Pumpkin Seed Oil

What is it? The oil pressed from the seeds of the seeds of the pumpkin.
Appearance Bright orange to pale yellow to green liquid—check with your supplier.
Texture Thin and smooth.
Scent Slight oily scent, nothing too noticeable.
Absorbency Speed Average
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? I mostly like it in pumpkin themed recipes, paired with pumpkin spices. It contributes a nice orange hue.
Do you need it? No, but it’s a nice luxury oil.
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only ever used unrefined, and I like it.
Strengths Pumpkin seed oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and linoleic acid, making it great for troublesome skin.
Weaknesses Depending on the final product you may or may not want the added colour from pumpkin seed oil.
Alternatives & Substitutions I’d blend a bit of sea buckthorn or buriti oil with jojoba to get the combination of the absorption speed and the colour.
How to Work with It Include it in lotions, lip balms, body butters, and lip glosses.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Pumpkin Seed Oil oil should last up to 18 months.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks It can be orange, yellow, amber, or green—check with your supplier and try to get the orange variety.
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 Pumpkin Seed Oil

Monoi de Tahiti

What is it? Coconut oil that has been macerated with the Gardenia Tahitensis (Tiare) flowers of Tahiti.
Appearance It looks exactly like coconut oil.
Texture Smooth, thin, fast-melting oil.
Scent Strongly sweet and floral, with coconutty undertones.
Absorbency Speed Average
Approximate Melting Point 24°C
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? Usually for fragrance; it’s so potent that you likely won’t want to use enough of it to get any other benefits (which are otherwise identical to coconut oil).
Do you need it? No
Strengths It has a very strong, tropical, floral scent. Natural floral scents are usually very expensive, so it’s a great way to get a floral scent without spending a fortune on essential oils or using artificial fragrances.
Weaknesses The scent is so strong it can be overwhelming, and fakes are abundant, so be sure you’re buying the real thing.
Alternatives & Substitutions Coconut oil can be used instead of Monoi de Tahiti in any recipe, but it will obviously be lacking the Monoi de Tahiti scent. The feel of the final product will be identical, though.
How to Work with It Include small amounts in recipes for a sweet, floral scent; if the recipe contains coconut oil just swap out a gram or two of the coconut oil for some Monoi de Tahiti.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Monoi de Tahiti should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks When purchasing Monoi de Tahiti, ensure the ingredients are only Cocos Nucifera Oil and Gardenia Tahitensis Flowers—there should be no added fragrances.
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 Monoi de Tahiti

Hemp Seed Oil

What is it? A liquid oil pressed from the grains of the hemp plant.
Appearance A pale yellow to deep green liquid (the less refined versions are darker green).
Texture Smooth
Scent Quite green and grassy, a bit nutty.
Absorbency Speed Average
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It can help with acne, eczema, and dry skin. It’ll also turn products green, which you might like.
Do you need it? It’s not easy to find a substitution that will mimic all of its properties, so if you struggle with eczema or want to make a few recipes that use it, I’d recommend getting a small bottle.
Refined or unrefined? I like the unrefined stuff, though if you don’t like the grassy scent or dark green colour you might prefer the refined version.
Strengths It’s rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, contributes a lovely green colour and a nutty/grassy scent to products.
Weaknesses Negative (though unfounded) association with marijuana, fairly short shelf life (purchase small amounts).
Alternatives & Substitutions It’s easy to match the absorption speed with something like olive oil, but you won’t be able to mimic the colour, scent, and fatty acid composition.
How to Work with It I like it in salves, balms, and body butters.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, hemp seed oil should last one year.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Unrefined hemp seed oil is quite delicate and is easily scorched; be sure to use a water bath when working with it. Hemp seed oil contains no THC (the psychoactive compound found in marijuana) so no, you will not fail any drug tests if you work with it 😉
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 Hemp Seed Oil

Olive Oil

What is it? A liquid oil pressed from olives, commonly used in cooking but it’s also awesome for DIY projects!
Appearance A greenish-yellow liquid oil.
Texture Smooth
Scent It varies by grade and variety, but it ranges from  a fairly characteristic “green” scent to little to no scent.
Absorbency Speed Average
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It’s an inexpensive, easy to obtain, carrier oil.
Do you need it? I use it almost exclusively in soap, though it has made it into a few other recipes.
Refined or unrefined? Buy the cheapest stuff you can get for DIY recipes—this is usually pomace grade. Save the beautiful extra virgin variety for cooking and eating!
Strengths Easy to purchase, versatile.
Weaknesses The colour and scent can carry through to final products, which may or may not be desirable.
Alternatives & Substitutions Rice bran oil and soya bean oil are good swaps, as are other average-to-absorb carrier oils, though it can be hard to find options as inexpensive as olive oil!
How to Work with It I love it in soap, where it tends to make up about 40% of any bar soap recipe.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, olive oil should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Olive oil is primarily composed of Oleic Acid.
Recommended starter amount 100mL (3.3fl oz)—unless you’re planning on using it in soap, in which case I’d start with at least 1L (34fl oz).
Where to Buy it Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon. Costco also sells a two pack of olive oil jugs that’s a great deal.

Some Recipes that Use Olive Oil

Sweet Almond Oil

What is it? A versatile liquid carrier oil pressed from almonds.
Appearance Yellow liquid
Texture Smooth liquid oil
Scent Low scent, nothing remarkable.
Absorbency Speed Average
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It’s great in lip balms, facial serums, and lotions. It’s also rich in vitamin D.
Do you need it? I love it in lip balm, but you could use safflower oil, apricot kernel oil, or sunflower seed oil instead. You can get away with it.
Refined or unrefined? I’ve been using unrefined and I like it.
Strengths It’s a great, versatile carrier oil with an average absorption speed.
Weaknesses Obviously not a good choice if you’re concerned about nut allergies!
Alternatives & Substitutions Jojoba oil, argan oil, olive oil, safflower oil.
How to Work with It I love it in lip balm, but I also like it in facial serums.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry,
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks It can stain sheets if used as a massage oil.
Recommended starter amount 250mL (8fl oz)
Where to Buy it Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Sweet Almond Oil

Jojoba Oil

What is it? A carrier oil that’s actually a liquid wax, pressed from the seeds of Simmondsia chinensis. Jojoba oil closely resembles our own skin’s sebum, making it extra awesome for the skin.
Appearance The unrefined oil is golden in colour, the refined oil is clear.
Texture A smooth liquid oil.
Scent The unrefined version is mild and rather nice. A little oily, nothing too remarkable. The refined version just smells a bit oily.
Absorbency Speed Average with a satiny finish.
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It closely mimics the makeup of the sebum our own skin produces, making it a fantastic moisturizer by helping seal in moisture.
Do you need it? I love it and use it in loads of recipes!
Refined or unrefined? I like the unrefined variety.
Strengths It’s a great moisturizer and a really versatile all-around oil.
Weaknesses It’s rather pricey.
Alternatives & Substitutions Meadowfoam oil is a great alternative.
How to Work with It I love jojoba in facial serums and cosmetics. Due to its price I don’t use it in soaps or other projects where it’ll get lost.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, jojoba oil should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks It’s rich in vitamin E oil, so it has a long shelf life and is great for skin.
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 Jojoba Oil

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