Best Carrier Oil for Sensitive Skin

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

The body naturally produces oils that heal, moisturize, and protect the skin and hair. That’s why oil-based products have been used for health and beauty since the beginning of human history – they are natural, and they work. Today, thanks to modern science and chemistry, we have a huge range of solutions and compounds available for skin care, but many of them aren’t natural, and may irritate delicate skin. That’s why, even with so many alternatives available, many people rely on natural carrier oils to care for sensitive skin.

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Table of Contents

Now Solutions, Organic Jojoba Oil, Moisturizing Multi-Purpose Oil for Face, Hair and Body, 4 Fl Oz

What is a Carrier Oil?

A “carrier oil” is an oil that can be absorbed by the skin, penetrating the outer layer and bringing nutrients deeper into the epidermis. They “carry” compounds from the outer surface of the skin to the inner layers.

Carrier oils are critical, and not just for sensitive skin. Essential oils, like those derived from lavender, rose, and other plants, have powerful healing and nourishing benefits. Essential oils are the foundation of many DIY projects and natural beauty products.

But, when applied directly to the skin, their volatile compounds are powerful and dynamic; they may irritate sensitive skin, and may also dissipate or break down before they penetrate the skin.

Adding essential oils to a carrier oil diffuses those volatile compounds into the carrier oil, protecting the skin from any irritation, and allowing the essential oil to be carried inside the outer skin layers for the most benefit.

Best Carrier Oils for Sensitive Skin

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Jojoba Oil

Technically, because it has almost no triglycerides, the liquid we get from jojoba seeds is a wax, not an oil. This lack of triglycerides makes jojoba oil much more shelf-stable than other carrier oils, making it easier to use and store.

Importantly, jojoba oil is the carrier oil most chemically similar to our own natural skin and hair oils, so it is the most bioavailable of the carrier oils, and the least likely to irritate sensitive skin.

Jojoba oil is anti-inflammatory, promotes healing while reducing the formation of scar tissue, and has anti-aging benefits.

Our favorite: Viva Naturals Organic Jojoba Oil

Certified Organic Jojoba Oil ; 100% Pure & Cold Pressed, Natural Moisturizer for Face and Hair and Great for all Skin DIYs (Polishes, Masks, Body), 4 oz
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This jojoba oil is certified organic, unrefined, cold pressed, and free of allergens, additives, and preservatives.

Sweet Almond Oil

The nuts of the almond tree are a rich source of oil, but only sweet almonds are food-safe. These oils are extremely high in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and vitamin A.

In addition to the healing and moisturizing benefits of healthy carrier oil, the vitamins and fatty acids in sweet almond oil help to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

Sweet almond oil is safe for all skin types, and extremely mild. While it is considered hypoallergenic, it should be avoided by people with sensitivity to tree nuts.

Our favorite: Pure Body Naturals Sweet Almond Oil

This sweet almond oil is cold-pressed exclusively from edible Spanish almonds, so it’s incredibly high quality. This pure oil is sustainably harvested, cruelty free, and can be used to soothe, moisturize, and protect the whole body, as well as being an excellent carrier oil.

As an alternative, try the Pura D’or Organic Sweet Almond Oil:

PURA D'OR Organic Sweet Almond Oil (16oz) Certified Organic 100% Pure & Natural Hexane Free Soothing Vitamin E Oil for Skin & Face, Facial Polish, Full Body, Massages, DIY Base (Packaging may vary)
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Apricot Kernel Oil

Another fantastic carrier oil for sensitive skin is the oil pressed from the kernels of apricot seeds.

This oil is extremely light and absorbs quickly.

It’s a favorite for people who have sensitive skin with acne, due to its high antioxidant content, the fact that it doesn’t clog pores, and it’s unique antimicrobial properties.

It’s also rich in vitamin E, vitamin A, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids.

Our favorite: Sky Organics Apricot Kernel Oil

Sky Organics Apricot Kernel Oil - 100% Pure, Natural & Cold-Pressed Apricot Oil - Ideal for Massage, Cooking and Aromatherapy- Rich in Vitamin A - 8 oz (Pack of 2)
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This pure, cold-pressed apricot kernel oil is ethically sourced directly from farmers in Italy.

It’s natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and comes in BPA-free packaging, with no additives or chemicals.

What Makes a Good Carrier Oil?

Although all carrier oils basically do the same job, not all carrier oils are created equal, and not all of them work well for all skin types.

Here are some of the properties of a good carrier oil:

Molecular Structure

Because oil mixes with oil, you can diffuse essential oil into basically any other type of oil. But certain oil molecules are better at penetrating skin and providing benefits than others.

While you don’t need to monitor the molecular weight of your carrier oils, it’s important to know that a good carrier oil needs to have very small molecules in order to be effective.

Neutral Oils

Generally speaking, a good carrier oil should have little or no fragrance of its own.

If you are infusing the oil with an essential oil for aromatherapy or skin or hair care, you typically want the infusion to have the fragrance of the essential oil, not the carrier oil.

Cliganic USDA Organic Jojoba Oil, 100% Pure (4oz Large) | Natural Cold Pressed Unrefined Hexane Free Oil for Hair & Face | Base Carrier Oil | Cliganic 90 Days Warranty

Potential Allergens and Sensitivities

Some of the most popular carrier oils are derived from the seeds of tree nuts.

While not everyone with a tree nut allergy reacts to a tree nut carrier oil, it’s always best to avoid a carrier oil where you have a known allergen, and to do a patch test if you are concerned about sensitivity.


While this goes back to the oil’s molecular structure, it’s also good to remember that you may want different levels of absorption for different purposes. For example, on the face you may want a carrier oil that absorbs quickly and doesn’t block pores.

For an aromatherapy massage, you may want an oil that lasts longer on the surface of the skin, to ease the friction of the massage and make the fragrance linger in the room.


Convenience covers a lot of other properties a carrier oil may have. Is it liquid at room temperature? Does it have a long shelf life? Some carrier oils have more skin-healing and protecting properties than others, so you get extra benefits in less time.

When choosing a carrier oil, it’s important to consider these factors to make the best choice for your needs. Always choose organic, cold-pressed or cold-processed carrier oils with no additives.

The ones featured in this post are some of the best!

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Best Carrier Oil for Sensitive Skin: A Summary

Choosing the right carrier oil for your sensitive skin allows you to safely use essential oils, but these oils also hydrate, soothe, protect, and enhance skin on their own.

If you have sensitivities or allergies, it’s always best to do a patch test before using any new skin care product, and feel free to experiment until you find the perfect solution for your skin care needs.

Check out our related posts about essential oils for skincare and sensitive skin on our blog!

What are some of your favorite oils for skincare?

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?


  1. I would love to try Jojoba Oil. I frequently use Argan oil and is one of my favorites.

  2. Very informative! I have to get my hands on some sweet almond and jojoba oil. Other oils don’t seem to work that well for my sensitive skin.

  3. Hi Josie! Yep, jojoba oil is totally usable for skincare, and there are lots of skincare products out there that feature it as an ingredient! A powerful oil indeed!

  4. Wow I’m surprised to find out that Jojoba oil can be used on skin. I did not know this! I usually use it on my hair but this is really interesting! Ive used olive oil and sweet almond oil on my skin before. Thanks for sharing – Josie xxx

  5. Thank you for sharing with us, Sophie, and glad that we managed to include your favorite oil that works!

  6. Sweet almond oil is my absolute favourite when my skin is irritated, I always find it the most reliable for my sensitive skin x


  7. This is such an informative post. I didn’t know much about carrier oils before reading this so thanks for sharing!

  8. What an interesting post! I sometimes notice that my skin doesn’t react well to oil, but now I know why. Thank you!!!

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