Oils get a bad rap, especially when it comes to applying them on our skin. But we are seeing that the tide is starting to change. With oil cleansers, facial oils, and oil-based bodycare gaining popularity, learning more about how to properly use oils on our skin will help ensure we're making the best choices for our skincare concerns and skin types. We know that some oils are best used solo or as a carrier oil on skin, and we're here to find out if apricot kernel oil can yield similar benefits. Especially since the emollient-rich oil is said to help improve skin tone and even diminish the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
We chatted with board-certified dermatologists Hadley King, MD, and Roberta Del Campo, MD, to get the deets on the benefits of apricot kernel oil, who should (and shouldn't) use it, and the best apricot kernel oil–infused products on the market.
Ahead, everything you need to know about apricot kernel oil as an ingredient in your skin- and bodycare products.
Apricot Kernel Oil
- Type of ingredient: Emollient and anti-inflammatory
- Main benefits: Skin barrier support, locks in moisture, and helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Who should use it: Anyone looking for a moisturizer oil that doesn't have acne-prone skin
- How often can you use it: It’s safe to use on skin as needed.
- Works well with: Most skincare products
Benefits of Apricot Kernel Oil for Skin
Before we jump into the benefits of using apricot kernel oil on the skin, let's talk about what the oil is, because after all, the more we know about the ingredient, the better we'll know how and when to use it in our routines. "This is the oil extracted from the apricot kernel," New York City dermatologist King tells Byrdie. "It is pale golden and odorless, and it is suited for all skin types. It's a good source of bioactive compounds such as tocopherols and phytosterols." Tocopherols and phytosterols are antioxidant-rich emollients naturally found in vegetables (and in this case, fruit oils) that hydrate, protect the skin against environmental damages (aka free radicals), and keep the skin supple. In addition, King shares that apricot oil "is particularly rich in beta-sitosterol, which has anti-inflammatory properties, [and] oleic acid, [which] helps to lock in moisture."
Skin Type Considerations
Depending on your skin type, the products you add to your routine with apricot kernel oil at the center will vary, especially if you're acne-prone. "[Apricot kernel oil] can be mildly comedogenic," Del Campo tells Byrdie. "On a comedogenic scale of 0 to 5—1 being non-comedogenic and 5 being the most—it is a level 2. Those with acne-prone skin should avoid any product of two or greater." However, if you don't have acne-prone skin, Del Campo shares a few benefits of adding the antioxidant powerhouse to your current routine.
"It can help to gently remove dead skin cells, making the skin appear brighter and dark spots less noticeable," she explains. In addition, she shares there are some anti-aging benefits, too. "[Apricot kernel oil] nourishes the skin to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improves skin tone, and increases skin radiance. It also has antiseptic, antibacterial, and antioxidant effects, which can help to heal blemishes and protect against environmental damages."
How to Use Apricot Kernel Oil for Skin
Using apricot kernel on the skin is pretty straightforward as long as you bear in mind your skin type in addition to your skin's unique needs. "It's a safe carrier oil and can be used on its own," King shares. "It's also easy to use in products." Whether you're looking for a new facial or body product, there are a range of options with apricot kernel oil as a key ingredient. Keep reading to check out a few of our top picks.
The Best Products With Apricot Kernel Oil
The serum is packed with a stable, gentle 5 percent vitamin C in addition to zinc—an ingredient that helps vitamin C absorb into the skin—and hydrating and calming ingredients aloe vera, purslane extract, apricot kernel oil, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin.
"This moisturizing facial oil is a combination of meadowfoam seed oil, cottonseed oil—which is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and fatty acids—and cloudberry oil, rich in vitamins A, C, and E and fatty acids," King tells Byrdie. "It also contains sweet almond oil, squalane, apricot kernel oil, and soothing bisabolol."
Formulated with 100% natural, pure plant oils, this lightweight rose geranium and apricot–infused cleansing oil gently cleanses the skin without overdrying. With apricot and jojoba oils at the helm, this oil helps wash away sunscreen, makeup, and the grime of the day.
Packed with a powerful combination of 100% plant-based oils (apricot, olive, and squalane, to name a few), this face oil works on a cellular level to help promote cell turnover and collagen production, revealing plump, radiant skin.
This brightening, clarifying mask formulated with vitamin-rich pumpkin and apricot seed powder gently exfoliates the skin to help shed old skin cells, revealing brighter skin.
With skin-brightening licorice root extract, hyperpigmentation-fading plankton extract, skin-calming ylang ylang III oil, and emollient-rich apricot kernel oil, this gentle cleansing oil is ideal for those looking to improve the appearance of their skin without skin irritation.
If you have dry, dehydrated skin, this antioxidant-infused daily moisturizer is made with ingredients like CoQ10, amla berry, and apricot kernel oil that hydrate the skin while protecting it from free radicals. The multitasking cream can be used day or night as a base for makeup or extra moisture during a long flight.
Formulated for use on fragile and sensitive skin, this calming apricot and palmarosa oil-based serum helps reduce the look of broken capillaries and supports sensitized skin.
This luxe, multitasking face oil is formulated with rosehip oil—a natural form of retinoic acid derived from vitamin A—that helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles in addition to a unique estate-grown beauty complex featuring a blend of 11 vitamins, 18 nutrients, and six minerals.