Almonds offer many benefits to the human body, they are full of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. They are one of the most popular tree nuts in the world. Almond oil is extracted from almond nuts. There are two types of almond oil: sweet and bitter.
Sweet vs Bitter Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is mainly processed for cooking and beauty purposes, while bitter almond oil is only meant for medicinal purposes and can be toxic if not processed well. Bitter almond oil, unlike sweet oil, is not widely accessible.
Sweet almond oil is sold in two types, refined and unrefined. The refined oil is extracted using high heat processing and chemicals. This method strips the oil of some of its nutrients. On the other hand, unrefined oil is made by pressing raw almonds without high heat; this ensures that the oil maintains all its nutrients.
Refined oil can withstand higher temperatures, unlike unrefined oil. It is also cheaper than unrefined oil. However, unrefined oil is the best choice for health and skin benefits. Let’s take a deeper look into some of the benefits of sweet almond oil.
1. Reduces the Appearance of Acne
Almond oil is rich in retinoids, a class of chemical compounds related to vitamin A. Retinoids are found in most acne creams due to their ability to unclog the pores from dirt and excess sebum. Beauty: How To Take Care Of Acne Prone Skin
2. Prevents Stretch Marks
Stretch marks appear when the body experiences rapid periods of growth. Most women experience stretch marks naturally or during pregnancy. Stretch marks do not pose any health risk, although they can be itchy. Using almond oil regularly can prevent stretch marks and reduce itching as well. The oil moisturizes the skin keeping it well hydrated and improving skin elasticity. 7 Home Remedies For Stretch Marks
3. Good Moisturizer
Almond oil has emollient properties that prevent natural moisture loss and enables your skin to retain more moisture. These properties also soften and smoothen your skin over time. It gets soaked into the skin quickly, making it the best moisturizer.
The oil also contains vitamin E, fatty acids, and zinc that help with dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It is also light, so you do not have to worry about your face or skin feeling sticky after using it. 6 Benefits Of Incorporating A Moisturizer Into Your Skincare Routine
4. Prevents Hyperpigmentation and Aging
Almond oil contains vitamins A, E, and niacinamide which are considered the best ingredients for skin issues such as hyperpigmentation, dry skin, and skin ageing. The sun’s harmful UV rays often cause these issues. Studies show that regular use of almond oil and sunscreen can help to even skin tone and provide a youthful, glowing appearance. Skincare: Hyperpigmentation – Causes, Prevention And Treatment
5. Soothes Itching of the Scalp
Dead skin cells affect not only the skin but also hair. A buildup of dead skin cells causes itching, flaking, and dandruff which is very annoying to deal with. Almond oil has hydrating and nourishing properties that help to get rid of dead skin cells. These properties also help to prevent and treat dry scalp conditions like dermatitis and scalp psoriasis.
6. Generally Good for the Hair
Almond oil contains nutrients that are not only good for the skin but your hair as well. The first is biotin, also known as vitamin H, a derivative of vitamin B. Biotin is one of the nutrients that promote rapid hair growth. The oil also contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant and a good hydrator. It boosts scalp health and strengthens your hair as well.
The emollient properties of the oil also improve the overall texture of your hair with time making it easier to comb and reducing breakage. The Best Oils To Use On 4C Hair
7. Regulates Blood Sugar
Almond oil has 70% monounsaturated fat, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Blood sugar refers to glucose in the bloodstream that supplies energy to your cells—high amounts of blood sugar cause diabetes and heart-related issues. Adding oil to your cooking routine can help prevent such issues. It also makes it easier to regulate the blood sugar of anyone who already has diabetes.
8. Keeps your Heart Healthy
Monounsaturated fats increase levels of good HDL cholesterol. HDL is a protein that carries cholesterol from the arteries and transports it to the liver, where it is broken down and excreted. Frequent use of almond oil reduces the risk of heart disease. Different Types Of Heart Disease And Managing Them
9. Helps to Lose Weight
When choosing to lose weight, it may seem logical to reduce your fat intake; however, consuming the right kind of fat can help in your weight loss journey. Replacing saturated fats with almond oil can help you to shed excess weight and improve your body composition with time.
10. Helps in Body Massage
Body massage helps to relieve tension and relaxes the muscles. Almond oil has a mild pleasant scent and is a good carrier oil for massage. You can use it in its pure form or mix it with essential oils like lavender and chamomile. Its thin texture makes it easier for your body to absorb essential oils. It is also an excellent oil for massaging babies since it is mild. 6 Benefits Of Deep Tissue Massage
11. Prevents Athlete’s Foot and Ringworm
Almond oil has antifungal properties that help to prevent athlete’s foot and treat other infections such as ringworm. Health: Home Remedies For Athlete’s Foot
How to Use Almond Oil
Like jojoba and coconut oil, almond oil is a carrier oil. You can use it in raw form or mix it with a moisturizer or essential oil. Here are other ways to use the oil to benefit your health, skin, and hair.
- Mix two tablespoons of almond oil with one tablespoon of white sugar.
- Apply the mixture to your skin, massage it, and then rinse.
- Soak a cotton ball into the oil and use it to cleanse your face.
- Follow up with a natural cleanser to remove the oil residue.
- For moisturizing purposes, apply the oil directly to the scalp and massage it to allow it to sink into the skin.
- To get rid of dead skin cells and reduce itching, apply the oil to your scalp and let it sit for an hour before washing your hair.
You can use almond oil for cooking various foods or adding it to food that is already cooked. Refined oil is the best when cooking since it can withstand high temperatures. Unrefined oil, on the other hand, loses its nutritional value when exposed to high temperatures. However, you can use it as a salad dressing or add flavour to ready meals. The amount of oil you use depends on the dish you prepare.
Side Effects and Safety Measures
Almond oil is safe to use and works on all skin types. However, it might not be the best oil to use if you are allergic to nuts. Also, if you have never used the oil, it is good to do a patch test first. Apply a small amount of oil to your wrist or elbow and let it sit for a while. If you do not experience any swelling, redness, or itching, then the oil is safe for your skin.
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