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What Does a Carrier Oil Do?

By Kaleigh Fasanella, she/her

Typically, in skincare formulas, you’ll find two types of oils: essential oils and carrier oils. Today though, we’re giving you an overview of the latter, which, unlike essential oils, are derived from fatty portions of the plant—such as nuts, seeds, and kernels. They also don’t smell nearly as strong as essential oils do, and they’re typically safe for most skin types, whereas some essential oils can be irritating or induce photosensitivity. A few common examples of carrier oils include coconut, argan, sweet almond, olive, and rosehip oils. 

Carrier oils are plant-based oils with a special job,” says Dee Leung, Youth To The People’s Regional Sales + Education Executive. “The name actually tells you the function because carrier oils are designed to carry essential oils into the skin while diluting them so that the skin can receive their benefits, without irritation.” This is super important as many essential oils—like lemon, lime, and bergamot—aren’t meant to be applied to the skin on their own due to their intense potency and how they interact with sunlight. 

What Are the Main Benefits of Carrier Oils?

As Leung explains, carrier oils have their own benefits for the skin, and they go well beyond just helping transport essential oils. 

“We use safflower oil in the Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial as well as the Superclay Purify + Clear Power Mask. Safflower oil is known for its ability to support the skin’s protective barrier, reduce inflammation, fight bacteria, fade dark spots, promote cell regeneration, and accelerate wound healing.”

Another incredibly popular carrier oil that you’ll find on countless skincare ingredient lists is jojoba oil. And that’s because, similar to safflower oil, it offers a host of benefits for the skin. 

“Jojoba oil uniquely mimics the skin’s natural oil or sebum,” says Leung. “After using jojoba, the body recognizes that the barrier is moisturized and therefore decreases the amount of sebum produced.” This, coupled with the fact that it has antibacterial properties and won’t clog your pores, makes it an excellent option for all skin types, including those with oily and acne-prone complexions. You can find jojoba oil in the Superberry Dream Oil as well as the Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream.

Written by Kaleigh Fasanella for Youth To The People