If you’re familiar with our line, you know that we’re big proponents of using oils in your skin care routine. Since our skin naturally produces oils to protect itself, it is able to absorb and utilize oil more readily than an emulsified product (aka lotion).
This means that using oils in your skin care routine allows for deep penetration of the qualities found in them. We infuse our facial oils with herbs and add essential oils for additional nutritive properties, but using a simple oil itself also provides the skin with significant benefits.
Since everyone’s skin is unique to their own bodies, it’s important to use the right kind of oil for your skin. It’s entirely possible to over or under moisturize your skin, which can lead to breakouts, irritation, clogged pores, increased dryness, and/or dehydration.
Because our facial oils are designed to work with specific skin types, each contains a specific blend of carrier oils.
We wanted to take some time to explain the differences between these oils and what each of them does for your skin.
What is a Carrier Oil?
Let’s start from the beginning. A “carrier oil” is simply one of the cooking oils that you have sitting in your cupboard. They are oils derived from the fatty parts of a plant — usually the nuts, seeds, or kernels. (Whereas essential oils are derived from the non fatty parts of the pant, such as the leaves or the flowers.)
Typically, carrier oils are called such by natural practitioners and in traditional healing roles — skin care professionals, herbalists, etc—and the reason is in the name. Carrier oils are often used to dilute essential oils and carry the healing properties to deep within the skin.
Grapeseed Oil – for Oily and Combination Skin
High in antioxidants, this oil helps protect from environmental stressors. Grapeseed oil is also high in vitamin E.
Grapeseed oil is a popular ingredient in our skin care — you’ll find it in both Herbal Facial Oils, the Unscented Facial Oil, and both of our body moisturizers. It’s light enough to be absorbed by even the oiliest skin while still providing enough moisture for people that are working to balance their skin's look. If you’re working with very dry skin, grapeseed oil may not be the option for you, it’s very lightweight so it doesn’t provide the longer-lasting moisture that dry skin sufferers need.
Jojoba Oil for Dry Skin
Jojoba oil is actually a wax ester that is similar in texture to the sebum that we produce naturally, making it ultra moisturizing and easily absorbed by the skin. Because of its waxy texture, jojoba acts as a long lasting moisturizer that can improve the look and feel of the skin immediately upon use.
Because it’s so gentle and high in vitamins and minerals, it’s a great oil for those with sensitive skin.
We use jojoba in our Anti-Aging Facial Oil, Anti-Aging Eye Cream, our Citrus Stem Cell Serum, and we always recommend it for people that are experiencing dry skin. At times, it can also be over-moisturizing and pore clogging for people that are working with oily or combination skin types, so it’s best for those who are not prone to oily skin.
Sunflower Seed Oil for All Skin Types
Sunflower seed oil is another amazing oil for skin care. It is moisturizing and it also helps to keep the skin hydrated. (Yep, there’s a difference between hydrated and moisturized skin.)
Like grapeseed, sunflower seed oil has high amounts of linoleic acid. It is also considered very safe for the most sensitive of skin.
It’s a great moisturizer and it’s thin and absorbent enough for all skin types. We use sunflower seed oil in our Anti-Aging Facial Oil, Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin, both of our body moisturizers, and Sun Love.
Coconut Oil for Anti-Aging
Coconut oil seemingly has an endless amount of uses and benefits for our bodies, and it’s no different with skin care. It's ultra-moisturizing and nutritious. We use it in a lot of our products, favoring fractionated for facial formulas and unfractionated coconut oil for body products. You can read about the differences here.
Unfractionated coconut oil, like the oil in our Coconut Body Oil and our Coconut Honey Mask, is solid at room temperature. It’s very moisturizing, nutrient dense and high in vitamins like A, C, and E. Its large molecular size makes coconut a heavy oil that holds in moisture and can clog pores. Thus, this form of coconut oil can cause breakouts in people that are prone and we typically suggest they use fractionated instead. Got dry skin? Unfractionated may be right for you.
Fractionated coconut oil is the same ingredient, but with the long-chain triglycerides removed, causing it to remain liquid at room temperature. It retains the antioxidants and vitamins but has a reduced molecular size, and is great for mature and dry skin.
This form of coconut oil is still very moisturizing, but is a lot lighter and thus absorbs more readily into the skin. This is good news for those with oily skin. We use fractionated coconut oil in both of our Herbal Facial Oils and our Unscented Facial Oil.
Avocado Oil for Mature Skin
Avocado oil tops the charts in terms of fatty acid content. Avocado oil is moisturizing enough for dry skin and penetrates deeply so it doesn’t leave your skin feeling too oily. It may cause breakouts for people who are sensitive, but it can also be very helpful for unclogging pores. We use Avocado oil in our Sun Love and in our Anti-Aging Eye Cream.
Hazelnut for Oily Skin
Hazelnut oil is another lightweight oil that provides good moisture. It’s packed full of vitamin E and antioxidants.
Hazelnut oil is gentle, making it great for balancing oily skin that is also sensitive.
The easy-to-absorb properties of hazelnut oil is why it’s in our Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin. Because of the nature of this oil, it isn’t the best carrier oil if you’re experiencing dry skin.
Olive Oil for Balance
People have been using olive oil on their skin for centuries with wonderful results. It’s a great moisturizer, not too heavy or too light, so it’s helpful for balancing without over-moisturizing. It is high in vitamins E, K, and A along with squalene so it’s very antioxidant rich.
We use olive oil in our Coconut Body Oil and in our Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin because it’s so great for maintaining balance. Olive oil may be too moisturizing for people with oily skin and it may not be heavy enough for people working with very dry skin.
So whether your skin is dry, oily, or somewhere in between, there's a facial oil out there that's right for you. It's all about knowing your oils and doing a little experimentation to find out which one really makes your skin glow.
Which carrier oil works best for your skin type? Let us know in the comments below!
Seed Guides – Grapeseed Oil
Realize Beauty – Jojoba Oil and Sebum
Dermatology Times – Sunflower Seed Oil Benefits
SkinVision – Olive Oil
DIY Natural – Carrier Oils
Aub is a certified clinical herbalist and content strategist/creator. She is the co-founder of Dandelion Branding, a digital marketing company that works with brands that are focused on revolutionizing their industries. When she's not working on a project, you can usually find her nosing about in the forest or giving congratulatory high fives to every plant in her house for growing.