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The Complete Carrier Oil Guide: Uses, Benefits & More!

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Plants and trees have always been a pillar of health, wellness, and vitality. There are many ways in which members of the plant kingdom can be utilized for the benefit of mankind. These green families provide us with oxygen, shelter, food, medicine, beauty, and so much more. One of the most profound ways in which we can harness the power of plants is by making use of their extracts in the form of oil. Today we’re going to examine carrier oils specifically, but before we do let’s give a little background.

There are different types of oils in the world. Plants primarily yield essential oils (also called ethereal or volatile oils) and carrier oils (also called base or vegetable oils). The ways in which these oils are produced vary a great deal, as do their effects on human beings.

In this post, we will be outlining different carrier oils and their properties, as well as expounding on their connection to essential oils and good health at large. But this guide is not a definitive and all-encompassing “how-to” since there are many secrets and intricacies to plant extracts. Ancient healers and modern-day scientists alike would probably both agree that, at least in some cases, we have barely even begun to scratch the surface of what plants can do for the human race.

What Is A Carrier Oil?

Birds eye view of essential oil bottles and flowers.

Carrier oils.

A carrier oil is also often called a base oil or vegetable oil. It’s best known as “carrier oil” because of its ability to ‘carry’ essential oils, and get them through the surface of the skin. These oils serve as a basis or foundation upon which a different substance can be used.

Essential oils are also named ethereal or volatile precisely for that reason. They evaporate (almost) instantly when they come out of their vial and into contact with the air and human skin. If you want the essential oils you’re using to have a meaningful and long-lasting effect, you need to use them in such a way that will enable them to stay in/on the body. This often means blending your chosen essential oils with a different substance. Ideally, this is one that can get through the surface and keep the chemical compounds from being released into the ether.

Usually, there is little-to-no intervention done to carrier oils. Once the oil has been pressed or otherwise extracted, it is left to do its thing. When it comes into contact with an essential oil, both the carrier and essence can benefit from the encounter.

Carrier Oils For Essential Oils

essential oil

Essential oils.

Much like essential oils, carrier oils each have their own origins, attributes, methods of production, uses, and therapeutic benefits (even as a standalone plant extract). Just like with essential oils, some of these characteristics and benefits may overlap. Basically, you should do your best to pair the right essential oil with the right carrier oil, since that will invariably yield the best result, be it a reactive or preventive one.

Carrier oils are plant-based, which is why they are so closely linked to essential oils. Without the carrier oil, the skin would have trouble absorbing the essential oil. Additionally, the consistency of the plant’s essence would not be as beneficial. Furthermore, left to its own devices, an essential oil is a highly potent and powerful substance. As such it could cause adverse effects. Using it alongside a milder oil, however, allows the body to handle it properly, harvest its benefits, and be less susceptible to the potentially harmful side effects.

The skin, the hair, the body at large – they may develop issues if treated with essential oils without any mediation. This is why selecting the right carrier oils can potentially be just as important as selecting the proper essential oils. Natural though these extracts may be, you don’t want to overwhelm your system with powerful chemicals. Keep in mind that your body exists in a delicate homeostasis and that getting way too much of a good thing can be just as harmful as infusing your system with poison.

One of the best things about carrier oils is that they don’t change the properties of the essential oils which they carry into the body. They form a base but do not interfere with the work of the potent herbal essences. Is there anything more ideal than using one part of the plant to help out a separate part of the plant, and then using them both for our benefit?

Carrier Oils For Skin Explained

Woman with hair in towel holding bottle of skin toner to face.

Woman using carrier oils for her skin.

Many times, carrier oils will form the basis for topical application. This is because essential oils are usually too potent for you to apply them directly onto the skin, even in small amounts. The natural state of carrier oils is one that is open to being blended, either with essential oils, other kinds of carrier oils, or natural beauty/cosmetics products of varying sorts.

One is able to apply carrier oils to the skin without suffering any kind of side effects. That is unless there is a pre-existing sensitivity or condition, such as nut allergies. 

Carrier Oils For Hair Explained

Woman with curly hair putting hair oil drops in her hair.

Woman using oil on her hair.

For the hair and scalp, roots to tip, the moisturizing effect which these oils have can be highly beneficial. In cases such as dry or oily hair (or during times when locks are thinning out or being shed in excess), these oils can quickly become your hair’s best friend. Whether it’s through topical application as a standalone product, or through being blended together with an essential oil, or even when added to a hair care product like a shampoo or conditioner, there are numerous ways to naturally help the hair grow, heal, and develop in a healthy way.

Some oils, such as jojoba or almond, share certain characteristics with the natural oil which the body secretes – the sebum. Sebum is a crucial cog in the wheel of health. This is true to the skin, scalp, hair, and other areas of the body. By blending certain oils together, you can reach a product that is a perfect match for your skin’s texture and absorption abilities.

DIY Natural Body Massage Oil Using Carrier Oils Recipe & Guide

The body is seen as a vessel for the mind. This is not meant to be taken in some New Age kind of way, mind you. The body is literally where the brain resides, and the brain is often considered to be the abode of the mind. While a healthy body is not absolutely necessary or a prerequisite for the development of a healthy mind, many times they will go hand in hand.

As such, keeping the body in good shape is something many people are interested in doing. One of the best ways to keep the body and mind healthy is by taking advantage of aromatherapy and massage therapy. Those are two different kinds of therapy, but at times they overlap. Some massage techniques don’t require any oils to begin with. One such technique is traditional Thai massage, which focuses more on manipulating the body in different positions, often through loose-fitting clothing and without any oil.

For an easy homemade body massage oil using carrier oils mix equal parts jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and sunflower oil. Add 10 drops of 3 essential oils of your choice (so 30 drops altogether). Shake well and keep in a cool, dark place. I like to add lavender, chamomile, and jasmine essential oils to create a heavenly blend with restorative properties for both body and soul. The carrier oils in this massage oil work in synergy to deliver anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, soothing, and energizing benefits for your sore muscles. But before I get carried away (sorry, I had to), let’s take a deep dive into the benefits of specific carrier oils to find out which one will work best for you and your body’s needs!

Comprehensive Breakdown Of Carrier Oils & Their Uses 

Apricot Oil

Apricot cut in half on wooden table.

Sliced apricot.

Apricot (or apricot kernel) oil is known to be very high in vitamin E, vitamin K, and healthy fatty acids. It is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial substance. It is one of the more gentle oils that you can apply to the skin. You can find it in countless ointments and lotions, etc., but another very beneficial use for apricot oil is as a carrier oil. The vitamin E and fatty acids allow the skin to become nourished without making it too oily.

The kernel of the Prunus armeniaca fruit is very high in oil content (40-50%). It can cleanse the pores, is high in antioxidants which combat signs of aging, and it hydrates hair and skin of different types. The kernels are pressed, and this releases the oil which is inside of them. Two essential oils that work best with apricot oil are lavender and rosemary. 

Argan Oil

Argan, one of the more famous carrier oils, is often mistaken for being an essential oil because it is so powerful. It’s actually the product of the Argania spinosa tree kernel, and it is also known as Moroccan oil because of its primary origin. It’s an oil that gained lots of fame thanks to its medicinal and cosmetological properties, as well as its culinary applications. You can use it as a skin moisturizer, a hair conditioner, and a styling agent. You can also use it as a substance to help heal damaged skin and scalp.

Many essential oils work well with argan. Depending on the condition or symptoms, you can blend it with rose oil, tea tree oil, peppermint, and others. The different vitamins and acids that argan oil possesses means that it has antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Argan oil has even been used as a standalone substance at different times, particularly by the locals in Morocco.

Avocado Oil

Woman holding halved avocado.

Hands holding sliced avocado.

Famous for its benefits regarding nutrition, hair, skin, and oil pulling – the oil of the avocado is high in oleic acid and several other healthy fatty acids. Thick and rich with vitamins, the oil of the Persea Americana is a real treat for those who like it. Whether for cooking, frying, baking, or carrying essential oils into the body, avocado oil can be used to great effect. Like similar carrier oils, it has the ability to quickly and easily penetrate the skin barrier, and be absorbed by the body without losing strength. 

Avocado oil is reported to soften the skin, boost immunity, and soothe different skin-related conditions. This is especially true for skin which is malnourished or in dire need of moisture. When blended with essential oils, it forms a powerful foundation for a healthy and well-functioning body and mind.

This is another fruit that has its origins in Mexico, and research into the avocado and its characteristics show that it is in fact not a fruit, but rather a large berry!

Black Seed Oil

The plant known as black cumin (Nigella sativa) is often confused with similar plants because it is an herb native to several locations around the world. The seeds of the black cumin have been used as food and medicine for thousands of years, and it’s said they were even found in the tombs of ancient lords, such as King Tut of Ancient Egypt. 

Black cumin seed oil benefits include combating acne, softening the skin, healing wounds, and reducing inflammation in general. There is also supposedly a reduction in the risk factors of several other conditions, although black seed oil benefits such as those are not something which science backs up quite yet. Studies are still being conducted, and so far they have been few and far between.

As for using black seed oil for hair, it is a substance that’s said to hydrate hair and help it retain moisture. Many conditions related to hair can be traced back to lack of moisture, and while black seed oil uses vary a lot, this is one area in which it’s showing promise. It’s also said to help hair which is thinning, and this could be fabulous news for those who are experiencing hair thinning or hair loss.

Borage Seed Oil

Used in herbal skincare, the oil of the Borago officinalis plant (also known as starflower) is produced from its seeds. It’s often compared to other oils in terms of its fatty acid content. It’s actually higher in omega-6 than many other carrier oils. You can use it to reduce inflammation, combat acne and eczema, and even contend with symptoms of menopause and PMS. Studies are still ongoing, but it’s showing some promise in regards to future mainstream clinical use.

When properly combined with essential oils, it can be of great use for the skin, hair, nails, and the rest of the body. The seed oil of the borage is considered highly versatile for this reason. It’s also traditionally used for cardiovascular, respiratory, and intestinal conditions of different kinds. Like any other herbal oils it has possible drawbacks, so keep an eye out for any adverse reactions.

Castor Oil

Castor oil is actually one of the most popular beauty oils in the industry. This vegetable oil has been used for thousands of years and is made through the extraction of the Ricinus communis plant. The seeds of the plant, known as castor beans, contain ricin which is a toxic enzyme. Through the healing process, this toxin is deactivated which means that we can use this powerful oil abundantly.

You can use castor oil on your hair and scalp to encourage healthy hair growth. In fact, a common use of castor oil is for eyelash and eyebrow growth! One of the reasons why this oil is so powerful for hair health is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. These qualities can help to balance your tresses for thicker, fuller hair growth. Just apply regularly to your lashes, brows, or strands to see a visible difference in hair length. It’s not a magical treatment that works overnight, but it can do wonders when you use it over time.

The anti-inflammatory properties also make it a popular carrier oil in massage treatments. Additionally, you can use it as a moisturizer, laxative treatment, and as a solution to help reduce acne. Despite its multi-use benefits, it should be noted that it is possible to have too much of this wondrous oil. If you’re planning on using it as a treatment, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before proceeding.

Coconut Oil 

Hands taking coconut pieces from coconut.

Coconut oil has numerous hair benefits.

Next to the oils of olives and sunflower seeds, coconut oil is one of the most commonly-used kitchen ingredients there are. Whether for cooking, cosmetics, aromatherapy, or massage therapy, the oil of the cocos nucifera is a go-to for many people. It’s moisturizing, it’s natural, and it works great with all kinds of essential oils.

Coconut oil is also used in all kinds of lubes. Because it is a natural lubricant, it’s one of the most popular ingredients in products that are specifically meant to reduce friction during skin-on-skin activities. Lubes can be water-based or silicone-based, and coconut oil can potentially be a good addition, though not always.

A glaring downside to the use of coconut oil in lube is that because of its composition, it could interfere with your body’s pH levels. It could also interact poorly with latex protection. If there is a tendency for contracting vaginal infections, it is recommended to not use coconut oil in the bedroom, and opt for different products. Natural does not automatically equal better or safer. It all depends on the situation and the conditions at hand.

Emu Oil

This is one of the more modern (not to mention quite controversial) carrier oils out there, coming from the fat of the flightless Dromaius novaehollandiae species, an animal commonly known as the emu bird. Unlike most other carrier oils, this is not a plant-sourced substance. Its non-herbal origins notwithstanding, it’s also high in antioxidants and healthy fatty acids. It helps to reduce inflammation in the body, to combat various conditions, and to provide relief from signs of aging in the skin. Blemishes, wrinkles, spots, and so on, can be helped by using this oil.

Emu oil blends well with lavender, sandalwood, geranium, chamomile, and other carrier and essential oils. It’s being hailed as a way to reduce cholesterol and weight. However, evidence in the matter is scarce and is still being gathered through clinical research. Currently, its main use in the health and wellness industry is in the form of an addition to various lotions and creams. It’s also said to help nail and hair growth when combined with the right essential oils.

This large, flightless bird is native to Australia, but Emu farmers can be found in many other locations in the world. The Emus are raised primarily for their meat and fat.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil surrounded by evening primrose.

Evening primrose oil.

The seeds of the yellow-flowering plant known as Oenothera biennis are used in food, cosmetics, and medicine. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are some of this oil’s main ingredients. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are also constituents of this substance. It’s been used as a way to balance levels of hormones. This is especially relevant for women who are experiencing PMS or menopause-related symptoms. Also, it could help with skin which suffers from acne, eczema, psoriasis, stretch marks, and swelling.

Evening primrose is also high in minerals, and it is considered ideal for moisturizing purposes. If your skin is red or inflamed, or otherwise irritated, this could be an oil that really helps. Applying it, with or without blending it with other substances, can be beneficial. Hair growth is also a consideration, as it is said to help keep hair strong and healthy.

Flaxseed Oil

Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is known for its extensive use in the textile industry. The plant produces seeds that come in two varieties, but which retain basically the same characteristics. The liquid from the seeds is extracted by the process of cold pressing, and that oil is also known as flaxseed oil, linseed oil, or simply flax oil.

High in Omega-3 fatty acids, it is seen as a viable alternative to fish oil as a dietary ingredient or supplement. The “flaxseed oil vs fish oil” debate is kind of ignoring other flaxseed oil benefits: the possibility of reducing risks of certain diseases, improving the health of skin, digestion, and heart, and overall reduction of inflammation in the body. Depending on the situation and the person’s circumstances, either oil could be more beneficial than the other. This is why it is best to consult with your physician and make an informed decision.

Grapeseed Oil

The oil of the Vitis vinifera is a byproduct of sorts, manufactured by crushing the seeds of the grapes used in the wine-making process. It’s an oil used in many creams and lotions, in aromatherapy, and also in massage therapy. If you have skin that is naturally oily, this could be a substance that is better suited for you than other carrier oils. Whether for skin or hair, the oil of the grapeseed is considered a real savior.  It can help deal with blemishes, wrinkles, acne, skin tone, burns, and more.

Like other seed oils, it is rich in healthy acids and vitamins. It has the potential to aid with joint and muscle pains, and also combat oxidative stress. With hair, it’s said to help it grow thicker, softer, and shinier, letting the scalp retain moisture while keeping dandruff at bay. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well, and it’s easy to see why so many are taken with it. 

Hazelnut Oil

So many carrier oils seem to possess many of the same benefits, but few of their sources are as tasty as the hazelnut. The fruit of the Corylus avellana tree is one of the most well-known oils, which is used for cooking as well as medicine and massage. Like many of its fellow carrier oils, this one is antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory in its nature. It can penetrate the skin quickly, easily, and deeply, and in doing so carry essential oils (or other substances) into the body.

Warm-pressed hazelnut oil contains nourishing vitamins and fatty acids galore. It increases blood flow in the body, as well as the production of collagen. Due to its rather light composition, it can be used on those with sensitive skin. Of course, it is still best to test the oil before incorporating it into any treatment or massage therapy. The ingredients in the oil can help the skin combat spots, scars, and lines which may appear as the body ages or is overexposed to the sun’s potentially harmful rays. 

The hazelnut originally comes from different areas in Asia, although nowadays Spain has third place in worldwide production rates.

Hemp Seed Oil 

Close up of hemp leaves.

The hemp plant.

The hemp plant is better known as Cannabis, which is traditionally broken down into its respective species of C. sativa and C. indica. The seeds of the hemp plant contain nearly 50% oil, which – much like the plant itself – is put to many industrial uses. People choose to take it as a dietary supplement, and its content of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and protein can help with conditions such as acne. In fact, using hemp seed oil for acne, eczema, and other skin issues is a fairly common use, and it goes hand in hand with the oil’s anti-aging properties.

The use of hemp seed oil for skin goes beyond acne or dryness. It may contribute to skin cell repair, and help to prevent future damage brought on by day-to-day living. It moisturizes and helps keep the production of sebum in check. Using hemp seed oil for hair is also a popular use since vitamin E is considered to be exceedingly good for the scalp, as are the other antioxidants which the oil possesses.  

Some people find hemp seed oil helps to combat mental issues as well, such as depression, anxiety, and similar conditions. The plant is native to central Asia, but is also found elsewhere around the world. It is thought of as one of the earliest cultivated plants in existence.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

This is definitely one of the thicker substances, as far as carriers go, but the oil of the Ricinus Communis is used all over the world. Unlike the traditional castor oil, which is often some degree of yellow, this oil gets its black color from the burnt beans of the castor plant. Incidentally, those burnt beans are supposed to strengthen the oil’s natural abilities, which is why it is so popular. It has many benefits for the hair, scalp, and skin, and it works famously well with lavender essential oil. 

Castor and black castor alike are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and in antimicrobial agents. These help to purify the skin and nourish it, as well as protect it. Tea tree, rosemary, peppermint, olive, and coconut oils are also said to complement this oil. Depending on the issue or preventive treatment, it can be a powerful blend. Jamaican black castor oil is traditionally manufactured by roasting the beans of the plant, grinding them, and then boiling them. It may have Jamaica in the title, but the native area of the castor plant is the African continent.

Jojoba Oil

Woman with curly hair putting hair oil drops in her hair.

Jojoba is often used as a hair oil.

The oil produced from the seeds of the simmondsia chinensis plant, commonly known as jojoba, closely resembles the body’s natural oil – sebum. Because of this, jojoba is considered one of the most beneficial substances for our skin. It’s used in countless cosmetics products: shampoos, lotions, creams, moisturizers, and the like. The hair, scalp, and skin can all find extra comfort and healing through it. It is a non-greasy liquid that blends well with a variety of essential oils.  

It is an antioxidant, a moisturizer, and an antibacterial and antiviral agent, which does not clog the skin’s pores and is absorbed easily. You can use it as lip balm and skin serum; the face, in particular, can benefit from its composition. Vitamins A, D, and E, as well as fatty acids, are all part of what makes up the oil of this plant.

Compared to other plants and herbs, which require a large amount to create their respective oil, the liquid of the jojoba seed is up about 50% of its weight. This makes it pretty much ideal for the purpose of oil manufacturing. Jojoba originated in the desert areas of Arizona, California, and Mexico, and it still thrives and flourishes there.

Macadamia Oil

Often manufactured through the process of cold-pressing, the oil of the Macadamia ternifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla seeds is yet another carrier oil that closely resembles sebum. As such, it has great penetration and absorption abilities and is used in a variety of blends and cosmetics products. Skin and scalp that are experiencing reduced sebum production could benefit a lot from this oil, and the results can be astounding. Sometimes all you need is the right combination, and voila!

It is an oil that is rich in antioxidants and brimming with healthy fats. Additionally, it’s also an anti-inflammatory substance which can help keep the body safe. They assist the body to function properly, protect its integrity, and keep certain conditions from developing. Plus, it has a significantly high smoking point and ignition point. This makes it a sought-after cooking oil, especially for those who enjoy roasting or grilling. 

Marula Oil

Marula oil is derived from two sources, the seeds or the hard shells of the kernels of the Sclerocarya birrea tree. The oil is manufactured through the process of cold pressing, and is nicknamed a “miracle oil” in its native African region. It is often used in cosmetics and the culinary arts, and has different applications in each industry. In cosmetics, as a carrier oil, it has shown great potential for soothing the skin. It helps to repair damage to the skin’s surface under various circumstances.

As for hair, the oil of marula is used topically on the scalp in order to cleanse and protect it. It is also used to fortify the hair strands themselves against adverse influences coming from the environment. Marula oil is also used as a body massage oil, and it blends well with many essential and carrier oils. The antioxidant properties that it has make it perfect for boosting skin health and keeping its elasticity and clarity for longer periods of time.

Moringa Oil 

A select number of trees have earned the nickname “tree of life” or “miracle tree” in the course of human history. I’ve mentioned a few of them already in this post, and this is another tree that has been given that venerable title. The Moringa tree (Moringa oleifera) is also known as the drumstick tree, and the seeds of its fruit (drumsticks) are cold-pressed to produce this valuable and perhaps more obscure carrier oil.

The oil of the moringa seeds contains moisturizing fatty acids and Vitamin A, and it has been traditionally used as a medicine for many centuries. It serves as a useful cleanser of the scalp, able to lift dirt and buildup right off the surface, while also providing the roots and follicles with nutrients. Using moringa oil for hair is becoming more popular by the day, or so it seems. But that’s not the only area of the body where this oil can be helpful.

Moringa oil uses vary, depending on the area and its traditions. Part of what makes this tree so desirable is that nearly every part of it can be put to good use. The seeds, the pods, the leaves, and flowers are all used in different industries such as cuisine, cosmetics, and medicine. The use of moringa oil for skin is also becoming more widespread, as people (and companies) get wind of its health benefits and healing properties.

The tree, along with its precious fruit, is native to certain parts of India and is widely cultivated in subtropical areas of the world. Depending on the region, it goes by several other names, such as ben oil tree, benzoil tree, and – due to the bitterness of its roots – horseradish tree. 

Neem Oil

The plant called neem (Azadirachta indica) is also known as Indian lilac, and it has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. It is considered a sacred herb by the people of India and is a local symbol for good health and vitality. The fruit and seeds of this tree are cold-pressed and used to produce neem oil, which is also used as an insecticide.

Neem oil benefits are said to include strengthening the body’s immune system, acting as an antibacterial agent, softening the skin and hair, and improving the overall health of the individual. Neem oil uses are many in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda), and these days it’s an ingredient that can be found in different hair and skin care products.

Neem oil for hair is, by all accounts, proper use of neem. Indian tradition says it can help your strands retain moisture, combat dryness of the scalp, work as an effective treatment method (and prevention) for head lice, and also aid with the prevention of hair thinning and/or hair loss. Neem oil for skin is also a widespread use, as it traditionally possesses the ability to smoothen dryness of the skin and repair different kinds of skin damage.

Olive Oil

Olives hanging on an olive tree.

Olives hanging on an olive tree.

An oil commonly used for cooking and spicing up everyday foods, cold-pressed olive oil (Olea europaea) is also used for its cosmetic, medicinal, and aromatherapeutic benefits. This oil is often used as a massage oil. It has been revered by ancient and modern cultures alike for its many uses. High in vitamin E and healthy fatty acids, it serves to soften, brighten, and hydrate the skin. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. It moisturizes and hydrates, and, like other oils, it exhibits some characteristics of the body’s natural oil.

You can use it as a carrier oil to soothe aching or stiff joints and muscles. You can also use it to clean and remove bacteria. This oil is also used topically on the scalp and hair strands. It manages to protect the shafts, nourish the roots, and potentially prevent hair loss or thinning. Olive oil carries essential oils into the body wonderfully. However, its scent stands out and could potentially take over milder fragrances.

Native to ancient Syria, Iran, Israel, and the surrounding areas, the olive tree has spread across the entire world. It’s among the oldest known cultivated trees in existence.

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil (also called rosehip seed oil) is manufactured from the seeds of several wild rose bushes: Rosa moschata, Rosa rubiginosa, and Rosa canina. The uses of rosehip oil are many, but the face and skin are probably best associated with this liquid. Applying rosehip oil for acne – that is, for the treatment and prevention of acne – is a popular use, and as a mild oil it can be applied topically, and carry essential oils into the body for quick absorption and action.   

Like other vegetable oils, this one contains essential fatty acids, vitamins, and beta-carotene as well. This causes rosehip oil benefits to be multifaceted: it can boost collagen, act as an anti-inflammatory agent, reduce signs of aging and damage, and also hydrate and brighten your complexion. Using rosehip oil for skin is recommended for those who are looking for a carrier oil they can use every day, and it exists in many cosmetics products.

Using rosehip oil for hair is also quite popular and easy since it acts best as a massage oil. Whether you use it as a standalone substance or should you choose to use essential oils that benefit hair, there is a lot that this oil can do for your locks. The fatty acids and vitamins can help calm irritated areas, bring moisture to areas where the scalp might be experiencing dryness, and combat/prevent dandruff by helping to balance the scalp’s pH level.

Sunflower Oil

Girl holding sunflower to face.

Girl holding sunflower.

Sunflowers are beautiful to behold, and there are over 70 different species of it. The seeds of the Helianthus annuus are used to create what is known as sunflower seed oil, by utilizing the methods of warm or cold pressing. In massages and aromatherapy alike, it is a popular oil that is rich in vitamin E and unsaturated fats. It is also one of the most popular cooking oils. You can find it in countless kitchens all over the world.

This oil can help to combat skin conditions such as acne, and it’s also known as an ingredient that combats signs of aging. It works to ward off infections of different kinds by strengthening the natural physical barriers of the human body. It is easily absorbed by the skin, working to hydrate it without clogging the pores. The oil’s nutritional, medicinal, and culinary qualities have made it a staple in a variety of products and everyday life.

Sweet Almond Oil

Birds eye view of almonds in jar.

Almonds in a jar.

As mentioned, sweet almond oil and apricot oil share a lot of similarities. This oil has lots of protein and vitamin D and E. It’s also high in healthy fatty acids. As such, you can use it on areas of the skin which might be inflamed, burned, and/or otherwise irritated. The oil of the sweet almond (Prunus dulcis) is made from the kernels of the fruit, which are cold-pressed to produce the precious liquid. It’s also often used to help the growth and development of a healthy head of hair.

The oil can help the body produce collagen, resulting in healthier skin. It’s also used for muscle aches, general hydration and nourishment of the skin, and protection against harmful sun rays. If your skin is cracking or chapped, this is a substance that can be of great assistance and use. You can blend almond oil with many different essential oils (rose and lavender are popular) which allows you to effectively carry them into your system.

Tamanu Oil

Green tamanu nuts growing.

Tamanu growing.

There are two trees that bear the fruit used in the manufacturing of tamanu oil. These are Calophyllum inophyllum and Calophyllum tacamahaca. The substance has also been dubbed “green gold”, because of the color of the oil which the cold-pressing process yields. Tamanu oil is said to reduce acne, scaly skin, spots, sores, burns, rashes, and infections of different kinds. Those suffering from dermatitis or surface inflammation may find relief by using the oil of the tamanu fruit.

Tamanu oil blends well with a variety of essential and carrier oils, including lavender, tea tree, sage, and others. Practically speaking, it can act as a standalone massage oil. This is due to its thickness and major benefits for the skin. Nevertheless, as a blend, it can bring a lot to the (massage) table. Its scent is rather mild. Some people who are sensitive to smells may find use in this oil’s ability to get the job done without being too overwhelming.

Walnut Oil

Cracked walnut on table.

Cracked walnut.

The fruit of the European walnut tree, Juglans regia, is high in healthy fats of different kinds. The cold-pressed oil which it produces is moisturizing and hydrating. It manages to keep the skin healthy when it interacts with it, leaving it soft, smooth, and non-greasy. Used as a base oil for massage and aromatherapy, it blends well with other carrier oils and essential oils. It’s an antioxidant, astringent, anti-inflammatory substance.

The skin, scalp, and hair can all benefit a lot from this oil, and the rest of the body is not forgotten. Walnut oil’s anti-aging properties are beneficial, but it’s rather expensive; this is why it is not often used in mainstream products. The oil is also said to boost mental health, to aid digestion, and also act as an analgesic. If your skin is dry or irritated (or just in need of a good massage, for that matter) walnut oil is worth a shot.

Wheat Germ Oil

Wheat germ (Triticum vulgare) comes from the kernel of the wheat grain (Triticum aestivum), and its oil contains a high amount of vitamins A, B, C, and especially E. It is rich in protein, minerals, and other nutrients, and is known for its antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. It has the potential to blend very well with other oils and even prolong their shelf-life. However, it often possesses a very potent scent which may interfere with some of the more gentle fragrances such as lavender and rosemary. 

The oil is usually cold-pressed, and it can be used for the benefit of the body and mind. It is said to increase levels of energy, and even support cognitive health. Stretch marks, scars, lines, spots, and other skin issues can be handled, and perhaps even prevented somewhat, with regular use or consumption of wheat germ oil. There are even links to this oil being able to lower blood sugar and reduce bad cholesterol.


Carrier oils are some of the most precious and popular substances on the earth. Unlike essential oils, which often necessitate rather large amounts of source material, carrier oils can be seen more as ‘plant juice’, rather than essence. They often carry a cheaper price tag, yet are not any cheaper in regards to their popularity and utter usefulness.

As I mentioned, many of these oils have benefits and characteristics which overlap and complement each other. Some of them can be used as standalone products, and some are ideally used in a blend or product of some kind, due to their potency or their scent. There are so many oils to choose from, and then there are so many other substances which they can carry into your system, into your bloodstream, and into your very physical being.

This is not something that should be taken lightly. Even though these oils are normally not as potent as their ‘plant essence’ counterparts, they should not be seen merely as a means to an end. They can carry essential oils, yes, but they are also wonderful products by their own merit. An added bonus is that they can also soften the volatile nature of ethereal oils, and help them be absorbed and used by the human body.

Carrier oils come from all over the world, tracing their roots through thousands of years of shared history. Humans have been making oil from plants for such a long time, and those oils remain an inseparable part of our lives. Be they for medicinal or culinary use, for massage or aromatherapy, they are a real asset to ancient and modern-day living alike.

Plants really do provide us with so much. We owe Mother Nature a great deal of gratitude, indeed. And I feel the best possible way we can repay Nature’s kindness is by using its wonders to live a healthier and more natural life. We return the kindness by taking better care of ourselves and each other.