The difference between carrot oil and carrot seed oil

bottle of carrot oil with seeds and root

Although we have the terms “carrot oil” and “carrot seed oil”, they actually refer to three types of oils. Each oil has a different nutritional profile and therefore offers different skin care benefits.

So to help you decide which one is right for you, this article will cover the difference between carrot oil and carrot seed oil. More specifically, we will see:

  • Its general characteristics.
  • Benefits for the skin.
  • How to use in your skincare routine.

To get you started, let’s take a look at the three types of “carrot oils” you should be aware of.

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Made by soaking dried carrots in carrier oil Two forms: steam distilled (essential oil) and cold pressed (carrier oil)
Contains beta-carotene (provitamin A) Cold-pressed carrot seed oil contains beta carotene
Rich in essential fatty acids Only cold-pressed oil contains fatty acids.
No dilution required The essential oil requires dilution while the carrier oil does not.
Contains vitamin E Contains vitamin E
This table shows the main difference between carrot oil and carrot seed oil.


There are actually three types of oils that can be extracted from carrot plants (source):

  • Carrot oil (also known as macerated carrot oil or carrot carrier oil): this is made from the edible carrot. The carrots are dried and soaked in a carrier oil for an extended period of time. During the soaking process, the medicinal properties of the carrot are extracted into the base oil. Since this is a oil trace, can be used directly on the skin without any dilution. It is usually yellow to red-orange in color. Lastly, this oil contains fat-soluble nutrients found in carrots.
  • Cold-pressed carrot seed oil (also known as carrot seed carrier oil): this is extracted from the seed of wild carrots (also known as Queen Anne’s Lace, Latin name Daucus carota). He is a oil trace With a yellow to orange color and can be applied directly to the skin, no dilution is required. This oil has a medium weight consistency, slow absorption rate, and a yellow to orange color (sometimes with a green undertone). Additionally, this oil contains the fat-soluble nutrients found in the wild carrot seed.
  • Steam Distilled Carrot Seed Oil: also extracted from the seed of wild carrots, this is a essential oil. Therefore, it must be diluted with a carrier oil before topical application. Because this is an essential oil, it doesn’t have any of the vitamins or minerals associated with carrots. It has a light color and an earthy aroma.


Both types of carrot seed oils contain carotol, which is an antioxidant. The exact breakdown is:

  • 30.55% carotol in cold-pressed carrot seed oil.
  • 66.78% carotol in carrot seed essential oil.

In addition to carotol, the essential oil contains many other volatile compounds.

On the other hand, cold-pressed carrot seed oil contains:

  • Vitamin E
  • beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A).
  • essential fatty acids. The most abundant is 82% oleic acid.

Although there isn’t a lot of research on both types of carrot seed oils, some studies, and anecdotal evidence, suggest they are:

  • antibacterial.
  • Antifungal.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Antioxidant and later, anti-aging.

Also, some people use carrot seed oils to hyperpigmentation. While there are some anecdotal reports that these oils help even out skin tone, more research is needed to confirm this.

Additionally, an earlier study from 2009 suggested that carrot oil acts as a natural sunscreen (source).

It has been proposed that this is likely due to the compound umbelliferone, which is also found in sunscreens (source). However, that study did not clarify whether the oil used was a seed oil or a macerated oil.


Macerated carrot oil is rich in:

  • Beta carotene, which is the compound that gives carrots their orange color.
  • Vitamin E (from the carrot, as well as the vitamin E from the oil in which the carrots are dipped).
  • Fatty acids (mainly from the carrier oil in which the carrots are dipped).
  • Fat-soluble minerals.

As such, this oil helps promote cell renewal and is often used in skin care to:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles.
  • hyperpigmentation
  • Soothing dry, irritated or inflamed skin.
  • General renewal of the skin.

NOTE: The carrier oil used to make carrot oil will give you additional skin care benefits. For example, sunflower oil is often used in making carrot oil. Thus, you’ll get the added anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and emollient benefits that come from sunflower oil.


Here are some tips for using the carrot seed. essential oil:

  • Always mix with a carrier oil. Never apply it undiluted to your skin. Choose from oils like jojoba, rosehip, grapeseed, or any of the carrot carrier oils.
  • When using on the face, use a low dilution of 0.5% (2 drops per tablespoon of carrier oil) or 1% (4 drops per tablespoon of carrier oil). For the rest of the body, the maximum dilution of carrot seed can be reached, which is 3% (13 drops per tablespoon of carrier oil).
  • This oil blends well with other skin-friendly oils like frankincense, geranium, and lavender. For more information on essential oil dilution, use this guide.

Now here are some guidelines for using carrot seed carrier oil and macerated carrot oil:

  • Always apply on clean skin.
  • To lock in moisture, apply the oil after your moisturizer.
  • If you skip your moisturizer, make sure your skin is damp. before applying the oil. You can spray your face with plain water, a hydrosol (such as rose water), or a mixture of glycerin and water (personally, I prefer a 1:16 glycerin to water ratio).
  • To enhance the emollient properties of your moisturizer, mix a few drops of the carrier oils into your moisturizer in the palm of your hand. Then massage into clean skin.
  • Add a few drops of either carrier oil to your clay masks. This will make the mask less drying and give it some added skin-smoothing benefits.

If you’re ready to experiment with these oils, here are some suggested products:

Carrot seed essential oil for plant therapy: get it here.

Cold Pressed Carrot Seed Oil – Get it here.

Typology Macerated Carrot Oil – get it here.


Does carrot seed oil contain retinol?

Carrots do not contain retinol. Rather, they contain beta-carotene, which is converted to retinol. Also, it is not clear if any of the carrot seed oils contain beta-carotene. Only macerated carrot oil is known to have beta-carotene.

Will carrot seed oil make my skin turn orange?

Depending on your skin tone, you may notice a yellow or orange tint when using carrot-derived oils.

Is carrot seed oil good for under eyes?

Carrot Seed Oil can help improve fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone around the eyes.

Can I use carrot seed oil as a sunscreen?

While research suggests that carrot-derived oil may absorb UVB light, it’s unclear what type of carrot oil (seed oil or macerated oil) might provide this benefit.

Therefore, it is best not to rely on any kind of carrot oil as a substitute for sunscreen.

Is Carrot Seed Oil Safe While Breastfeeding?

Carrot seed essential oil is not considered safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding (source).


Carrot oil is an ideal carrier oil for dry, mature or inflamed skin. Its high beta-carotene content is ideal for supporting skin renewal. As for the carrot seed, the steam-distilled essential oil is rich in antioxidants, while the cold-pressed oil provides soothing essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

You might also like:

The 10 Best Natural Alternatives to Retinol

Why you need rosehip oil for hyperpigmentation (and how to use it)

The difference between rosehip oil and rosehip seed oil: benefits, which one to use and how to use

What to mix (and not) with rosehip oil for the face: the definitive guide

How To Use Carrot Seed Oil For Hyperpigmentation

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