If you’re a fan of using sweet almond oil for your cooking, you know that it’s packed full of nutritious goodness. Did you, however, know it can work wonders for your skin and hair as well? This article will take you through these sweet almond oil benefits and how you can make the most out of them.
What is Sweet Almond Oil?
Sweet almond oil is extracted from the edible almond seeds which are found at the center of an almond fruit. Almonds have a lot of oil in them and sweet almond oil is extracted by grinding or pressing them. The oil that is manufactured this way is unrefined and it retains most of its nutritional value. Heat or chemicals may be used instead to extract the oil and the resultant product is refined and not as rich as its unrefined counterpart.
Difference between Almond Oil and Sweet Almond Oil
Almond oil is an essential oil and it can easily be confused for sweet almond oil but they’re quite different. Almond oil (also referred to as bitter almond oil) and sweet almond oil are extracted from different varieties of the Prunus dulcis tree. The former is from the Amara variety while the latter is from the Amydalus variety. The sweet almond tree has white flowers whereas the bitter almond tree pink flowers.
The sweet almond fruit is edible and its oil is typically used for cooking and other uses such as topical application. The bitter almond fruit, on the other hand, actually has toxins in its skin. For this reason, it’s not used for culinary purposes or applied directly to the skin. However, bitter almond oil has a wonderful scent and can be used in aromatherapy.
Since bitter almond oil is an essential oil, it easily evaporates while sweet almond oil is a regular ‘fixed’ oil that doesn’t evaporate.
Sweet Almond Oil Benefits for Skin
Sweet almond oil has plenty of nutrients that like zinc, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, potassium, and proteins that will have your skin healthy and glowing. You can use it by rubbing it in your hands until it gets warm and then applying it on your skin so that it’s absorbed.
The sweet almond benefits for skin are as follows:
This means that sweet almond oil is very mild and doesn’t cause any allergic reactions. It can, therefore, be used on all skin types – oily, dry, and sensitive.
It Deeply Moisturizes
Sweet almond oil is an emollient so when applied to the skin, it forms a barrier that prevents your skin from losing excess moisture. It also helps in soothing irritated dry skin such as in eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. You can mix the sweet almond oil with essential oils for added benefits.
The vitamin E in sweet almond oil provides collagen with the amino acids it needs to thrive. Collagen is the protein in your skin that keeps it firm and youthful. Applying sweet almond oil will keep fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots from appearing.
It Cleanses Skin
Since it’s an oil, is sweet almond oil comedogenic? The opposite is actually true. It prevents acne by ridding the skin of toxins, dirt, excess oil, and dead skin cells. It does this by opening up skin pores and letting them out.
Therefore, you can use sweet almond oil in your skin routine before applying makeup. Conversely, you can also use it to remove makeup at the end of the day.
When it creates a barrier to moisturize your skin, it also blocks harmful microbes from entering your skin and causing infections.
Reduces Dark Circles and Puffiness of the Eyes
Sweet almond oil is a natural anti-inflammatory compound so when you apply it under your eyes, it reduces puffiness. It also lightens dark circles and helps you get rid of the tired look. Apply it under your eyes at night before you sleep and you’ll look less like a raccoon the next morning.
One way sweet almond oil reduces the appearance of scars on your skin is by smoothing the skin. This is made possible by vitamin E in it. Another way it reduces scarring is by balancing the moisture levels which boosts cell regeneration. Scar tissue is broken down in the process and you get a more even skin tone and texture. It doesn’t only work on scars that injuries have left behind but stretch marks due to pregnancy or weight loss as well.
Ultra-Violet (UV) Protection
Applying sweet almond oil on your skin provides you with protection from harmful UV rays. The vitamin E in it boosts the skin’s barrier function so sun-damaging effects are minimized. The nutrients in sweet almond oil also help in reversing damage already done by the sun on your skin.
Sweet almond oil is a powerful anti-fungal agent so you can apply it on your skin to fight fungal infections like ringworms and athlete’s foot.
Sweet Almond Oil Benefits for Hair
Just when you thought sweet almond oil is only good for your skin, think again! It also does wonders for your hair too. It helps in keeping it healthy, promoting growth, and treating some of the most common hair problems.
The sweet almond oil benefits for hair are outlined below:
Sweet almond oil hydrates your hair and this reduces the number of problems such as breakage, dry scalp, and itching. This, in turn, promotes the growth of healthier hair.
The antibacterial and antifungal properties of sweet almond oil make it a great candidate for fighting scalp infections such as dandruff and cradle scalp.
Using sweet almond oil as scalp treatment will help in removing accumulated dead skin cells that prevent hair from growing. It also soothes the itching and flaking that comes along with this problem.
Frizzy hair is a sign of damaged hair but the good news is that sweet almond oil can reverse this damage. Apply it to the ends of your hair and it will hydrate it and decrease the frizziness.
Sweet Almond Oil Health Benefits (Overall Health)
As aforementioned, sweet almond oil can be used in cooking and it has excellent nutritional value. To get the most out of sweet almond oil health benefits, you have to use the unrefined kind and cook with low heat to avoid destroying its nutritional value.
The health benefits of sweet almond oil include:
It’s Good for Your Heart
One serving of sweet almonds has about 80% monounsaturated fats which increase the amount of good high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol in the body. HDL cholesterol takes the place of unhealthy saturated fats in the arteries. The saturated fats are then transported to the liver where they’re broken down and excreted from the body. This reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Sweet almond oil also reduces the risk of heart diseases because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation in the arteries or heart is one of the reasons cardiovascular diseases develop.
It Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Consuming sweet almond oil lowers your blood sugar levels and reduces your chances of developing diabetes. This is because its monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat content gets rid of saturated fats in the body which are responsible for increasing blood sugar levels.
It Has Antioxidants
The vitamin E in sweet almond oil gives it antioxidant properties that are very good at fighting harmful free radicals. An excess of free radicals in the body causes cellular damage which may result in diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Making sweet almond oil a part of your diet will, therefore, lower your risk of getting these diseases.
Helps with Weight Loss
Sweet almond oil has healthy fats which will help you in losing weight which is achieved when healthy fats replace unhealthy fats.
You can never go wrong with using sweet almond oil either for your culinary or beauty needs. It not only helps you look good but ensures you live a longer and healthier life! What more could you ask for?