What is Apricot Kernel Oil?
Apricot kernel oil is harvested from the kernels of apricots. Apricots are an ancient fruit, with 6000 year old seeds having been discovered in Armenia. Hence, the latin name for the apricot tree, prunus armeniaca. No doubt there are many benefits of apricot kernel oil.
Apricots have been known and enjoyed for centuries for their soft skin, luscious fragrance and sweet taste. But perhaps lesser known is the goodness hiding in the oil of their fatty kernels.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
7 Benefits of Using Apricot Kernel Oil On Skin
High concentrations of vitamins A and E are found in apricot kernel oil. They play a key role in our skin, supporting the generation of collagen, regeneration of skin cells, eradication of free radicals, and repair of UV damage.
You may have heard of ‘Retinol product’ – currently a buzzword in the skin care world for its anti-ageing powers. In fact, Retinol is vitamin A in its most concentrated form. Therefore, Don’t break the bank for expensive retinol formulas – apricot kernel oil has all the vitamin A you need for addressing sun damage and reducing age spots and pigmentation.
2. Reducing Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Vitamin A also targets lines and wrinkles by speeding up cell regeneration.
The fatty acids in apricot kernel oil (including omegas 3, 6 and 9) work to support the building blocks of the skin. They work by increasing the elasticity of the skin from within, and rebuilding the moisture barrier.
Polyphenols in the make up of apricot kernel oil also treat damage and ageing caused by time and the sun, by feeding the skin with antioxidants and essential nutrients.
3. Rebuilding the Moisture Barrier
Keeping moisture locked into the skin is a key strength of the emollient palmitic acid found in apricot kernel oil. Stearic acid is also abundant in this wonder oil, which leaves the skin soft and supple.
4. Moisture and Radiance
Other benefits of apricot kernel oil is the rich content of omega fatty acids. They promote moisture retention, which can lead to more radiant, glowing skin. Click here to see The Best Apricot Oil brand with omega fatty acid.
5. Cleansing and Balancing
Many people feel it’s counterproductive to put oils on their face for fear of triggering excess oil production. But many plant oils, apricot kernel oil in particular, have a balancing effect.
This is because apricot kernel oil closely imitates the consistency of the sebum that our skin naturally produces. So by applying it topically, we are telling our skin it has enough moisture, so it isn’t triggered to over-produce.
Also, the stearic acid in the oil can purge excess sebum, dirt and sweat from our pores without leaving a greasy residue.
6. Anti-inflammatory and Anti-bacterial
The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of omega-6 fatty acids found in apricot kernel oil are useful in soothing acne prone skin. It rides the skin’s surface of bacteria, speeds up healing of blemishes, and reduces the chances of further outbreaks.
Many also find omegas 3 and 6 to play a profound role in the healing of sensitive skin issues such as rosacea, eczema and dermatitis.
7. Repairing Scars, Wounds and Acne Marks
Because vitamins A and E are so proficient in speeding up healthy skin cell regeneration, they can actually decrease the appearance of scars and stretch marks. The primary ingredient in many anti stretch mark products is tocopherol – Vitamin E in its most active form.
Also, the omega 6 present in apricot kernel oil is also beneficial in wound healing.
Which Skin Types can use Apricot Kernel Oil?
Before applying any oil on your skin, you need to know whether the oil will clog your pore. The comedogenic scale is a trusty ally when determining which oils will work for your skin. With 0 meaning there is zero risk of pore-clogging, and 6 meaning there is a high risk of pore-clogging.
Apricot kernel oil sits at 2 on the scale!
It’s not likely to cause any problems. But if you have oily skin, you may risk overloading pores.
Don’t worry – you can still reap the benefits of apricot kernel oil! Mix it with a carrier oil that brings down the overall score. Hemp seed, argan, and safflower oils have a 0 rating on the comedogenic scale.
Try a 70/30 mix, with apricot kernel oil as the majority, to bring down the risk of breakouts.
4 Benefits of Using Apricot Kernel Oil on Hair?
1. Moisture Retention
We already know vitamin E is present in apricot kernel oil, but it also contains an abundance of vitamin K. Both are essential for nourishing and moisturizing healthy hair as well as skin.
2. Stimulation of Hair Growth
Vitamins K and E play a secondary role for the hair. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce alpha 5-reductase – a chemical that results from excess testosterone on the scalp. When this chemical blocks your hair follicles, they’re unable to absorb essential nutrients, which can lead to hair loss.
Vitamin E combats this build up!
The fatty acid omega-3 opens the hair follicles and encourages nutrient absorption.
3. Prevention and Elimination of Dandruff
Apricot kernel oil acts as both a moisturizer and an antifungal remedy. The moisture soothes dry skin, and the antifungal properties combat any fungal bacteria on the scalp that could be causing flakes or itchiness.
Bonus tip – You can use it on men’s beards, too! For the same anti-flaking effect!
4. Repair and Softening of Hair
Check your regular conditioner – it’s likely you’ll spot palmitic acid in the ingredients list. Palmitic acid (derived from palm oil, as the name suggests) is present in apricot kernel oil.
Its purpose is to act as an emulsifier, which allows ingredients in lotions and balms to blend. But more importantly for our hair and skin, it acts as an emollient, which softens and provides a protective barrier that keeps moisture locked in. Click here to see the most popular Hair mask with Apricot Oil on Amazon
How to Use Apricot Kernel Oil on Skin?
1. Apply Directly: You can apply all plant oils in the same way – to dry skin, after cleansing. Many (those with comedogenic ratings of 2 or lower) are light enough to be used morning and evening. But if you’re applying it in the morning, allow at least 30 minutes to absorb before applying makeup.
Afterwards, apply a daily sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 is always advised when using products with high concentrations of vitamin A. This is because it increases sensitivity to the sun.
2. Mix with your Every Day Moisturizer: If your skin is sensitive or oily, add a couple of drops of apricot kernel oil to your usual cream moisturizer, for a boost of nourishment. Apricot Oil by US Organic is the most popular brand with positive reviews. With regular use, you should notice increased radiance and improved skin tone.
3. Create a Plant Oil Face Mask: Apricot kernel oil can be mixed with all kinds of skin-loving ingredients to make a hyper-nourishing face mask. It is great for an indulgent treatment whenever your skin needs extra TLC.
Use a base of oatmeal for exfoliation, yoghurt for protein, or avocado for fatty acid replenishment.
How to Use Apricot Kernel Oil on Hair?
1. Massage directly onto the scalp.
Apricot kernel oil is gentle enough to be massaged directly onto the scalp – a few drops go a long way. To maximize the power of apricot kernel oil for hair loss, warm a few drops between your hands, and smooth it over the lengths and ends. You might like to combine it with tea tree oil to target dandruff, or castor oil to boost growth.
Leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Repeat this 3 to 4 times a week.
2. Add it to Shampoo when Washing
For a gentler dose, combine it with shampoo. Apricot kernel oil is light and non-residual, so it shouldn’t affect cleansing.
3. Mix it with Conditioner
Also, you can add it to your conditioner to moisturize, nourish, and aid detangling. Simply mixing drops of oil to your conditioner. Put the mixture onto your hair and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse off after.
4. Use it as a Hair Mask
Want some extra boost of nutrients to your hair? You can try the Apricot + Rose Hair Mask by John Masters. This magical mask contains an abundant amount of nutrients including Linoleic Acid, an Omega-9 Fatty Acid, Vitamins A, C and E. You will immediately notice your hair becoming soft, healthy, moist, and shinny after using it.
Top 3 Apricot Kernel Oil Products Your Skin will love
If you’re just dipping your toe into the world of apricot-based skincare, Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner is an excellent place to start. The concentration is low, and the consistency is light and refreshing.
The inherent fatty acids in the formulation are designed to balance your skin’s pH levels, tone the skin, and boost radiance.
Elemis is a good choice to start if you want to test its suitability for your skin type and tone, before you commit to the concentrated apricot oil.
If you’re ready to take the plunge with a pure apricot kernel oil, Renewalize provides a pure dropper-bottle version that’s versatile for use on hair, skin, scalp, and nails. It’s fast absorbing, non-irritating. You can even use it as a makeup remover.
It’s organic, cold-pressed and unrefined, meaning it’s been extracted and sanitized without the loss of any essential nutrients or natural scent.
It has one of the most positive reviews among hundreds of users.
If one oil isn’t enough, this moisturizer from Derma E has got them all! It’s absolutely packed with natural botanical oils. With apricot kernel oil as the headline act, it also has sunflower seed, sweet almond oil, rosehip oil and grapeseed oils among the supporting cast.
The goal of this product is to pack as much vitamin C into your skincare regime as possible. Vitamin C arguably is the number one vitamin in the fight against ageing and the repair of past damage. Despite the abundance of oils, the formula is light enough for twice-a-day use.
Moreover, it is also supplemented with probiotics to fight environmental stressors, and rooibos for an added antioxidant infusion.
Top 2 Apricot Kernel oil Products for your Hair
Because apricot is such a beautiful and fragrant fruit, you can use it for flavouring, colouring or perfume. As lovely as apricot-scented products are, they’re often just apricot scented. Do they do offer any real volume of the pure oil of the fruit’s kernel.
John Masters’ Organics Rose & Apricot Mask is no such product – apricot kernel oil features high in the ingredients list, indicating a high concentration, along with lots of other goodies like avocado butter, Irish moss extract and sweet orange oil.
The emollient properties of the fatty acids in this indulgent conditioner will leave your hair soft and manageable, and the vitamins work to restore lost lustre and vitality.
As with Renewalize’s pure apricot kernel oil, this product can be applied directly, without the need for carriers, conditioners or creams (although you’ll still see results if you choose to mix it in with these).
Handcraft provides an option that’s better suited to hair. Since it’s much larger than Renewalize’s option, it is great for those with long, thick hair. It also comes with a pump action dispenser allow getting larger amounts at a time.
It’s all natural and unscented. Since it is also very gentle, you can use it as a carrier oil for essential oils. You hair will reap the benefits of apricot kernel oil at its purest form.
Apricot kernel oil is a must-add item for your skin care and hair care routine. Its abundancy in vitamin A & E will not only moisture your skin but also reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It is suitable for nearly all skin type because of its low comedogenic scale. Derma-E is ranked the most popular facial moisturizer with high content of apricot kernel oil. John Masters is the most popular hair mask brand made with high content of apricot oil.