Carrier Oils
for Natural Skin Care

Mountain Rose Herbs

Natural skin care relies heavily on the use of carrier oils, base oils and vegetable oils which are used in soap making, skin care, cosmetics and massage. They can be used alone, blended or infused with essential oils to aid in the absorption of essential oil benefits.

Most of the over-the-counter cleansers, creams and lotions list some type of petroleum product high up on the list as a main ingredient. Petroleum products and minerol oil can't be metabolized, don't let your skin breathe and they won't nourish your skin. Just makes sense to use a natural oil!

Natural oils can also be used all by themselves, not just as carrier oils, to cleanse the skin. See how: oil cleansing.

More information on these natural oils and their properties, as well as supplies of high quality base oils and carrier oils for skin care remedies can be found at:
Organic Essential Oils


Here is a list of some of the more commonly used carrier oils for natural skin care:

Sweet Almond Oil

This is one of the most commonly used base oils, rich in essential fatty acids, good for all skin types. Sweet Almond Oil is often used in massage therapies, as it is lightweight, mild and easily absorbed into the skin. As a base oil, it has a longer shelf life than some others because it is not easily oxidized.

Apricot Kernel Oil

Similar to Sweet Almond Oil, also rich in EFA's, used most specifically for sensitive skin and mature skin. Homemade natural skin care cleansers and moisturizers using Apricot Oil should be made in smaller batches or stored in the refrigerator to extend usability.

Avocado Oil

A thicker oil, rich in amino acids, lecithin, vitamins and minerals. It also contains pantothenic acid (B5), which has been used successfully to treat skin conditions such as rosacea and acne. Since it is so thick, however, it needs to be used in a low ratio in a blend. Avocado oil is a nourishing oil for both skin and hair.

Camelina Oil

Similar to flax seed oil, Camelina is highly stable, and has a much longer shelf life. It is high in natural antioxidants, vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, and tocopherols. Camelina Oil is great for acne scar prevention.

Castor Oil

Considered a "miracle" oil, castor oil is actually a triglyceride of fatty acids that is anti-microbial and actually aids in the removal of toxins by increasing the lymphatic action. Taken orally, it can help reduce toxins in the same way. Skin healing and hydrating, without a greasy feel (when used with a light touch, this oil is used in natural skin care for anti-aging formulas, or all by itself. Great for around the eyes!

Coconut Oil

Refined coconut oil is one of the mildest base oils, and suitable for healing salves as well as sensitive, irritated or inflamed skin. This natural oil is popular for soap-making, as well as creams and lotions. It has a high Lauric acid content, and is high in anti-oxidant E. It has a bit higher comedogenic rating, so if you're concerned about that, save this for wonderful body moisturizing!

Evening Primrose Seed Oil

Evening Primrose Oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and a blood vessel dilator. It's an effective oil for acne, rosacea, aging skin, eczema, skin ulcers, and nourishing of the skin, scalp, hair and nails. The special characteristics of Evening Primrose Oil increases skin resistance to ultraviolet rays and aids in blood circulation. One of the best carrier oils for wrinkles!

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil has a high absorption rate, and will not leave an oily feel. It is non-allergenic, and one of the carrier oils used for sensitive, aging skin. This oil is especially good for collagen support and often used in antiaging skincare, especially on delicate undereye skin.

Hazelnut Oil

A thinner natural oil with astringent properties, Hazelnut can be used by those with an oily skin type. It will leave a slight oily film, which can be wiped with a warm cloth.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp oil is high in proteins and essential fatty acids and is absorbed well into the skin. It helps to heal skin lesions, fight skin inflammations, and softens dry skin. It is an excellent anti-aging natural oil with moisture balancing properties, non-greasy and emollient.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba is actually not an oil at all, but rather a wax ester extract of the seed of the jojoba tree that has absorption properties which are very similar to that of human skin, and is highly stable. This is a good, light choice for oily or acne prone skin, because is is non-comedogenic, and offers a light sun protection. Often used as a massage oil, Jojoba oil can soften hardened skin, and can help heal wounds and skin diseases.

Kukui Nut Oil

Particularly good for dry skin, acne, eczema and psoriasis due to the high penetrability. It has a high essential fatty acid content that is soothing and nourishing. It is not highly stable, and can go rancid quickly, so keep formulations in the fridge!

Macadamia Nut Oil

Anti-inflammatory and great for massage oil blends, but should be used in a low ratio. It has regenerative properties that have allowed it to be used successfully for treating scars, wounds, minor irritations and sunburns.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is the most versatile of all the base or carrier oils for skin and hair, rich in vitamin E and anti oxidants. It is very stable, conditioning and soothing. Be sure to obtain a high quality, cold-pressed, extra virgin oil to avoid the strong odor and greasy feel of lower qualities.

Palm Fruit Oil

Contains the highest amount of naturally occurring antioxidant vitamins A and E of any oil, so it has the longest shelf life of and does not need to be stabilized with any type of preservatives or additional antioxidants. The EFA's with with highest percentage are Palmitic and Oleic. Highly stable to oxidation.

Palm Kernel Oil

One of the two natural oils that contain the highest amount of Lauric acid, the other being Coconut oil. Lauric acid is believed to have anti-microbial properties, and is used mainly in soap-making where it produces a smooth feel. The other main fatty acids are myristic, oleic, and palmitic (to a lesser extent than in palm oil). High in saturated fats, it is relatively solid at room temperature, has low toxicity.

Rosehip Oil

Rich in EFA's, vitamins C and E, this is an expensive oil that can be used in a low ratio for treating many skin conditions, most notably dehydrated skin that has prematurely aged. Great for wrinkles!

Safflower Oil

Safflower Oil has a superior skin compatibility, and due to it's 80% linoleic acid content, increases the moisture content of the skin. It's best to use an unrefined blend to get the most moisturizing benefits.

Sesame Oil

This oil contains vitamins A and E and is great in a low ratio for massage blends. Sesame Oil also contains light protection from the UV rays of the sun, and is often used in natural skin care formulations for a natural sunscreen with a low SPF.

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E promotes healing and helps in the reduction of old scarring. It is anti-oxidant, and often used as a preservative in natural formulations.

Wheat Germ Oil

Wheat Germ oil is a high in vitamins E, A, and D, proteins, lecithin, and Squalene. It is great for cracking, wrinkles and chaffing. It has a higher pore clogging rating, so save it for around the eyes if you have oilier skin.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Use base oils in natural skin care recipes

Your natural skin care journey: Know your skin type before you begin!

Carrier oils (natural oils) for oil cleansing

Essential Oils: Add more power to your base oils

Olive Oil: Handy and oh-so-nice

Olive Oil Skin Care Recipes

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