Almond Oil for Skin: Benefits + How to Use
Almond oil equals beautiful skin and radiant complexion - so, many cosmetic companies use it as the main ingredient in their products.March 7, 2022 6 minutes read
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Ancient cultures, especially in Asia, used almond oil to care for dry skin and skin conditions and treat minor cuts and wounds. Since natural products, and especially natural oils, are increasingly used in cosmetics today, almond oil has become a common ingredient in many quality and well-known skincare products.
This article will explore the different types, benefits, and uses of almond oil for the skin.
What Is Almond Oil?
This fantastic oil is obtained from the fruits of different varieties of almond trees. These trees are native to Asia, the Mediterranean countries, and the Middle East.
Manufacturers mainly extract the oil by mechanical grinding or pressing of almonds. Some would also use heat and different chemicals to refine the oil's color, aroma, etc. However, cold-pressed almond oil contains the most nutrients and offers more benefits for the skin in general.
There are two types of almond oil – bitter almond (Prunus amara) and sweet almond (Prunus dulcis) oil. Bitter almond oil is mostly used in aromatherapy and soaps due to its strong smell. The one that's mostly used in skincare is sweet almond oil, containing plenty of vitamins and nutrients necessary for the care and health of the skin and hair.
Skin-Loving Nutrients Found in Almond Oil
Almond oil, or sweet almond oil, in particular, is filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids that have skin-loving properties. Here are some that are the most important ones for skincare:
- Vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant found in abundance in almond oil. It can protect your skin from the adverse effects of UV rays but also prevent the deterioration of skin cells caused by a variety of other external influences;
- Vitamin A – the No.1 anti-aging ingredient, making almond oil an excellent natural skincare product for softening fine facial lines and wrinkles, as well as stimulating the formation of new cells;
- Zinc – one of the many minerals found in almond oil. Zinc is especially important for healing wounds and treating acne and is, therefore, often found in products designed for acne-prone skin;
- Omega Fatty Acids – the essential building blocks of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. Almond oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, helping the skin retain its moisture, protecting it from environmental factors, and offering anti-aging benefits.
Benefits of Almond Oil for the Skin
Sweet almond oil is a lightweight and clear oil pale yellow in color. It has medium viscosity and a slightly nutty aroma and is easily absorbed by the skin. Thanks to its softening, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties, it is suitable for any skin type and can be found in numerous body lotions and face creams. Here's a summary of all the amazing skin benefits of sweet almond oil:
#1: Strengthens Skin Barrier Function
Lipids found in sweet almond oil, such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, and α-tocopherol, play a major role in maintaining skin elasticity and normal functioning of its natural barrier. With a strong barrier, the skin will keep its hydration levels more efficiently, and it will be less prone to dryness, cracking, and irritation [source].
#2: Moisturizes the Skin
Almond oil possesses both occlusive and emollient properties, creating a protective layer on the skin and preventing transepidermal water loss. Therefore, it's found in many nourishing creams and lotions for all skin types. In fact, almond oil was used for centuries in Ayurvedic, Ancient Chinese, and Greco-Persian medicine for treating a variety of dry skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis [source].
#3: It's Anti-Aging
The abundance of vitamins and antioxidants in almond oil also provides a potent anti-aging effect [source]. As we already mentioned above, sweet almond oil contains plenty of vitamin E. It's a highly potent antioxidant that protects the skin from UV radiation and oxidative stress, keeping the skin soft, supple, and wrinkle-free. In addition, it contains vitamin A which accelerates skin cell turnover and rejuvenates the skin.
#4: Helps With Acne
Sweet almond oil is very effective in cleansing the pores as it's lightweight and can penetrate deep into the skin, dissolving the dirt accumulated in hair follicles and pores. Therefore, it can help prevent acne and blackheads. In addition, thanks to its vitamin A content, almond oil reduces inflammation and cell damage and may reduce breakouts [source].
#5: Reduces Scarring
Since almond oil is both anti-inflammatory and soothing, it can rejuvenate the skin and reduce post-operative scarring as well as acne scars [source]. In addition, some research suggests that bitter almond oil may help reduce stretch marks in pregnant women if used early in the pregnancy.
#6: Improves Skin Tone
According to research, almond oil exhibits emollient and sclerosant properties [source]. This means it protects the skin from outside influences, strengthens the skin barrier, and helps treat varicose and spider veins. As a result, the skin tone is improved, and the complexion is more even.
#7: Treats Various Skin Conditions
As mentioned above, ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic practitioners used almond oil to treat dry skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. In addition, a 2018 study has proven almond oil effective in treating hand dermatitis, including irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Thanks to its emollient and moisturizing properties, almond oil can help alleviate symptoms associated with these skin conditions, such as stinging, burning, itching as well as redness and blistering.
How to Use Almond Oil
There are several ways you can incorporate almond oil into your skincare routine. For example, you can add a few drops to your face creams and body lotions or use it as a stand-alone product. Here are some ideas:
Use It As a Moisturizer
Sweet almond oil is an excellent moisturizer. After you've cleansed your face, you can warm up several drops of the oil between your palms and press it into your skin while it's still damp. Alternatively, you can apply several drops of the oil on top of your moisturizer for extra hydration. Even though almond oil is lightweight and readily absorbed by the skin, it would be best to use it on your face in the evenings if your skin is oily to avoid potential extra shine during the day.
Use It As a Cleanser
If you need a double cleanse, almond oil can be a perfect solution for your first-step oil-based cleanser. First, rub several drops onto your face with light circular motions to dissolve all the excess dirt and makeup on your skin. Almond oil penetrates deeply into your skin, giving your pores a good cleanse. Then remove it with a wet washcloth or rinse with water, and continue with your regular gentle cleanser.
Add It to Your Baths
If you're a fan of soaking in warm baths, especially during freezing winter months, pour several drops of sweet almond oil into the tub to avoid drying of the skin caused by hot water. It will ensure a head-to-toe softness and a spa-worthy bathing experience. To seal the deal, you can mix a few drops of the oil into your body lotion as well and apply it right after your bath.
Apply It to Your Nails
If your nails and cuticles are brittle and dry, regular application of almond oil can help you restore their health. Rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and a plethora of different vitamins, almond oil will nourish your nails and the skin around them and prevent dryness, cracking, and breakage.
Use It As a Lip Balm
If you're looking for an all-natural solution for your dry and chapped lips, try sweet almond oil. To keep your lips soft and plump all winter long, simply apply a small amount of almond oil onto your lips whenever you feel like they need some extra care. Alternatively, you can mix several drops of almond oil with some honey, shea butter, or Vaseline and create your own DIY lip balm.
Add It to Your DIY Body Scrubs
If you have dry skin, we're sure you'll enjoy a DIY body scrub with sweet almond oil from time to time. Mix several drops of the oil with brown sugar to get a paste-like consistency, and you will get an excellent body scrub. It will effectively exfoliate, cleanse, and hydrate your skin at the same time.
Risks of Using Almond Oil on Your Skin
While it's generally considered safe to use almond oil topically, some people may be sensitive or allergic to it. If you have a nut allergy, you should probably skip applying almond oil to your skin.
In any case, it would be best to do a small patch test before applying it to a larger area of your skin. Apply a small amount of the oil to the upper part of your inner arm and wait 24 hours before washing it. Then pay attention to how your skin reacts. If you don't notice any red spots or itchiness after 24 hours have passed, you're good to go. In the case you experience any burning, pain, or itching at any point during this 24-hour period, wash the oil off your skin immediately.
As you can see, almond oil is tried-and-tested all-natural skincare ingredient used for centuries. Thanks to its emollient, nourishing, and anti-inflammatory properties, almond oil, or sweet almond oil to be more precise, can soothe, repair, and soften your skin. Therefore, if your skin is often dry and prone to irritation, cracking, and redness, we're certain you'll love using this oil as a part of your daily skincare routine. However, even though it's lightweight, it's still an oil – so if your skin is predominantly oily and prone to cystic acne, you still might find it a bit heavy.
Likewise, steer clear of almond oil if you have a nut allergy. And if you've never used it before, do a small 24-hour patch test beforehand to make sure it's safe to use.
Is almond oil good for your skin?
Yes, almond oil is very beneficial for the skin as it protects its natural moisture barrier, moisturizes the skin, heals acne and scars, and on top of everything, it has anti-aging properties.
Does almond oil brighten the face?
Almond oil doesn't brighten the skin, but it can improve your skin tone. Research suggests that it's efficient in treating and healing spider veins and redness, leading to an even complexion and healthy-looking skin.
What kind of almond oil is best for skin?
The best almond oil to use on the skin would be sweet almond oil. Sweet almond oil is an excellent moisturizer and can be used on its own or mixed with your moisturizing cream.
Can I use almond oil every night on my face?
Yes, you can apply almond oil to your face and neck every night. However, if you have predominantly oily skin, this application frequency might be too much. So, apply it once or twice a week if you have oily skin.