Maybe you’ve added almonds to your diet to boost your nutrition intake—but these nuts may also help with your skin. While almond oil has been shown in animal studies to reduce signs of photoaging caused by UV radiation,¹ topical applications of almond oil also help alleviate dry skin and improve the appearance of one's complexion.²
Almond oil is a skincare ingredient that, when used correctly, can offer a couple of benefits. In addition to targeting signs of aging and dry skin, this substance may have a positive effect on skin concerns like sun damage³ and stretch marks.⁴ Here, Curology’s licensed dermatology providers share what you should know about this oil and how you can incorporate it into your skincare regimen if it’s right for your skin.
Almond oil is an extract taken from ripe almonds. Different extraction methods may be used, although the cold press method is usually preferred since it may preserve the quality of the oil better.⁵
Almond oil is a rich source of a variety of nutrients, including:⁶
Almond oil offers many health benefits, ranging from its ability to fight free radicals and quelling inflammation, to improving the skin texture with its moisturizing properties and boosting the immune system.⁷ This has made almond oil one of the most sought-after ingredients in the food and cosmetic industries.
There are different types of almond oil, and it’s important to understand the differences to ensure you choose the best oil for your specific needs.
Almond trees may have sweet almonds or bitter almonds. Sweet almond oil tends to be used in skincare products and is known to be a carrier oil, which means it can help deliver lipid-soluble bioactives.⁸ Bitter almond oil is an essential oil that’s often preferred for its strong aroma. It is found in some carbonated beverages and fragrance products.⁹
As a skincare ingredient, almond oil can be beneficial. This natural emollient hydrates the skin, which can be used to help improve skin complexion and tone.¹⁰ Some studies have shown oils like almond oil strengthen the stratum corneum, which can be beneficial as a skincare ingredient.¹¹ The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the epidermis and serves as the barrier for the rest of the dermal layers. Strengthening the stratum corneum helps to protect underlying skin and tissue to optimize skin health and appearance.¹²
A popular use for almond oil is to help with dry skin. The hydrating nature of the oil, in combination with its non-irritant properties, can make almond oil an effective treatment for sensitive skin types.¹³ The benefits are not limited to the face. One study found over-the-counter hand cream containing sweet almond oil was also effective in treating hand dermatitis.¹⁴
A pilot study has shown that consumption of almonds may reduce the severity of wrinkles and may have anti-aging benefits.¹⁵ Topical application may also provide some benefit, and anecdotally, the hydrating properties of almond oil seemingly help keep the skin smooth.¹⁶
Striae distensae, aka stretch marks, is a common skin condition often caused during pregnancy, rapid weight gain, or other medical conditions with rapid skin expansion.¹⁷ These marks can appear on the abdomen, buttocks, and upper legs. One study has suggested that the use of sweet almond oil with aloe vera gel in a cream can improve itching associated with stretch marks, and stop their progression if used regularly once the lines appear.¹⁸
UV exposure can increase your risk for skin cancer.¹⁹ These rays can also speed up the aging process, leading to the formation of wrinkles, and the appearance of hyperpigmentation.²⁰ One of the best ways to protect your skin from sun damage is daily use of sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30.²¹ However, this animal study has shown topical use of almond oil may also prevent some skin damage associated with sun exposure and decelerate the effects of photoaging.
While almond oil offers numerous benefits to the skin and is generally safe for people with some skin conditions, it may not be the best treatment for specific conditions like eczema or acne. These concerns may require more customized formulations or prescriptions that target the specific cause of the condition and manage the symptoms associated with them.
Almond oil features a variety of properties that can improve your skin’s health and appearance. The gentle nature of the oil may make it safe for many skin types and tones. While almond oil may benefit the skin when used topically and correctly, it may not be the best option for treating specific skin conditions like acne.
At Curology, our licensed dermatology providers have the experience and expertise to identify your precise skin needs and create a personalized skincare plan. We will ask about your specific skin concerns and goals, study your photos, and create personalized skincare products with clinically proven ingredients. You may connect with your provider at any time to ask questions and share concerns.
Your provider will create your personalized skin solutions and ship them to your door. Sign up for your personalized formula* with Curology today and begin your journey to better skin health.
Almond oil is commonly used for both culinary and skincare purposes. The oil may offer numerous benefits for the skin, including hydration, anti-inflammatory properties, treatment for sun damage, and management of stretch mark symptoms.
Sweet almond oil is generally safe for the face, even for those with sensitive skin. The hydrating properties of almond oil may produce a smoothness to the skin and help alleviate dryness.
Regular almond oil, also known as bitter almond oil, is an essential oil that may be found in some skincare formulations. The oil contains a poisonous substance known as hydrogen cyanide, which must be neutralized before it is safe for use.²³ Sweet almond oil is a much more common ingredient for skincare products.
While almond oil may not exacerbate active acne, it’s not recommended as a stand-alone acne treatment. At Curology, our licensed dermatology providers create personalized acne treatment plans for our patients based on their specific needs.
Yes, the same nutrients in almond oil that are beneficial for the skin can be good for the hair as well. Almond oil contains monounsaturated fatty acid, polyunsaturated fatty acid, and vitamin E. It may help to moisturize, improve elasticity, and protect hair from UV damage.²⁴
Sultana, Y., et al. Effect of pre-treatment of almond oil on ultraviolet B-induced cutaneous photoaging in mice. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. (2007, March 5).
Ahmand, Z. The uses and properties of almond oil. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. (February 2010).
Sultana, Y., et al. Effect of pre-treatment of almond oil on ultraviolet B-induced cutaneous photoaging in mice. Ibid.
Hajhashemi, M., et al. The effect of Aloe vera gel and sweet almond oil on striae gravidarum in nulliparous women. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. (July 2018).
Özcan, M.M., et al. Characterization of physico-chemical and bioactive properties of oils of some important almond cultivars by cold press and soxhlet extraction. Journal of Food and Science Technology. (October 2019).
Akubude, V.C., et al. Almond oil: powerhouse of nutrients. Agricultural Engineering International : The CIGR e-journal. (September 2020).
Akubude, V.C., et al. Almond oil: powerhouse of nutrients. Agricultural Engineering International : The CIGR e-journal. Ibid.
Blaak, J. and Staib, P. An updated review on efficacy and benefits of sweet almond, evening primrose and jojoba oils in skin care applications. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. (2021, December 25).
Dubrulle, N., et al. Genetic Traceability of the Bitter Almond Essential Oil Supply Chain. Perfumer & Flavorist. (April 2021).
Ahmand, Z. The uses and properties of almond oil. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Ibid.
Blaak, J. and Staib P. An updated review on efficacy and benefits of sweet almond, evening primrose and jojoba oils in skin care applications. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Ibid.
Del Rosso, J. and Levin, J. The Clinical Relevance of Maintaining the Functional Integrity of the Stratum Corneum in both Healthy and Disease-affected Skin. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. (September 2011).
Blaak, J. and Staib, P. An updated review on efficacy and benefits of sweet almond, evening primrose and jojoba oils in skin care applications. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Ibid.
Zeichner, J.A., et al. The Use of an Over-the-Counter Hand Cream With Sweet Almond Oil for the Treatment of Hand Dermatitis. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Ibid.
Foolad, N., et al. Prospective randomized controlled pilot study on the effects of almond consumption on skin lipids and wrinkles. Phytotherapy Research. (December 2019).
Ahmand, Z. The uses and properties of almond oil. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Ibid.
Wollina, U. and Goldman, A. Management of stretch marks (with a focus on striae rubrae). Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. (July-September 2017).
Hajhashemi, M., et al. The effect of Aloe vera gel and sweet almond oil on striae gravidarum in nulliparous women. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. (2017, May 19).
D’Orazio, J., et al. UV Radiation and the Skin. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. (June 2013).
Gromkowska-Kepka, K.J., et al. The impact of ultraviolet radiation on skin photoaging — review of in vitro studies. (November 2021).
American Academy of Dermatology Association. Sunscreen FAQs. (2023, July 19).
Sultana, Y., et al. Effect of pre-treatment of almond oil on ultraviolet B-induced cutaneous photoaging in mice. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Ibid.
Chaouali, N., et al. Potential Toxic Levels of Cyanide in Almonds (Prunus amygdalus), Apricot Kernels (Prunus armeniaca), and Almond Syrup. ISRN Toxicology. (September 2013).
Mysore, V. and Arghya, A. Hair Oils: Indigenous Knowledge Revisited. International Journal of Trichology. Ibid.
Maria Borowiec is a certified Nurse Practitioner at Curology. She received her Master in Nursing from University of California, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA.
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Maria Borowiec, NB-BC