Oat Oil

What is it? The liquid oil pressed from the oat kernel.
Appearance Golden liquid.
Texture Viscous and silky smooth.
Scent Slight oaty scent.
Absorbency Speed Slow
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It’s anti-inflammatory and an anti-irritant, making it fantastic for dry, irritated, or mature skin.
Do you need it? No, but it’s a nice luxury oil.
Refined or unrefined? I like unrefined.
Strengths Soothing, long-lasting hydration.
Weaknesses Its heavy, slow-absorbing nature can be a turn off for those who prefer faster absorbing oils
Alternatives & Substitutions There aren’t many oils that are very comparable. Evening primrose oil and castor oil have similar absorption speeds, but quite different fatty acid makeups.
How to Work with It I love it in body butter bars and soap, as well as other products for people with eczema or dry skin.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, oat oil should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Oat oil has some emulsifying properties, but that does not mean you can use it as an emulsifier without extensive chemistry knowledge.
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 Oat Oil

Evening Primrose Oil

What is it? A carrier oil pressed from the seeds of the evening primrose flower.
INCI Oenothera Biennis Oil
Appearance Yellow liquid oil.
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture A thick, heavy oil.
Scent It smells very distinctly oily/fishy; I recommend blending it with other carrier oils and perhaps some essential oils to dilute/mask the scent.
Absorbency Speed Sloooooow.
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? It’s an amazing serum ingredient that is incredible at battling acne thanks to its high percentages of linoleic and gamma linolenic acid.
Do you need it? I can’t recommend it enough if you struggle with acne.
Refined or unrefined? I have the unrefined stuff, but if you are quite scent sensitive you might prefer the refined variety.
Strengths It’s amazing for battling acne and tacking problematic skin.
Weaknesses It’s pretty heavy and doesn’t smell amazing, so if your skin is already really well behaved you can probably skip it.
Alternatives & Substitutions Black Currant Seed and borage oils have a similar fatty acid profile. They are also similarly heavy and oily-smelling.
How to Work with It Include it in the oil phase of your recipes; avoid extended exposure to heat where possible. I typically aim to dilute it with a lighter oil or in an emulsion.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Evening Primrose Oil should last a year, if not more. It tends to have a pretty short shelf life. I’d store it in the fridge to extend it as much as possible.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Try blending it with a faster absorbing oil, like argan or pomegranate seed, to help it sink into the skin faster.
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 Evening Primrose Oil

Shea Butter

What is it? A rich, thick butter made from the shea nut. Most shea butter we use is from Ghana or Burkina Faso.
Appearance Thick and solid. The unrefined stuff comes in soft chunks and is beige to a pale yellow in colours. The refined stuff is pure white and can come in chunks or as a solid from being poured into its container while melted. If you live somewhere quite hot your shea might never be in chunks when it arrives if it melts during shipping and then re-solidifies.
Texture Thick and a bit tacky or sticky. You can spread a very thick layer of it on your skin, unlike thinner oils like coconut oil.
Scent The unrefined stuff has a distinctive smokey sort of scent that some people love and others loathe. The refined stuff doesn’t smell like much.
Absorbency Speed Slow. Shea butter is thick, rich, and heavy.
Approximate Melting Point 37°C/99°F
Why do we use it in recipes? It brings great staying power and creaminess to recipes, and is fantastic for dry skin.
Do you need it? I’d say so; it was one of the first ingredients I purchased and I use it all the time.
Refined or unrefined? I have both; I use the unrefined stuff in soap, and will often choose the refined variety for body butters and lip balms where I don’t want a shea scent.
Strengths Shea butter is a great moisturizer, especially for irritated skin.
Weaknesses It is really greasy, and the unrefined version can smell a bit funny. I also find it’s extra prone to going grainy in projects.
Alternatives & Substitutions Mango butter is a good alternative in terms of also being a soft oil, though it does absorb into the skin much faster than shea butter does.
How to Work with It Melt it gently in a water bath to incorporate it into recipes.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, shea butter should last at least one year.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks  Try applying it straight to dry, irritated skin—it’s especially good for eczema.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3oz)
Where to Buy it Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Shea Butter

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