Almond Oil Benefits for Skin

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Almonds are nutritional powerhouses. Chock full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, the oil extracted from the small but mighty almond has been used for centuries for skin and hair health. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, sweet almond oil helps your skin appear radiant and healthy. It is also commonly used to treat and soothe skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and dermatitis.

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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. 

Jam-packed with antioxidants and fatty acids, sweet almond oil penetrates deeply into the skin and hair to deliver immediate benefits.

Types

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. 

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: 

  • Soaps 
  • Lotions
  • Body butter
  • Lip balm 
  • Shampoo/conditioner 
  • Body wash
  • Brightening serums
  • Facial cleansers

Sweet almond oil is great for hair. The lubricating properties of almond oil help repair damaged hair, tame frizz, and promote hair growth.

Composition

Almond oil is loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and proteins that offer a number of health benefits. Some of the most beneficial nutrients in sweet almond oil include: 

Vitamin A

Rich in vitamin A, almond oil can give your skin a healthy, radiant glow. Vitamin A (retinol) is known to prevent acne breakouts and is helpful in maintaining a hydrated, healthy dermis and epidermis—the top two layers of the skin. Vitamin A also stimulates the production of new skin cells, helping keep skin firm and healthy and reduce the appearance of fine lines. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D—the “sunshine vitamin”—is beneficial to skin and hair health. Studies show that a lack of vitamin D can lead to dry skin, hair loss, delayed wound healing, and certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis.

When applied topically to the skin, almond oil rich in vitamin D may help reduce bacterial overgrowth and clear up red and inflamed acne. It is also helpful in alleviating symptoms of dermatitis and preventing hair loss.

Vitamin E

Almond oil is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin E—a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from harmful free radicals that have been linked to many chronic diseases and aging. Thanks to being loaded with vitamin E, almond oil—when applied topically—is known for fading scars, healing sun damage, and reducing the signs of aging. 

Minerals 

Almond oil is rich in minerals that are good for the skin and overall health and wellbeing, including magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc. Zinc is particularly helpful for clearing up acne. Magnesium helps prevent calcium build-up on the scalp, reducing dandruff and dry, flaky scalp and also helps promote hair growth.

Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids are remarkably beneficial to skin health. They serve as the essential building blocks of our skin, delivering antioxidants for anti-aging results.

Almond oil has a balanced fatty acid composition, and contains up to 30% of linoleic acid—an omega-6 essential fatty acid that results in better moisture retention, which is key to maintaining hydrated, healthy skin. 

Whether you consume food grade almond oil or apply it directly to the skin, the fatty acids within help create a smoother, younger-looking, healthier complexion, no matter your skin type or age.

Vitamin K

If you’re dealing with stretch marks, spider veins, and scars on your skin, almond oil may help reduce their appearance, thanks to the presence of vitamin K. This little-known nutrient plays a big role in keeping your skin healthy

Vitamin K in almond oil strengthens capillaries throughout the body and reduces fluid retention under the eyes, giving you a rejuvenated, youthful look. Vitamin K is also known for reducing skin redness and soothing sensitive skin. 

Allergy Alert

Don’t use almond oil if you have a nut allergy. Almond oil contains nut allergens and may cause an allergic reaction if consumed or used topically.

Benefits

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. 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. 

Reduces Scarring

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.

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. 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. In a study on animal models, almond oil effectively prevented skin damage from the sun when applied topically.

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.

Promotes Healthy Hair

No matter your hair type, almond oil has advantages for improving both the appearance and health of your hair. When added to shampoo, almond oil can give the hair a natural-appearing shine, helping it appear healthy and radiant.

At a cellular level, almond oil’s emollient properties contribute to repairing existing damage to the hair, restoring moisture and elasticity thanks to being rich in omega fatty acids.

One study showed that applying almond oil directly to the scalp can help reverse hair loss, though more research is needed to prove its effectiveness in promoting hair growth.

If you’re experiencing an itchy, red scalp or dandruff, applying almond oil directly to the scalp can help reduce inflammation and soothe an irritated scalp. Dealing with frizzy hair? Adding a pea-sized amount of almond oil to the ends of your hair can hydrate and decrease the frizz.

How to Use Almond Oil for Hair

Apply sweet almond oil to the scalp and gently massage from the roots to the tip. Leave on for 20 or more minutes (can also be left on overnight if desired).

Risks

Sweet almond oil is generally safe for anyone to use on their hair and skin. People with nut allergies should not use almond oil, as it may cause an allergic reaction. Those with acne-prone skin should avoid applying almond oil directly to the face, as it may block pores and cause breakouts. 

A Word From Verywell

Sweet almond oil not only helps soothe and hydrate skin and hair but is also commonly used as a natural make-up remover and facial cleanser. It is a popular base oil for blending with essential oils and is often used by massage therapists since it is mildly scented and feels light on the skin.

This popular oil can be purchased as oil or found in cosmetics and personal care products in stores and online.

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