Almond oil in skin care
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.
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.
What kind of oil is it?
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.
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)
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.
Some saturated fatty acids like palmitic acid are present as well; these give almond oil its thick, almost silky feel.
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.(4)
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.
As it contains a high concentration of antioxidant compounds like vitamin E, almond oil can be used in products that eliminate various kinds of bacteria.
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.
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.
The benefits of almond oil that we covered above result in an ingredient useful in regimens for many skin concerns.
The most common uses are in moisturizers for its hydrating fatty acids and occlusive properties.
Occlusive oils are used in treatments like skin slugging.
Because of its antioxidants, it could even be used in combination with other ingredients in anti-aging or skin lightening products.
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.
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, take our quiz and shop by your skin type!
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.
The best oils for dry skin are rich in linoleic acid without a high concentration of oleic acid. Here are three of the best oils 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.
Tyrosinase inhibitors like almond oil are best used alongside other skin lightening ingredients like:
Almond oil products
Here are some of our favorite products containing almond oil:
Thanks for reading our blog on almond oil! If you enjoyed it and would like to learn about some similar seed oils, consider some of our other blogs like:
Here are some of the best references on almond and other plant oils in skin care:
- Baumann LS, Spencer J. The effects of topical vitamin E on the cosmetic appearance of scars. Dermatol Surg. 1999;25(4):311-5.
- Ahmad, Z. (2010). The uses and properties of almond oil. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 16(1), 10-12.
- ?oli?, S., Zec, G., Nati?, M., & Fotiri?-Akši?, M. (2019). Almond (Prunus dulcis) oil. Fruit oils: chemistry and functionality, 149-180.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lodén M, Andersson AC. Effect of topically applied lipids on surfactant-irritated skin. Br J Dermatol. 1996;134(2):215-20.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gonzalo MA, de Argila D, García JM, Alvarado MI. Allergic contact dermatitis to propylene glycol. Allergy. 1999 Jan;54(1):82-3.