13 Uses of almond oil – For thousands of years, almond oil has been pressed from sweet almonds for its dietary and health benefits. I tried it as carrier oil for some of the essential oils I use in my home but it has even more benefits than that. It’s a drupe, not a seed, which was cultivated well before the Roman Empire when natural oils were a critical part of daily life in both hygiene and cooking. Today, the US is the main supplier to the world, specifically California.
There are two kinds of almonds: bitter and sweet. Sweet almonds and their oil is used for health, hair and skin care. It boasts all the qualities of almonds, including vitamins A, B, and E, anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids (Omegas 3, 6 and 9). Experiment with these wide-ranging uses at home for gently, fragrantly and naturally.
Thirteen uses of almond oil:
1. Skin moisture. This oil is full of emollients which not only soften the skin but help retain the skin’s moisture. I’ve replaced lotions with an after-bath spritz of almond oil in a small spray bottle – especially during the summer when legs are bare.
2. Hair. As a hot-oil treatment to the ends of the hair, almond oil can’t be beat. Warm a tablespoon of oil (on low power) for 15 seconds, apply with fingers to the tips of your locks, wrap in a towel straight from the dryer, and relax for 15 minutes before showering. It’s so relaxing you may decide to take a bath instead.
3. Skin inflammation. All of my kids have experienced skin redness or rash at one time or another. I wish I’d known then what I know now: almond oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties (those omega fatty acids again) and does the trick.
4. Skin healing. I’ve read about uses with eczema and psoriasis. But oil of almond applied directly to minor cuts reduces pain mildly and speeds healing.
5. Skin cleansing. I don’t know about you, but when I was a teen I used to go for the “squeaky clean” approach to my oily skin. Little did I know that that’s not the answer at all – even for those with oily skin. In fact, though my skin type is normal now, almond oil wouldn’t clog my pores or lead to acne – it can actually reduce acne. A clean wash cloth soaked in warm water plus some almond oil make a fantastic face cleanser without stripping the skin.
6. Dark circles under the eyes. I’m not faced with those yet, but there is some evidence that almond oil addresses these, too.
7. Massage. For babies, kids, your spouse and even yourself, almond oil is wonderful for massage with or without a scent that you may like to add (I’ve written about essential oils such as peppermint, chamomile and lavender – great for tired, achy muscles.) They’ll thank you for a quick rub-down! When I need a pick-me-up, I take a little almond oil, sit on my bed, and give my feet some attention.
8. Make-up remover. It’s wonderful on a saturated cotton ball for removing eye and overall makeup.
9. Cradle cap. A few drops of oil on your wee bairn’s crusty scalp patches exfoliate the sensitive skin there and soothes any redness that may result.
10. Diaper rash. Speaking of wee ones, oil of almond was used by a friend to battle stubborn diaper rash. Many products contain mineral oil which is safe enough; she praised it for being a natural soothing answer to chronic diaper redness and then, followed it up with a homemade butt paste! Take 1 part zinc oxide plus 10 parts almond oil in a bowl, blend with a spatula and store in a jar.
11. Carrier oil. Almond oil is common carrier oil in the use of fragrant oils like lavender, bergamot and lemon, either to fill the room naturally with your favorite smells or in aromatherapy.
12. Laxative. I used to take castor oil as a kid. Yuck is all I have to say about that. Almond oil does the same job, both as a source of vitamins and also as a gentle stool softener. Add 6 drops to 8 oz. of your favorite juice or to water at bedtime. You can sneak it in if you have to. Not so with the dreaded castor oil. (Did I already say “yuck?”)
13. Facial mask. Because it’s so friendly to pores, it also makes a terrific face mask. Mix 1 TBSP almond oil, 1 TBSP honey, and half of a ripe avocado so that you have a smooth paste (a little counter-top chopper is what I’ve used) and apply to a clean face. Wait for at least 30 minutes before rinsing.
One day, I’ll have the house to myself, I’ll grab my almond oil and other ingredients, do a hot-oil hair treatment, face mask, take a bath followed by an almond oil spritz and a foot rub. I’ll might even binge-watch my favorite TV series. And I won’t lie, there might be a nap. All because of almond oil (and a dear husband who takes the kids on a jaunt). If you beat me to it, please drop me a line!