Sweet almond oil is obtained by cold pressing the oily seed contained within the fruit of Prunus dulcis, a plant of the Rosaceae family. It possesses one of the highest percentages of unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which give it its well-known eudermic properties.
Almond oil also contains vitamin E and B, amino acids, carbohydrates and mineral salts make it an excellent remedy to combat skin aging and contribute to the cellular renewal of tissues. Thanks to its particular composition, it is suitable for both pregnant women and sensitive skin of babies and children.
Almond oil is an ally of skin and hair, great for massages even in pregnancy and on children.
What is almond oil used for
Almond oil is probably the most well-known and used vegetable oil in natural cosmetics.
Thanks to its properties, in fact, sweet almond oil is used for massages, alone or together with other vegetable oils or enriched with essential oils, and is included in numerous cosmetic products for the body, face and hair.
Almond oil is for example an excellent anti-wrinkle oil for the face and for the eye and lip contour, a natural remedy against cracked skin of hands and feet and an excellent emollient product for the skin of the body.
The use of almond oil for stretch marks is also very widespread; Almondoil in pregnancy is recommended precisely to make the skin more elastic and prevent the formation of stretch marks.
Properties and benefits
Almond oil is extracted from the oilseeds of the sweet almond tree (Prunus dulcis var. dulcis), tree of the Rosaceae family widely cultivated in the Mediterranean area.
It is a cold-pressed vegetable oil rich in unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and characterized by the presence of vitamin E, whose benefits are different from the benefits of almonds, which also contain fiber and protein.
Almond oil is known for its emollient and soothing properties, which make it an ally of skin and hair.
There are two varieties of almond trees:
The seeds of the bitter almond differ from those of the sweet almond by their toxicity, given by the presence of a cyanogenetic glucoside, the amygdaloside.
From the seeds of bitter almond is obtained the essence of bitter almonds or almond essential oil, free of toxic compounds and used as a flavoring in the food industry.
Uses of Almond Oil
Natural almond oil is used to treat the skin of the face and body and for the hair.
For example, almond oil is indicated in case of:
- Dry skin;
- skin irritations;
- bath and massages for children;
- prevention of stretch marks;
- anti-cellulite massages;
- relaxing massages.
How to use almond oil
Almond oil can be used on the face, body and hair, alone, together with other vegetable oils or enriched with essential oils.
- On the face, almond oil is generally used pure in drops to prevent wrinkles in the eye and lip contour area. Almond oil can then be used as a make-up remover for the eyes and face. Almond oil is especially indicated for dry, irritated or mature skin, while it is better not to use it if you have oily skin or prone to impurities.
- As for the use of almond oil for the body, one or two tablespoons of the product are used, to which a teaspoon of another vegetable oil and two to four drops of essential oil of your choice are added. For example, sweet almond oil mixed with rosehip oil and mandarin essential oil is used against stretch marks, while for anti-cellulite massages almond oil is used with essential oils of sweet orange, cedar and lemon. In case of irritated, reddened or itchy skin, lavender essential oil can be added to almond oil. For massages against muscle or joint pain, you can instead add rosemary essential oil.
Almond oil, thanks to its emollient and soothing properties, is also indicated for the intimate parts. In this case, however, it is better not to use it pure, but to choose products for intimate hygiene that contain it. The intimate use of pure almond oil as a cleanser, for massages or as a lubricant is not recommended because it could irritate the mucous membrane and be difficult to remove.
- Almond oil on the hair is used pure or mixed with coconut oil and possibly enriched with a few drops of rosemary essential oil for applications on the roots and lengths in case of dry hair, split ends and brittle hair or ruined by the sun, other external agents or aggressive treatments.
For children,almond oil can be used in bath water or for massages.
Attention: on children, pregnant and during lactation,almond oil should be used pure and without the addition of essential oils.
How to make almond oil
Almond oil is obtained by pressing the almonds, deprived of the shell. If you have a home oil mill or oil extractor you can try your hand at producing almond oil at home.
Alternatively you can prepare a DIY almond oil by finely chopping the shelled almonds with olive oil and then filtering the almonds: what you will get will obviously not be pure almond oil but an almond oil in olive oil.
Description of the plant
Prunus dulcis – Rosaceae
The almond tree is a plant native to central-western Asia and, marginally, to China. It was introduced to Sicily by the Phoenicians, coming from Greece, so much so that the Romans called it “Greek walnut”. Later it also spread to France and Spain and to all the Mediterranean countries. He arrived in America in the sixteenth century.
It is a small tree up to 5 meters high; it has taproot and stem at first straight and smooth and gray, then twisted, cracked and dark. The leaves, up to 12 centimeters long, are lanceolate and petiolate. The flowers, white or slightly pinkish and with a diameter of up to 5 centimeters have 5 sepals, 5 petals, 40 stamens (arranged on three verticils) and a pistil with a semi-inferior ovary. The flowers usually bloom in early spring, and if the climate is mild, even between January and February.
The fruit is a drupe that has a fleshy exocarp, green in color, sometimes with reddish shades, more often hairy but also hairless, and woody endocarp containing the seed or almond, from which the oil and almond milk are obtained.