Dry skin can feel like a nightmare at times, and nothing seems to help ease the itching, soothe it or help with the flakiness. The dryness can appear on our faces, hands, and legs. Dry lizard-like skin isn’t great on anyone apart from lizards themselves. As humans, we want and need a healthy skin. Thankfully we have many options available to us to help fix this concern.
Carrier oils help ease some signs of dry skin, such as Jojoba, Coconut, and Rosehip Oil. In addition, they will nourish and moisturize your skin and erase the symptoms of dry skin.
But before diving into the best carrier oils for dry skin, let’s unpack what dry skin is and what causes it.
What Causes Dry Skin
In short, dry skin happens when there’s insufficient water in your skin. The lack of water leaves your skin dry and flaky. As a result, your skin can become less elastic and more prone to showing signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Battaglia (2003) says that “dry skin is the result of sebaceous glands under activity.”
So, it's not just a lack of water but also a lack of oil in the skin that leaves it dry, flaky, and thin. Another factor in the skin is the presence of essential fatty acids. When your skin is deficient in essential fatty acids, it can contribute to dry or scaly skin.
Dry skin could be caused by hot weather, cold weather, the wind, or other reasons. But whatever the reason, firstly, know that dry skin is common and can be eased quickly by applying the best carrier oils for dry skin.
However, dry skin could be a symptom of a bigger problem such as psoriasis, eczema, diabetes, or malnutrition. For this reason, we suggest you speak with your primary health care professional first to make sure there are no underlying causes.
Ashley (2014) explains that the skin cells are like bricks. She writes, "these bricks would need to be held together by iron rods to strengthen the support. In your skin, these iron rods are binders called corneodesmosomes. The mortar holding the bricks together is molecules containing waxes and fats called lipids”. When the skin has no barrier or is broken down, it compromises the skin, leaving it open to infection, allergens, and irritants.
She also states that an allergic reaction “also perpetuates the flaking. A neverending circle of skin breakage continues”.
What Carrier Oils are Best For Dry Skin?
1. Jojoba Oil
Topping the list of best carrier oils for dry skin is Jojoba Oil. It isn’t an oil but a waxy liquid and the closest oil to our body’s natural oil, sebum. It is moisturizing without being greasy. It contains vitamins A, B, and E, which are great for healthy skin. In addition, it consists of polyunsaturated fats, including oleic, gadoleic, and erucic acids, all of which are beneficial for the skin.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is full of fatty acids such as linoleic acid and lauric acid, which help make it an excellent moisturizing oil. For these reasons, it appears on our list of best carrier oils for dry skin.
The linoleic acid in Coconut Oil is soothing to the skin, and lauric acid is antimicrobial and can help reduce inflammation. While Coconut Oil can clog the pores, many still find it a great option as a moisturizer and cleanser. Our Coconut MCT Oil doesn’t clog the pores and is hydrating and protective to the skin.
Safety: This may not be the best carrier oil for dry skin if you have a nut allergy, as there is a potential for an allergic reaction.
3. Rosehip Oil
Next on our list of best carrier oils for dry skin is Rosehip Oil. This oil is rich in Vitamins A, C, and E, making it moisturizing, hydrating, and soothing. In addition, Lin et al (2017) suggest that Rosehip Oils may help repair the skin as a natural barrier.
Applying Rosehip Oil to your face can be delightful and feel very nourishing. It may be tempting to slather it on because it feels so lovely. However, we suggest you use it sparingly, as it can cause your pores to become clogged.
4. Evening Primrose Oil
A must-have for any best carrier oils for dry skin list is Evening Primrose Oil (EPO). EPO is rich in gamma-linolenic acid, a fatty acid known for its beneficial properties for those suffering from dry and itchy skin. The linoleic acid in EPO is an omega-6 fatty acid that can help support the skin by retaining the water in the epidermis layer. Not only can it moisturize the skin, but it can also help the skin's texture and ease any redness, dryness, and flaking.
5. Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet Almond Oil is a mild hypoallergenic oil safe for most skin types. It contains Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, proteins, and minerals, which can nourish your dry skin. The fatty acid content in the sweet almond oil helps retain the skin's moisture, and the vitamin E soothes any skin irritation.
Safety: If you have a nut allergy, this oil may not be the best choice.
6. Avocado Oil
Avocados contain natural fatty acids, making avocado oil the ideal choice for moisturizing dry skin. Avocado oil also contains vitamin E, potassium, lecithin, and many nutrients that can moisturize and nourish your skin. In addition, it is an excellent source of antioxidants, which will help absorb free radicals, protecting our skin from environmental damage.
Avocado oil has a rich, thick texture which can leave the skin feeling greasy, so it is best used when combined with other carrier oils. However, it penetrates the skin well and will leave it feeling hydrated.
7. Sea Buckthorn Oil
Sea Buckthorn Oil is extracted from the berries, leaves, and seeds of the sea buckthorn plant. Gupta et al (2011) found that the fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants found within the oil helped “protect the cell membrane and enhance cell regeneration”. They also found that Sea Buckthorn Oil provided skin protection and emollient properties.
8. Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot Oil is light, mild, and non-irritating, making it perfect for dry skin. It is rich in vitamin E, which protects the skin and contains essential fatty acids nourishing the skin. It also contains Vitamin C, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and help improve skin elasticity.
Skin Care Regime for Dry Skin
To tackle your dry skin, it is essential to look at your overall skincare regime. Ideally, you want to wash your face at least twice daily with a gentle cleanser. Next, you want to moisturize your skin morning and night.
Hot water can dry your skin further, so turn the temperature down a little when bathing. No hot showers or baths; warm water is better for dry skin. Some soaps and body washes can be drying to the skin, so use one that is nourishing and moisturizing for your skin.
After bathing, apply a nourishing moisturizer all over, focusing on the drier areas of your skin.
DIY Carrier Oil Blends for Dry Skin
Nourishing Body Oil
Method of Preparation:
- 1tbsp Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis)
- 1tbsp Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
- 1tsp Rosehip Oil (Rosa canina)
- 5 drops Patchouli essential oil (Pogostemon cablin)
- 2 drops Sandalwood essential oil (Santalum album)
- 2 drops Myrrh essential oil (Commiphora myrrha)
- A small amber bottle
Method of Use:
- Combine all ingredients in a small amber bottle, and shake gently.
- Apply this body oil after bathing to help nourish and moisturize your skin.
- Before use, do a small patch on the inside of your elbow.
- Myrrh is best avoided during pregnancy, so do not use this body oil if pregnant.
Simple Hydrating Body Oil
Method of Preparation:
- 1tbsp Coconut MCT Oil (Cocos nucifera)
- 3 drops pf Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
- 2 drops of Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena)
Method of Use:
- Combine ingredients in a small bottle.
- Shake before use.
- Apply to the face, arms, legs, and hands to moisturize and nourish the skin.
Safety: This oil should be safe to use during pregnancy, however, should be avoided if you have a nut allergy.
Moisturizing Face Oil
Method of Preparation:
- 1tsp Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca)
- 1tsp Avocado Oil (Persea gratissima)
- 1tsp Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
- 3 drops Geranium Essential Oil (Pelargonium roseum)
- 2 drops Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
- 1 drop Carrot Seed Essential Oil (Daucus carota)
Method of Use:
- Add ingredients to a glass bottle, and shake gently before use.
- Next, apply a couple of drops to your fingertips and gently massage them into the skin.
- Do a small patch test before applying it to your face.
Other Factors to Consider
You can be using the best carrier oils for dry skin, but if you’re not eating right, none of the oils will matter. When your diet lacks the right amount of fats and nutrients, it shows on your skin. Likewise, a diet filled with saturated fats, sugary treats, lots of alcohol, and little water will affect your body and your skin.
Eating a well-balanced diet with essential fatty acids will help with dry skin issues. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are rich in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids that will nourish your skin from within. Avocados are a good source of saturated fats and good cholesterol. You can add avocado oil to salads can help nourish the skin also. Make sure you drink plenty of water every day. Limit alcohol and high sugar foods.
Your Stress Levels
When we become stressed or sick, our body becomes run down. The nutrients our skin needs also slow down during these times, which will show on our skin. Stress can sometimes cause our skin to break out in red spots or dry, flaky patches. By reducing our stress levels, we can minimize its effects on our skin.
Keep stress levels under control with calming and relaxing essential oils. Learn what triggers your stress responses and find ways to minimize the contributing factors.
Massage can increase capillaries circulation in your skin, which feeds and nourishes the growing skin. Massages will also help ease the stress on the body and mind. Combine massage with a few drops of your favorite essential oil and one of the best carrier oils for dry skin. It's like killing two birds with one stone.
Learn to meditate or do some deep breathing exercises. For example, try the 4-7-8 technique of breathing. It can help ease stress and anxiety. Follow this technique:
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of four.
- Next, hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Then exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of eight.
- This completes one cycle. It is recommended by many that you meet between four to eight processes of the breathing technique. Start with one or two, then build up to eight.
Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes When Using Face Oils
Dry lizard-like skin belongs to lizards, not human beings. Several issues can cause dry skin but are addressed quickly with the help of the best carrier oils for dry skin. Our skin reflects what is happening inside, so we manage the internal and the external. What we eat and how we feel will be reflected on our skin, contributing to dry skin. Minimize what we can control, and follow a good skincare routine to help reduce dry skin. You will look and feel better in no time.
- Ashley, E (2014). The Aromatherapy Eczema Treatment: The Professional Aromatherapist's Guide to Healing Eczema, Itchy Skin Rashes, and Atopic Dermatitis with Essential Oils and Holistic Medicine
- Battaglia, S (2003). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition,
- Lin, T., Zhong, L., and Santiago, JL. (2017). Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils
- Gupta, A. and Upadhyay, NK. (2011) Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention, Chapter 120 - Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil: Usage in Burns, Ulcers, and Mucosal Injuries, Pages 1011-1018