pores and increase skin elasticity.
Avocado Oil • Persea gratissima
Avocado oil is rich in vitamins A, B, D, and E. It is a popular oil for cold process soap making because it’s high fatty acids help to make a soft, rich bar that lathers really nicely.
This oil is also found in other skin care recipes as it is beneficial for many skin types; for dry skin in particular, it helps relieve itching, dry patches, and sun damaged areas.
Castor Oil • Ricinus communis
Pure castor oil is a natural preservative, a lubricant, and has emollient properties (which adds that nice ‘slip’ to products so they glide onto skin easily).
Other benefits of castor oil include softening and hydrating skin and is great for all skin types; due to its somewhat ‘burnt’ smell, it is best used in recipes that will have essential oils added to mask the scent a bit.
Coconut Oil, Fractionated • Cocos nucifera
Coconut Oil comes in two forms: fractionated (liquid carrier oil) and 76° (solid). The infinite coconut oil uses make it the most popular oil in both forms due to its quick absorption, slight SPF, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Fractionated coconut oil will never become a solid form and is a very popular carrier oil that is quickly absorbed. It is thinner than most carrier oils and doesn’t leave any residue on the skin. (This is the only organic version currently on the market!)
Evening Primrose Oil • Oenothera biennis
Evening primrose is in the top five carrier oils for use in facial care and is known to relieve itching, redness, roughness, and aid in hormone balance.
Primrose oil is also beneficial in hair care to help with dandruff – apply directly to hair follicles in the shower and rinse out.
Grapeseed Oil • Vitis vinifera
Grapeseed Oil is pressed from the crushed seeds of grapes after they have been de-juiced in the wine making process (yay wine!).
Grapeseed can help regulate your natural oil production; a gentle and light oil on the skin that is easily absorbed. A great oil for acne-prone skin and for decreasing redness in sensitive skin.
Jojoba Oil • Simmondsia chinensis
Organic Jojoba Oil is incredibly similar to the oil our skin naturally produces so it is quickly and easily absorbed, making it a wonderful carrier for essential oils.
Jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax rather than an oil. This carrier is not greasy and non-allergenic, safely used around the eyes and on the skin. One of the best benefits of jojoba oil for makers is its long shelf life of 2-3 years (if stored in a dry, cool environment).
Olive Oil • Pomace
Olive oil pomace is a staple ingredient in any soap maker’s inventory. It creates a thick, moisturizing bar without breaking the bank.
Compared to regular olive oil in cold process soaping, it creates a harder bar and helps butters and lye come to trace more quickly.
Rice Bran Oil • Oryza sativa
Rice bran oil is another popular oil for soap making that is somewhat similar to olive oil.
For individuals with dry or flaky skin, adding up to 20% rice bran oil to cold process soap recipes will leave skin more moisturized and smooth.
Rice bran oil can also be used in lip balms, body butters, bath bombs, and other skin care recipes.
Rosehip Oil • Rosa rubiginosa
Rosehip Seed Oil benefits mature and dry skin due to its properties that aid in cell regeneration. Rosehip seed is a delicate oil that is easily soaked into the skin and does not leave a greasy residue.
This is also a popular oil for skin discoloration, such as age spots and acne scarring; adding essential oils and vitamin E to your rosehip can provide even greater benefits.
Sunflower Oil • Helianthus annuus
Sunflower carrier oil is a lesser known oil but FULL of vitamins and minerals for gentle, natural skin care.
Due to its lower price tag, sunflower oil uses are seen more in massage oil blends (since more of the base is used) – however, the properties of this oil make it a fantastic addition to facial products and lotion bars, as it softens and conditions skin beautifully.
Sweet Almond Oil • Prunus dulcis
Sweet Almond Carrier Oil is extracted from the dry kernels of sweet (edible) almonds. Rich in Vitamin E, proteins, and numerous minerals and vitamins.
This oil is easily absorbed and can be used on all skin types for deep moisture and is used in serums, bath bombs, massage oil blends, lotion bars, soap, and more.
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