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Almond milk is the trendy dairy alternative that we've all been adding into our morning lattes, but did you know that almond oil can be just as good for not only your skin but also your overall health? Apparently, we're late to the game—according to aesthetic doctor and oculoplastic surgeon Maryam Zamani, as ancient cultures used almond oil as a medicine to treat dry skin as well as hypertrophic (a big word for white and raised) scars and general skin rejuvenation. How have we just found out about this now, and where can we buy some? We consulted Dr. Kevin Mun, cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer of VENN, Dr. Rose Ingleton of Ingleton Dermatology, and Dr. Marie Hayag, Board Certified Dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics to find out.
- Type of ingredient: Hydrator.
- Main benefits: Reduces irritation, helps with UV damage, reduces stretch marks.
- Who should use it: In general, anyone with skin in need of calming and hydration.
- How often can you use it? As often as you would any other oil, so about once or twice a day.
- Works well with: Other oils.
- Don’t use: If you have a nut allergy.
What is Almond Oil?
The benefits don't end with skin. Zamani adds that there are also some serious almond oil benefits that happen internally. It contains anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting properties, both of which are super useful for the colder seasons, as well as cardiovascular benefits that help to improve your body's cholesterol. Yeah, we're pretty impressed too.
But it's not just for ingesting. "Almond oil is rich in vitamin D, vitamin E (Tocopherol) and various minerals that help soothe the skin from irritation, protect the skin from UV radiation damage and restore the skin’s moisture barrier," explains Mun. That's right, incredibly enough, there's even more to almond oil. The benefits it brings to your skin are everything you've ever dreamed of in a natural product. Every time you apply almond oil to your skin you know you're a little closer to ridding yourself of irritation and stretch marks, and saying hello to hydration and a beautiful glow.
Benefits of Almond Oil for Skin
- Reduced Skin Irritation: Almond oil can be used to calm your skin in times of need. Whether you're dealing with itchiness and swelling or something more clinical like psoriasis or eczema, almond oil can soothe the irritation as a quick fix before finding a more permanent solution. Applying it topically to the areas of need adds an extra dose of moisture, relieving any irritation your skin may be experiencing.
- Calms Inflammation: "For acne patients, it is an alternative to harsher ingredients," says Hayag, "Because it not only dissolves excess oil on the face, but also decreases inflammation."
What Is Psoriasis?
A chronic skin condition in which skin cells multiply far more quickly than usual. This results in thick, red patches referred to as “plaques” covered with rough, white skin tissue known as “scales.”
- Skin Rejuvenation: Zamani suggested that almond oil can be used to revitalize and rejuvenate your skin when it's looking a bit dull or tired. Almond oil contains softening properties that come in handy when your skin isn't looking its best.
- Evens Skin Tone: It can even out your skin tone and improve the complexion over time, revealing a new and improved version of your skin. Try incorporating almond oil into your skincare routine if you're looking for a more homeopathic way to improve your skin's overall appearance.
Apply almond oil to scars to help reduce their size and appearance.
- Sun Protection: According to a study documented in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, almond oil can protect your skin from the sun as well as reverse any damage that has happened to your skin as a result of exposure to UV rays. The damage and aging that is typically caused by exposure to the sun were significantly reduced in the study, demonstrating that it not only protects your skin but also slows down the aging process. This isn't to say you should skip SPF altogether, but mixing in a bit of oil can increase your sun protection benefits while also giving you a glow.
- Provides Anti-Oxidants: It's also another form of environmental protector: "Almond oil has high concentrations of vitamin E, magnesium phosphorus, and copper, and therefore is a rich anti-oxidant," Ingleton notes.
- Reduces Stretch Marks: Although more research needs to be done proving that almond oil is a cure for stretch marks (cure is a tricky word), one study involving a series of women shows that it can be used to prevent their stretch marks from spreading as well as from forming. As we mentioned earlier, almond oil has incredible softening properties, so when it is applied to areas where stretch marks typically occur on your body, it works to soften that skin and allow for it to stretch without exacerbating the marks. The softened skin can handle stretching more than untreated skin—we're definitely trying this one out.
- Hydrates Skin: Applying almond oil to your skin is a great way to lock in moisture and keep your skin glowing all day long. Face oils leave your skin the dewiest it has ever looked, and almond oil is no exception. Not only will your skin be left hydrated, but it will also have an overall better complexion and even tone.
Side Effects of Almond Oil
"Avoid using almond oil if you have a known nut allergy," Ingleton emphasized. Putting it on your skin is almost as bad as ingesting it.
How To Use It
Sweet almond oil is available for sale on its own, and some people use it that way. "Since almond oil has very slow skin absorption rate, it is good to use almond oil as a standalone ingredient directly on the skin," Mun explained.
It's good for your skin and hair, and if you're looking for as simple a product as can be, that's where to go. However, almond oil can be integrated into any product that needs a moisturizing component. "Because almond oil is rich with nutrients that help protect and soothe the skin, it is often used in baby skincare formulations," says Mun.
The Best Products with Almond Oil
It may not be a skincare product, but Kjaer Weis's use of almond oil in this cream blush is part of what makes it such a fantastic product. We love the jojoba seed oil and gardenia extract, but it's the almond oil that give it an emollient property that makes it perfect. You'll have no difficulty blending, but also none layering when you need a little extra rouge.
Soaps and shower gels have had their day in the sun, but shower oils certainly deserve their own recognition. They don't leave you oily, but they do clean off all the dirt on you just as well as oil cleanser gets makeup off your face. If you're not a big fan of body moisturizer, using this shower oil is almost as good.
Rodin is a name synonymous with luxury, as Linda Rodin, the brand's owner, is a former high-fashion stylist and model. But in the past 10 years, she's developed a name for herself in the beauty industry; in particular, with this face oil. It's a blend of almond, jojoba, evening primrose, and other botanical oils that soothe and revitalize skin, all without the use of nasty ingredients like parabens or phthalates.
Liquid lipstick is notoriously drying, so we welcome the sweet relief of these little morsels from Dior. They're only about two and a half inches from top to bottom (no long, thin container) but they pack a punch and contain just as much product as any other lipstick. Plus, they stay moisturizing with every reapplication—thanks, almond oil.
Dr. Barbara Sturm's serums are legendary, which is enough to justify the price tag on this bottle for us. What's more than enough? The thousands of people who say this stuff changed their skin for the best, some even on our own team. If you have finnicky, tough to deal with skin, this is one of our favorite options for you.
If you just can't decide which botanical oil to use on your face, you're in luck, because this oil has 10 of them (including sweet almond oil). Other oils it touts are buriti, jojoba, and macadamia—each carrying their own special nourishing properties.
Caudalie suggests you use this by warming it between your hands and applying it to dry skin first, then emulsifying it with a little water. Rinse, and all your makeup should be gone. According to reviewers, it leaves your face clean without leaving it feeling stripped—perfect for people with dry skin.
There you have it, all of the ways in which almond oil can benefit your skin. But did you know it can benefit your hair too? Check it out here.
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Hajhashemi M, Rafieian M, Rouhi boroujeni HA, et al. The effect of Aloe vera gel and sweet almond oil on striae gravidarum in nulliparous women. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018;31(13):1703-1708. doi:10.1080/14767058.2017.1325865