Ultimate List of Carrier Oils & Their Benefits
Feeling baffled by carrier oils? It’s not surprising, there are dozens on the market. You’ll have repeatedly come across the term ‘carrier oil’ when looking to make your own skincare and beauty recipes as they are as important as essential oils. They are a core part of beauty products from face serums and night creams to hair treatments and hand lotions. But what do they do and what are the differences between them? We’re here to help you find out what carrier oils are, why you need them and how each one works in our ultimate list of carrier oils.
What are Carrier Oils
Carrier oils are made from plants such as avocados, almonds and coconuts. These plant based oils are used as a base in most blends, creams and lotions as they have high vitamin and nutrient content and are great for your skin.
Each carrier oil has its own benefits and suits different skin types, so read on and we’ll explain all.
Why You Need to Use Carrier Oils With Essential Oils
Essential oils are 100% pure and can cause irritation if they are used directly on the skin. However, add the essential oils to a carrier oil and the potency of the essential oil is diluted so they are safe to use.
The carrier oils are usually unscented so they can ‘carry’ the fragrance from essential oils and deliver the benefits of the essential oils to the skin.
Benefits of Carrier Oils
Carrier oils are packed full of essential nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids that are amazing for the health of your skin and hair. They moisturise and soften skin, hydrate hair and can even help ease inflammation of skin conditions like eczema. By combining carrier oils and essential oils it’s easy to create your own hair and skin care products without the need for any nasty chemicals.
Our Ultimate List of Carrier Oils
There are a lot of similarities between carrier oils but they also have their subtle differences which make some better than others for specific products or skin types. Here is our round-up of each type of oil...
This oil is very light and gentle on skin whilst being ultra moisturising. It's very similar to sweet almond oil so can be used as an alternative in your recipes. It also makes a wonderful massage oil as it glides smoothly across the skin and is fast absorbing so it doesn’t leave it feeling greasy.
A great all-rounder, sweet almond oil can be used in everything from face oils to hair care. It’s very nourishing, easily absorbed and doesn’t block pores. If you have sensitive skin then this is a great oil for you.
Argan oil has been used in Morocco for centuries for food and beauty. It’s full of vitamins A and E and fatty acids which keep skin healthy and strengthen hair and nails. It’s particularly suitable for mature skin as the essential fatty acids reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as reduce discoloration.
You’ll see this oil as an ingredient in a lot of hair care recipes as it leaves it nourished, softened, shiny and frizz free.
Argan oil is also fantastic in face treatments as it has the lowest comedogenic rating possible, so it is very unlikely to clog pores.
Jojoba oil is technically a liquid wax, so it has a very different fatty acid composition to other carrier oils. As a result it brings a little something extra to every recipe. That's why it is in so many recipes!
Jojoba oil is easily absorbed and leaves the skin with a healthy glow.
An all-purpose carrier oil, it can be used on the body, hands and hair. Avocado oil is ultra rich and nourishing and is perfect for mature skin as it contains lots of beta carotene, vitamins and fatty acids which help prevent the signs of premature ageing. It is highly recommended for eczema and other dry skin conditions as it’s extremely moisturising and penetrates deeper into the skin than most carrier oils. It’s slightly slower than other oils to be absorbed into the skin which makes it perfect for night creams and serums.
Used in hair treatment recipes it tames frizz, smooths, conditions and adds shine.
Avocado oil is medium-high on the comedogenic scale so can block pores for some people when used in face treatments.
We stock three types of avocado oil: Refined avocado oil which is clear, golden in colour and with a neutral scent, Cold pressed avocado oil which is dark green/brown in colour and has a strong scent, and Organic cold pressed avocado oil which is similar to the cold pressed avocado oil in appearance but is pressed from organic avocados.
Refined avocado oil is easier to work with in a recipe because it won't affect the colour or scent of the finished product. However many people prefer the moisturising effect of cold pressed avocado oils.
Want to know more about how our avocado oil is made? Click here to find out!
A super lightweight, dry and nutrient rich oil that is widely used in face treatments for its revitalising and regenerating effects on the skin. It is unlikely to clog pores and forms the basis of many natural acne, anti-aging and scar reduction treatments. Great for use on mature and sensitive skin or stretch marks as it hydrates, evens skin tone and boosts radiance.
One of the most versatile and popular natural oils for massage, skin and hair treatments and soap making. A fantastic ingredient that suits any recipe, particularly ones where you want to add essential oils as grapeseed oil has no natural scent.
It’s delicately lightweight, incredibly gentle, easily absorbed and packed with vitamins D, C and E. Rich in essential fatty acids, this oil will balance and nourish the skin.
Fractionated coconut oil, also known as MCT oil, is a clear, odourless, liquid coconut oil. Perfect for when you want to use coconut oil, but solid coconut oil is inconvenient. It’s an intense moisturiser which will smooth and soften this skin. A lovely base for hair and skin products.
Like argan oil, this is another oil that you see in a lot of hair care products as it hydrates, tames and strengthens the hair. It is thick, luxurious, deeply moisturising and nourishing. It has a neutral scent and is very quickly absorbed by the skin and hair.
Macadamia nut oil is full of vitamin A, B1, B2, E and K, all of which are wonderful for your skin, hair and scalp. It also contains palmitoleic acid which serves as a super healer of the skin.
This is quite a viscous oil with a consistency similar to honey, so it is often balanced with other thinner oils in a recipe for soap, skin or hair products. We love it for stimulating hair growth and encouraging thicker hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. It gives hair a great shine and conditions nails and cuticles.
Castor oil has a very different composition to other carrier oils, as it is mostly made up of Ricinoleic fatty acid which is rarely found in other carrier oils.
We hope you’ve discovered more about the world of carrier oils. They are important in so many ways, from diluting essential oils so they are safe to be used on our skin, to moisturising skin and forming a basis of many skin and hair care recipes. When deciding which carrier oil is best for you, remember to think about your skin type, how quickly you want it to be absorbed and what you will be using it for.