Vegetable oils – The Carrier oils 

Vegetable oils are oils with little or no scent extracted from edible plants – typically from seeds – which are used to dilute the essential oils and ‘carry’ them into the skin. That is why they are also known as “carrier oils.”

Because Essential oils are volatile, meaning they evaporate quickly, they need help to get into the skin.  Carrier oils help the essential oils sink into the skin and avoid evaporation, allowing penetration. 

They have highly moisturising properties that protect and supply the skin with essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. 

The skin’s natural bacteria feed on the vegetable oil and start the process of breaking down the components making them available to blood and the lymphatic system.

Another consideration when applying essential oils topically is that some can be irritating to the skin, creating burning or itching sensations. This does not happen when the essential oils are diluted with a neutral carrier oil.

There is so much more to vegetable oils than simply serving as a vehicle for their more glamorous passengers, especially when the aim is deeper skin penetration.


They are magnificently therapeutic in their own right, complementing, enhancing and extending the benefits of the aromatic oils that they carry. Individually they are healing; together with the essential oil, they create a powerful treatment.

Carriers like cold-pressed Rosehip and expressed Borage seed oil have been used for generations for their regenerative, anti-inflammatory and moisturizing qualities. Other oils, like Apricot kernel and Sesame oil are used in wound healing and sun damage treatment. Many are rich in antioxidants, deeply hydrating and boost collagen production. 

The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and essential fatty acids (vitamin F), are prominent in unrefined organic vegetable oils.

Not remembering the vitamin benefits? 

Vit A: supports a healthy skin. The lack generates a scaly and flaky skin. 

Vit D: supports the absorption of calcium, very important for bone density. 

Vit E: also called tocopherol, fights radicals and it is antioxidant. 

Vit K: supports blood-clotting when there is bleeding.

Vit F: an EFA: essential fatty acid, essential because the body does not produce it. It’s fuel for our cells and brain.  

How do we choose the ‘right’ carrier oils for highly effective skin penetration formulations? 

The phytopharmacology matters, but mostly it is the comedogenic value of each oil that helps deliver more therapeutic benefits into the skin. 

What does comedogenic mean? 

Something that is comedogenic tends to clog facial pores and cause blackheads or acne to form. The lower the comedogenic value the better. 

When I formulate creams, serums and gels I base my choices in low comedogenic carrier oils. This will allow the whole blend to penetrate the skin deeply, without clogging the pores, thus delivering the therapeutic benefits effectively. 

This is an example of a facial cream I would formulate:  

 To prevent moisture loss (working on the surface of the skin):

v Aloe & hydrolats instead of water (Aqua is the first ingredient in all creams)

v Organic Jojoba oil (best occlusive thus preventing moisture loss) 

v Organic Argan oil (explained below)

v Vitamin E (antioxidant)


To Regenerates the skin barrier (working on the lower layers of skin):

v Organic Sunflower oil (omega 9 and 6)

v Organic cold-pressed Rosehip oil (Omega 3) 

v Expressed Borage seed oil (GLA) 


Argan carrier oil is a light, non-greasy, smooth nourishing emollient. It is easily absorbed through the skin and provides moderate protection from the sun. The oil has a good range of Vitamin E components which support wound healing and also provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It consists of the right balance of Oleic acid (Omega 9), and Linoleic acid (Omega 6), so supplementing it with an oil rich in Omega 3 like Rosehip provides a good ratio of omegas, to protect and balance the skin barrier, and to maintain hydration and keep moisture in.

To repair and regenerates the skin barrier it’s essential to add Borage seed oil.

This are just a couple of carrier oils … imagine the benefits when they are all carefully chosen and combined for their maximum benefits!

Would you like to start designing a natural and powerful skincare protocol that works for you?  

Why not visit me at the Englefield Green Community Shop  – I am there most Friday & Saturday afternoons.   

Or just visit me at  and give me a call, on 0755764524