Carrier Oil Basics

Ok, carrier oils (also known as base oils). Essentially they’re the oils that you use as the base for your products. These are what you pair with essential oils to dilute them. Essential oils seem to have all the hype these days (and for good reason), but carrier oils have lots of great properties of their own. Many amazing products for your skin don’t even use essential oils since they get all their goodness from combinations of carrier oils. In this post we’ll look at the different types of popular carrier oils, their benefits, and what skin types they’re best for.

I started doing this research when I decided to try making my own skincare. I needed to know which oils would suit my skin best. I had no idea how amazing oils were for you and became fascinated with all the different types. I love the puzzle of fitting together different oils depending on what I’m trying to target. I have dry skin that gets oily as it tries to overcompensate for the dryness. A lot of people have that problem and think they have oily skin. Most people are afraid of putting oil on their skin for fear of making the problem worse. But trust me, oily skin or not, oil will solve all your problems.

There many different types of carrier oils out there, but I’m going to cover some of the common ones to get you started. Once you figure out which oils will be best for your skin, be careful to find a good quality version of it. This isn’t something that you want to skimp on. The higher quality versions are generally produced in ways that leave the most nutrients in the oils. They aren’t all made equally. Now don’t buy the most expensive one out there, just be aware of what you’re purchasing, where it comes from and how it’s produced. Make sure you’re getting something worth putting on your skin so you get all the benefits that I’ll be describing below. If I’ve found a good brand that I like, I’ll add a link for you.

Oils by skin type

Normal Skin – Apricot Kernel Oil, Jojoba, Grapeseed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil
Dry Skin – Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil
Oily Skin – Jojoba, Grapeseed Oil
Acne Skin – Jojoba, Sesame Oil, Grapeseed Oil
Sensitive Skin – Jojoba, Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil
Mature Skin – Rosehip Seed Oil, Jojoba, Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil

Detailed Oil Information

Sweet Almond Oil – This is great for all skin types. It’s derived from the kernel and contains glucosides, lots of minerals, vitamins and is rich in protein. It’s an incredible moisturizer and also helps to restore the skin’s protective barrier. It’s great for itching, dryness, and inflammation. Don’t use this if you have nut allergies!

Apricot Kernel Oil – Also derived from the kernel and is good for all skin types as it contains lots of vitamins and minerals. It’s good for aged, sensitive, inflamed and dry skin.

Avocado Oil – This oil comes from the avocado flesh and generally has a greenish hue. It can be used for all skin types, but is especially good for dry skin and eczema since it has lots of vitamins, proteins, lecithin, and fatty acids. These make it great for dry or aging skin since all the goodies in it help to repair damaged skin.

Coconut Oil – this is a highly moisturizing oil that has lots of Vitamin E that helps with anti-aging. Coconut oil is great for dry skin, but I don’t recommend it for people with oily or acne prone skin because it can easily clog pores. A lot of people really love this oil and use it in all their skincare. However, it doesn’t play nice with everyone and some people have a reaction to it, like me. It took me a while to figure out that the coconut oil is what was giving me rashes on my face and anywhere else I put it, so now I stay far away from it.

Grapeseed Oil – This is a very light, non greasy oil that is absorbed easily into the skin. It contains vitamins, minerals and proteins and is great for all skin types. It’s slightly astringent, which means that it helps to tighten and tone skin.

Jojoba Oil – This oil is derived from the bean and it’s actually a liquid wax. It’s really great for adding a thin protective shield to your skin to help protect against any airborne ickiness (great for city girls!). It also mimics the skin’s sebum, which helps to trick it into producing less oil. It’s great for all skin types and is especially good for inflamed skin, psoriasis, eczema and acne.

Olive Oil – Contains proteins, minerals and vitamins. It’s a great oil to use for rheumatic conditions, hair care and beauty.

Rosehip Seed Oil – This is a dry oil, but is very moisturizing and one of my absolute favorites. It sinks deep into the skin to regenerate the skin cells and increase collagen production. This makes it really great for treating scars, burns and eczema. It’s rich in Vitamin-C, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (i.e. it’s great for healing scar tissue). It’s also wonder for anti-aging since it’s also high in retinoic acid, which helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and brightens skin.

Sesame Oil – It contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, lecithin, and amino acids. It has oil-pulling properties which are helpful for acne-prone skin. It’s great for all skin types, but is especially helpful for people with eczema, psoriasis, rheumatism, and arthritis.

Hope Reynolds

I’m a tea obsessor, book addict, Sci-Fi junky, archer, traveler and wife to William, a guy who is incomprehensibly loving and patient. We live in our favorite city, San Francisco, where we want to stay forever. And, as you’ve already gathered, I’m also super into experimenting with healthy food and natural skincare.

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