Let’s talk carrier oils and why they are a necessity in a #LifeFromScratch skin and body care routine, as well as in homemade skin and body care items. Before I began my journey in earnest, I used pretty much any thing on my face, skin, and body. It was all just about that awesomely scented lotion, scrub, or other product and I rarely even took a glance at the ingredient label in my blissful ignorance. I had a really hard time when I was younger with acne-prone skin and never thought twice about using harsh abrasive cleaners, which in turn dried my skin out, which made me reach for the chemical-laden moisturizers.
It was like being on a toxic carousel that never stopped!
When I started getting serious a couple years ago about changing how my family was living and started experimenting with making my own body care items, one of the first things I did was to stop using commercial facial cleansers and moisturizers and started the oil cleansing method instead. That was when I began to learn about carrier oils, what they were, what role they played within products, and how they could be used to benefit my skin.
The dirty about carrier oils…
- Base oil derived from (mainly) nuts and seeds of different plants.
- Can be used as a moisturizer or to treat problem areas.
- Used to dilute strong essential oils to make them safe to apply to the body.
- Effectively “carry” other ingredients into the skin and stop the essential oil from evaporating to quickly.
The 411 on Carrier Oils
It has taken me some time experimenting with different carrier oils to find what works best for my personal situation. Every so often I try something new, and make changes to my skin care routine, but I usually have about 4-5 different carrier oils in rotation which I use during different times of the year (with or without essential oils &/or in homemade products).
When choosing a carrier oil…
- Purchase highest quality you can afford.
- Cold-pressed, pure, unrefined oil with no additives.
And a little FYI…
- Cold pressed = unheated = retains beneficial properties
- Unrefined = little refining =retains richness and strength
Choosing a Carrier Oil
Just remember that the key to success is experimenting with your oils and ingredients until you find what works best for you, your skin, and your product.
Learn more below about carrier oils that I have personally used and carrier oils that I want to use!
More Common Carrier Oils
The medium chain fatty acids work as an antimicrobial agent to help kill bacteria and other viruses. It is very similar to our natural sebum secretion. All of the properties of coconut oil leads to moisturized skin, fewer breakouts, and clearer complexion. For DIY recipes, keep in mind that refined coconut oil has no scent while unrefined coconut oil will have a noticeable coconut scent.
Most coconut oil solidifies at about 76 degrees, so it’s best to use another liquid carrier oil in combination with this oil to keep it in a more fluid state. Suitable for all skin types, especially acne prone. It is widely used for lip lotions and other body care products(1). This is one of my “go-to” oils that I use in my nightly oil cleansing routine, as a makeup remover, and in numerous homemade DIY body care products. For more information on coconut oil, click here.
Less Common (but awesome!) Carrier Oils
The high content of essential fatty acids make this oil very restorative. Known as a healing oil, it is suitable for all skin types; especially for acne prone and damaged skin. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antibiotic properties. Works well as a carrier oil with essential oils as well as in homemade products. Tamanu oil is thick and viscous, has a very rich scent, and is greenish in color (8). You will want to keep in mind the strong scent when working with this oil; choose essential oils or other ingredients that will help cover and work with the natural scent of this oil.
There you have it! LOADS of information on the top carrier oils available, how they can be used, and what skin types they are best suited for. All the basics you need to know for how to choose carrier oils.
Not feeling particularly DIYish?
Simply not enough hours in the day? Pinning more than you could ever tackle these days? No worries. I have got you covered. Please, head on over to my Pronounce Skincare Shop and look around at all of my skincare creations. I love making them for my family and for you!