What Is Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is the oil extracted from the fruit of the deciduous almond tree (Prunus dulcis). Native to Asia and the Middle East, almond trees first appeared in the United States in the 19th century. Cold-pressed almond oil is extracted from almonds by pressing them with a modern steel press.
Packed with antioxidants and fatty acids, sweet almond oil penetrates deeply into the skin and hair to deliver immediate benefits.
There are two types of almond oils, each with their own uses:
- Bitter almond oil: Has a strong smell and is sometimes used in soaps, aromatherapy, and massage therapy, but has toxic properties when ingested.
- Sweet almond oil: Extracted from sweet almonds, commonly used as an ingredient in skin care and hair products.
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Uses of Almond Oil
Whether you’re drinking it in smoothies or using it topically as part of your daily self-care and beauty routine, almond oil—thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties—has many uses. Sweet almond oil is available in stores and online as pure oil, and can also be found in many cosmetic and hair-care products, including:
- Body butter
- Lip balm
- Body wash
- Brightening serums
- Facial cleansers
These are the benefits almond oil may have for skin and skin conditions.
Treats Skin Conditions
Almond oil is both a moisturizer (provides hydration) and emollient (smooths the skin), which makes it a popular choice for skin care products. Non-irritating and light, it is safe for sensitive skin. Almond oil has been used medicinally for millennia to treat uncomfortable skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Research shows it is effective at treating dermatitis, offering relief from burning, stinging, red and itchy skin.7 Thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, almond oil works well for acne-prone skin, helping reduce redness and inflammation.
Some people use almond oil as a daily face moisturizer. Thanks to its emollient properties, it is known to improve complexion and skin tone.
Wound healing after injury or post-surgery often causes scarring on the skin. In Ayurvedic and ancient Chinese medicine, almond oil was used to reduce the appearance of scars and soothe the skin. Both anecdotal evidence and clinical experiences demonstrate that almond oil helps reduce post-surgical scarring.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil are said to help reduce the appearance of scars, though more research is needed to demonstrate its effectiveness in reducing post-surgical scarring.8
Almond oil is a popular natural remedy to help calm and smooth the skin, and some people use it to reduce the appearance of acne scars on the face.
Eliminate Stretch Marks
When your body experiences rapid growth—such as during puberty or pregnancy—the stretching can cause the skin’s collagen and elastin to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks form on the body. Research shows that almond oil can not only prevent stretch marks in pregnant people, but also reduce itching caused by stretch marks as the skin heals.
One study of pregnant women found that when almond oil was applied directly to the skin each day, stretch marks were less likely to develop.9 If you already have stretch marks, massaging almond oil on the skin regularly may help fade their appearance while also toning and softening the skin.
Reduces UV Damage
Spending time out in the sun? Prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause premature aging, leading to fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots on the skin. Research shows that almond oil is effective at slowing down the aging process caused by sun damage.
Almond oil is an effective barrier, protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The vitamin E contained in the oil has antioxidant properties that prevent cell damage from UV rays.
A small clinical study showed that almond oil sunscreen has an SPF of 15, and is comparable to other commercial SPF 15 sunscreens.10 In a study on animal models, almond oil effectively prevented skin damage from the sun when applied topically.11
Applying almond oil to your face and body along with a good sunscreen can help prevent sun damage and premature aging to keep your skin looking youthful.