Abyssinian Oil

What is it? The oil pressed from the seeds of Crambe abyssinica.
Appearance Pale beige liquid.
Texture Thin and smooth.
Scent Almost scentless, nothing distinct.
Absorbency Speed Fast
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It feels beautiful on the skin, and is a great alternative to argan oil. It’s lightweight, low scent, and imparts shine.
Do you need it? No, but it’s a nice luxury oil.
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only ever used refined, and I like it.
Strengths A fantastic, lower-cost alternative to argan oil that’s rich in erucic acid.
Weaknesses It can be a bit tricky to find.
Alternatives & Substitutions Argan oil is a good alternative.
How to Work with It It’s great in balms, serums, and hair care products.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Abyssinian Oil should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks It’s produced in Canada!
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 Abyssinian Oil

Hazelnut Oil

What is it? The oil pressed from hazelnuts.
Appearance Pale yellow liquid.
Texture Thin and smooth.
Scent Slight oily scent, nothing too noticeable.
Absorbency Speed Very fast—hazelnut oil is a “drying oil” in that it absorbs so quickly it leaves the skin feeling dry to the touch.
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It’s astringent and sinks into the skin so quickly that it speeds up the absorption speed of anything you put it in.
Do you need it? No, but I would recommend you own at least one drying oil, and hazelnut is much less expensive than rosehip.
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only ever used refined, and I like it.
Strengths It’s very light, astringent, and is said to boost circulation and tone the skin.
Weaknesses It’s obviously not a good choice for anybody with nut allergies.
Alternatives & Substitutions Rosehip oil is similarly fast absorbing, but significantly more expensive.
How to Work with It I like it in lotions, and blended with heavier oils (like evening primrose) to lighten them up.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, pomegranate oil should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks If you really want a nutty scent in your product, try using food grade hazelnut oil.
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 Hazelnut Oil

Camellia Seed Oil

What is it? The oil pressed from the seeds of the Camellia oleifera, a wildflower that grows in China and Japan, where it has been used for centuries in skin and hair care.
Appearance Yellow liquid.
Texture Thin and smooth.
Scent Slight oily scent, nothing too noticeable.
Absorbency Speed Fast; leaves the skin feeling wonderfully satiny.
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It absorbs into the skin quickly, and helps speed up the overall absorption speed of recipes. It’s also lovely for hair.
Do you need it? No, but it’s a nice luxury oil.
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only ever used refined, and I like it.
Strengths Fast absorbency speed, rich in antioxidants.
Weaknesses A bit pricey.
Alternatives & Substitutions Other fast absorbing carrier oils can work; think grapeseed, safflower, marula, and macadamia nut.
How to Work with It I love it in hair products and facial serums.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Camellia Seed Oil should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Try spreading two or three drops of camellia seed oil oil over your hands and running them through the length of your hair to hydrate 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 Camellia Seed Oil

Broccoli Seed Oil

What is it? The oil cold pressed from the broccoli seeds.
Appearance Greenish golden liquid.
Texture Slightly viscous and smooth.
Scent Herbaceous and green.
Absorbency Speed Fast
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It’s been called the natural dimethicone of the oils world for its wonderful film-forming abilities. It leaves a lovely sheen on the hair and is readily absorbed into the skin.
Do you need it? No, but it’s a nice luxury oil, especially if you have dry or curly hair.
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only ever used unrefined, and I like it.
Strengths It’s fantastic for hair care (readers rave about it for curly hair especially), and its fast absorbency speed makes it great for all kinds of projects.
Weaknesses The scent is strong enough that it can be noticeable in final formualtions.
Alternatives & Substitutions It’s very unique–nothing really comes close in the natural world. If you’re ok with using dimethicone that would probably work similarly.
How to Work with It I love it in hair care products.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, broccoli seed oil should last up to 1.5 years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Broccoli seed oil is approximately 50% Erucic Acid.
Recommended starter amount 100mL (3.3fl oz) or less
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Broccoli 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

Cupuacu Butter

What is it? A firm soft butter, made by cold pressing the seeds of the Cupuacu tree, which is native to Brazil.
Appearance The unrefined variety has a super cool, bead-like appearance; wee cream coloured blobs roughly the size of seed beads all clumped together. Once it’s been melted and re-solidified it looks just like any other cream coloured butter. The refined variety is white from being bleached, and pretty much just looks like fat.
Texture A bit stiff at first, but as it melts into your skin it’s wonderfully smooth and silky.
Scent The unrefined stuff smells like… chocolate combined with sour milk. Not so great. That fades quickly once it’s on your skin or diluted with other ingredients, but most people prefer the refined version.
Absorbency Speed Quite fast, especially for a butter! A small amount will spread over the skin beautifully and leave a satiny, non-greasy finish in no time.
Approximate Melting Point 34°C/93°F
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? I love the finish capuacu butter has—it’s incredibly silky, and almost silicone-like. I tend to love it in hand products and cosmetics, where I want a fast-absorbing, silky product, but perhaps without, or with less wax, than I’d need if I used entirely liquid oils. It’s also less likely to go grainy than shea butter is.
Do you need it? I love it, and I’d say so, but you can get away with shea butter or mango butter in most recipes that call for cupuacu. Everyone I’ve talked into purchasing capuacu butter has fallen in love with it!
Refined or unrefined? I’ve worked with both, and while the unrefined stuff is really neat… it smells awful. I’d probably go with refined.
Strengths Amazing, silky, almost silicone-like finish on the skin. Fantastically hydrating and smooth. Not greasy, even when used on the skin (in small amounts, at least!).
Weaknesses It’s one of the more expensive butters, and can be harder to source.
Alternatives & Substitutions Mango and shea butter are both ok swaps, with mango being the better choice of the two.
How to Work with It I love it in anything where I’d like the thickness and richness of shea butter without the greasy feeling. I tend to especially love capuacu butter in hand lotions and facial products (like cosmetics).
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, capuacu butter should last at least one year.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Because it absorbs into the skin so quickly and is super hydrating, I love to put a bit in a small tin (15mL/0.5oz) and carry it around in my purse.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3.3oz)
Where to Buy it Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Cupuacu Butter

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