If you hear the term “carrot seed oil” used in a skin care regimen, you might get the impression of someone rubbing crushed carrots on their face. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Despite having the word “carrot” in its name, there are no orange root vegetables in carrot seed oil. This wildflower-based ingredient is becoming popular in the cosmetics industry (including TEA.L products!) due to its antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. This guide will introduce you to carrot seed essential oil and why it is an excellent addition to your skin care routine.
Because skin care products affect everyone differently, it is important to note that we do not endorse any medical claims. We recommend directing any individual health-related questions to a physician.
What Is Carrot Seed Essential Oil?
Carrot seed oil is derived from daucus carota, a plant also known as “wild carrot” or “Queen Anne’s lace.” This wildflower is found across North America, Europe, and Asia, and it is distinguishable by small white blossoms clustered in a circle on its long stem. The seeds of this plant can be cold-pressed into carrot seed essential oil, which contains the chemical compounds carotol, daucene, beta-bisabolene, and daucol. Again, “carrot seed oil” is not to be confused with “carrot oil,” which is actually made from crushed carrots!
Although carrot seed oil does not have the same vitamins and nutrients as carrots themselves, it still hosts a range of properties that may be helpful for skin care, body care, and aromatherapy. In fact, carrot seed oil has been used in traditional medicine and cosmetics in places as wide-ranging as Greece, Rome, India, Egypt, and China. These are a few of the benefits of carrot seed essential oil.
First, carrot seed oil is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are desirable for skin care products because they slow down the process of oxidation, which produces free radicals. Free radicals are molecules and atoms that have an extra, unpaired electron, which causes them to collide with other molecules and atoms in the body in search for another electron to bind with. As a result of this frenetic activity, free radicals can cause damage at the cellular level. For your skin, this means a potential breakdown of collagen or the emergence of skin conditions such as sagging, wrinkles, or discoloration. Free radical damage tends to worsen over time, and it can be caused by metabolic factors or environmental sources, including pesticides, cigarette smoke, and pollution. Antioxidants such as those in carrot seed oil can prevent or reduce the damage caused by free radicals, ultimately leading to healthier, youthful skin.
Antibacterial, Anti-fungal and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Research suggests that carrot seed oil may be effective in combating certain types of bacteria, including the strains that cause listeria, toxic shock syndrome, and staph infections. These antibacterial properties are largely due to carrot seed oil’s high levels of alpha-pinene, a chemical compound found in many plants and coniferous trees. Alpha-pinene is also known to reduce inflammation, and may soothe irritated skin or treat inflammatory diseases. Similarly, some individuals have had success using carrot seed oil, combined with carrier oils, to treat rashes or other skin conditions.
In addition, some studies suggest that the compound carotol (which comprises about 40 percent of carrot seed oil) may inhibit the growth of fungi in nature, though this research has not yet been tested on fungal infections on the skin. Other research shows that certain bacteria and fungi seem particularly susceptible to carrot seed oil treatments, including dermatophytes (fungus infections that affect hair, skin, and nails), salmonella, and candida.
By fostering new cell growth and combating damage from free radicals, carrot seed essential oil for skin can offer anti-aging benefits. More specifically, a 2019 study found that cosmetic emulsions containing carrot seed oil may rejuvenate aging skin. New skin growth may give the appearance of a brighter, more even complexion, while also reducing fine lines.
Another best practice for preventing aging skin is to protect your face from the sun. While the research is mixed on how effective carrot seed oil is for sun protection, it has at least some limited capabilities to block UV rays. However, it does not have an SPF. Consequently, carrot seed oil can be a good ingredient to add to a morning facial cream, but it should not be used as a sunscreen on its own.
May Boost Energy and Stimulate Blood Circulation
Carrot seed essential oil offers benefits not just for the skin, but for the whole body. When used in aromatherapy, the warm, earthy scent of carrot seed oil is believed to stimulate the brain, improve energy and alertness, and relieve stress and anxiety. Some individuals use carrot seed oil as part of their hair care routine in order to condition the scalp, repair split ends, and soothe inflammation caused by dandruff.
Furthermore, some traditional medicine practitioners believe that carrot seed oil can stimulate the digestive system, boost the respiratory system, improve blood circulation, and detoxify cells. In particular, carrot seed oil acts as a diuretic, and the increased urination may further expel waste and toxins from the body. Note that essential oils should not be ingested, but carrot seed oil is commonly incorporated into body lotions, facial care, massage oils, and aromatherapy. Carrot seed oil is often blended with other essential oils and extracts for cosmetic, medicinal, and olfactory purposes.
Using carrot seed essential oil in your skin care
With its antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-aging properties, it’s no surprise that carrot seed essential oil has become a star ingredient in skin care. Since it is an essential oil, carrot seed oil is best used in combination with carrier oils or lotions. That’s why we added carrot seed essential oil to TEA.L’s Guayusa Face Care, along with freshly brewed Ecuadorian guayusa, rosehip oil, and orchid extract to maximize youth-promoting benefits. To learn more about how we combine essential oils, extracts, and teas into clean, hand-crafted skin care, visit our product page.