Top 5 carriers for winter skin care: natural oils, butters & waxes!
Make these five high-performance natural carriers part of your winter skin care routine!
They nourish skin deeply by restoring moisture, fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, while strengthening your skin barrier to protect it against extreme winter weather.
Some of these winter skin care products can be used alone, while others are easier to work with when they’re blended with other carriers. You can use them to create your own moisturizing body butters, oils, lotions, chapped skin salve, protective facial oils, and more for dry winter skin.
You’ll also find recipes for DIY winter skin care products below.
The carriers alone deliver so many benefits to winter skin, so if you see a recipe you like but don’t want to add the essential oils, feel free to leave them out. That said, the essential oils add layers of benefits that can keep your skin hydrated, healthy, and radiant during the cold winter weather.
Top 5 carriers for dry winter skin care
1. Kpangnan butter (Pentadesma butyracea)
The seeds of the African kpangnan tree (pronounced “pan-ya”) produce a pale yellow butter with a mild, nutty aroma.
It may remind you of shea butter, and you can substitute kpangnan in any recipe that calls for shea. However, kpangnan butter is said to be an even richer moisturizer than shea.
It contains a nourishing cocktail of oleic and linoleic fatty acids, which are absorbed deeply through skin’s layers, restoring moisture and protecting skin’s cells against damage from harsh weather. Kpangnan butter also contains vitamin E to help skin repair itself, stearic acid to strengthen the skin’s surface, and a healthy helping of stigmasterol—a natural plant sterol that soothes sore areas. (That’s why kpangnan butter is often included in blends for muscles and joints.)
You can use kpangnan butter all by itself, although the texture can be firm (especially in cold temperatures). Use a small amount and let it warm in your hand before spreading it on dry skin. However, you might enjoy creating a more luxurious, spreadable butter by melting kpangnan and blending it with other carriers, such as jojoba wax.
Kpangnan butter recipes
2. Baobab seed oil (Adansonia digitata)
Native to Africa, the baobab tree is often known as the “tree of life,” partly due to its long lifespan. Some baobab trees can live over 1,000 years!
The seeds are cold pressed to produce a luxurious, golden oil rich in oleic acid (omega-9) and linoleic acid (omega-6). Oleic acid helps enhance skin penetration, meaning your skin will practically drink in baobab seed oil. Linoleic is an essential fatty acid your body must receive for healthy cell regeneration and soothing irritation. It also helps balance the skin’s oil production to reduce acne.
The combination of oleic and linoleic acids makes baobab a perfect face oil: it replenishes with natural moisture for chapped lips and dry skin without increasing breakouts.
You can use baobab seed oil alone for your body and face. It also blends well with other oils, and adds a luxurious texture to body lotion, butters, salves, and balms.
Baobab seed recipes
3. Jojoba wax (Simmondsia chinensis)
You might sometimes hear this referred to as “jojoba oil.”
That’s because “jojoba oil” and “jojoba wax” are the same thing! Jojoba seeds are cold pressed to produce a natural wax with a liquid, oily texture.
Its molecular structure closely resembles the natural oils produced by your skin, which is called “sebum.” Since skin “recognizes” jojoba wax, it’s easily absorbed—even by sensitive skin types. Jojoba also has a subtle, barely-there aroma. It lets the scent of your essential oils take the spotlight!
Rich in nourishing fatty acids—including stearic, oleic, and palmitic—and proteins, jojoba softens skin, moisturizes, and mimics collagen to restore a supple texture to mature, crepey areas.
You can use jojoba wax all by itself, or blend it with other oils. It’s also often blended with a bit of melted beeswax to create firm salves or decadent butters. Jojoba is perfect for the winter months as it will skin healthy and lock in moisture all winter long.
Another fun way to use jojoba is to infuse it with other aromatic plants, like vanilla! We make our own vanilla-infused jojoba here at Aromatics, and it offers a warm, decadent variation to unscented jojoba.
4. Rosehip seed oil (Rosa rubiginosa)
Pressed from handpicked rosehip fruits in South Africa, rosehip seed is a rich moisturizing oil that doesn’t clog pores.
That’s why it’s a hugely popular oil for winter skin care—especially facial blends.
Rosehip seed oil offers skin a nourishing cocktail of antioxidants, carotenoids, and essential fatty acids. Its vitamin C and E act as potent antioxidants, slowing the actions of free radicals that break down molecules in skin cells. Rosehip seed oil also contains a type of vitamin A (retinol) that’s readily recognized by skin, easily absorbed to reduce the effects of harsh weather on aging skin.
Try rosehip seed oil straight from the bottle, or blend it with another delicate oil (like argan!) to create your signature facial oil. Like other natural oils, it also blends easily with butters and beeswax.
Rosehip seed oil recipes
5. Natural lotion
Lotion is a classic winter skin care product for a reason!
It’s lightweight so it spreads and absorbs easily into skin. Lotion quickly restores moisture to dry areas, and it’s non-greasy so it won’t leave your hands oily.
It can take a lot of practice to get a lotion recipe right if you’re making it from scratch, especially since lotion is water-based, and does require some form of natural preservative.
We suggest finding a well-made, natural, fragrance free lotion you love, and using that in your skin care regimen.
While lotion doesn’t really blend with other carriers (for example, you can’t melt it down and add rosehip seed oil, or use it to soften shea butter), you can blend essential oils into it. Since lotion is water-based, it may take a few minutes of stirring for your essential oils to fully blend in. Just be patient—once they’re blended into the lotion, they won’t separate back out again!
Check the ingredient list of your lotion! Many “natural” lotions are made with synthetic chemicals, preservatives, and potentially harmful ingredients like parabens. We understand that some companies feel the need to use these recipes to create the consistency and shelf life of their lotion, but we don’t feel it’s necessary. Your wellness should always come first—especially since lotion is so quickly absorbed by the skin.
Get more of our best winter skin care recipes!
We combed through our library of hundreds of recipes to find the top 5 essential oil recipes for winter skin care, and collected them in one place for you!
These recipes feature shea butter, beeswax, rosehip seed oil, and the other nourishing carriers in this blog post.
Use them to care for your skin, face, lips, and immune health. (And don’t miss “Lumberjack Moisturizer,” a huge favorite with the guys on Team Aromatics!)