27 Carrier Oils and their properties

Each carrier oil offers a different combination of properties and characteristics. The choice of carrier oil can depend on the therapeutic benefit being sought. Read last weeks’s post to learn more about why and how to use Carrier Oils.

Here is a list of 27 oils that can be used as or with carrier oils for essential oil application.

Apricot Kernel Oil is similar to avocado oil and is very rich in vitamin A, B, and E which aid in healing and rejuvenating skin cells. Apricot kernel oil penetrates the skin without leaving an oily residue. It is particularly suitable for sensitive and prematurely aged skin.

Argan Oil is a luxurious oil that absorbs quickly. It works well as a carrier oil with essential oils as well as in homemade products. Argan oil is considered to be a rare (and expensive) oil due to the small area it grows in. Contains antioxidants and is high in vitamin E. It has a light nutty scent which should be taken into consideration when blending into products. Suitable for all skin types.

Arnica oil is soothing and healing for inflammation and bruising, but do not use on broken skin.

Avocado oil contains proteins, omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants which make it a great moisturizer. It absorbs deeply into the skin and helps increase collagen to keep your skin supple. This is a thick oil and works great when combined with other oils. It is a fantastic addition to soaps, creams, and lotions. Dry, mature, sensitive, and problem prone skin can benefit greatly from this vitamin rich oil with minor sunscreen effects.

Calendula oil is good as a body oil. It speeds up healing and is moisturizing for dry or damaged skin.

Canola oil is good for massage. It absorbs easily, is light in texture, and odorless. Canola oil has a very long shelf life.

Castor Oil is a thick, soothing oil that has been used medicinally for thousands of years and has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Castor oil works best when diluted with another carrier oil. It is good for sealing in moisture and protecting the skin.

Coconut Oil’s 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. Coconut oil has a noticeable coconut scent and 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.

Fractionated Coconut oil has similar properties to Coconut oil, but stays liquid at room temperature and has no odor, which makes it extremely suitable as a carrier for essential oils.

Corn oil is a good medium-weight oil. It contains vitamins and minerals that are good for skin.

Emu Oil is a neutral lipid and is easily and deeply absorbed by the skin. It penetrates deep to replenish our skin’s natural oils. Natural source of Omega 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids that nourish skin from the inside out. It will not clog pores and can assist with joint pain and swelling. It is one of the best, and more expensive oils out there.

Evening Primrose oil is good as an antioxidant oil so it’s often added to other carrier oils to prolong their shelf life.

Grapeseed oil is good as a massage oil and facial oil. It is very light and penetrates the skin quickly.

Hazelnut oil is good for facials. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals and proteins.

Jojoba Oil contains proteins and minerals that mimic collagen and is closest to our natural skin oil. Anti-inflammatory effects have been shown. An interesting fact about jojoba is that it is actually a liquid plant wax as opposed to an oil, and it will get cloudy and solidify as the temperature drops. Jojoba oil is great for all skin types, very dry or very oily skin conditions, especially acne prone skin since jojoba actually breaks down excess sebum. This makes a great base for a face serum to protect your skin against environmental issues. Often added to other carrier oils to prolong their shelf life.

Neem Oil is a very rich, thick, and strongly scented oil which contains Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. It is one of the oldest used Ayurvedic therapeutic and medicinal oils. In addition to its use in body and skin care products, neem oil can be used as a bug repellent due to insecticide properties. Neem oil is a very strong smelling oil and tends to be semi-solid so it works best when mixed with another carrier oil. It is not the best as an essential oil carrier oil as it does not get absorbed well into the skin, but works well in scrubs, salves, deodorants, and other skin care products. It is incredibly moisturizing and regenerative so it is great for all skin types including mature skin. Some people suggest that neem oil is toxic, however, research does not bear this out. Nevertheless, caution is advised when using internally and neem oil should not be used by pregnant women or on children.

Olive Oil is probably one of the most universally known and used oils. Olive oil can be a great skincare option for those who have nut and seed allergies. Olive oil will have a strong aroma and a rich golden color. Suitable for all skin types and those with dry skin. Extra virgin olive oil has the highest amount of vitamins and minerals.

Peanut oil is a good basic aromatherapy oil. It is very rich in vitamins and proteins.

Safflower oil is good for softening the skin. It is a light-to-medium weight oil.

Sesame oil is good for a number of skin conditions. It is loaded with Vitamin E, minerals, and proteins. It has an SPF of 4.

Soy oil is good as a massage oil. It is naturally high in Vitamin E.

St. John’s Wort oil is good for muscle and joint inflammations. Its healing properties are good for first aid uses.

Sunflower oil is good for massage, body lotions, and body oils. It is rich in Vitamin E.

Sweet Almond Oil contains amino acids and vitamins and goes on light and smooth. It can help more solid or thick oils (such as coconut, neem, castor, and tamanu) penetrate more deeply. It absorbs easily, softens very well, and is odorless. The emollient properties in almond oil helps to improve skin tone and complexion. Almond oil is great for massage. It is suitable for all skin types, especially dry and sensitive.

Tamanu Oil‘s high content of essential fatty acids make this oil very restorative. Known as a healing oil, it is suitable for all skin types, especially 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 solid at room temperature, has a very rich scent, and is greenish in color. Works best when diluted with other carrier oils. Choose essential oils or other ingredients that will help cover and work with the natural scent of this oil.

Vitamin E oil is good for prolonging the shelf life of other carrier oils. It is very thick. Its antioxidant properties can help heal scar tissue and rejuvenate skin cellular activity.

Walnut oil is especially good for the nervous system. It is medium weight and absorbs easily.

Wheat germ oil is good for healing scars, burns, and stretch marks. It is loaded with Vitamins A, D, E, and antioxidants.

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