Essential oils are incredibly therapeutic, and many of them are beneficial for skin-care applications. From treating acne to calming the senses, there are many benefits that these botanical extracts can provide. But on their own, essential oils can be potent and irritating if applied directly to the skin. That’s where carrier oils come in.
What are Carrier Oils?
Carrier oils are essential oils that you can use to dilute other essential oils before they are applied topically. Carrier oils do not evaporate like essential oils, which means they have a longer shelf life.
While essential oils are great to use in a diffuser, carrier oils cannot be used in a diffuser as they will clog it up! The type of natural and pure carrier oil you use depends on your skin type and what ingredients the oil contains. Here’s a rundown of some commonly used carrier oils, along with their properties.
Argan oil is a lightweight oil that absorbs quickly into the skin. It’s known to help balance sebum production, making it a great choice for those who suffer from acne or excess oiliness. It’s also packed with vitamin E, antioxidants and fatty acids, which work together to fight free radicals and prevent signs of aging.
If you have dry, flaky skin and suffer from redness, irritation and itching, argan oil can help calm your skin and restore elasticity. It’s also a great moisturizing agent for those with eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis.
You can use argan pure carrier oil on its own, but it also blends well with other anti-inflammatory carrier oils like jojoba and rosehip seed oil. For a soothing, homemade face mask treatment, combine 1 tablespoon of argan oil with 1 teaspoon of rosehip seed oil and the juice from half of a lemon.
Mix well in a bowl before applying to your face. Leave it on for a full 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. If you want to see results quickly, try adding just 2–3 drops of argan oil to your moisturizer at night before bed.
Coconut oil is a great carrier oil that can be used on its own or in blends with other essential oils. It has a relatively long shelf life and a high amount of saturated fat, which makes it slow to oxidize and thus, resistant to rancidity, giving it one of the longest shelf lives of any plant oil.
Coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory properties from lauric acid. Lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid with antimicrobial properties that helps soothe eczema when applied topically. Coconut oil is also high in vitamin E, which aids in skin repair and protection.
Coconut oil is a great moisturizer and can be used by itself or as a carrier oil. It’s particularly useful to treat dry, irritated skin and hair. Plus, it has a pleasing scent that’s not overpowering. To use coconut oil as a pure carrier oil, add 10-30 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of coconut oil.
Jojoba oil is the star of all-natural skincare carrier oil. It’s easily absorbed, doesn’t clog pores, balances oil production and promotes healthy skin. Not only can it be used alone on your skin, but you can use jojoba oil as a carrier oil to dilute the essential oils you use topically and make them last longer. You can also combine it with other carrier oils, or experiment with different dilution ratios according to your skin type or oily concerns.
Jojoba oil is an excellent moisturizing agent, especially for oily skin. It mimics the sebum produced by our skin glands and helps increase moisture retention in dry areas. Its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe inflamed skin and reduce redness, making it a great choice for anyone with sensitive skin, rosacea, or acne. Jojoba oil also has antibacterial properties that help treat acne breakouts.
Almond oil is a great carrier oil for soothing skin. The phenols found in it are anti-inflammatory and help to relieve itching, inflammation, and irritation on the skin. It is also a good source of vitamins A and E, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc.
Almonds contain the highest amount of monounsaturated fats (a fat that your body can easily break down) and are said to be the most heart-healthy nut. Almond oil is very nourishing and extremely light, which makes it perfect for all skin types.
Considered a favourite amongst massage therapists because it’s so light, it won’t stain sheets or clothes. If you have sensitive skin or allergies to nuts, don’t use almond oil topically or orally. You should also steer clear if you have kidney disease since almonds are high in potassium.
Olive oil is a skin-care staple. It’s often used as the base of homemade masks, cleansers, and scrubs because of its nutrient-dense composition. Rich in vitamin E, it can strengthen your skin barrier and promote the healing of wounds.
In turn, this may help decrease inflammation and irritation caused by conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. You can also use olive oil in place of your regular body or facial moisturizer as an overnight treatment.
To Sum Up
When it comes to the all-purpose carrier oils, perhaps these are the most effective options for skin application. None of these will irritate your skin or cause any adverse reactions, adding an extra layer of security when applying any essential oils to your skin. They’re easy to apply, won’t cause unnecessary breakouts, and some have other therapeutic benefits in addition to helping with essential oil application.