Almonds are full of healthy fats, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals - they are a nutritional bomb! While you may be used to considering almonds as a lavish, healthy snack, these nuts also do miracles for your face, skin, and hair. According to dermatologist Ava Shamban, Md., founder of Ava MD, almond oil has been used in Ancient Chinese and Ayurveda medicine for centuries to treat wounds, cuts, abrasions, and to prevent scarring. In this practical guide, we have prepared some useful information on how to use almond oil, why should you use it and what are the benefits of applying it to your face, body, or hair.
An interesting fact is that the almond grows on trees, which makes it a fruit! While more often it is classified as a seed, it is a fruit. The Latin name of almond is Prunus dulcis – it is a member of the Rosaceae family. While the Prunus dulcis crop is grown in the Mediterranean, California produces nearly 80 percent of the world’s supply.
It is worth mentioning that there are two varieties of almonds – the sweet almond (P. dulcis) and the bitter almond (P. dulcis variety amara). Sweet almonds are the edible type used for culinary and nutrition purposes. The oil of bitter almonds is used to flavors foods and liqueurs, once the prussic acid is removed.
The highest quality almond oil is obtained through cold pressing raw and unrefined nuts. That way, most of the healthy nutrients are retained in the oil. On the other hand, refined almond oil is produced through heating, and it is chemically treated. While it is more stable and has a greater expiry period, its nutrient value is greatly decreased.
Is almond oil good for your skin? Well, sweet almond oil is rich in Vitamin A, which can increase the production of new skin cells and helps reduce fine lines. Additionally, sweet almond oil is rich in Vitamin E, so it can fight cell damage and free radicals. It can also protect against skin damage due to overexposure to UV rays. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids fight premature skin aging, and zinc helps with healing skin tissue in cases of scars or eczema.
Why should you use almond oil on your face?
Naturally, you may be asking yourself why you should use almond oil – what are some good uses for your face, and what are the benefits if you apply it regularly to your face. Here is a list of the benefits, explaining how using almond oil can improve your skin conditions.
Sweet almond oil is most recognized for its long-lasting boost of moisture that it pumps your skin with. Because of its emollient qualities and the significant content of Vitamin E, magnesium, and copper, it protects the skin barrier and helps restore water balance. As it is light and not too greasy, your skin will not feel sticky after application.
Almond oil can reduce the appearance of stretch marks, and it is the first choice for pregnant women who are looking to improve the texture and appearance of their skin. When applied regularly, it can reduce skin imperfections and nourish it in-depth.
Retinol can improve the skin’s overall condition and cope with wrinkles. It is a great natural solution if your goal is a rejuvenated and bright complexion. According to a Harvard editorial, retinoids (or topical vitamin A drugs) reduce fine lines by increasing the production of collagen. On top of that, vitamin A can help with skin aging and soften rough patches of skin.
According to the authors of this study, repeated topical application of a preparation containing both retinol and vitamin C could reverse, at least in part, skin changes induced by both chronological and photo aging.
Proper skin protection of at least SPF 30 is critical to prevent skin damage from the sun. Nevertheless, the regenerating properties of almond oil can relieve the negative effects of too much exposure to the sun without protection. While it may not reverse all sun damage, it can certainly alleviate the discomfort and support the healing process.
Irritated, dry, and sensitive skin will greatly benefit from almond oil use. Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities due to the fatty acids and vitamins A and E, almond oil can calm and heal inflamed skin. Furthermore, it may help to restore and rejuvenate the damaged skin tissue.
Thanks to its hydrating and nourishing qualities, almond oil moisturizes your hair and your scalp too. By massaging your scalp and hair with almond oil, you can reduce hair breakage, split ends, itchy scalp, and dry roots. However, you should be careful when applying oils directly to your scalp for a long time and too often. Now, what are some of the benefits of using almond oil for hair? There are plenty of good uses to incorporate into your beauty rituals.
The most common hair problem is the build-up of dead cells in the scalp. This build-up not only results in flaking, itching, and dandruff, but it can also inhibit the growth of healthy hair. How does almond oil help here? As we mentioned before, almond oil is hydrating and nourishing.
When you massage your scalp with almond oil, the dead cells loosen their grip on the scalp.
One of the essential nutrients associated with hair growth is biotin or Vitamin H. It is often prescribed to people who suffer from conditions such as thinning hair and hair loss. Almond oil contains biotin, so massaging your hair with almond oil can be a good way to promote hair growth and reduce hair thinning. You can take biotin supplements orally to support your hair from the inside, and complement the treatment course by applying almond oil to your hair.
Does your hair give you a hard time styling it in the morning? Almond oil can effectively treat split ends and make your hair easy to comb and style. Due to its emollient properties, almond oil can ‘feed’ your hair on a cellular level. It can improve the overall hair texture.
The oleic acid and linoleic acid present in the oil improve the resilience of your hair. Additionally, Vitamin E helps in combating the negative effects of environmental pollution. To support hair vitality, massage your hair regularly with almond oil.
Since olden times, almond oil has been used to soften and restore damaged skin tissue. According to Ayurveda, its warming qualities make it ideal for Abhyanga massage, especially for dry skin. Did you know that in Sanskrit, the word Abhyanga means 'self-massage with oil'? In Ayurveda, it is a way of self-love and healing.
Warm a bit with some almond oil, just a bit, be careful not to overheat it, and start mindfully and slowly massaging your body parts. Make sure that you do not miss your shoulders, the lower back, and chest, where stress can build up in the body. Take a moment to relax, breathe deeply and slowly. Self-care is a way of love.
Aromatherapy, while used since… unknown times, is now being more and more backed up by science as a natural therapy for many conditions. Nevertheless, essential oils used for aromatherapy need to be diluted in a “carrier oil”, otherwise they can provoke irritation, even severe allergic reaction.
Sweet almond oil is one of the best carrier oils. It has a nutty aroma, and it has a light texture. It gets absorbed fast and easily.
Can I apply almond oil to my face?
Almond oil is safe and has a very good tolerance unless you are allergic to almonds. According to this Harper Bazaar article, it is non-comedogenic and it has a rating of two (out of five), meaning that it is unlikely to clog your pores.
Where to buy almond oil?
As we mentioned above, the extraction methodology greatly impacts the quality of the almond oil. Make sure that you buy from producers who use raw and organic almonds, and use the cold pressing methodology.
How to use almond oil for hair?
Simply apply almond oil to the scalp and gently massage the hair. Leave it on for at least 20 minutes, and wash it out with warm water.
Is almond oil suitable for my skin type?
If you have an oily type of skin, then almond oil may not be your first choice. Although it has a light texture and is not heavy, it still is more suitable for dry, very dry, and sensitive skin.
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