Macadamia Nut Oil

What is it? A liquid oil pressed from macadamia nuts.
Appearance A golden yellow liquid oil.
Texture Silky smooth.
Scent The unrefined version is slightly nutty, but not overwhelmingly so. The refined stuff doesn’t smell like much at all.
Absorbency Speed Fast
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? Because it absorbs into the skin quickly it’s a great choice for making lightweight lotions that absorb into the skin quickly, and it can help lighten heavier oils like shea butter.
Do you need it? I really like it, but as far as fast-absorbing carrier oils go it is one of the pricier ones. You could get away with grapeseed or safflower oil instead in most applications.
Refined or unrefined? I like the unrefined variety for the nutty scent.
Strengths Beautiful, fast-absorbing oil that’s rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Weaknesses A pricier carrier oil, and obviously not suitable for those with nut allergies.
Alternatives & Substitutions Other fast-absorbing carrier oils like grapeseed and safflower (though you’ll lose the nutty scent).
How to Work with It I love it in lotions, lip balms, and body butters.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, macadamia nut oil should last up to two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks The nutty scent and colour can vary from batch to batch with the unrefined version.
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 Macadamia Nut Oil

Sunflower Oil

What is it? A yellow liquid oil pressed from the seeds of the sunflower.
Appearance Pale yellow liquid oil.
Texture Smooth, liquid oil.
Scent Low scent, typical of carrier oils.
Absorbency Speed Fast
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It’s a great, versatile, carrier oil that’s great in lotions, body butters, salves, lip balms, and more.
Do you need it? Sunflower oil is a great choice for so many projects and is so expensive that I think it’s a great thing to have in your DIY pantry. You could use safflower or grapeseed instead, though.
Refined or unrefined? I use refined and like it.
Strengths A great, versatile carrier oil that’s rich in Linoleic Acid and vitamins A, B, D and E.
Weaknesses Easily replaced with many other carrier oils.
Alternatives & Substitutions Grapeseed oil, safflower oil, apricot kernel oil, canola oil, and other fast-absorbing, low-scent carrier oils.
How to Work with It It’s fantastic in lotions, lip balms, soaps, and facial serums.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, sunflower seed oil should last up to two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks It’s very high in Linoleic Acid, which is a fatty acid that’s been found to be highly beneficial to troublesome skin (acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc.).
Recommended starter amount 250mL (8fl oz)
Where to Buy it Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Sunflower Oil

Grapeseed Oil

What is it? A lightweight, low-scent, fast-absorbing carrier oil pressed from the seeds of grapes.
Appearance Pale greenish liquid.
Texture A lightweight, smooth carrier oil.
Scent Pretty much none.
Absorbency Speed Fast
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It’s a great, low-scent, fast-absorbing carrier oil.
Do you need it? It’s my favourite fast-absorbing carrier oil.
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only used the refined stuff and I love it.
Strengths A great, versatile carrier oil.
Weaknesses It’s easily replaced with many other low scent, fast absorbing carrier oils.
Alternatives & Substitutions Safflower oil, sunflower seed oil, apricot kernel oil, canola oil.
How to Work with It I love it in lotions for its fast absorption speed
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, grapeseed oil should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks It’s slightly astringent, making it great for oily skin.
Recommended starter amount 250mL (8fl oz)
Where to Buy it Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Grapeseed Oil

Safflower Oil

What is it? A liquid oil pressed from the seeds of Carthamus tinctorius.
Appearance A yellow liquid oil.
Texture A smooth, liquid oil.
Scent Vaguely oily, nothing remarkable.
Absorbency Speed Fast
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It’s a great, versatile, inexpensive oil that works well in many projects.
Do you need it? It’s a useful low-scent fast-absorbing carrier oil, and you should have at least once, but it doesn’t have to be this one.
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only ever worked with refined, and I like it.
Strengths A very versatile low-scent, fast absorbing carrier oil.
Weaknesses It can be replaced by many other carrier oils.
Alternatives & Substitutions Grapeseed oil, sunflower seed oil, canola oil, apricot kernel oil, and other smooth, low-scent, fast-absorbing oils.
How to Work with It It’s great in lotions, body butters, lip balms, facial serums, and all kinds of other projects—it’s inexpensive and versatile.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, safflower oil should last up to two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Safflower oil is mostly Oleic Acid.
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 Sweet Safflower Oil

Cocoa Butter

What is it? Cocoa butter is the fat extracted from cocoa beans.
INCI Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter
Appearance Beige chunks
Texture Hard and brittle at room temperature—just like a good bar of chocolate. When it melts, the oil is thin and smooth, and absorbs into the skin easily.
Scent Deliciously chocolatey! You can also buy deodorized stuff that smells like mostly nothing.
Absorbency Speed Fast
Approximate Melting Point  34°C/93°F
Why do we use it in recipes? Cocoa butter will help thicken recipes without adding a wax (and even solidify if used in high enough concentrations)—check out this experiment for more information. It’s wonderfully smooth, and brings its delicious chocolatey scent to projects. Yum!
Do you need it? I’d say so! I use it all the time, and I love just taking the lid off the tub and inhaling the super delicious scent. YUM.
Refined or unrefined? I say unrefined all the way, but if you don’t like the smell of chocolate then refined is your best bet.
Strengths Amazing scent, smooth texture, it’s a rare brittle butter.
Weaknesses Not everybody loves the scent (easily solved by purchasing deodorized cocoa butter).
Alternatives & Substitutions There aren’t a lot of brittle butters out there that make good swaps; kokum butter or tucuma butter would be the best choices.
How to Work with It Include cocoa butter in the oil phase of your products. Melt it gently in a water bath along with the rest of your ingredients.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, cocoa butter should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks You can also purchase dark cocoa butter, but I’ve found that to be a bit of a novelty; I wouldn’t bother with it.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Cocoa Butter

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