Spring Flowers

Essential Guide to Sustainable Carrier Oils

Sustainable carrier oils, a fundamental component of natural skincare, offer a safe method to apply essential oils and improve skin health. Unlike synthetic products, they do so without the detrimental environmental effects. For Soap and Seife enthusiasts who prioritize sustainability and purity in their skincare routines, it's essential to comprehend the environmental implications of carrier oils and make informed choices.

What are Carrier Oils, and How Do They Work?

A carrier oil is a skin-safe oil that can be applied without irritation or strong odours. Though individuals with specific allergies should take greater care when using them, most of these oils have beneficial effects when used directly on the skin without additional ingredients. Manufacturers derive carrier oils from the fatty portions of plants, such as seeds or nuts.

People use them to dilute essential oils, which, due to their high concentration, can cause skin irritation when applied directly. Carrier oils assist in ‘carrying' essential oils onto the skin, enabling more effective and safe absorption. Pure essential oils are too strong to be applied topically; thus, they should be mixed with a compatible carrier oil to avoid adverse skin reactions.

This article looks at the ten most familiar carrier oils. They are not necessarily pricey, but they still work well with Essential Oil blends and benefit the skin and the environment.

Spring Flowers Sustainable Carrier Oils

Benefits of Using Sustainable Carrier Oils

By consciously choosing carrier oils from sustainable sources, you nourish your skin and take a significant step towards supporting environmentally responsible practices. These oils, sourced from renewable plant materials, undergo extraction through energy-efficient and less polluting processes, unlike synthetic alternatives. Your choice to use organic and sustainably sourced carrier oils empowers you to contribute to:

  • Reducing Environmental Footprint: Opting for carrier oils from sustainable farms minimizes deforestation, soil erosion, and biodiversity loss.
  • Choosing sustainable carrier oils supports environmental conservation and promotes healthier skin. These natural oils are devoid of harmful chemicals, which resonates with purity-conscious individuals' health and wellness values. 
  • Supporting Ethical Practices: Many sustainable carrier oils come from cooperatives or farms that ensure fair wages and good working conditions for their workers.

How to Choose the Best Carrier Oil for Your Skin Type

When choosing carrier oils, consider the specific benefits each offers in line with sustainable living goals:

  • For Oily and Acne-Prone Skin: Grapeseed oil is light and has astringent properties, making it perfect for managing acne without overburdening the skin.
  • For Dry and Aging Skin: Argan oil, harvested sustainably from Morocco, offers moisturizing benefits and aids in reducing the appearance of wrinkles, supporting skin elasticity.
  • For Sensitive Skin: Jojoba oil is highly compatible with human skin oils, making it gentle enough for sensitive skin types and effective in balancing skin moisture.

Misconceptions in Eco-Friendly Skincare

A common misconception in eco-friendly skincare is that all natural oils have the same environmental footprint. Palm oil, often linked with deforestation and habitat destruction, highlights the need for discernment in selecting oils. It's important to support sustainable farmers who adhere to ethical practices in producing palm oil.

This requires consumers to conduct thorough research and choose certified sustainable options. Rather than boycotting the industry entirely, which could exacerbate conditions and encourage illegal farming, making informed choices can promote better practices and support responsible production.

Carrier Oils for Specific Essential Oils

Pairing the right carrier oil with your favourite essential oil can significantly enhance the benefits of your skincare regimen while ensuring that your choices remain environmentally sustainable. Here are some thoughtful pairings to consider:

  • Lavender and almond oil: Lavender is known for its calming and soothing properties, making it a go-to option for stress relief and alleviating skin irritation. When combined with almond oil, which is gentle and nourishing, it creates a luxurious blend that soothes the skin while promoting relaxation, all without high environmental costs. In general, almond trees are cultivated more sustainably and have a lower water footprint than other nut oils.
  • Tea Tree and Hemp Seed Oil: Tea tree oil is a powerhouse for treating skin blemishes due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Mixing it with hemp seed oil, renowned for its non-comedogenic and moisture-balancing properties, creates a highly effective treatment for acne-prone skin. Both tea tree and hemp seed oils often come from sustainable sources, supporting ethical farming practices.
  • Peppermint and Grapeseed Oil: Peppermint oil cools the skin and can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. When paired with grapeseed oil, which is known for its light texture and antioxidant properties, this combination is excellent for oily and sensitive skin types. Grapeseed oil originates from the winemaking process, which utilizes seeds that winemakers would otherwise discard, thus enhancing its sustainability.
  • Frankincense and jojoba oil: Valued for its ability to rejuvenate skin and improve its tone and elasticity, frankincense is a sought-after ingredient. Jojoba oil, which closely mimics the skin's natural oils, provides a perfect base, enhancing frankincense's effects and ensuring deep penetration into the skin. This pairing is perfect for ageing skin, providing moisture and promoting a youthful glow.

These pairings not only optimize the effects of essential oils but also do so in a way that maintains a commitment to sustainability and ethical consumerism. By choosing these combinations, you can support responsible production and reduce your environmental impact while enjoying the therapeutic benefits of essential oils in your skincare routine.

How to Use Carrier Oils in Your Daily Skin Care Routine

Incorporate carrier oils into your daily routine to not only benefit your skin but also support sustainable practices:

  1. As a Moisturizer: After cleansing, apply a carrier oil to help lock in moisture and protect the skin barrier.
  2. As a Cleanser, Use oils like sweet almond or sunflower to gently remove impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils.
  3. As a Base for DIY Recipes, Create your skincare blends using a mix of carrier and essential oils tailored to your specific skin needs and ethical preferences.
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Why You Should Dilute Your Essential Oils

Many Essential Oils benefit your health, but that doesn't mean they are safe for your skin. Some Essential Oils can cause irritation, dryness, and even skin damage if you don't dilute them with a Carrier Oil before using them topically. Diluting essential oils provides several advantages. By applying the oil over a larger skin surface area, dilution enhances absorption through the skin. It minimises possible sensitivities while also prolonging its effects.

How to Mix Essential Oils with Carrier Oils for Skin Care

When diluting essential oils, start with one drop of essential oil combined with one to five drops of your chosen Carrier Oil. Remember that your preferences, the oil's chemistry, and skin sensitivity are also necessary. When using essential oils for skincare, it's important to dilute them with a carrier oil before applying them to the skin.

The general rule of thumb is to use a 2% dilution, meaning 12 drops of essential oil per 1 oz of carrier oil. You can adjust the dilution based on your skin type and the essential oil you use. To mix the oils, add the desired number of drops of essential oil to your carrier oil and shake well to combine. You can apply the oil like any other skin care product.

What are the best Carrier Oils?

There are dozens of carrier oils available, each with its unique properties. Here are some of the most popular carrier oils for skin care and their benefits: I make Essential Oil combinations when making soap, and some mixtures smell divine. But suppose you want to put some oils topically on the skin, like Lavender Oil for back pain or Oregano to help relieve a cold.

In that case, you can mix them yourself to get the desired results. For the Top Carrier Oils, I looked at the cost of the oil for a standard 50ml bottle, and then I looked at Skin Benefits.While hundreds of oils on the market may be considered amazing, such as Emu Oil, only those within my affordable range make the cut.

The range I explored was roughly €3 – €4.50 for a 50ml bottle

Rapeseed Oil

Botanical Name: Brassica Campestris

Colour and odour: golden yellow; odourless. 

Texture: light  

Extraction Method: A solvent extraction method. 

The origin of rapeseed traces back to Canada, where the ‘Western Canadian Oilseed Crushers Association' registered the product ‘Canola'—a combination of ‘CANada' and ‘OLA' for ‘Oil Low Acid'—in 1978. Rapeseed Oil is a member of the same Brassica family as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Around springtime, the plant produces bright yellow flowers.

Skin Benefits: It's an excellent source of vitamin E and a potent antioxidant which promotes healthy skin.

Picture of beautiful Yellow Rapeseed Oil
Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Botanical Name: Olea Europaea

Colour and odour: Golden-yellow colour; faint distinctive odour

Texture: heavy viscosity, oily texture

Extraction Method: The extraction method involves crushing the olives into a paste and then using the cold-pressed method to obtain the oil.

Origin:The Mediterranean is the birthplace of olive oil, which people used for various purposes including rituals, medical ointments, and lamp fuel.Spain is one of the largest olive oil producers, followed by Italy and Greece. 

Skin Benefits: Olive oil has excellent antibacterial properties, is rich in antioxidants and is very moisturising. This can help prevent premature signs of ageing and reduce inflammation. It is a prevalent ingredient in soaps, lotions and Aromatherapy.

Grape Seed Oil

Botanical Name: Vitis Vinifera

Colour and odour: Light yellow to light green; Sweet. 

Texture: satiny texture & thin consistency

Glass bottle of grape seed oil with fresh grapes in the background.

Extraction Method: Cold-pressed extraction

Origin: Grape seed or grape oil originated in the Mediterranean and Asia. Its applications range from massage to skincare.

Skin benefits: According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, grape seed oil contains vitamin E, flavonoids like oligomeric procyanidins, linolenic acid, oleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, omega-9 fatty acids, palmitic acid, stearic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E. In short, grape seed oil actively fights aging.

It is a light moisturiser and softer than coconut oil or jojoba oil.You can apply it to the hair before shampooing to moisturize fine hair.In addition to having lightening properties, vitamin C is abundant in grape seed oil, which helps restore collagen. OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) found in grape seed oil are good for collagen rejuvenation. It may also decrease spider veins. 

Castor Oil

Botanical Name: Ricinus Communis

Colour and odour: clear and colourless; it can be odourless or have a slight odour.

Texture: Honey-like texture

Extraction Method: cold-pressed extraction method. 

Glass bottle of castor oil on a wooden tray with leaves and pine cones.

Origin: Probably native to tropical Africa, the castor oil plant has become naturalised throughout warm areas. Farmers primarily cultivate these plants in India, China, and Brazil, mainly to produce castor oil.

Skin benefits: Castor oil's fatty acids are humectants that prevent water loss and moisturise the skin. This effect can promote skin health, relieve dryness, and soothe inflammation by preserving the skin's moisture. It may also have the potential to accelerate wound healing.

Sweet Almond Oil

Botanical Name: Prunus Amygdalu Dulcis

Colour and odour: colourless to pale yellow

Texture: Very light oil.

Glass bottle of sweet almond oil with scattered almonds and decorative leaves.

Extraction Method: Cold Pressed Extraction

Origin: The almond originated in the Middle East and South Asia but people have cultivated it in several other areas, including southern Europe and warmer parts of the United States. Sweet almond oil is very similar to peach and apricot kernels. 

Skin benefits: It is suitable for nourishing dry skin and other ailments such as eczema and dermatitis because it has mild anti-inflammatory properties. Almond oil nourishes and moisturises because it contains fatty acids, mainly oleic acid (Omega 9) and the natural antioxidant vitamin E.

Apricot Oil

Botanical Name: Prunus Armeniaca

Colour and odour: A clear, pale yellow; practically odourless.

Texture: light and absorbs quickly; even faster than jojoba and argan oil

Extraction Method: cold-pressed extraction method.

Apricot Oil: Natural treasures - scattered apricot kernels, juicy apricots in a wooden bowl, and an elegant bottle of oil.

Origin: Like the peach, the Romans brought the apricot to Europe from the Middle East. Over the years, it has spread widely in many warmer European countries and the United States.

Skin Benefits:Apricot oil is excellent for the skin and it easily absorbs. It is great for itching and eczema and improves skin tone, softness, and radiance. Vitamin C and E work together to nourish the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes.

Hazelnut Oil

Botanical Name: Corylus avellana

Colour and odour: pale yellow colour with a mild aroma

Texture: fine and smooth

The image shows scattered hazelnuts in a wooden bowl, next to which stands a glass vial of hazelnut oil.

Extraction Method: a cold-pressed extraction method.

Origin: The common hazelnut is grown throughout the European and Asian continents and beyond. It is grown primarily for the nut but has been used in Britain and Europe as hedges on farmland for hundreds of years. Turkey is the world's largest producer of hazelnuts.

Skin benefits: Hazelnut oil is a multipurpose oil and Aromatherapy, massage oil, moisturiser, and hair care. It contains powerful antioxidants and minerals that can benefit damaged and dry skin. It is a popular ingredient in beauty cosmetics as it is believed to reduce wrinkles and prevent early ageing.

Peach Kernel Oil

Botanical Name: Prunus Persica

Colour and odour: pale light yellow; slight mild odour

In harmony with nature: a glass bottle of peach kernel oil placed on a piece of wood, surrounded by juicy peach kernels and half a peach. In the background, a basket of fresh peaches among peach bushes.

Texture: Peach Kernel Oil has a light texture and is easily absorbed

Extraction Method: cold-pressed extraction

Origin: The peach originated in China and is now grown worldwide.

Skin Benefits: Peach kernel oil can create lotions and creams perfect for summer skin. This moisturising oil is excellent for nourishing the skin without leaving a greasy feeling.

Neem Oil

Botanical Name: Azadirachta Indica

Colour and Odor: Can range from golden yellow to dark brown and has a strong garlic/nutty aroma

Texture: very thick consistency, may solidify in cooler temperatures.

Extraction Method: cold-pressed extraction

Natural richness: a pitcher of neem oil alongside a glass bowl containing the product, accompanied by a porcelain bowl of neem seeds for oil production. In the background, scattered neem seeds and leaves symbolize the fullness of natural bounty.
Ayurvedic Oil

Origin: The Neem tree originates from India and has been successfully cultivated in Northern Australia. The oils and dried extracts of the plant have been used in Ayurvedic medicines for thousands of years. They have been revered in India for their medicinal and healing properties, especially for chronic skin disorders.

Skin Benefits: Neem oil is perfect for regenerating dry and sensitive skin and hair and is best used in small quantities in mixtures. The curative properties of Neem Oil are known to boost immunity and improve health. Neem Oil was traditionally used to create skin and hair care products that soothed dryness, eliminated head and body lice, prevented baldness, removed bacteria, and slowed the greying of hair.

Calendula Oil

Botanical name: Calendula Officinalis.

Colour and odour: yellow to amber colour with a mildly sweet, spicy aroma

Texture: light texture

Extraction Method: solvent extraction method.

Nature's Bounty: a glass bottle of calendula oil surrounded by beautiful calendula flowers and petals. The harmonious essence of nature captured in one image.

Origin: Perhaps France. The marigold or pot marigold plant is cultivated so widely that pinpointing its precise source is difficult. It is also edible, and people can use the flowers in recipes and salads to add color.

Skin Benefits: Calendula oil is pretty versatile. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties are said to help with skin ailments. It is widely used in the cosmetic industry to make ointments, creams, and lotions.

Safety

It's crucial to consider your requirements regarding safety with Essential Oils. For example, people with sensitive skin usually require more diluted Essential Oils. You may need to avoid a specific Essential Oil or Carrier Oil if it causes a reaction. Many people have nut or legume allergies, so care should always be taken.

For every product you purchase, you must conduct a small test on your skin first to prevent an allergic reaction. This is often called a patch test.

Why Carrier Oils Are Essential for Transforming Your Skincare Routine

Integrating a carrier oil with an essential oil enhances skin absorption and provides protection for sensitive skin. Using carrier oils for dilution does not diminish the effectiveness of essential oils; rather, it optimizes their performance. By incorporating carrier oils into your daily skincare routine, you can dramatically improve your skin's health and appearance. Selecting the appropriate carrier oil based on your skin type and specific needs can boost the effectiveness of your skincare products, helping you achieve a radiant, healthy complexion.

The next time you consider enhancing your skincare routine, think about adding a carrier oil. For those seeking high-quality essential oils to complement your carrier oils, explore our shop for a variety of choices. We offer everything from tea tree oil to lavender oil, designed to elevate your skincare practice.

For readers of Soap and Seife, choosing sustainable carrier oils not only benefits your skin but also supports the planet. Each decision you make in your skincare routine is a step towards a more sustainable and environmentally aware lifestyle, mirroring the principles of a community committed to making a positive impact. Explore our selection of eco-friendly products and educational content to deepen your knowledge and commitment to sustainable living practices.

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