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Carrier Oils: What Are They?

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carrier oils and what they are

Carrier oils are a brilliant addition to your beauty and skincare routine. They are packed with benefits, and are commonly used in an array of applications.

But what exactly are carrier oils? And how do you use them? Here’s everything you need to know.

What are carrier oils?

Carrier oils are essential oils, extracted from different plant sources. They are often used to dilute essential oils, nutrients and more.

Why are they called carrier oils? Because they help ‘carry’ the nutrients and active compounds into your skin - promoting absorption and utilization. Some ingredients may require to be diluted down before using directly onto the skin - such as essential oils. This is why using a carrier oil as a diluting agent can be a great method to gently introduce the compounds into your skin.

Look for an unscented, 100% natural carrier oil that is free from additives, artificial fragrances and preservatives. Usually, carrier oils are neutral in texture and smell to avoid overpowering the essential oils they are usually mixed with.

Carrier oils come from a variety of sources, including sweet almonds, castor, coconuts and more. Not sure which to go for? Here’s how to choose which is right for your needs.

How to choose the right carrier oil for you:

1. Cold Pressed Castor Oil

castor oil

Castor oil is a multi-purpose carrier, extracted from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant. Castor oil has been used for thousands of years in an array of pharmaceutical, medicinal and industrial applications.

Castor oil is naturally rich in an unsaturated fatty acid called ricinoleic acid - making it an exceptional moisturizer. Acting like a humectant, it can prevent moisture loss from the skin. Additionally, castor oil exerts anti-inflammatory properties to promote healing, pain relief and reduce skin irritation. It is also prized for its benefits in promoting hair growth.

Uses: The best all-rounder, castor oil is a perfect addition for skincare, wound healing, moisturization and much more. This is one to keep in your bathroom cabinet at all times.

2. Cold Pressed Sweet Almond Oil:

almond oil

With a beautifully nutty aroma, sweet almond oil is extracted from the kernels of sweet almonds. It is a very lightweight and quickly absorbed carrier oil - for those that dislike the greasy feeling of moisturizer on the skin.

Almond oil is the perfect carrier oil to be mixed with pure essential oils for soothing aromatherapy. It has also shown benefits in promoting strong, shiny and healthy hair.

Uses: Sweet almond oil is an ideal carrier for massages, bath soaks, and hair routines. Use it as a moisturizer for quick absorption without a greasy feeling.

3. Organic Vegetable Glycerin:

vegetable glycerin

High quality vegetable glycerin is extracted from organic coconut oil. Whilst there are palm oil alternatives, opt for coconut-derived glycerin for an eco-friendly, sustainable option.

Vegetable glycerin is a top rated carrier oil, because of its wide array of applications. Perfect for DIY skincare recipes, you can use vegetable glycerin for skin, hair, body and beyond.

Uses: Add glycerin to honey to make a nourishing hair mask, or mix in with aloe vera to make the perfect moisturizer.

4. Pure Fractionated Coconut Oil:

coconut oil

Natural, fractionated coconut oil provides you with all the fatty acids for soft, supple skin - and beyond. Look for a 100% pure fractionated coconut oil - that is unrefined and free from toxins and diluting agents.

Coconut oil is known for its benefits in nourishing hair and skin - and is particularly useful to replenish lost moisture in dry, flaky skin.

Uses: Use fractionated coconut oil on its own as a daily moisturizer, or add to your favorite DIY hair mask recipe for envious shiny and healthy hair.


Carrier oils are plant-based nourishing oils. Carrier oils can used as a base for all your DIY skin and hair recipes - to maximize absorption of all the beneficial nutrients and compounds and dilute essential oils that might be too harsh on their own.

There are many types of carrier oils - including castor, sweet almond, glycerin and coconut oil. Find the right carrier oil for you, and make sure it is 100% pure with minimal ingredients, additives or fragrances to avoid skin irritation.

Use carrier oils alone, or mix and match with a few drops of your preferred essential oils to double the benefits and the soothing aromas.

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