DIY skin care is really hot right now, and I want to make sure my tribe knows exactly what they are doing, which includes what the top carrier oils are and how they can be used. Carrier oils are a vital building block of using essential oils to create your own lovely skin care.
What are Carrier Oils?
Carrier oils are made primarily from nut or seed oils which have their own naturally (awesome) skin benefits. They are amazing emollients and give the skin a glowing radiance, so they are perfect for making your own skin care products. Some also have other great qualities, like being anti-inflammatory, so they work naturally to improve skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Theses top carrier oils don’t evaporate so they continue to moisturize your skin long after they are applied.
Why We Use Carrier Oils
People who use essential oils to create their own skin care (fun!) use them to make essential oils safe to put on their skin. Essential oils are highly concentrated and some of them can burn or aggravate it. To make it possible to add essential oils into your DIY body care products, you need to dilute them with these top carrier oils. Essential oils also evaporate quickly, but by diluting them in carrier oil, they retain their pleasing scent and their beneficial properties.
Some of these top carrier oils will sound familiar. You may have seen them in commercial lotions and other body care items you’ve purchased. But when you make your own skin care products, you don’t get all the other harsh, toxic chemicals that manufactures also add in—you just get the good, healthy stuff!
Important tip: Some of these top carrier oils are more costly than others, so that might be a factor in which ones you use. However, it’s important to buy the best quality that you can afford. For example, no matter the type of carrier oil, you always want to purchase only cold-pressed, unrefined ones that are totally pure—have no other ingredients like additives in them. It’s perfectly fine to choose a different one than what I recommend if the cost is prohibitive. The main thing is you use the purest oil on the market. After all, one of the main reasons you are using a carrier oil in the first place is to replace the dangerous, chemical-filled skin care products found on the shelves at cosmetic counters in malls everywhere.
The Top 3 Carrier Oils
Each oil has its own properties which make it good for different uses and skin types. Let’s take a look at my top carrier oils individually.
Even if you have oily skin, you need to moisturize to keep it from prematurely aging, and grapeseed oil is a wonderful one to use! Even though it’s oil, it doesn’t build up more oil on your skin but rather balances out your skin’s oil production. It’s also great for acne-prone skin because it contains polyphenols, which are anti-inflammatory antioxidants that keep you from breaking out.
Besides that, it contains the flavonoids oligomeric proanthocyanidins or OPC, which removes free radicals to keep your skin looking young. Another way grapeseed oil keeps skin looking young is by naturally restoring collagen, which is what gives our skin elasticity. It’s packed with beta carotene and vitamins C, D and E, as well as a variety of essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, which is why it’s become so popular in anti-wrinkle and scar-reducing products.
This oil is lightweight and can be used in just about any type of skin care product, including lip balms. It leaves your hair nice and shiny too, so it’s the perfect carrier oil to use in homemade shampoo. Note that this oil has a relatively short shelf life, but since it’s great for so many different products, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Now, this isn’t the stuff you use in the kitchen that solidifies. To create the carrier oil, coconut oil is fractured—the molecules are broken down and the long-chain triglycerides removed. This process makes it stay in liquid form no matter the temperature where it’s stored. This fracturing also improves the natural benefits found in coconut oil—the capric and caprylic acids are intensified, which gives it even more antibacterial and disinfecting power, even more moisturizing abilities, and a longer shelf life.
It contains Vitamins A, C, and E, which, along with the extra punch of medium-chain fatty acids, improves collagen production, keeping skin looking young. It’s also full of lauric acid which is vital for a healthy immune system. It’s a lightweight oil that moisturizes without leaving you feeling all greased up, and it won’t clog pores, which is an important point for those whose skin is prone to breakouts.
Fractionated coconut oil penetrates the skin deeply, which means it will carry essential oils along for the ride. This oil is a good choice if you are looking to gain the natural healing properties of the essential oils you add to it. One final note: even though this is coconut oil, it won’t have the strong yummy smell that you would expect. It has no scent, so you don’t need to worry about it overpowering the essential oils you add to it.
This carrier oil is actually a wax that has a high melting point. This makes it extremely versatile! It is also the closest carrier oil to our natural skin sebum, the waxy oil that our skin glands create to protect our skin. It’s great for any skin type, and like grapeseed oil, it has anti-inflammatory properties that make it a fabulous choice for those with acne. And also like grapeseed oil, it stabilizes the amount of oil your skin glands produce, so it’s the perfect complement for oily skin.
Oh, and don’t forget your scalp! If you suffer from itchy, flaky scalp or the reverse, an oily scalp, this is the carrier oil you’ll want to use for your homemade conditioners and shampoos. It’s also great to make your own shaving cream, face cleanser, and moisturizer. It’s loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals that make skin and hair healthy and radiant, including Vitamin E and B-complex, chromium, copper, zinc and iodine. It has a long shelf life, so you don’t have to worry about how quickly you use it up.
No matter what your top carrier oil is, you can feel great about replacing your toxic skin care with healthy homemade alternatives! You can get started by checking out all my DIY body care recipes here.