Carrier Oils are oils made from plant that on its own has huge benefits to the skin. However, the benefits can be enhanced further if pair it with essential oil. Pairing it with essential oil helps to carry the essential oil to the skin better and stays longer. Chemical burn from essential oil is possible if you apply it topically without proper knowledge, especially those of citrus family. Thus, pairing with carrier oil is essential!
There are many types of carrier oil available, ideally you should be using wild-crafted carrier oil or cold-pressed oil since they contained the minimal amount of chemical residue. They also retain a higher proportion of nutrients than they would if they were exposed to heat.
Matching Carrier Oils to skin type is important if you are developing your own personal product. So, how would you know which carrier oils suits your need? Of course, we need explore further to understand its properties.
Carrier Oils contain fatty acids such as Saturated Fatty Acid, Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid. These fatty acids can still be broken down to more varieties. Sounds complicated? Not to worry, let’s look at it from a layman perspective.
Saturated Fatty Acids can be broken down into over 30 types of acids but here, I will only be talking about 4 of them that is beneficial for skin with direct application.
1. Lauric Acid
Found mainly in coconut - inexpensive, long shelf-life, nontoxic and safe to handle. Lauric acid is a great cleansing agent, it reacts with sodium hydroxide to give sodium laurate aka soap. That is the reason why coconut oil is commonly used in oil pulling specifically as our saliva contain sodium hydroxide. Lauric acid also has anti-bacterial property and helps to prevent skin infection such as acne.
2. Myristic Acid
Myristic Acid helps to dissolve oil, dirt and grime, a great surfactant for the skin. It is also used in cosmetic as emulsifier to prevent the oil and water-based components of the product from getting separated. It thickens the emulsion and improves its stability. A suitable fatty acid as liquid soap and lotion.
3. Palmitic Acid
It is found at top layer of our skin as a barrier for moisture lost. Therefore, Palmitic Acid is a good moisturiser and emollient for skin care. Its primary benefit for skin health is locking in moisture by forming a protective layer on the skin. It is also known as penetration booster, therefore, if you like the essential oil to be even more effective in terms of skin healing or improvement, pair it with oil that has such property.
4. Stearic Acid
Stearic Acid helps to strengthen skin barrier, soften the skin, and makes it looks supple. The barrier protects the skin from allergies, bacteria, and other environmental damages. It has some visual whitening effect on skin and prevent skin from sun tanning, protects from sun damages such as dark spots and blemishes.
These are some of my favourite carrier oils which I use very often in my skincare formulation, and I have compiled a table here to show you the percentage of each acid found in the oil.
From the table above, you can see most of the oils in my product. For example, Grapeseed Oil is found in my Every Day Facial Wash because of its consistent properties in Myristic Acid, Palmitic Acid and Stearic Acid.
I use Sweet Almond Oil in my Extreme Hand Treatment Oil because of its Palmitic Acid property, also known as penetration booster, it helps the essential oil used in the hand treatment oil to be penetrated the skin to keep it soft and supple. And of course, I used Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Evening Primrose, Rosehip and Jojoba Oil in my Every Day Oil for their booster and penetration properties.
Once you understand the function and the know the percentage, you can make decision on what you want to add to serve your purpose in your DIY formulation.