Top 10 Carrier Oils for Homemade Beauty Products
Understanding Carrier Oils
Making beauty products in your kitchen is fast becoming the “in thing” to do. There are a number of factors for this, including the savings financially, the worrying effects of chemicals in branded products and the pure pleasure you get from making an array of different top-to-toe treats.
Being able to mix and match ingredients for your own skin care needs does not have to be daunting. Understanding why certain ingredients, such as carrier oils and vegetable oils, will usually feature in these recipes in one form or another is important. A carrier oil simply “carries” the essential oil element in a product, diluting it for skin penetration, and is considered a base ingredient or binder for many skin care, makeup and hair recipes.
There are many possibilities for which carrier oils you use, and listing my top 10 was tricky and not an easy task for this writer. I had 11 that I could not whittle down to 10 easily, since all are so beneficial, but I have managed to do it:
10 Best Carrier Oils (in Alphabetical Order)
- Apricot Kernel Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Castor Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Olive Oil
- Rosehip Oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Sunflower Oil
(In case you are curious to know what my 11th oil was, it was Wheatgerm Oil.)
1. Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca)
This oil is extracted from the seeds or kernels of Apricot fruit.
This oil is nutty, golden in color and particularly high in the unsaturated fats oleic acid and linoleic acid.
Darker apricot kernel oil with a strong scent will denote higher quality oils.
A commonly used oil in cosmetic and beauty products, it is an excellent skin moisturizer for both sensitive and prematurely aged skins.
Available in different qualities, it may be used in both face and body homemade beauty products.
2. Avocado Oil (Persea americana)
Oil extracted from the avocado seed that is widely used and cherished in skin care.
The skin loves this rich oil and no wonder as it contains Vitamins A, B’s, D, E and is high in essential fatty acids.
Highly beneficial for those with eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions.
Ideal for sensitive skins, problem skins and all skins that need a strong vitamin boost.
Avocado oil is known to increase the collagen in skin, fade age spots and is excellent to use on scar tissue.
An all round classic ingredient for skin, hair and health, it will not to waste in your kitchen!
3. Castor Oil (Ricinus communis)
This power house oil is extracted from the castor bean and is particularly high in the unsaturated fatty acid ricinoleic.
A hard shiny oil, it is used in many beauty products for its emollient properties and ability to form a barrier against harsh conditions.
One of the most beneficial oils it is one that should always be bought cold pressed when using topically in beauty products or directly onto the skin, hair, eyelashes or eyebrows.
The list of benefits of this ancient oil is lengthy.
It includes thickening hair, used for acne, scar treatment and preventive, keeps skin youthful, minimizes signs of aging, treats shingles, calluses, athlete’s foot and is a wonderful hair conditioner.
For those who need thicker eyebrows or longer eyelashes, check out How to get beautiful Eyebrows and Eyelashes with Castor Oil.
4. Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera)
This is one of the most popular oils throughout the world.
Renowned for its culinary uses, it is a leading ingredient in beauty products and the best lather- producing ingredient in soaps.
With a mild scent of the wonderful coconut flesh, it has a myriad of beneficial uses when used for the skin and health.
Coconut oil is an effective skin moisturizer and provides protection against the elements.
As it is a mild oil it is perfect for skin sensitivities and irritated or inflamed skin.
It is oil that is very high in saturated fat which lends itself to it being a natural skin softener and source of nourishment.
5. Grapeseed Oil (Vitis vinifera)
This light and pleasantly scented oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes and has fantastic skin penetration qualities.
An excellent skin moisturizer it is high in polyunsaturated fats and is higher in linoleic acid than many carrier oils.
Grapeseed oil is smooth silky textured oil that is quickly absorbed into the skin and does not leave a greasy film.
Regularly used in commercial lotions, creams and aromatherapy products, it has hypo-allergenic properties making it perfect for allergy prone or sensitive skins for many homemade skin care treatments.
If you are in need of a natural alternative for shaving cream, this is another great one that leaves the skin silky smooth and soft.
6. Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
Jojoba oil is the wax like substance extracted from the seeds of jojoba plants.
It is extensively used in lotions, creams, shampoos and conditioners.
Acne conditions benefit greatly from this lightweight, non greasy oil which provides anti-inflammatory properties.
It is very close to the natural sebum of the skin so makes a perfect moisturizer for all skin types. Along with acne it is very effective in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, sunburn and chapped skin.
7. Olive Oil (Olea europaea)
Who does not know or use this giant of the oil world!
Olive Oil is available in different qualities with the best quality being Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) followed by Virgin Olive Oil.
It is by far the most universally used of any oils in cosmetics, food preparations and hair care products.
With its excellent emollient properties it is widely used in body care products and may even be used neat straight on the skin as a face or body moisturizer.
Just like grapeseed oil it may be used instead of shaving cream or gel.
From acne to dehydrated skin this carrier oil may be used in virtually all skin care products making it by far the most versatile ingredient in this top 10 list.
8. Rosehip Oil (Rosa rubiginosa)
Extracted from the fruit of the Rosehip, this unique oil is highly regarded as excellent in the fight against dry, dehydrated and neglected skins.
Very high in essential fatty acids, vitamin A, C and antioxidants, it is particularly effective in skin care designed for treating wrinkles and slowing down the ageing process whilst repairing skin tissue in scars and sun damaged skin.
This delicate oil is used for treating skin irritations such as dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.
9. Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis)
This oil stems from the dried kernels of sweet almonds and is popular throughout the world as a food ingredient, massage oil and in numerous beauty products.
This carrier oil is one of the most useful, practical and widely used oils.
It has fantastic moisturizing properties and is high in Vitamins B and E, nutrients, minerals and is a rich source of monounsaturated fats.
A superb carrier oil that has the proven ability to soothe, soften and re-hydrate the skin in face and body care lotions and potions.
For an easy to make face mask try almond face mask recipe.
10. Sunflower Oil (Helianthus annuus)
From being used as a frying oil for foods to a key base ingredient in skin care preparations, sunflower oil is another excellent carrier oil.
Rich in skin loving vitamin A, D and E, there are several different varieties of sunflower oil which all have different qualities.
Sunflower oil is easily absorbed into the skin and is perfect for homemade recipes to treat dry, dehydrated, aged and weathered skins.
Deeply nourishing and conditioning it may be used in any skin care preparations requiring these qualities.
What Is Your Favorite Oil?
More About Carrier Oils and Extraction
These oils are used for therapeutic reasons in treatments such as aromatherapy and of course have culinary uses. Carrier oils all have their own unique properties and benefits that may suit one person and not another.
Quality of oils varies considerably, due to the different oil extraction processes used. Here are the distinctive methods used in all carrier oils to give you a better understanding of which is right for you:
- Cold Pressed: A mechanical extraction process which keeps heat to a minimum throughout the process. This makes sure the oil is as pure a form as possible and temperatures are controlled meticulously so they never exceed 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Not suitable for all carrier and vegetable oils, it is a highly regarded method and often the preferred extraction process.
- Expeller Pressed: This method is a natural mechanical process with only a small amount of heat produced through the friction of hydraulic presses. Temperature range is 120-200 degrees Fahrenheit which makes it a very economical base oil for cosmetic products and a good grade of cooking oil.
- Unrefined: A process of mechanical extraction and screen filtering which does not use any other refining process. This ensures the very finest and highest quality of oil possible. The oils are as close to their natural state as possible and are always darker in color and have a stronger scent. These oils are ideal for the very best in beauty products and culinary dishes.
- Refined: These oils are fully processed oils which have had all refinement processes applied. Temperatures are 30-450 degrees Fahrenheit, quite different to the other methods. The color is dramatically lighter in these oils and the natural scent is usually lost completely. Whilst refined oils make an economical ingredient in cosmetics, it is not healthy food grade oil.
- Partially Refined: This process uses only some of the methods available to produce commercial oil and usually affect the strong odour of oils and rich colors.
- Mountain Rose Herbs Carrier and Vegetable Oils
for all your top quality carrier oils, essential oils and a whole lot more!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.