Mention the word carrots, what do you think of? Goes well with the Sunday roast? Good for your eyes? Or Bugs Bunny nibbling on a carrot? Oh, well, the last one was what I always think of… But most likely, your thoughts went to the healthy, pointy root vegetable and not to carrot seed oil.
Even if the carrots themselves are regarded as skin healers (since they promote skin tissue repairing and growth), we’re talking about carrot seed oil. Did you know that it can work wonders for your skin? So much so that you may forgo a filter when taking a selfie. But do not confuse it with carrot oil.
The different types of carrot oil
Sometimes you hear carrot oil and sometimes carrot seed oil. People use it interchangeably and think it’s all the same. But they’re completely different. In essence, there are 4 different types of oils that are referred to as carrot seed oil
- Carrot seed essential oil
- Carrot seed oil
- Carrot oil (carrot root extract)
- Infused carrot oil
Each of them is made in a different way with their own benefits and is used differently.
Carrot seed essential oil
Carrot seed essential oil is made in the same way as the famous tea tree or eucalyptus oil. It’s distilled from the seeds of the carrot plant.
The oil has an orange colour and a dry, earthy, woody aroma. The colour comes from the pigment carotene. Carotenoids are a group of potent antioxidants that neutralise free radicals and so limit or reduce damage to your body and skin. But, it doesn’t contain vitamin A.
Similar to its famous counterpart, the tee tree oil, carrot seed essential oil is shown to be antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant.
For your skin, it can
- Increase cell turnover for a more youthful and brighter complexion
- Stimulate sweat and sebaceous glands, ideal for dry and mature skin
- Reduce dark spots and blemishes
- Protect skin that is exposed to the elements such as the sun and other environmental pollutants
- Inhibit the growth of microbes
This oil is used in Ayurveda. In aromatherapy, it stimulates circulation and improves metabolism. Its aroma has a soothing yet refreshing effect.
Use it just like any other essential oil. For example, you dilute it and add it to your favourite massage oil or add it to your bathwater.
Carrot seed oil
This oil is made by pressing the oil from the seeds of the carrot plants, much like when you make other vegetable or seed oils. If you find a cold-pressed variant, it’ll be labelled cold-pressed carrot seed oil.
The high content of beta carotene in the seeds is what gives carrot seed oil its golden yellow to orange colour. With its consistency – not too thick and not too thin, it absorbs quickly. It smells slightly sweet and earthy, a bit like roasted carrots.
Similar to the essential oil, carrot seed oil has a high content of carotenoids but doesn’t contain vitamin A. The carotenoids help protect your skin from free radical-induced damage
- It’s antioxidant
- It reduces sun damage
- It’s anti-ageing and helps regenerate your skin
- It’s moisturising and increases skin elasticity and firmness
- It evens out skin tone
Unlike the carrot seed essential oil, you can use it undiluted, for example as a facial oil towards the end of your skin care regimen. Or you can add a few drops to your favourite cream to enhance its moisturising effect.
Carrot oil or carrot root extract is made of the vegetable root itself. It’s a plant oil made by separating the natural oils and juices from the fibres of the plants. Just like the other oils, it has a very favourable nutrient profile, containing many different vitamins and minerals.
The oil is thick and has an orange colour. The colour again comes from the beta carotene, but unlike the seed and essential seed oil, carrot oil has vitamin A, along with vitamin B, D, E, and essential fatty acids. Seeing that its colour is orange, you can deduce that it’s abundant in carotenoids, the powerful antioxidants. This oil can do wonders for your skin:
- Regenerate due to its carotenoids and vitamin A
- Calm and soothe, thanks to vitamin E and the linoleic acid
- Moisturising without leaving a greasy residue on your skin
- Evening out skin tone with vitamin B
Use this oil like camellia oil. It can help you tackle so many different concerns, from anti-ageing to fading dark spots and sun repair. You can also use it for your hair and nails.
Infused carrot oil
This oil is made by placing the chopped carrot roots and/or other parts into a vegetable oil and leaving it for some time. After a few weeks, the liquid is filtered to separate the material. This leaves a golden to an orange coloured and clear oil.
Well, the colour depends on the infusion process (if you also use heat for example), the oil used for infusion, and of course the carrot itself. It can stain your skin or clothes, if you’re not careful and may need diluting.
Again the colour is caused by the fat-soluble carotenoids. These carotenoids help protect your skin as antioxidants. This oil has a similar nutrient profile to carrot root extract combined with the infusion oil – of course. Hence, it has also similar benefits which I’ll skip.
It’s best to dilute infused carrot oil to avoid staining your skin, except of course if you want to use it as a natural self-tanner. You may need a bit of experimenting to find the best proportion. You may want to start with 20% carrot infused oil and 80% of another oil such as jojoba or rice bran oil.
Each of this oil is wonderful in that they help rejuvenate your skin, reduce signs of ageing, protect your skin as a powerful antioxidant, and repair sun damage.
But they’re distinctly different from each other in that carrot seed essential oil and carrot seed oil don’t have vitamin A.
All 4 oils have high carotenoids content and are potent antioxidants that can protect your skin and repair skin damage. If you don’t like to mix and dilute – then choose cold-pressed carrot seed oil, carrot oil, or infused carrot oil. If you’re interested in the antimicrobial properties, then go with the carrot seed essential oil.
Did you know there were 4 different kinds of carrot oils? Do you know other ways to use carrot oil? Tell us in the comments.