Carrier oils are usually vegetable oils that come from their seeds, nuts, or plant kernels. Most essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin, so they have to be diluted with a carrier oils. These oils, when combined with essential oils, are also used in many beauty products such as sugar scrubs, lotions, balms, moisturizers, perfumes, and more. Carrier oils are usually odorless except some types of coconut oil.
The term Comedogenic as it pertains to carrier oils and essential oils is a determination of whether or not certain oils with a rating of 0-5 will cause your skin to breakout because of clogged pores. Essential oils on their own are non-comedogenic, but in most cases you will be using them with some sort of carrier oil. The types of commonly used carrier oils have comedogenic ratings from 0-5 based upon how likely they are to clog pores and cause breakouts. This is a great resource containing additional oils and their comedogenic ratings.
Here is a breakdown of the ratings:
Comedogenic rating of 0 means that the oilis a non-comedogenic and will not clog your pores.
Comedogenic rating of 1 has a slight chance of clogging your pores.
Comedogenic rating of 2 means that most people will not have clogged pores, but some people will experience clogged pores depending on their skin type.
Comedogenic rating of 3 will cause a lot of people to experience clogged pores or breakouts even though others won't experience any problems depending on their skin type.
Comedogenic rating of 4 suggests that most people will experience clogged pores or breakouts unless they have a good tolerance to oils depending on their skin type.
Comedogenic rating of 5 basically guarantees clogged pores and breakouts because very few people can tolerate oils with this rating.
Apricot Kernel Oil is very gentle and is ideal for sensitive skin and safe for children. It can be substituted for sweet almond oil. It is often used in beauty products for lotion recipes and hot oil treatments. All skin types: mature, dry, sensitive, or inflamed skin. Apricot kernel oil is helpful for relieving inflammation, itchiness, and dry skin. Apricot Kernel Oil has a comedogenic rating of 2.
Argan Oil has benefits range from being nourishing for your hair to repairing split ends and taming frizz. In addition to being an excellent carrier oil for your hair, it can be applied to your skin and nails, or callused feet to improve cracks in heels and to nail, cuticles to strengthen brittle nails. Argan is a great oil for mature, aging or damaged skin. It can be used as an additive to prevent wrinkles or for nourishing the skin around the eyes. The oil is traditionally indicated for pimples and acne. Argan Oil has a comedogenic rating of O.
Avocado Oil is high in essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins and is a good emollient for the skin. It is ideal for sensitive skin or problem skin and eczema. Avocado is usually combined with other carrier oils and not used alone. Avocado oil is indicated for wound healing and it is easily absorbed by the skin and promotes cellular regeneration. It can be used for all skin types especially postmenopausal skin, dry, fragile, or mature skin. Can reduce itchiness in skin caused by eczema or psoriasis.Avocado Oil has a comedogenic rating of 2.
Castor Oil is an antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal carrier oil. It can be used on irritated skin. It is usually combined with other carrier oils and not used alone. Castor oil is an excellent emollient. Castor Oil has a comedogenic rating of 1.
Coconut Oil has a myriad of uses for hair and skin products because it is a great emollient and it also slightly occludes the skin thereby preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) . It provides antioxidants that protect against the signs of aging, making it the perfect quick and easy moisturizer for your face and body. It can also be used in moderation for shampoo and nourishing conditioner. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties and can be used for lip balms and lotions. It is solid at room temperature but can melt when in warmer conditions. Coconut oil can be combined with other carrier oils so that it becomes more pliable. Unrefined coconut oil is the best for beauty products because the refinement process uses chemicals to extract more oil, and in turn bleaches and deodorizes the oil. It has a shelf-life of 2-4 years. Oil has a comedogenic rating of 4 unless it is Fractionated Coconut Oil has a comedogenic rating of 0.
Fractionated Coconut Oil does not have the same benefits of regular coconut oil because the lauric acid has been removed to keep it in its liquid form. It still will soften and hydrate the skin and isn't as greasy as regular coconut oil. It is also recommended for sensitive skin because it is so gentle. Fractionated Coconut Oil has a comedogenic rating of 0.
Grapeseed Oil is a dry oil so that it does not contribute to oily skin. It's used in hair recipes and skin recipes. It works as a natural astringent, so it is ideal for acne-prone or oily skin. Grapeseed Oil has a comedogenic rating of 2.
Jojoba oil has a moderately low comedogenic rating, making it ideal for both oily and mature skin. It can be used to remove makeup while acting as a moisturizer. It also can be used on your nails to improve strength and overall growth and on hair to soften hair follicles and to reduce split ends. It absorbs into your skin easily without leaving a greasy residue. Jojoba is used for acne because it can dissolve clogged pores and support the skins natural pH balance. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties making it helpful for skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and inflamed skin. Jojoba Oil Oil has a comedogenic rating of 2.
Olive Oil is available in supermarkets and is a popular beauty recipe ingredient. It has good fats for your skin and hair. It can leave behind excess oil that doesn't soak into your skin right away. It works as an exfoliant and does not clog pores. It works as an excellent makeup remover as well and doesn't irritate the skin in the process. Some people may be allergic to olive oil in which case; it can cause skin irritation. It is also used for wound healing, dry skin, eczema, and mature skin.Olive Oil has a comedogenic rating of 2
Sesame Seed Oil is a lightweight oil that can be used in massage oils. It moisturizes the skin without leaving an oily residue. It contains skin restructuring and emollient properties and is good in dry and/or cold climates because it is heavy and penetrates the skin.Sesame Seed Oil has a comedogenic rating of 3.
Sunflower Oil is often used in recipes to treat psoriasis, eczema, dry skin, or damaged skin. It is a lightweight oil that can be used as a massage oil. It is good for oily skin and all skin types.Sunflower Oil has a comedogenic rating of 1.
Sweet Almond Oil is perfect for any skin type because it is a good emollient, especially if you have sensitive skin, acne, eczema, dry, irritated, or oily skin; Almond Oil provides a plethora of hydrating benefits without agitating sensitive skin. Not only is it a perfect moisturizer, but Almond Oil also helps to restore the skins natural protective barrier. It moisturizes your skin and is versatile, so it works in many beauty recipes. It is high in vitamins A and E which nourishes your skin. Do not use sweet almond oil if you have a nut allergy. It also helps relieve itching, soreness, dryness, and inflammation. Sweet Almond Oil has a comedogenic rating of 2.
Tamanu Oil is used for wound healing because it helps to form new skin tissue and accelerates healing and growth of healthy skin. It is indicated for cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites or stings, abrasions, acne, acne scars, psoriasis, diabetic sores, sunburn, dry or scaly skin, blisters, eczema, and to reduce foot or body odor.
Calendula Herbal Oil isa great moisturizer for dry skin and for chapped skin and other skin conditions. It helps soothe the skin and reduce pain from inflammation and irritation.
Carrot Seed Oil has a natural SPF of 35-40. It has naturally-occurring beta carotene, provitamin A, vitamin E, carotenoids, tocopheryl & more. Carrot Seed Oil (different from the essential oil) is ideal for mature or dry skin types, as well as damaged or brittle hair.
Evening Primrose Oil is used for dry skin, eczema and minor skin irritations. It is great for the skin and hair and is said to reduce the effects of aging. Good for premature aging, dry and devitalized skin, psoriasis, eczema. Applied topically, evening primrose has cooling and anti-inflammatory effect and is used for dermatitis.Evening Primrose Oil has a comedogenic rating of 2.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil is rich in Vitamins A & E, anti-oxidants, omega 3 & 6, all of which protects the skin, improves elasticity, and reduces signs of ageing. It is also excellent for use on sunburn, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dry skin, and skin lesions. It has a naturalSPF of 25-50.
Rose Hip Oil is a fast-absorbing dry oil that helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, eye bags and fine lines by soaking into the skin easily and without leaving an oily residue. It helps to heal blemishes while restoring moisture to any rough patches on your skin. The fatty acid content also contributes to rosehips ability to diminish scars and other marks to promote the cell regeneration. Rosehip oil is high in vitamins A and E and also has essential fatty acids that promote elastin and collagen production. It's often used for stretch marks, burns, wrinkles, eczema, and sunburn. Rosehip Oil has a comedogenic rating of 1.
Sea Berry Seed Oil (or Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil) helps to promote skin healing from various conditions like eczema, rosacea, and acne. It also has antbacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-clotting effects. Its benefits include anti-aging properties as it promotes hydration, elasticity, and regeneration.
St. John's Wort Oil is great for general skin care. It helps reduce the effects of minor burns, skin rashes, scars, cuts, scrapes, and scratches.
Chamomile Hydrosol has the ability to calm and ease the nerves and is a great hydrosol for skin care applications.
Cistus Hydrosol is distilled from the leaves of the Cistus plant. It helps aid in wound healing and can stop bleeding as well. It also indicated for wrinkle treatments.
Eucalyptus Hydrosol is not as potent as the essential oil. It is indicated for body care and room sprays.
Helichrysum Hydrosol has many of the same benefits as the essential oil. It is uplifting, grounding and comforting for negative emotional states. It can also be used for mature skin.
Lavandin Hydrosol is similar to Lavender hydrosol. It is ideal for oily and combination skin types. It is also beneficial for emotional support.
Lemon Balm Hydrosol has calming effects for emotional distress and is beneficial for skin care treatments.
Lemon Thyme Hydrosol can be used in skin care and also cleaning recipes.
Peppermint Hydrosol is revitalizing and refreshing when used in body care products. It also provides a cooling sensation which might help relieve inflamed skin.
Rose Hydrosol is distilled from the petals of the rose bush. It can be used to help with stress, insomnia and promotes emotional balance. It can be used on dry, mature, sensitive, and inflamed skin. It also helps regulate hormones and treats PMS symptoms.
Rosemary Hydrosol is energizing and stimulating and can be used in skincare treatments. It also provides mental clarity.
Sage Hydrosol is uplifting and grounding and can be used in skincare products.
Activated Charcoal works by trapping toxins and impurities in pores and can be used in deep cleansing pore mask, exfoliating acne scrub, or full body moisturizer. It also get rid of plaque and other teeth staining items and can be used in tooth paste.In general, it is great for detoxing the body in many ways.
Aloe Vera Gelly helps to soothe and heal the skin from irritations and dryness. It acts as a moisturizer without leaving a greasy residue and can be used to treat breakouts and skin blemishes. It has anti-aging properties and also helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Pure Aloe Vera Gelly has a comedogenic rating of O.
Beeswax is amazing for the skin for so many reasons. It helps to create a barrier to seal in moisture while allowing the skin to breath. It is used in DIY beauty products to help thicken lotions and creams because it is solid at room temperature. It is high in Vitamin A, which helps aid cell regeneration and overall hydration of the skin. Beeswax has a comedogenic rating of 2.
Bentonite Clay helps to remove toxins from your pores, allows skin to heal and reduces inflammation. It also helps in the lightening of acne marks on the face.
Castile Soap contains only vegetable-based ingredients and is usually a blend of coconut, olive, hemp and jojoba oils making it a natural cleanser for the face, body, and hair.
Cocoa Butter is great for the skin, whether its dry or cracked it works as a deep moisturizer which is great for stretch marks. It can also fight the signs of aging and soothes the skin. It has a comedogenic rating of 4.
Himalayan Sea Salt detoxifies the body by balancing the pH system and improves hydration to the skin.
Honey supports the skin by acting as a moisturizer and it can help to cleanse the pores and works as a gentle exfoliant. Honey is found in many DIY skincare products for this very reason. Be sure that it is raw, unfiltered, organic honey!
Rosewater has numerous benefits for the skin and hair.It helps maintain the skin's pH balance by controlling any excess oils in the skin. It also has antioxidant properties in addition to anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and astringent properties. This means that it will help to strengthen and regenerate skin cells, it will also clean the pores and reduce skin irritations or breakouts.
Shea Butter is rich in vitamins A, E and F. Due to the vitamins and fatty acids it is very moisturizing for the skin -- especially if you suffer from dry skin. It also has a SPF of 6 which helps to protect the skin from UV rays. It has a comedogenic rating of 0-2.
Solubol is a dispersing agent used with essential oils in water for drinking or bathing.
Vegetable Glycerin works as a moisturizer to help keep the skin hydrated and radiant. It also works as a cleanser and toner. It controls oil and has a comedogenic rating of 0. It is also a great option for soaps and other beauty products and it has benefits for those with sensitive skin and mature skin.
Vitamin E Oil nourishes the skin, treats stretch marks, lightens blemishes and scars, and has anti-aging properties to it.Vitamin E Oil also acts as a moisturizer and can reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.It can also be used as a cleaning agent.Vitamin E Oil can clog pores in you have oily skin, so it is best to use in moderation.
Witch Hazel is askin-healing astringent that’s capable of naturally healing and reducing blemishes and clogged pores. It also kills the bacteria within the pores and has anti-aging properties.
Zinc Oxide provides SPF protection and is used in sunscreen and some daily moisturizers.
All of the above ingredients can be purchased at Mountain Rose Herbs, StillPoint Aromatics, at Whole Foods, or on Amazon.