Carrier Oils for Skincare, Photo Credit: Fotolia
Carrier Oils for Skincare, Photo Credit: Fotolia

Carrier oils have traditionally been used as a medium in massage for blending essential oils. However, the choice of carrier oils is not only becoming wider, but the use of a carrier oil in a skincare product can add a variety of different benefits to the product. But you don’t have to start complicated; here are three simple ways in which you can use carrier oils in your facial skincare routine and get your face ready for spring!

What are Carrier Oils?

Carrier oils are often thought of as secondary to essential oils; in fact, carrier oils are the primary basis of aromatherapy blends and are needed to effectively, and safely, use the majority of essential oils. Carrier oils have many properties, in their own right, in addition to the essential oil properties in an aromatherapy blend.

In aromatherapy practice, the most common carrier oils are vegetable oils. Today, in addition to the common carrier oils of almond, sunflower and olive oil, you can find such oils as pomegranate, hemp seed oil, and kukui nut oil.

A Carrier Oil as a Makeup Remover

Instead of using a commercial makeup remover, try just using a carrier oil! A carrier oil such as jojoba (Simmondsia sinensis) or olive (Olea europaea) is a great starting point. Simply dab a small amount of your chosen carrier oil onto a cotton ball or cotton bud and gently remove your makeup. Avoid getting into the eyes.

A Carrier Oil as a Facial Serum

Facial serums can be made in several different ways and the term is used to describe several types of facial products. Facial serums may be made with hydrosols, essential oils, and hyaluronic acid. However, a more simple facial “serum” can be made with a carrier oil – with or without the addition of essential oils. Put simply, this is an oil to be used in place of a face cream or lotion – and is perfect for dry, winter or summer skin.

I recommend a carrier oil such as pomegranate seed(Punica granatum), rose hip seed (Rosa rubiginosa), or sweet almond (Prunis dulcis) for starters. Add appropriate essential oils if desired.

Carrier Oils for Acne

Those with acne have been found to have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin surface lipids ( Therefore, if you suffer from acne, you might try to improve the condition of your skin by using a carrier oil that is high in linoleic acid; choices include:

  • evening primrose (Oenthera biennis) – 65 – 75 %

  • hemp seed (Cannabis sativa) – 55%

  • grape seed (Vitis vinifera) – 58 – 81%

  • rose hip seed (Rosa rubiginosa) – 43.6%

(Source: Price, Len, 1999)

Combine the carrier oil with an essential oil such as tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) or lemon (Citrus limon) for greater effect. Use a 1% dilution for the face, until you know how your skin will react; in addition, pay attention to any other contra-indications for use.

Learn More About Carrier Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie Home Study Courses

If you would like to learn more about using carrier oils safely and effectively in aromatherapy products, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study courses. Visit the courses home page to learn more!


  • Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead

  • website, 1986, Essential Fatty Acids and Acne, Downing DT, Stewart ME, Wertz PW, Strauss JS, accessed February 2015

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author, aromatherapy educator, and aromatherapy business owner

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