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Workshop Series - Open until August 16th

Carrier Oils for Herbalism, Aromatherapy & Skincare

Follow along as we create a series of targeted base oil blends your next project.

  • Part 1: Why the carrier oil you choose matters
  • Part 2: Combining carrier oils to make effective base oil blends
  • Part 3: Adapting the base formula for specific skin issues and results

All about carrier oils

Courses, Research & Training

Study and learn with Susan M Parker, author of Power of the Seed

Discover the Carrier Oils

Carrier oils, also called lipid oils, pressed from seeds, nuts, kernels and fatty fruits (olive, avocado) are rich in an array of nourishing plant compounds.

Combine and create to develop your perfect formula or an entire line of skincare products! 

 Formulate with Plant Oils

Carrier oils and other lipid oils are rich in plant compounds and nourishing fatty acids. And with so many to work with (159 unique oils and counting in our formulating studio) you can develop richly nuanced facial oils, oil serums, whipped butters and so much more using only oils. 

Sustainable & Effective

Oils and butters are naturally shelf stable so without a water element you can formulate without preservatives. And, with the rich potency of the oils, combined with sustainable selection practices you can make high quality skincare that is wonderful for the skin and the planet. 

The success of your formula...

...starts with exceptional ingredients 

Any chef knows that the simpler the dish the more essential high quality ingredients are. And formulating is no different. With a high quality foundation, the simplest formula becomes a work of art. We are seeing this in the skincare world when brands base their identity and their foundational products on a single, luxurious plant oil such as plum kernel oil, grapeseed oil, argan oil, marula oil, shea butter. Each oil has a story, its role in human history and food, beauty and nourishment, the region where it grows, how it is harvested and by whom. 

Foundation to finished product

Single oil skincare to the foundation of your formula

A single oil, when chosen well, is a complete facial oil on its own. Selected for skin type, antioxidants and results single oils are effective, simple and luxurious. Carrier oils and other lipid plant oils also create the foundation for most formulas and recipes. From herbal infused oils for medicinal balms to a high end face cream, you will find a carrier oil at the base of everything. 

Create naturally preservative free skincare

Lipid oils and butters are naturally shelf stable. So when working with oils and butters exclusively you can create beautiful skincare formulas and recipes without the need for a preservative. 

Anhydrous skincare and sustainability

Waterless skincare, also called anhydrous, is potent and concentrated. Many skincare products contain large amounts of water which is expensive to package and ship around the world. With the need for minimal packaging and more concentrated results, anhydrous skincare is becoming increasingly popular. And without water and other water soluble ingredients, the quality of the plant oils makes the finished product, from facial oils and oil serums to lotion bars, herbal infusions, melts, oil cleansers and more. 

What is the difference between lipid oils and carrier oils? 


All carrier oils are lipid oils, but not all lipid oils work well as carrier oils. The term carrier oil is more descriptive than it is accurate. Carrier oils tend to be lipid oils that are neutral, cost effective oils like sweet almond, apricot, sesame that are used to carry other ingredients, usually essential oils. So yes, the oils we work with here can be called carrier oils, but our lipid world is so much bigger. 

Carrier Oils Vs. EO's

Mini-course that explores the important differences between carrier oils and essential oils, plus tips for how to explain the difference to people who are still unclear. 

Olive, olive groves and the Lipid Oils Academy

I’d like to tell you a story. 

Not a long one but one that covers thousands of years and transport you back to ancient Greece. In an early Greek myth, Athena launches a javelin into the air and where it lands on the earth the first olive tree bursts forth.

The olive tree was revered as sacred by the ancient Greeks and its fruits touched all parts of Greek culture. Abundant in its lipid gifts the tree supplied cooking oil, food oils and meats, oils for sacraments and for lighting in lamps.

For this reason olive groves were considered sacred and were dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom. The gymnasium made famous by Plato as a center for learning outside the city gates of Athens was conducted in those olive groves.

And it was under those olive trees that gave us the expression "the groves of Academe” from the gymnasium dedicated to the Athenian hero Akademos who saved Athens from destruction.

This was a round about way to introduce you to our Lipid Oils Academy.  For the name oil comes from the ancient Greek elaion, Latin oleum, and old French oile. The olive grove, tree, fruit and oil are the ancient source of our study. Olive is literally the root word for oil.  

Welcome! 

I'm Susan M Parker and I am here to guide you in your work with the lipid oils and carriers that make up such a rich and important part of skincare and skincare formulation. 


Since my book Power of the Seed: Your Guide to Oils for Health & Beauty was published in 2014 the world of oils has been growing rapidly. In 2017, together with my Olivia, my daughter and business partner, we opened registration for our first course devoted to the carriers and lipid oils. Since then we have grown our course offerings and opened the Lipid Oils Academy. 


Welcome, and I am so glad to have you in our world. 


The picture here is Olivia and me in Spain in October 2018 when we went over to teach in Madrid and then visit the wild olive relative, Acebuche in Jaen, Spain.

For lipid geeks & Oil Lovers 

Join the Lipid Formulators Membership & Research Community

Tutorials, recipes, formulating ideas, oil monographs and a dedicated community forum where you can ask questions and find inspiration. 


Whether you are developing a skincare line of your own, making products for family and friends or you simply love the oils and want to work with them for your own skincare you'll find the tools and resources you need inside.

New on the Blog

Posts and articles on carrier oils, lipid oils, skincare and formulating

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Carrier Oils: The Complete List (2022)

August 2, 2022

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Apricot Kernel Oil Skin Benefits

July 26, 2022

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10 Carrier Oils for Essential Oils

[Free] Guide to Carrier Oils for Herbal Infusions & Aromatherapy

Get a copy of the guide to carrier oils for infusing and aromatherapy.

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