10 Sweet Almond Oil Benefits
Almonds are a popular food—they’re delicious, satisfying, and are often touted for their health benefits, but the oil that is derived from almonds can also be helpful for a variety of health ailments and as a beauty aid. Sweet almond oil is a versatile essential oil that is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, and it can be used for many purposes, from lowering bad cholesterol to treating dry and damaged skin.
What Is Sweet Almond Oil?
Almond oil comes in two variants: bitter and sweet. While bitter almonds are believed to have medicinal properties, they can be toxic if not properly processed. Bitter almond oil is not widely available.
Sweet almond oil, however, comes only from edible almonds, and it's used much more often than bitter almond oil. It is rich in vitamin E and vitamin K, as well as essential B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, and folate. It is also packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins, potassium, and zinc, as well as many other vitamins and minerals.
10 Sweet Almond Oil Benefits
Sweet almond oil has many important health benefits, in addition to being a popular choice to help protect your nails and skin from damage. Other uses include reducing inflammation, preventing premature aging, and boosting hair health. It is effective whether you use it in a culinary application or just apply it topically to your skin.
1. Heart Health
Almond oil is rich in fatty acids that are considered good for the heart. Specifically, it contains high levels of Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids, which help re-balance cholesterol levels and minimize the risk of cardiovascular conditions like a heart attack or stroke.
2. Blood Sugar Control And Weight Loss
Sweet almond oil is rich in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which helps to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Not only that, but diets rich in these fats have been shown to decrease body fat and promote weight loss.
In one particular study, participants who consumed breakfast with added sweet almond oil had lower blood sugar after the meal compared to participants who did not eat the almond oil. They had lower blood sugar throughout the day, and the participants who consumed almond oil also felt fuller after their meals, leading them to consume fewer calories throughout the day. People may try to avoid fats when they're trying to lose weight, but consuming the right kinds of fats, like sweet almond oil, may actually be beneficial for weight loss.
3. Memory And Cognition
Almonds are full of good fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, as well as nutritious antioxidants that can benefit the brain. In fact, almonds have long been known to improve cognitive function and memory, so it should come as no surprise that sweet almond oil would have the same effect. If you're looking for a brain boost, try adding a few drops of almond oil to your morning tea or using it in your cooking.
4. Flawless Skin And Protection Against Premature Aging
Many signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, appear because of the thinning of the skin and unevenness in our collagen, a structural protein that keeps the skin looking smooth and supple. While it is an inevitable part of the natural aging process, several other factors contribute to premature aging, including sun exposure, tobacco smoke, and dehydration. Proper skin care can help slow down the aging process to some extent, and sweet almond oil can be a useful tool in your skin care regimen.
Sweet almond oil is packed with antioxidants that can help you look radiant. The combination of vitamin E, Omega fatty acids, and other vitamins and minerals help neutralize free radicals before they can become a problem. External application of the oil can prevent dehydration by reducing moisture loss from the skin. It absorbs quickly when rubbed into the skin and is mild enough to be used safely even on baby skin. The vitamin E and amino acids in almond oil can even help repair some damage done to the collagen layer of your skin, which keeps you looking smooth and supple.
5. Deep Cleansing
Sweet almond oil is light in texture and hypoallergenic so that it can be used safely even on sensitive skin. The oil can easily penetrate deep into the skin, softening and dislodging dirt and debris that may be trapped or accumulated in skin pores and around hair follicles. The vitamin A content of this oil may also help fight acne flare-ups. You can make a natural face scrub by combining sweet almond oil with sugar and rubbing the mixture onto your face in circles to exfoliate and nourish your skin. Rinse with water, and enjoy a clean, refreshed, and radiant glow.
6. Sunburn And Dark Circles
You can also use this oil to help with sunburns, unwanted tan lines, and dark circles. Studies have shown that vitamin E can help protect cells from sun damage. Applying almond oil over patches of red or inflamed skin can give relief from sunburn. An unwanted tan can also be lightened with a mixture of lemon juice, honey, and this oil. If you have dark circles or bags under your eyes, try applying a few drops of sweet almond oil under your eyes at night before going to bed—you should see a noticeable difference in about two weeks.
7. Relieving Inflammatory Conditions
Inflammatory conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can leave the affected skin dry and itchy. Scratching can make matters worse since broken skin can allow harmful bacteria to enter the body. Keeping the affected area of skin soft and hydrated can help stimulate healing and reduce the allergic response in that part of the skin, including uncomfortable itching. This oil is a great option for this since it is a mild hypoallergenic oil that can moisturize the skin without further irritation.
8. Treating Dry, Chapped Skin
Your skin can sometimes become inflamed from constant rubbing against materials, like your clothes. Skin to skin friction can also result in chafed skin, leaving you sore and uncomfortable. This oil is a great alternative to zinc-based ointments if you're concerned about chemical substances in commercial products further irritating your skin. The same vitamins and moisturizing qualities that help almond oil treat chapped, dry skin also make it a great option for soothing chapped or windburned lips. Extra-dry spots like your elbows or feet can also benefit from treatment with almond oil.
9. Treating Dandruff
Sweet almond oil can help cure dandruff by moisturizing and removing dead skin cells from your dry scalp. Try massaging your scalp with some almond oil mixed with olive oil and let it sit for an hour to penetrate your dry skin. Wash with a mild shampoo to help shake the flakes.
10. Protecting Your Hair And Nails
The same benefits that sweet almond oil give to your skin are also imparted to your hair and nails. The glands in the scalp produce natural oils that form a protective coating on your hair, but frequent use of shampoos and chemical treatments can strip your hair of these natural oils and leave it dry and brittle. This can cause breakage and split ends. However, you can restore your hair's natural protection and shine by using almond oil. The vitamin E in almond oil can also help boost the health of your hair follicles, helping to combat hair loss while restoring its healthy shine.
You can try replacing your normal hair conditioner with a coin-sized amount of sweet almond oil the next time you wash your hair. Towel dry your hair to remove excess moisture. Rub the oil between your palms and apply to your hair, running your hand the entire length of the hair to make sure you get an even coat. Let your hair air dry naturally, and comb with a wide-toothed comb. This should leave your hair shiny and healthy-looking, manageable and tangle-free.
If you have thin nails that chip easily, you may consider a regular almond oil treatment. Zinc deficiency causes brittle nails and white spots, and sweet almond oil is rich in zinc. The B-complex vitamins and iron in the oil may also help improve nail health. Try applying a drop of warm oil on the nail and rubbing it into the cuticle for healthy, smoother nails.
Sweet almond oil is a versatile product that can be used both as food and as a natural beauty product. It may help promote cardiovascular health, stabilize blood sugar levels, and help you maintain a healthy weight. Not only that, its high levels of vitamins and antioxidants help prevent free radical damage and premature aging. Almond oil makes for an excellent moisturizer for hair, skin, and nails, and may help protect your skin from sun damage. If you would like to try this oil for any of its many uses, look for it at your local health food store or at online retailers.