Essential oils are the primary and active ingredient for most DIY health and beauty remedies. Yet the carrier oil you choose also plays a major role. Carrier oils are necessary specifically for more potent essential oils that should not be applied to the skin undiluted. These include Cinnamon, Tea tree, Patchouli and more.
Carrier oils are also useful for making a bit of essential oil go a long way and are a nourishing way to incorporate essential oil blends into your everyday skin care regime. Not all carrier oils are created equally, however, and in this post we will break down which carrier oil you should choose, depending on your specific needs.
Coconut oil is the most popular carrier oils around, partly due to its versatility and partly because of its many powerful properties. This ‘super-oil’ contains large amounts of antioxidants, as well as anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. The tropical aroma and highly moisture content of unrefined coconut oil feels amazing on your skin and it is used widely both in commercial products and as a stand alone moisturizer. It is solid at room temperature, which makes it great for making creams and balms.
Good for: Dry skin, hair masks, balms, moisturisers, affordability.
Not good for: Acne prone skin, oily skin, non-compatible essential oil fragrances, very hot temperatures causing balms to melt.
Just like the fruit itself, avocado oil is full of goodness. This rich, thick and luxurious oil contains vitamins A, D and E, as well as powerful anti-aging properties. Avocado oil contains palmitoleic acid, an agent that helps restore mature skin that has thinned with age by boosting fatty acids. Avocado oil is also great for irritated skin, including conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Good for: Massage oil, anti-aging, irritated skin, affordable.
Not good for: Acne prone skin, quick drying formulas.
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet Almond oil is popular due to to its lightweight consistency that is easily absorbed. The goodness of almonds comes through in its oil, with high levels of vitamin E. It works wonders on replenishing and restoring dry skin, yet is hypoallergenic and suitable for all skin types. It has a strong, nutty aroma that works well with some essential oils, and not as well with others. Sweet Almond oil can be used for hair, skin and nails and serves as a great all-rounder.
Good for: Sensitive skin, non-greasy, lightweight formulas, affordable.
Not good for: Mixing with other strong aromas, balms and thick moisturisers.
Argan oil is almost magical both by origin and by reputation. Thought of as the golden oil of the Gods, originating from the Moroccan Argan tree. Argan oil is most famous for its incredible effect on hair, and is widely used in many high end hair products, yet it is also amazing for skin. Argan oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin E, as well as oleic and linoleic fatty acids, which all help reduce sun damaged skin, reduce inflammation and even heal acne. This is an oil you would use sparingly due to its price tag, but the good news is that just a few drops go a really long way, and even more so when you add it to your favourite essential oil blends.
Good for: Regenerating skin and hair, acne prone skin, sun damage
Not good for: Large volume formulas, budget skincare.
As you can tell, not all carrier oils will work for every skin type and essential oil recipe. So when choosing a carrier oil make sure that the one you use is right for you.