Carrier Oil Benefits and Absorption Rates

Carrier oils (also called base oil), are extracted from the seed, kernels or nuts of a plant.  Unlike essential oils that are extracted from the leaves, bark and roots of plants.

Base oils are used to dilute your essential oils and help “carry” them into the skin.  Just like essential oils each carrier oil has unique properties & benefits.  When you combine the correct carrier oil with your essential oils, you will get much better results than when just using a generic carrier oil.

Different types of Carrier Oils and their Benefits

Type Of OilBenefitsOils to look For
Nut Oils
  • Soothing for sore, dry, inflamed & sensitive skin
  • Can stimulate circulation
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Can help with wound healing
  • Helps to maintain skin elasticity
Seed Oils
  • Helps to condition & rejuvenate skin
  • Especially beneficial for mature and premature aging skin
  • Can help repair damage caused by dryness
  • these oils can help soothe discomfort & itching caused by burns
  • Helps reduce appearance of scars
Fruit Oils
  • Fruit Oils are gentle & nourishing
  • Due to their light texture they can moisturise without leaving a greasy residue
  • Can help reduce the appearance of ageing skin
  • Suitable for use on sensitive skin
  • Cleansing and softening
  • Has some antioxidant properties
Essential Fatty Acid Oils
  • Hydrate and soothe itchy, dry inflamed and acne prone skin
  • Anti-infammatory
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-Fungal
  • Antiseptic
  • Can balance the skins essential fatty acid deficiency and skin’s oil production
  • Helps with wound healing

Further to considering the above properties of the base oils you choose to use, it is also important to consider the absorption rate of your chosen carrier oil.  There would be no point in using a fast absorbing oil on and already dry skin as it would just worsen the problem you are trying to solve.

Absorption Rate of the different types of Carrier Oils

Absorption RateFinish on the skinOils To Look For
Very Fast
  • Seen to be drying as its very quickly absorbed
  • Leaves no greasy residue
  • High in Polyunsaturated Fats
Fast
  • Quickly Absorbed
  • Leaves a smooth silky finish
  • Skin will feel moisturised but not greasy
Average
  • Leaves the skin feeling silky
Slow
  • Can feel gummy or waxy until they warm up to body temperature
  • Tend to leave the oils with a slight oily residue
Very Slow
  • May need to be gently heated before use
  •  Can be heavy on the skin
  • May leave a thick oily but moisturising barrier on the skin
  • Will eventually be absorbed
  • Higher in saturated fats which gives them a longer shelf life than faster absorbing oils