Almond Oil in Skin Care

Almond oil in skin care

Almond oil is a very common ingredient used in many face moisturizers, serums, and balms for its beneficial fatty acids.

It has been used for cosmetics and as a staple food item for thousands of years.

There are dozens of species of almonds, many of which are cultivated specifically for cosmetics. Check out my product recommendations for almond oil in skin care! Find out if almond oil is right for your skin type by taking the Baumann Skin Type quiz!


What is almond oil?

Almond oil is a pressed extract of Prunus Amygdalus plant.

It has been used for skin care in many moisturizing and antimicrobial products for decades. It is thin and easy to spread; it could be great as a component of massage oils.

What is almond oil made of?

Almond oil is primarily composed of unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acids. It also contains antioxidant Vitamin E.

It is a natural plant oil, but it is not often considered an essential oil because of its high viscosity. In terms of plant extracts, it is considered a carrier oil. There is a small concentration of saturated fatty acids like palmitic acid that gives almond oil thickness.

Almond oil contains many moisturizing and soothing fatty acids as well as anti-microbial compounds which have many uses in skin care.

Anywhere between 36.7%-79% of an almond's weight can be extracted as oil depending on the species of almond. (2)


Active compounds

The most significant active compound in almond oil by concentration is oleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid that forms tiny holes in the skin, which aids in ingredient absorption.

The second most common compound in the oil is linoleic acid, a soothing, anti-inflammatory fatty acid found in some barrier repair moisturizers.

Some saturated fatty acids like palmitic acid are present as well; these give almond oil thickness that is not always the best for acne prone skin types.

There are also significant vitamin and mineral compounds in almond oil, mainly a-tocopherol (Vitamin E) which has known antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

The precise composition of almond oil varies drastically depending on factors like rainfall, sunlight, and temperature among other variables at the time of harvesting.(4)

benefits of almond oil


There are many moisturizing and antioxidant benefits associated with almond oil in skin care due to its active compounds.

The oleic acid in almond oil makes nearly microscopic perforations in the skin for other ingredients to penetrate; this aids in the absorption of ingredients like retinoids.

Linoleic acid, also present in almond oil, is anti-inflammatory and hydrating. It is a beneficial compound for many face moisturizers.

It contains a high concentration of antioxidant compounds like vitamin E, and can be used in products that eliminate various kinds of bacteria.

Side effects

There are no common side effects related to almond oil aside from an allergy to tree nuts.

If you're normally allergic to almonds, you probably also have a skin allergy to almond oils.

There is a chance that almond oil can clog your pores if you have particularly sensitive skin, so be sure to shop by your skin type to avoid acne!

Almond oil and clogged pores

Almond oil will not usually clog pores, however it is not going to treat your acne on its own. In general, acne prone skin types need a good cleanser more than they need a thick moisturizer. In fact, some acne prone skin types should avoid most oils altogether. 

That all being said, almond oil is a safe choice for most skin types and will not usually clog pores. Almond oil can help ingredients like retinoids work more efficiently, for example. For most skin types, this oil is not going to cause acne. However, if you start breaking out and cannot find another reason, and you generally are extremely sensitive to acne, oils like almond oil could be your problem.


is almond oil safe

Is it safe?

The EWG safety rating of almond oil is "1," which means it is considered safe for use in skin care, with the only common concern being allergies.

Almond oil is a commonly used and recommended ingredient in many product types.

For acne

While almond oil can be found in some acne products, it is not considered the best oil for treating acne because it can clog pores.

That being said, it is only slightly comedogenic, so it does not clog the pores of most skin types.

It contains many antimicrobial compounds such as vitamin E (a-tocopherol) which eliminate acne causing bacteria on the skin.

To make sure almond oil is safe for your skin as a part of your custom regimen, Here are some of our favorite products for acne containing almond oil:

Almond oil for dry skin

Almond oil contains soothing and hydrating linoleic acid which is often great for dry skin types; however if you have extremely dry skin or a condition like eczema, the high concentration of oleic acid also present in almond oil may irritate your skin and cause redness If you apply pure almond oil.

Otherwise, when used alongside other moisturizing ingredients, almond oil is a top-notch option with a lot to offer in terms of skin hydration. Here are some of my favorite almond oil-featuring products for dry skin:

For dark spots

Almond oil is mostly composed of unsaturated fatty acids, meaning it is a weak tyrosinase inhibitor.

It is not effective at lightening dark spots by itself, just like most other natural plant based tyrosinase inhibitors. Almond oil used on its own will not make a significant difference in hyperpigmentation.

Natural tyrosinase inhibitors like almond oil are only really effective when used alongside other skin lightening ingredients like:

When properly used in your daily regimen, skin lightening products containing almond oil can help treat your dark spots. Here are some of my favorite skin lightening products containing almond oil:

For wrinkles

Almond oil contains a good amount of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that eliminates wrinkle-causing free radicals on the skin. When used alongside ingredients like retinoids, peptides, azelaic acid, and others, almond oil can be useful for preventing and treating wrinkles. Here are some of my favorite anti-aging products with almond oil in them:

Thanks for checking out this blog on almond oil in skin care! I hope you feel more prepared to take control of your skin health! To get a personalized recommendation for a skin care regimen that's perfect for your skin type, take our free quiz by clicking the button below!

Is almond oil comedogenic?

Sweet almond oil and almond oil have low comedogenicity ratings. This means they are only slightly comedogenic and will not clog pores in most people.

Can almond oil on your skin cause an allergic reaction?

If you are allergic to almonds or other tree nuts when eaten, there is a high probability you're also allergic to topical applications. If you must try, apply only a small amount to the back of your arm and observe for signs of allergy. If your nut allergy is severe, I simply recommend not trying almond oil products at all.

Level up your skin care knowledge with medical advice from dermatologists

Here are some of the best references on almond and other plant oils in skin care:

  1. Baumann LS, Spencer J. The effects of topical vitamin E on the cosmetic appearance of scars. Dermatol Surg. 1999;25(4):311-5.
  2. Ahmad, Z. (2010). The uses and properties of almond oil. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 16(1), 10-12.
  3. Čolić, S., Zec, G., Natić, M., & Fotirić-Akšić, M. (2019). Almond (Prunus Dulcis) Oil. Fruit Oils: Chemistry and Functionality.
  4. Özcan, M. M., Matthäus, B., Aljuhaimi, F., Mohamed Ahmed, I. A., Ghafoor, K., Babiker, E. E., ... & Alqah, H. A. (2020). Effect of almond genotypes on fatty acid composition, tocopherols and mineral contents and bioactive properties of sweet almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch spp. dulce) kernel and oils. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 57, 4182-4192.
  5. Kodad O, Socias I, Company R. Variability of oil content and of major fatty acid composition in almond (Prunus amydalus Batsch) and its relationship with kernel quality. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56:4096–4101. doi: 10.1021/jf8001679.
  6. Vié K, Cours-Darne S, Vienne MP, Boyer F, Fabre B, Dupuy P. Modulating effects of oatmeal extracts in the sodium lauryl sulfate skin irritancy model. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol. 2002;15(2):120-4.
  7. Thioune O, Ahodikpe D, Dieng M, Diop AB, Ngom S, Lo I. Inflammatory ointment from shea butter and hydro-alcoholic extract of Khaya senegalensis barks (Cailcederat). Dakar Med. 2002;45(2):113-6.
  8. Lodén M, Andersson AC. Effect of topically applied lipids on surfactant-irritated skin. Br J Dermatol. 1996;134(2):215-20.
  9. Denda M, Tsutsumi M, Inoue K, Crumrine D, Feingold KR, Elias PM. Potassium channel openers accelerate epidermal barrier recovery. Br J Dermatol. 2007;157(5):888-93.
  10. Baldwin HE, Bhatia ND, Friedman A, Eng RM, Seite S. The Role of Cutaneous Microbiota Harmony in Maintaining a Functional Skin Barrier. J Drugs Dermatol. 2017;16(1):12-18.
  11. Gonzalo MA, de Argila D, García JM, Alvarado MI. Allergic contact dermatitis to propylene glycol. Allergy. 1999 Jan;54(1):82-3.

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