With the popularity of natural skin and hair care on the rise, the variety of ingredients for formulators to choose from has become huge. As large and varied as it is, it grows constantly. So how can a formulator know which Carrier Oil to work with? What differentiates one Carrier Oil from the next? And which Oils are best for which types of formulas?
When you browse descriptions of Carrier Oils, you should look for a few key pieces of information. These main characteristics can help you figure out if an oil is right for your formula. First, determine the Oil's texture. Oils can range in texture from very light and easily absorbed, to thick, slow, and greasy. Lotions and Body Creams can use a range of textures, depending on the desired feel, and adhesion of the recipe. Sugar and Salt Scrubs often use light to medium textured Oils, while balms and ointments lean toward the heavier textured Oils. The following list highlights selected Oils from each category:
Another factor in an Oil's texture is it's melting point. Most Carrier Oils are liquid at room temperature, but there are several Carrier Oils that remain solid until they reach a certain temperature. Choosing an Oil with the right melting point can make or break many types of formulations, especially when product texture is important. The following list highlights some Oils that solidify at high and low melting points.
High Melting Points
Low Melting Points
Another thing to look for when browsing Carrier Oils is the Essential Fatty Acid content. Essential Fatty Acids are a necessary component for healthy skin, however, our bodies cannot produce them after adulthood. Supplementing Essential Fatty Acids with diet, and skin care, can help to improve the health and appearance of your skin and hair. Many natural Carrier Oils are rich in Essential Fatty Acids, but knowing which Fatty Acids to look for can be challenging. To learn more about Essential Fatty Acids, check out the following article from Beauty by the Batch: Introduction to Essential Fatty Acids.
In addition to Essential Fatty Acids, many Carrier Oils boast additional nutritive properties including vitamins and minerals. Some Oils even contain natural anti-inflammatory agents, anesthetic properties, or sun protection value. Read each description carefully, as each ingredient will have its own unique combination of special properties and characteristics.
Finally, pay attention to any notes that mention color or aroma. While most Carrier Oils yield little to no scent, there are some Oils that do have aroma, ranging from light to pungent. Often, Fruit or Berry Seed Oils will have a slightly acidic scent. This comes from their high content of Essential Fatty Acids.