Though essential oils might get all of the attention, it’s carrier oils that do the heavy lifting when it comes to creating DIY skin care products. According to certified aromatherapist Sharon Falsetto, with whom Bustle spoke for this article, the best carrier oils for skin will be cold-pressed, since the way an oil is processed is what dictates its eventual therapeutic benefits. Cold-pressed carrier oils are rich in nutrients like linoleic acid, linolenic acid, oleic acid, and omega fatty acids, which are all really good for your skin. That means, in addition to being used to create DIY beauty products, you can also use them as moisturizers and apply them directly onto your hair/nails/skin.
That said, finding the right carrier oil for your skin can be challenging, as each body responds in its own unique way, Nova Covington, CEO of Goddess Garden Organics, tells Bustle. For her brand’s products, she relies heavily on her favorite carrier oil, jojoba oil, but she suggests people always do a patch test on the inside of their elbow before using a new carrier oil, essential oil, or, for that matter, any new skin care product in general. Also be aware that some essential oils are not safe for the skin, even when diluted with a carrier oil, so be sure to do your research before using an essential oil anywhere on your body! (For a list of skin-safe essential oils, read here).
To get you started, below are four of the best carrier oils for your skin, whether you plan on using them for DIY beauty projects or as all-over moisturizers.
1. The Overall Best Carrier Oil For Skin
Why award jojoba oil (simmondsia chinensis) with the distinction of being the best carrier oil for your skin?Because jojoba is one of the carrier oils that's the most similar to the sebum our skin naturally produces, Covington says. In addition to being highly moisturizing, it also has a long shelf life and holds fragrance from essential oils particularly well. Falsetto adds that it's a safe choice for most skin types, including those that are sensitive or prone to acne.
This particular jojoba oil is USDA certified organic and Non GMO Project verified, in addition to being cold-pressed and unrefined. Choose from a 4-ounce bottle with a dropper, or a huge 16-ounce bottle with a handy pump top.
2. The Best Carrier Oil For Sensitive Skin
Though both the experts stress that each person responds differently to carrier oils, Falsetto says that a good, noncomedogenic carrier oil is evening primrose (oenthera biennis) oil, which is especially gentle and nourishing. Though most of the carrier oils on this list should be completely safe for use on sensitive skin, this one is perhaps the most foolproof choice when you're ordering online.
3. The Best Carrier Oil For Acne-Prone Skin
For clients who are prone to breakouts, Falsetto likes to start out with a lightweight carrier oil such as sunflower (helanthius annuus) oil. Be sure to purchase cold-pressed sunflower oil, not the hot-pressed sunflower oil you see in grocery stores, because one pressed at high heat will lose many of its therapeutic benefits, she says.
4. The Best Carrier Oil For Uneven Skin
Rosehip oil (rosa canina) is another good choice for people who are prone to breakouts, but honestly, with so many skin care benefits, it's a great oil for anyone. This carrier oil is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin A, and it's also known to reduce hyperpigmentation and increase skin cell turnover, which will be especially beneficial if you're trying to achieve a smoother, more even-looking complexion.
Sharon Falsetto, founder of Sedona Aromatics, the Garden School and Chief Editor of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) Journal.
Nova Covington, CEO of Goddess Garden Organics.