Carrots: They've always been up there when it comes to our list of favorite vegetables (after kale, spinach and tender stem broccoli, obviously), but now carrots are also earning themselves the status of one of our favorite skin care ingredients too—and for good reason. Carrots come rich in beta-carotene, the substance that gives them their orange color, but thankfully, on skin it has an entirely different effect.
Here we breakdown everything regarding carrot seed oil aka carrot extract!
TYPE OF INGREDIENT: Antioxidant
MAIN BENEFITS: Increases cell turnover, brightens skin, reduces inflammation.
WHO SHOULD USE IT: In general, anyone concerned about their skin becoming dull. However, people with sensitive skin may want to avoid it.
HOW OFTEN CAN YOU USE IT?: You can use it in the AM and PM, but no more than twice a day.
WORKS WELL WITH: Hydrators like hyaluronic acid, non-retinol exfoliants, Vitamin E.
DON'T USE WITH: Retinols, because they're also Vitamin A.
What is Carrot Extract?
Carrot seed oil is an essential oil, which has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be extracted in plenty of ways, and carrot extract doesn't always come from the seeds, but you can think of it kind of like any other essential oil. When carrot oil has been extracted for skin care, it's not meant for use internally. So... please don't eat it. Topical use only.
Benefits of Carrot Extract for Skin
- Rich in Antioxidants: The beta carotene found in carrot seed oil is rich in antioxidants, which are vital in fending off skin-damaging free radicals found in everything from polluted air to the sun's rays. However, more research needs to be done to conclusively say that topical carrot seed oil has significant antioxidant activity on the skin.
- Increases Cell Turnover: According to a 2004 study, beta-carotene acts a precursor to vitamin A—the vitamin responsible for cell regeneration—when it's applied topically. As such, it may step up the skin's rate of cell turnover, bringing the younger, healthier skin cells to the surface.
Side Effects of Carrot Extract
Well, just as eating too many carrots might tinge your skin orange, so may putting too much carrot extract on your skin. In fact, most beauty formulations that involve carrot only use the ingredient itself in small percentages. It's often towards the middle, if not the end, of the ingredients list. But even so, take caution and only use products with heavier concentrations of carrot extract at night. When exposed to sunlight and heat, beta-carotene can easily oxidize and cause skin discoloration and irritation. So, it’s recommended to use carrot seed oil in the evening, as part of an evening routine.
Also, there is some controversy as to whether carrot seed oil contains the levels of vitamin A that you can find in carrots—so if you're looking for something meant to increase cell turnover like a retinol, go with the retinol. But if you're looking for something to slightly and gently increase cell turnover, carrot extract is a great bet. (Ideal for sensitive skin types like rosacea, eczema and psoriasis!)
How to Use It
If you're not a fan of carrots, don't worry—you don't have to start sneaking them into your diet. In fact, to benefit from the glow-boosting properties of carrots, you don't even have to start adding them to most meals. Instead, you might want to slip a carrot-infused skin care product somewhere into your regimen.
Luckily, more than a few products have it as an ingredient. Carrot seed oil works very well in synergy with vitamin E (Tocopherol. Also, carrot seed oil, when used in a formulation, should always be combined with olive oil, coconut oil or any other 'carrier oil' rather than applying a pure carrot seed oil directly on the skin.
Wild Naturals features carrot extract in just the right concentration that it won’t irritate or be dissuaded from daytime use! See the results for yourself and you’ll wonder why carrot seed oil wasn’t already part of your skin care routine!