Oil of the Week: Not-so common Carrot Oil

Oil of the Week: Not-so common Carrot Oil


I was first drawn to this oil while researching for a blog on natural sunscreen. It is often referenced that  Daucus Carota or carrot oil has good sun protection properties and it is commonly listed as an ingredient in DIY and ready-made natural sunscreen recipes. There are actually a few variations of carrot oil and often it isn’t mentioned which one is used in formulas as the names are used interchangeably. So let’s unpack this fascinating plant oil and find out more about the different variations.


The Essential Oil

Arguably the most well known of the carrot oils is carrot seed essential oil, also referred to simply as carrot seed oil, wild carrot or Queen Anne’s Lace. It is a rather smelly oil with rooty, earthy tones, and is yellowish brown in colour. It is steam distilled from the dried seeds of the carrot plant and sometimes even the dried plant itself. Carrot seed essential oil is particularly rich in carotene, antioxidants and antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is wonderful for skin and hair and is said to be a good anti-ager and skin rejuvenator. It stimulates the growth of new tissue and skin cells and can be used to combat the effects of sun damage and help restore elasticity and youthfulness to the skin.

In traditional Chinese medicine, carrot seed essential oil is used to expel worms and treat dysentery. Its antiseptic and antibacterial properties make it good for treating skin infections, wounds and protecting against bacteria.

Carrot seed essential oil can be used in massage therapy to relieve muscle pain and inflammation. It can also be added to the bath for similar effects. Make sure to dilute it in a carrier oil, or else do a patch test beforehand if applying topically.

Some recipes on the internet claim that carrot seed essential oil has a high SPF, but this has not been scientifically proven, and may be confused with carrot root oil as the study quoted did not mention which  Daucus Carota was used. The India-based study tested a number of natural sunscreens for efficacy. One of the ingredients listed in the study was  Daucus Carrota, but whether it was the essential oil, carrier oil or root extract is unknown. If you would like to read the paper for yourself you can find it  here. While we’re not 100% sure on the SPF, carrot seed essential oil can certainly help to revitalise damaged skin and soothe sunburn. It is wonderful for skin and hair - try some of the recipes below!


Rejuvenating Facial Oil

15ml  jojoba oil

8 drops  carrot seed essential oil

4 drops  helichrysum

2 drops  frankincense

5 drops  Vitamin E

pipette bottle

Add everything to the bottle and shake well to blend. Apply a few drops to your clean face and massage in well.


Anti-Aging Facial Blend

1 T  prickly pear oil

2 tsp  argan oil

5 drops  carrot seed essential oil

3 drops  lavender

2 drops  frankincense

pipette bottle

Add everything to the bottle and shake well to blend. Apply a few drops to your clean face and massage in well.


Radiant Facial Scrub

jar or tin

2 T  coconut oil

2 tsp  honey

4 tsp coffee grinds

8 drops  carrot seed essential oil

6 drops  tea tree

Combine everything in the jar and mix well. To use, splash your face and dab off excess water then scoop out some of the scrub and massage gently. You can leave on as a mask for 5 minutes then rinse off and apply moisturiser as usual. This scrub can also be used in the shower. Store in the fridge.


Hair Mask

6 drops  carrot seed essential oil

2 T  honey

2 tsp  almond oil

3 T  oat flour

Mix everything together in a bowl then massage into hair and scalp, smoothing down the strands. Leave to soak in for 5-10 minutes then wash out with shampoo.


The Carrier Oil

Carrot seed carrier oil, sometimes confusingly referred to just as ‘carrot oil’ is obtained from cold pressing the seeds of  Daucus Carota. It has similar properties to the essential oil and is packed with antioxidants, carotenoids, beta carotene, provitamin A and tocopheryl (Vitamin E). It is great for mature skin and can help fight the signs of aging such as sun damage and wrinkles.


The Specialty Extract

Moving on from the two carrot seed oils,  carrot root oil is a specialty extract obtained via CO2 extraction of the essence of dried carrot roots. These carotenoid compounds are then blended with sunflower and almond oils to form a stable vegetable oil rich in beta carotene, and vitamins A and E. It is reddish orange in colour and smells earthy. Beware that it may temporarily stain skin if applied undiluted topically.

Carrot root oil is excellent for dry, chapped  and weathered skin. It can be added to face cream and serum formulas to combat aging and wrinkles. Carrot root oil also balances oily skin by regulating sebum production.

 It is often added to sun protection formulas and after-sun creams, although as yet it actually has no scientifically proven SPF of its own (perhaps because no studies have been undertaken).

The common carrot yields some wonderful oils with interesting attributes. Be sure to get your hands on some for their skin-loving properties!

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