I’ve used many different types of carrier oils in my health and beauty DIYs, but I haven’t ever explained, in any detail, the benefits to each type of oil. Today I’m rectifying that situation. Here is everything you need to know about using and choosing the perfect carrier oil!
Carrier oils are basically neutral oils that “carry” an essential oil to the skin. Because pure essential oils are so potent, sometimes it’s necessary to mix them with another oil for easier application. For example, you can use just a few drops of lavender oil in an entire container of lotion. The benefits of the lavender are still there, plus some of the benefits from the carrier oil!
When it comes to choosing the best carrier oil for you, consider your skin type and the texture that you want the final product to be. To learn more about diluting essential oils and which essential oils can be applied directly to the skin, click here.
Olive oil is a simple carrier oil that you probably already have in your kitchen! You’ll want to get a good quality, extra virgin olive oil for skin care, but it’s great in recipes like this pre-shave oil and this beauty mash. It’s fairly inexpensive, moisturizes, and contains antioxidants like vitamins A and E. It is fairly thick, however, and doesn’t absorb into skin very well.
Coconut oil has a thick consistency that solidifies at room temperature (unless you live in a warm climate, but you can always store it in the fridge!) It’s perfect for making salves, thicks scrubs, hair masks, and lotion-like concoctions. It’s naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, it’s an excellent moisturizer, it can penetrate hair better than other oils, and it smells delicious!
It’s also a lighter oil that doesn’t leave your skin too greasy-feeling (depending on your skin.) Some people swear by using coconut oil alone on their face. Click here to learn 36 ways to use coconut oil! And remember to always look for unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil.
To get the benefits of coconut oil without the solid consistency, you can try fractionated coconut oil (FCO). I use fractionated coconut oil for roller bottle application – it’s perfect for this headache buster stick or this roll-on deodorant! I also use FCO in my antibacterial foaming hand soap, because it moisturizes while it cleans!
Sweet almond oil is another popular choice for a moisturizing oil that’s light and nourishing. It has a slightly nutty smell, absorbs into your skin well, naturally contains vitamin E, and it blends with other oils really well. Almond oil is great for sensitive, oily, or dry skin and works perfectly in this anti-aging facial serum, this eye serum, and in this body butter!
Grapeseed oil also contains vitamin E, plus omega 6 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It’s light and easily absorbs into your skin, plus it really doesn’t smell like anything – which allows the smell of your essential oils to come through! It also happens to be an astringent, so it will tighten and tone the skin while clearing up acne. Be sure to look for grapeseed oil that has been minimally processed, like this one! It works great for oil cleansing.
80% of hemp seed oil is fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3), giving it many unique benefits! It’s great for thick hair, strong nails and soft skin, plus it contains vitamin E and vitamin D, making it a great treatment for eczema, pre-menstrual stress and inflammation. It’s good for your immune system, heart health, brain and eye development, and it’s a non-mercury source of fatty acids, making it a great supplement for expecting mothers (read more here.)
Hemp seed oil (and coconut oil) are great for cooking too! So many benefits!
Jojoba oil is a great oil that’s light, unscented, and works well with almost any skin type. It’s a little waxy, but does absorb into the skin leaving it very soft and silky. Jojoba oil is great for skin care because it contains vitamin E, minerals, and is antibacterial. It works really well in this treatment for dry, flaky scalp, this hair conditioning treatment, or as a makeup remover!
Avocado oil is a little thicker than other oils, and it’s ideal for dry skin and aging/mature skin. This is because it contains vitamins B, E, D and A; fatty acids; and proteins. I have absolutely loved using it in this homemade hair serum! It’s very nutrient rich, but a little too thick for my preference when it comes to using it directly on my skin.
There are many other oils out there with all kinds of different benefits, but (in my opinion) these make the best carrier oils for using your favorite essential oils!
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Do you have a favorite carrier oil?