Cranberry Seed Oil

What is it? Cranberry Seed Oil is the liquid oil pressed from cranberry seeds. It is comprised mostly of linoleic, alpha-linolenic, and oleic fatty acids, and is rich in antioxidants.
INCI Vaccinium Macrocarpon Seed Oil
Appearance Deep yellow/gold liquid oil.
Usage rate Up to 100%.
Texture Silky smooth
Scent Lightly juicy/fruity/tangy
Absorbency Speed Fast
Approximate Melting Point Liquid at room temperature and in the fridge
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? Cranberry seed oil is a lovely, lightweight emollient with a satiny skin finish. It also contributes its soft tangy/juicy scent to finished products. Cranberry seed oil is recommended for the care of irritated and sensitive skin, and is said to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Do you need it? No, but if you like the scent it is a lovely way to get a natural fruity/juicy scent.
Refined or unrefined? I’d recommend unrefined for the scent.
Strengths Lovely, lightweight, fruity-smelling oil.
Weaknesses Harder to find, more expensive than many carrier oils.
Alternatives & Substitutions Modern Cosmetics lists elderberry oil as a possible substitution based on fatty acid composition. Raspberry seed oil, flaxseed oil, kiwi oil, hemp oil, rosehip oil, and camelina seed oil could also be suitable alternatives given similarities in fatty acid composition. If none of those options are available I would recommend a liquid lightweight, fast-absorbing oil.
How to Work with It Include cranberry seed oil in the oil phase of your formulations. It can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, cranberry seed oil should last at least two years. I keep mine in the fridge.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks The high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid is quite rare in plant oils.
Recommended starter amount 100mL (3.3fl oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Cranberry Seed Oil

Kokum Butter

What is it? Kokum butter is a very firm plant-derived butter from the seeds of the Garcinia Indica fruit. It is primarily comprised of stearic and oleic fatty acids.
INCI Garcinia Indica Seed Butter
Appearance Solid off-white butter
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Very solid—firmer than shea and mango butters, but not fully brittle like cocoa or tucuma. While brittle butters will snap, kokum is more inclined to crumble.
Scent The refined version has no noticeable scent.
Absorbency Speed Fast to average
Approximate Melting Point 37–40°C (98.6–104°F)
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? Used in large amounts kokum butter can form the backbone of thick body butters, and help harden/stabilize body butter bars, shampoo bars, and other solid products. In lower concentrations it is a beautiful non-greasy emollient.
Do you need it? No
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only worked with refined, and I like it.
Strengths Kokum butter is a beautiful emollient with a non-greasy skin feel that also offers thickening/hardening to our products.
Weaknesses It can be harder to find than more common butters like cocoa and shea.
Alternatives & Substitutions Cocoa butter or tucuma butter would be my top choices, though if you have cupuacu or mango butters you could also try 90% cocoa/tucuma and 10% cupuacu/mango.
How to Work with It Include it in the oil phase of your formulations; you will likely need to melt it to work with it unless you live somewhere quite warm.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, kokum butter should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Because kokum butter melts just above body temperature it is a good choice for body butters—blending with softer oils will slightly lower the melting point, giving you a product that melts on skin contact.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3.5oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Kokum Butter

Avocado oil

What is it? Avocado oil is a liquid monounsaturated carrier oil typically pressed from the flesh of the avocado (though I have seen some oils stating they are pressed from the seeds). It is mostly comprised of oleic and palmitic fatty acids; the palmitic acid content is higher than usual for liquid oils, resulting in a thicker, richer oil. It can be cloudy at room temperature, depending on if (and how extensively) the oil has been winterized.
INCI Persea Gratissima Oil
Appearance Deep green/yellow to pale yellow liquid
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Rich, velvetty, can be sticky if applied undiluted to large areas of the skin
Scent Characteristic of carrier oils, though less refined versions may have a stronger scent
Absorbency Speed Slow
Approximate Melting Point Liquid at room temperature
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? Avocado oil is a beautiful, rich emollient that is recommended for dry and sensitive skin. I also enjoy using it in soap as a more luxurious additive oil.
Do you need it? No
Refined or unrefined? It’s up to you; more refined versions will have lighter colour, fainter scent, and are less likely to cloud in cooler temperatures
Strengths Rich emollient high in unsaponifiables; good for dry skin.
Weaknesses Some may find avocado oil too rich/heavy for their liking.
Alternatives & Substitutions If state (liquid/solid) doesn’t matter I’d try shea butter. Otherwise, try a blend of shea butter and a mid-weight liquid oil like rice bran or olive oil. I’d probably start with 25% shea butter, 75% liquid oil.
How to Work with It Include avocado in the oil phase of your formulas; it can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, avocado oil should last up to two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks There’s a fairly wide variety of processing methods for avocado oil, resulting in more than a simple refined/unrefined set of options. Be sure you’re reading all the documentation from your supplier before you purchase.
Recommended starter amount 100mL (3.3fl oz) for skin care, 1L (33.8fl oz) for soap making.
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Avocado Oil

Walnut oil

What is it? Walnut oil is a liquid carrier oil pressed from the walnut. It is comprised mostly of linoleic and oleic fatty acids.
INCI Juglans Regia Seed Oil
Appearance Clear yellow oil
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Smooth, satiny oil
Scent The versions I’ve used have had a very “typical-of-carrier-oils” smell—that is, not nutty in the least. Walnut oil does have the potential to smell nutty if the walnuts are roasted before pressing, so check with your supplier!
Absorbency Speed Average
Approximate Melting Point Liquid at room temperature
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? Walnut oil is a lovely emollient and is popular for use in massage oil blends. It is said to be good for irritated/inflamed skin due to anti-inflammatory properties.
Do you need it? No
Refined or unrefined? I feel like the more important question for walnut oil is roasted or not—choose roasted if you want a nutty scent, and unroasted if you don’t want a nutty scent.
Strengths Lovely plant-based emollient oil with the potential to add a beautiful nutty scent to your products. It is also recommended for irritated skin.
Weaknesses Should be avoided by those with nut allergies.
Alternatives & Substitutions I’d start with other nut oils, like sweet almond oil. For those avoiding nuts, try safflower oil or apricot kernel oil.
How to Work with It Include walnut oil in the oil phase of your formulations. It can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, walnut oil should last up to two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks In aromatherapy walnut oil is said to help balance the nervous system.
Recommended starter amount 100mL (3.3fl oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Walnut oil

Raspberry Seed Oil

What is it? Raspberry seed oil is a liquid carrier oil pressed from the seeds of the raspberry. It is comprised almost entirely of linoleic, alpha-linolenic, and oleic acids. Its anti-inflammatory properties are “superior compared to those of other well-known oils such as virgin avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil, and wheat germ oil” (Oomah, et al 2000).
INCI Rubus Idaeus Seed Oil
Appearance Yellow liquid oil
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Smooth, lightweight oil
Scent Mild; fairly typical of carrier oils
Absorbency Speed Fast to average
Approximate Melting Point Liquid at room temperature
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? Due to its high price I typically reserve the use of raspberry seed oil for facial serums and other applications where it can be used in higher concentrations without any required heating. It is very rich in vitamin E and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Do you need it? No
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only used refined, and I’ve liked it, but I’d love to try unrefined at some point!
Strengths Rich in vitamin E, fast absorbing, anti-inflammatory properties.
Weaknesses Fairly expensive.
Alternatives & Substitutions Rosehip oil would be a good alternative.
How to Work with It Include it in the oil phase of your formulas; avoid prolonged heating if possible.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, raspberry seed oil should last up to two years. I recommend storage in the fridge if possible.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks You’ll often read that raspberry seed oil has an SPF and can be used as a “natural sunscreen”. This comes from a study titled Characteristics of raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) seed oil. Lotion Crafter addresses this well in their product description: “This was merely a study indicating some sunscreen potential, but it should, by no means, be relied upon without further independent testing. Red Raspberry Oil is a natural crop and, as such, its constituents can vary from batch to batch or harvest to harvest. As with any cosmetic raw material, any sunscreen benefits would have to be proven or disproven through sunscreen testing of any sunscreen formulation.” The way I see it, relying on any natural plant oil for SPF is like relying on a lottery ticket for my retirement fund. It would definitely be nice if that lottery ticket padded my retirement fund, but I’d be a fool to count on it and fail to save for my retirement because I bought a lottery ticket. Formula Botanica has written a great post on this topic as well.
Recommended starter amount 30mL (1fl oz) to 100mL (3.3fl oz)—let the price and your interest be your guide.
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Raspberry Seed Oil

Soybean oil

What is it? Soybean oil (or soya bean oil) is a liquid carrier oil pressed from the seed of the soy plant. It is comprised mostly of linoleic and oleic acids.
INCI Glycine Soja Oil
Appearance Clear yellow liquid
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Smooth oil
Scent Typical of carrier oils
Absorbency Speed Average
Approximate Melting Point -20°C (-4°F)
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? Soybean oil is a very versatile and inexpensive carrier oil. I like using it in soap, but it also works well in body butters, lotions, lip balms, massage oils, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
Do you need it? No.
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only used refined and I like it.
Strengths Inexpensive, versatile carrier oil.
Weaknesses Depending on your audience soy may not have the best reputation.
Alternatives & Substitutions I’d choose olive oil or rice bran oil in soap. In skin care, sweet almond oil or apricot kernel oil would work well.
How to Work with It Include soybean oil in the oil phase of your formulations. It can be hot or cold processed.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, soybean oil should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Soybean oil can contain up to 3% soy lecithin.
Recommended starter amount 1L (33.8fl oz) for soap making. 100mL (3.3fl oz) for skin care.
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Soybean Oil

Pin It on Pinterest