Best Carrier Oils For Face

When people start to look at using aromatherapy, we are always asked: What are the best carrier oils for the face? The face is a complex network of bones, muscles, and blood vessels. Layers of skin cells can make us look fantastic or like we’ve spent two years locked down. There are carrier oils for every skin type! They can reduce the texture of acne or facial scarring, keep skin looking plump and youthful, or relieve dry, tired, and weather-beaten skin. Their benefits are seemingly endless. Keep reading to find out what carrier oil you need for your skin type or problem. Then, after you’ve found it from our list, some gorgeous recipes are at the bottom of the page for you to try out.

What Are Carrier Oils?

These oils are derived from plants and used as a base ingredient to dilute essential oils on the skin (topically) safely. They are an important part of any product or treatment containing essential oils which are too potent to be used directly, and carrier oil help us to make them safer and more gentle for the skin.

If we were looking at essential oils versus carrier oils and what their personalities would be, we imagine them in a Big Top Circus.

We would have Rose Absolute oil at the top of the trapeze, charming everyone with her beauty and grace. Tea Tree oil spinning all the plates, spinning all the plates. Mandarin oil would be a troupe of clowns entertaining everyone by being light and easy-going. Then, we have the Ringmaster, holding it all together, commanding the stage so each oil can have its turn in the spotlight.   

Although essential oils are usually the star attraction, carrier oils are a massive part of the products that makes it all happen.

The Ringmaster is Lady and Mistress of all she surveys, commanding the stage with her forceful presence. Giving out the nourishment of vitamins and minerals as she sees fit.

Carrier oils are the currency for beautiful skin. They are the absolute real deal.

Clever make-up tricks mask our imperfections. Carrier oils nourish our skin, making it healthier, plumper, and firmer. A carefully chosen carrier oil used for facial treatments or products has the natural power to rejuvenate, revitalize and heal.

Carrier oils are known as “fixed oils,” which means they don’t evaporate. Essential oils, unlike carrier oils, quickly evaporate.  This makes essential oils excellent for things like burners and diffusers. If you ever try to put a carrier oil into a burner or diffuser, you will “gunk up” (technical term) your burner dish or diffuser. I am leaving you plenty of clean-up work to make it usable again. Instead, please take our word for it and just silkily glide them across your skin and absorb the goodness that way. 

Essential oils, as we have said earlier, are not fixed, so they cannot contain the usable fats and vitamins that carrier oils do to be absorbed by the skin. This is due mainly to the production process. Let's take Citrus oils, for example. The essential oils are expressed by putting tiny pin pricks into the fruit's skin and squeezing it. The vitamins and water are in the expressed oil mixed. Then it is distilled where the oils and water are separated. As vitamins are water-based, the water and the oils are separated. As the water is removed from the mix, so are the vitamins. 

But never fear; carrier oils are pressed, and that's how it retains the vitamins devoted to loving your skin. Mix them with some of our gorgeous essential oils, and you have the whole shebang.

What Does A Carrier Oil Do For The Skin?

Best Carrier Oils For Face

Carrier oils create a barrier to trap in hydration which in turn moisturizes tired, hardworking skin protecting it from the environment. In addition, they nourish the skin with all of these beautiful vitamins, lovely fats, and acids they contain. Only oils that are considered “fixed oils” contain usable vitamins for the skin because of the way that it has been harvested.

The Anatomy Of The Skin

Before we get to the details of the carrier oils, let’s look at the face structure.


The body’s largest organ is the skin. It comprises two main layers: the thin outer layer (Epidermis) and the thick under layer (Dermis). The epidermis is responsible for protecting the dermis below and reproducing skin cells. It contains no blood or lymphatic vessels but contains hair follicles to regulate our temperature and secrete sebum to protect and moisturize. 

The dermis has three layers much thicker than the sections in the epidermis. The dermis contains: muscles, nerve endings, blood supply, sweat, and sebaceous (sebum) glands and is the root of where hair follicles start.   

The epidermis, the top layer of skin, is the one the world sees. But, unfortunately, it's also the one that gets wrinkled and weather-beaten, so we need to protect and nourish it.

The dermis is the lower layer connected to our other functions (blood, lymph, and sweat, to name only three).


Man O’ Man are there muscles galore in your face! Let’s look at each area and see which carrier oils the best suit each section.

Top Section

From the top of your forehead muscle (Frontalis) you have the muscles that control your eyebrows  (Corrugator supercilii)

Think of how often you furrow your brows or raise them while in conversation. These muscles are some of the most challenging workings on your face. These areas can withstand a workout when it comes to massage because the muscles are so fibrous. Through regular activity, they thrive with deep massage (well, you still have to be gentle - it is your face, after all).

The forehead and the eyebrows are usually where you start to notice aging first. It’s also a weather-beaten area - sunburn, wind-lashed, rain beaten.  In these instances, you would choose a soothing, moisturizing carrier oil like Avocado, Jojoba, or Rosehip. They are also known to regenerate cells and plump up the skin.

Mid Section

The bridge of your nose (Nasalis), eye sockets (Orbicularis oculi), cheeks (Levator labii superioris), and cheekbone area (Zygomaticus minor and significant). The midsection of your face is one of the areas that may be affected by acne and associated scarring.

These areas of your face need the lightest touch. They luxuriate under generously unctuous oils, which will feed the sensitive plump skin of these areas. Blend essential oils with carrier oils to make treatments that reduce inflammation and encourage cleaning, healing, and regeneration of skin cells. Small amounts of Castor, Tamanu, and Argan would all be good choices.

Extra Tips For Acne

Aromatherapists start treatment for acne treatments with a sinus draining massage. However, an underlying, undetected sinus infection can often be a trigger.

The sinus cavity hides underneath this mid-face band of muscles below both eyes. These can produce excessive amounts of mucus that simply will not move. Post covid sinus infections can create enough mucus to sink a ship, in our humble experience.

Keep your sinuses clear by blending essential oils with carriers such as grapeseed to undertake regular facial massage. This maintenance treatment not only helps your breath more easily but improves the overall condition of the midsection of your skin.

Lower Section

Mouth muscle (Orbicularis oris), Cheek and Jaw muscles (Platysma and Risorius), Jaw muscles  (Depressor anguli oris and Depressor Labii inferioris), and chin muscle (Mentalis).

Just a short list of the complex network of muscles to help you smile, frown, talk and express any emotion on your face. Not to mention eating!

Muscles on the face are perpetually grinding away doing all the work and can get dragged down by that cruel mistress, Gravity. Daily facial massage to this area maintains skin elasticity, keeping it tighter and firmer and helping avoid you looking like one of those scary marionette puppets with flappy mouths.

This face area thrives under care with oils and facial treatments containing anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and skin regenerating properties. Blend our favorite Helichrysum essential oil blended with any carrier such as Coconut MCT, Jojoba, Avocado, or Tamanu.

Types Of Plant-Based Oil

1. Coconut MCT Oil

Light and Silky Coconut MCT oil is a world away from the heavy and greasy “Fractionated Coconut oil.” The difference between fractionated and the satin feel of Coconut MCT oil is that although they are the same, they are made differently. The manufacturing of this oil leaves in some of the skin-loving triglycerides, which are removed in the manufacture of fractionated coconut oil.

Coconut MCT oil makes an excellent massage oil base; it is easily absorbed and penetrates deeply into the skin, leaving it hydrated, stronger, and nourished. This light, silky oil glides on during a facial massage to smooth away the tension that can hold in the jaw and the forehead. (I see you with those furrowed brows…)

Coconut MCT oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t block your pores. As a result, it is a “go-to” base for facial skin treatments, especially for skin that suffers from acne breakouts. The fast absorption of Coconut MCT oil is excellent for aging skin, too - the oil is quickly absorbed and doesn’t sit in wrinkles (whoever said aging was graceful lied to us!).

Safety: Unfortunately, if you are allergic to nuts, this carrier oil isn't for you!

2. Grapeseed Oil

This wonder oil is a byproduct of wine manufacturing, and while usually the oil is extracted by solvents, here at VINEVIDA, we like to do things the old-fashioned way.

Our Grapeseed oil is sourced from masters of the complex process of cold pressing grape seeds. They make inconceivably pure oil without chemical processing. 

Grapeseed oil is a wonderfully thin carrier oil. It is slippery and easily absorbed. Chock full of vitamin E and Omega chain acids, it supports skin during eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis breakouts.

Grapeseed oil is perfect for massaging and facial treatments when blended with essential oils. With its mix of jazziness (vitamin e and omega chain acids), this carrier oil boosts the effect of essential oils when used in products or treatments, then adds just a little bit more to be the “hostess with the mostess.”

3. Almond Oil

If there were a prize for the most luxurious oil, I would give it to Sweet Almond. A beautifully rich, thick oil. As comforting as it is sweet, nurturing with a delicate warm fragrance. It’s so thick and conditioned; it’s just the thing for any skins that need extra TLC. For example, dry, eczema, or psoriasis-prone skin.   

Sweet Almond oil is a little thick but blends so well with other carrier oils (such as grapeseed) when used for facial treatments. As it is an emollient, it’s lovely for hydrating areas of dehydrated skin, for instance, weather-beaten cold chapped skin, and it’s so, so comforting. It is excellent for shaving rashes and being so gentle on chapped burnt skin that it is even soft enough for babies' booty when they get a nappy rash (that is how soft it is!). 

Now, if you are in the business of making your products, this oil is so thick and lovely; anything you put it in, such as face masks, creams, and soaps, will be best sellers. In addition, its superb non-comedogenic properties won’t block your pores. This oil is better suited for drier complexions, though, because of its ability to keep in moisture - you don’t want extra oil if you are already oily!  

Safety: Unfortunately, if you are allergic to nuts, this carrier oil isn't for you!

4. Argan Oil

Argan oil is even better at moisturizing the skin than shea butter (and we all know how soft and lovely that is!) thanks to its composition (80% no less) of fatty acids omega 6 and 9. Argan oil is a hydrating and nourishing carrier that can easily blend with essential oils. It’s absorbed into the skin, leaving a thin layer of residual oil and a faint, oily smell. Linoleic acid is a powerhouse component of this oil (as well as the fatty omega acids 6 and 9); it is known to strengthen the skin barrier and promote cell turnover, making the skin soft and plump. This is one of the best carrier oils for more mature or dehydrated skin and needs a little more love than expected. 

That being said, all skins love argan oil - it’s a very middle-of-the-road oil, and it helps everyone!     

Safety: Not everyone loves nuts; if you have an allergy to them, I’m afraid Argan oil isn’t for you.

5. Tamanu Oil

Unlike the other oils mentioned in this article, Tamanu oil is a solid at room temperature and must be warmed before use. Tamanu oil is cultivated from the Tamanu tree, native to East Africa; it grows from the southern coasts of India to Australia. Tamanu oil is a carrier oil specifically to support the body's natural immune responses to conditions affecting the skin, such as eczema and psoriasis.  As it contains anti-inflammatory properties, it’s helpful when used in treatments to promote the formation of scar tissue (cicatrisant) to heal the skin, for example, after shingles, chicken pox, and acne. It’s an easily absorbed rich oil with a light spicy wood fragrance lingering on the skin after treatments (hmmm)—a gloriously rich oil, great for skin that needs a little extra healing oomph.   

Safety: Unfortunately, if you are allergic to nuts, this carrier oil isn't for you!

6. Avocado Oil

Like the fruit, avocado oil is excellent for you. It’s a thick-ish glossy, easily absorbed oil, making it a fantastic base for creams and lotions because of its emollient nature. As it’s so thick and luscious, if you use it on a large area, the skin can become sticky or tacky, so if the intended use is a facial massage, you will do well to blend it with another carrier oil. The properties in avocado oil make it a real “workhorse” oil; it absorbs quickly and contains many “good stuff” specifically for dry and aged skin as it is thought to increase collagen production and reduce inflammation.      

7. Jojoba Oil

Dry skin and some skin-related ailments sometimes don’t allow us to produce enough sebum to regulate our supply of sebum. So guess what a grand job of mimicking it does? Superb, excellent Jojoba oil.

Jojoba oil is chemically closer to wax than an oil; its composition makes it one of the most beautiful carrier oils for skin. It has Vitamin B, E, Zinc, Copper, and all of the skin-loving fats benefitting the skin, leaving it nourished and hydrated. In addition, as jojoba oil is more of a waxy substance, it has a similar consistency as naturally occurring sebum which protects our skin.      

8. Castor Oil

Castor oil has a rich, thick, honey-like texture - wherever it is placed (if not blended), it will stick. Its properties, when used topically, are mainly emollient and will nourish, moisturize and cool the skin. BUT, if you warm it up and leave it seep into the skin, it deeply penetrates different layers of skin, and the effects are even better.    

Castor oil has long been considered one of the best oils for skincare, and it’s a rich, thick oil that is actually a triglyceride (a fatty acid) and is mainly composed of ricinoleic acid. This cacophony of beautiful things makes it cooling and soothing.

This oil is fabulous for any skin irritation or complaint such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. But it’s also handy to have on your vanity for shaving rash and sunburn. 

9. Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is made from the fruit that appears after the flower and is bursting with Vitamin C. Vitamin C makes it excellent for more mature skin and skin with hyperpigmentation (melasma).

The Vitamin F contained in the oil is also good - it plumps and moisturizes the skin in its unctuous ways and hydrates by penetrating deep into the skin. It’s a thick oil but absorbs into the skin like liquid gold (the carotenes from the color of the hips). Less is more when using this oil.

There isn’t a strong smell associated with Rosehip oil, so when mixed with essential oils, the fragrance of the essentials isn’t compromised or masked.     

The Best Carrier Oils For The Face - The Recipes

1. Coconut MCT Oil

Facial Massage Blend for Mature Skin

Method: The hydration of Coconut MCT oil is blended with luscious enrichment of rosehip and jojoba oils. The MCT and jojoba have non-comedogenic action, guarding against breakouts, but the rosehip penetrates deep into the basal layers, plumping and moisturizing the skin.

Gentle carrot and chamomile essential oils ease the muscular structure, relaxing tension and soothing stress. At the same time, Jasmine, the Queen of Heaven, takes heady, sultry, and blissful moisturizing care of their complexions.

Safety: The jasmine would make this blend inappropriate for use on pregnant ladies. Avoid using it on people with nut allergies.

2. Grapeseed Oil

Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey Soap Recipe

This soothing soap is lovely for sunburned or winter-chapped skin.

Method: Heat the lye and water separately from the oils.

When you have reached 125°C temperatures, combine the lye/water mixture and oils and stir well. 

Bring the mixture to a trace as above and add in the dry oats and warmed honey. 

Mix the dried milk into a runny paste with a bit of oil, then add to the mix. The mixture may turn slightly yellow or orange because of the milk. Don’t panic; it will lighten up later. When everything is combined, pour into your molds and leave to cool and set for 24 hours. Unmold or cut into smaller bars if you use a large mold,  then leave to cure for 3-4 weeks.

Safety: Unsuitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy and unsuitable for those allergic to nuts. 

3. Almond Oil

Almond, Rosehip, and Melissa Lip Balm

Method: Melt your wax and butter in a double boiler, then add in your oils and essential oils.

Stir gently to distribute them through the mix. 

Decant into your pot or tube.

Leave it to set overnight. Put the tops on after about an hour. 

Safety: Not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy or people allergic to nuts.

4. Argan Oil

Argan Moisturizer for Psoriasis 

Method of use: Use morning and evening after thoroughly cleansing and toning the skin. 

Safety: Not suitable for use during pregnancy

Argan Moisturizer for Acne

Method of use: Use morning and evening after thoroughly cleansing and toning the skin. 

Safety: Not suitable for use during the first 37 weeks of  pregnancy (Clary sage)

Safety: Argan is a seed oil rather than a nut oil, but rare occasions can cause reactions in nut allergy sufferers.

5. Tamanu Oil

Skin Balm

Method: Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and use daily as a regular moisturizer. 

Safety: Not safe for use during the first 37 weeks of pregnancy (myrrh), and almond oil would not be a suitable choice for sufferers of nut allergies.

6. Avocado Oil

Massage Oil for Post Menopausal Skin

Method: This lovely blend works well as a facial or body massage; apply circular upward clockwork motions (go with your circulation, not against it). Apply as needed - this excellent nourishing oil will keep your skin soft and supple. 

Safety: Moot point, but not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

7. Jojoba Oil

Nourishing Cream for Acne

Method: Melt the wax in a double boiler; when all ingredients are completely melted, remove from the heat and add essential oils. Decant into sterilized jars, and leave to cool with the lids off. 

Clean off any residue, and put tops on when the cream has set. Massage the cream into the face in a circular clockwork motion (gently) twice a day.  

Safety: Not suitable for the first 16 weeks of pregnancy

8. Castor Oil

Castor Oil Eyebrow Oil 

Method: Mix the below ingredients into a small pot and dab the beautiful slick gloss across your eyebrows before bed - thoroughly wash off the following day (mainly to avoid looking like Groucho Marx)

Safety: Not suitable for use during pregnancy.

9. Rosehip Oil

Anti Wrinkle Nourishing Cream

Method: Blend the essential oils into the carrier, then stir into the aqueous cream. Since oils and water don’t naturally mix easily, use a larger container to stir them together well, then decant into a pretty pot. Apply morning and evening after cleansing and toning the skin.

Safety: Not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Masque for Tired Dry Skin

Method: Blend and smear over freshly cleansed skin. Luxuriate in it for ten minutes before rinsing away and moisturizing.

Safety: Not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.


What are the best carrier oils for the face? We couldn’t choose just one! They are all wonderful for different reasons and seasons. Try the recipes, and if you have a favorite carrier oil, please let us know!