Before I started on my journey with essential oils, I used everything and anything on my skin and body – free stuff or stuff that was on sale – why not? After all.. it was free – why use anything different?
During that time, I never once took a look or even glanced at the ingredient label – in some ways, I guess you could say I was ignorant. In my teenage years, I had really acne-prone skin and never thought twice about the products I was using. I would jump for Oxy, Clearasil.. and even ProActive, in hopes that it would help clear up the problems.
Little did I know that those cleaners (combined with my diet) were the leading cause of my acne problems – but it wasn’t until I moved past those items into essential oils before I even realized that at all.
I was indeed on a toxic binge without even knowing it.
When I got involved with essential oils a few years ago, I started to see the problems behind the toxic items sold in stores – from cleaners, to personal care. It was, at the same time, that I began to see food differently too.
One of the main components to using essential oils and making your own personal care products requires that you use carrier oils. Not only do they work as a way to dilute essential oils to make them safer to apply to your body, they are also something that can benefit the skin.
Picking the BEST Carrier Oil
When you are looking for a carrier oil, it’s best to find something that’s cold pressed, pure, and unrefined (no additives).
- Cold Pressed: Unheated (which means it retains its beneficial properties)
- Unrefined: Very little refining (which means it retains its richness and strength)
When using carrier oils, it’s important to know a little about each so you can pick the one that works the best for your skin.
Rosehip and Jojoba Oil are two of my personal favorites – but if you are wondering what the best oils are for various skin types, this may help you decide which are best for you.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is great for all skin types – the oil has medium chain fatty acids that work as a antimicrobial agent that helps with bacteria and viruses. Coconut oil solidifies at 76 degrees so if you are using in DIY beauty products, it’s important to keep the item in a cool room to prevent it from melting into liquid coconut oil.
Avocado Oil: A great option for DIY body care, it is not only suitable for all skin types (even acne prone) it has proteins, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. It absorbs into the skin nicely and is a very thick oil – which makes it the perfect option for body lotions, and creams.
Apricot Kernel: Is very similar to avocado oil but is rich in vitamin E and vitamin A (src). It’s a light oil that absorbs quickly and has a mild, nutty flavor. It’s the perfect carrier for those with eczema and dermatitis, and acts as an anti-inflammatory carrier.
Neem Oil: Is one of the oldest oils used in skin care – it’s rich in Omega 3, and 6 acids and is rich and strongly scented. It smells very strong, so it might be best used with another oil. It is not recommended for pregnant women or children, and avoid using for internal use.
Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil has proteins and minerals that mimic collagen and is the carrier oil that is closest to our natural skin oil. It’s great for all skin types. Believe it or not, Jojoba Oil is not an oil but is a liquid plant wax (isn’t that crazy?) It’s wonderful to use as a base for DIY Face Serum.
Almond Oil: Almond oil absorbs very easily and is great for supporting skin tone and complexion. Unlike some of the other carrier oils, almond oil goes on rather nice and light – it makes a wonderful choice if you have dry skin.
Hemp Seed Oil: Hemp seed oil is a wonderful moisturizer for the skin – it can help decrease skin dryness and irritation. It has fatty acids (DHA) that are crucial for for healthy eyes and brain development, and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that work to combat the aging process.
Grapeseed Oil: Grapeseed Oil as a carrier is free of synthetic ingredients and loaded with moisturizing fatty acids and vitamin E. It’s wonderful to use topically.
Castor Oil: A strong oil that’s also very thick – best for scrubs, not so much as a carrier. Has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Rosehip Oil: One of my favorite carrier oils, rose hip comes from cold press extraction and is high in fatty acids, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and B-carotene. The vitamin C helps stimulate collagen, and the vitamin A helps to reduce lines and wrinkles. It absorbs deeply into the skin and works wonderfully for those who have rosacea. (src)
Carrier oils ensure that essential oils applied topically are comfortable to the skin. Dilution with a carrier oil does not dilute the effect of the essential oil.. in fact, if anything, it helps prevent waste when you are applying essential oils to the body.