What are carrier oils, and what makes them so unique? Well, carrier oils are plant-based extracts from nuts or seeds. Sometimes they’re used alone, and sometimes they are mixed with other oils for multi-purpose combinations. Most importantly, they’re naturally derived and lack the fillers and chemicals found in store-bought skincare products.
Just to be clear, carrier oils aren’t the same thing as essential oils. Essential oils do have skin benefits, but carrier oils deserve recognition for their own skin-nurturing qualities. Carrier oils have a very light fragrance, can often be used in cooking, and tend to have a thicker consistency, making them great to blend with and dilute essential oils. When you buy plant oils, you want to make sure they are cold-pressed. This is the method of extraction that most preserves their beneficial qualities.
Different carrier oils can help certain skin conditions and improve the look and feel of your skin. When used properly, they can work to balance oil production, provide anti-aging benefits, and hydrate skin and hair.
Carrier oils for normal or combination skin
- Sunflower oil
Sunflower oil is known to be a naturally balanced oil—not too heavy or too light. It can be used in a variety of ways, including as a post-shower body oil, an anti-aging mask, and for light sun protection. Unlike some other oils, studies have shown that sunflower oil does not damage the skin barrier, so it can be used daily for conditions like eczema. So, if you suffer from acne or redness and irritation, it’s an effective oil to consider adding to your skincare routine.
- Coconut oil
Another great carrier oil for most skin types is organic virgin coconut oil. Rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and natural fatty acids, coconut oil hydrates dry skin from head to toe and fights cellulite, stretch marks, and keratosis pilaris
(those pesky bumps on the back of your arms).
- Pomegranate seed oil
We love pomegranate recipes, and the oil from its seeds is also fabulous for skin. The fruit has been a health staple for thousands of years due to its many benefits. It can reveal younger-looking skin by rejuvenating skin cells and inhibiting UVB damage.This anti-inflammatory oil is protective, contains anti-tumour promoting properties and antioxidants, and is perfect for all skin types.
- Jojoba oil
Made from jojoba seeds, jojoba oil is one of the most common carrier oils out there, especially since it can be used to help nearly all types of skin. Full of fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E, it’s incredibly moisturizing without leaving a heavy residue. It works well for combination skin, can be used to nourish dry skin, and it even helps oily skin regulate oil production because it mimics your skin’s natural oils.
Carrier oils for oily skin
- Tamanu oil
Tamanu oil comes from tamanu nuts and is full of anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Since it fights bacteria and heals wounds, tamanu oil is a great treatment for acne-prone skin—and, as we know, acne can happen to adults, too. Its anti-inflammatory effects make it perfect for treating eczema and other skin conditions. Those same properties are also thought to help stretch marks and scars.
- Grapeseed oil
Grapeseed oil was shown to be an excellent oil moderator, and it is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, making it especially helpful for those seeing acne in their adult years. It also helps restore collagen and calm skin inflammation. This lightweight oil spreads easily, making it a great base for a DIY massage oil.
Carrier oils for dry or aging skin
- Rosehip seed oil
Deeply moisturizing, rosehip oil is an amazing option for those looking for a dry skin treatment. With rich nourishment, it also makes for an excellent anti-aging ingredient, particularly for the dreaded crow’s feet around the eyes.
You’ll see firmer, smoother skin with rosehip oil as its vitamins A, C, E and antioxidants mediate the damage from sun and the effects of aging to protect and renew skin. It’s a light oil, but not recommended for acne-prone skin.
- Evening primrose oil
Have an itch that won’t go away? Try evening primrose oil. It contains a healthy dose of fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s a good option for those suffering from dry, itchy patches from eczema or psoriasis. Evening primrose oil supplements can help ease your PMS symptoms like bloating, irritability, breast tenderness, and anxiety.
- Sweet almond oil
Almonds are certainly a delicious protein snack, but the heavier oil from almonds is also nourishing for your dry skin with its richness from vitamin E, fatty acids, proteins, and minerals. And using it as a body oil is a great way to experiment with this oil, especially when you combine it with rose petals. Just add 1 cup of rose petals and 1 cup of almond oil, and mix. It’s an extra moisturizing treat for those with very dry or sensitive skin, and its fragrance will ensure that you smell gorgeous too!
- Sea buckthorn oil
Sea buckthorn is a rather new trend in the treatment of wrinkles and damaged skin. It’s a great addition to your face moisturizer because it’s packed full of fatty acids, phytosterols, tocopherols, and carotenes.
- Avocado oil
Avocados are a natural source of healthy fatty acids, making avocado oil a natural when it comes to moisturizing dry skin. Plus, it contains vitamins A, D, and E that help boost collagen production and fight aging signs like fine wrinkles. Rich avocado oil keeps the skin supple and promotes elasticity, and it’s also a perfect oil for preventing stretch marks.