Almonds are a member of the Rosaceae family, which includes apples, pears, cherries and plums. They have been cultivated since ancient times and were first domesticated in Mesopotamia around 3200 B.C.. Today they are grown throughout the world as ornamental trees or nuts for food and other uses.
The fruit of the almond tree (or nut) contains up to 60% oil, but only 5% protein. The rest is water.
Because of their high fat content, almonds are often used in cooking as a substitute for butter or lard.
There are two main types of almond oils: extra virgin and non-fatty acid. Extra virgin is produced from the seeds of the almond tree and contains no added fats.
Non-fatty acids are derived from the plant’s sap and contain some fatty acids. These oils are not suitable for human consumption because they do not meet FDA guidelines for safe use.
Almond oil is one of many edible oils that can be obtained through various processes such as soaking, pressing, distillation or fermentation. The oil is used for a wide range of purposes including skin care, hair care, cooking and cosmetic uses.
Almond oil is an essential source of nutrients and is particularly high in monounsaturated fat (mainly oleic acid), which has numerous health benefits. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that benefit the skin, hair and body, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular oils for cosmetic use.
With a mild and sweet scent reminiscent of the fruit itself, almond oil is suitable for all skin types. It’s often recommended for dry or damaged skin because it’s extremely smoothing and softening.
It’s particularly good for treating rough, weathered hands common among people who do manual labor or other tasks that involve exposure to the elements. Massage therapy with almond oil regularly can soothe sore, aching muscles.
Owing to its soothing and strengthening effects on the skin, almond oil is often used in many commercially produced skin care products such as lotions, moisturizers and hair care products. It’s particularly popular among people with dry or frizzy hair because it’s not only a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants that protect and repair the hair, but also an emollient that adds shine and luster.
When applied topically, almond oil can also reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines because of its mild astringent action, which improves the tone and texture of the skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and swelling, making it an excellent choice for alleviating the discomfort and pain caused by sunburn, insect bites or rashes.
For these reasons, many massage therapists use almond oil to facilitate smooth, painless massages. It’s odorless and absorbs quickly into the skin, ensuring that your massage isn’t interrupted by a heavy, oily texture.
It also leaves skin feeling soft and velvety smooth.
Almond oil is part of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list. It can be found in most grocery or health stores.
Since it’s especially rich, almond oil is more expensive than other oils, but a little bit goes a long way.
Almond oil can also be used for non-cosmetic purposes. It’s a multipurpose oil that can be used in cooking, as a base for paint, or even added to the fuel tank of your car as a source of energy.
Although there are no known major side effects of using almond oil, it is possible to be allergic to it, just as one can be allergic to any food product. If you notice a rash or hives after using it, stop applying it to the affected area and contact your doctor.
Almond oil is a great alternative to other oils or skin care products, but if you feel like trying something different, there are plenty of other oils available with similar properties. Other plant based oils that are great for the skin include apricot oil, carrot seed oil, rose hip seed oil and tea tree oil.
Always look for therapeutic grade oils for maximum benefits.
Some OTC creams and lotions contain almond oil, but there’s no real evidence that these products are more effective than plain old almond oil. Those that contain additives may even be detrimental to your skin, so stick with pure almond oil for best results.
Almond Oil For Stretch Marks
Does the idea of exposing your skin to something foreign terrify you? Are you a little apprehensive about putting some kind of oil on your delicate skin? Would you still like to get the most out of your expensive stretch mark cream?
Try this at-home recipe that’s all-natural and very soothing. It can be used in conjunction with your other stretch mark treatment or by itself as a preventative measure.
You’ll need the following supplies:
One tablespoon of almond oil
1/2 teaspoon of vitamin E oil
1/2 teaspoon of emu oil
Very warm water (as hot as you can stand)
Mix the three oils thoroughly in a small bowl and set them aside. Fill your bathtub nearly to the top with very warm water, as hot as you can stand.
Once the water level is satisfactory, slowly lower your entire body into the water. Motion small waves in the water with your hand to allow the water to soak into your skin uniformly. Soak for up to 30 minutes.
This treatment should be done twice a day for maximum benefit. If you suffer from dry, itchy skin you may do this treatment as often as you like.
It also makes an excellent nighttime treatment for younger skin and those who don’t experience dryness or irritation.
Almond oil is a great addition to any beauty regimen for the face and skin. It can be used as a hair conditioner and as a remove for nail polish.
It is readily absorbed by the skin and helps to increase elasticity and flexibility, making it especially desirable for massages. The natural antioxidants help to protect the skin from free radicals and other outside toxins.
The uses of almond oil are seemingly endless. Enjoy this popular product in all its forms and see the benefits first hand.
It can be found at most health and beauty stores or online.
For further information on the other kinds of oils that are available, please see our article Types Of Oils For Skin Treatments.
Sources & references used in this article:
Herbal cosmetics: used for skin and hair by K Sumit, S Vivek, S Sujata, B Ashish – Inven. J, 2012 – researchgate.net
Skin and hair aerosol foam preparations containing an alkyl polyglycoside and vegetable oil by R Mueller, K Seidel, A Kaczich, D Hollenberg… – US Patent …, 2000 – Google Patents
Hair treatment composition and method by DM Vernon – US Patent 4,999,187, 1991 – Google Patents
Hair cleansing conditioner by JA Deane – US Patent 6,723,309, 2004 – Google Patents
Assessment of the ototoxicity of almond oil in a chinchilla animal model by E Peleva, S Mourad, D Citra, SJ Daniel – The Laryngoscope, 2011 – Wiley Online Library