Coconut oil is often the be-all and end-all for most beauty lovers. You can use it in your hair, on your body, for oil-pulling purposes — the list goes on (including cooking, obviously). It's a holy grail product for some, but for others (including our beauty director), the multipurpose oil doesn't bode well for their skin. So, in honor of all of those not in love with the coco, we've rounded up some alternative carrier oils to use in its place.
But, first we wanted to give a little background on what exactly carrier oils are and how they differ from essentials. In layman's terms, carrier oils (like coconut) help to, well, carry nutrients into the skin. They're the lighter of the two types of oils — super gentle and very emollient, allowing nutrients to really soak into your skin. "They're often cold-pressed, which is when you take big seeds or nuts (like coconut, almond, olive, etc.) and put them in a crushing machine to get drops of oil," explains Shrankhla Holecek, founder of Uma Oils, a skin-care brand which produces 100% natural and organic oils. "It's not as intense of an extraction process [as essentials], which is why they tend to be cheaper, because they're created in much larger quantities."
While carrier oils are effective when used by themselves, they also work great in tandem with essentials (like lavender, frankincense, jasmine, etc.) says Adina Grigore, the founder of S.W. Basics and author of Skin Cleanse. "Because [essential oils] are the essence of a plant, and they've been extracted in a way where you're getting a really potent oil, they tend to be super strong...and can sometimes burn you," she said. "Carrier oils are there to dilute the essential oils, to make [them] gentle enough to go on to your skin." Makes sense, right?
So, now that we've gotten the basic "what's what" information out of the way, let's get to breaking down the best carrier oils you need to get your hands on. One thing to keep in mind, as with most beauty products, is that every oil isn't for everybody. "They're all so good for you, which is nice," says Grigore. "But, it's definitely about experimenting — it's kind of like being a chemist."
Keep clicking to learn about the best coconut alternatives — you just might find the perfect oil for your skin.