Apricot Kernel Oil

by Carol Gomes


The apricot tree belongs to the rose family, originating from East and Central Asia. This fruit contains high amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, dietary fiber and potassium. Apricot kernels contain an oil content of 40% to 50%. The oil that is derived from the dried seeds of this fruit is known as Apricot kernel oil and it is quite similar to almond oil or peach oil. This oil is mainly composed of linoleic acid and oleic acid, both of which are unsaturated fats. There are several different health benefits that have been associated with the use of Apricot kernel oil. This oil is generally used in the manufacture of cosmetics, as it helps soften the skin. Several commercial hair products also contain apricot kernel oil, as it improves the condition of the hair.

Skin

Since it is fairly light and gentle on the skin, apricot kernel oil has become a common ingredient found in many creams, soaps, lotions and other beauty products. The benefits of using apricot oil for the skin includes:

  • Moisturizing: The rehydrating properties in apricot oil make it a natural moisturizer for any type of skin. This oil is light and does not leave a greasy coat on the skin, after use. Many women avoid using commercial moisturizers, especially if they have oily skin. However, whether you have balanced skin, oily skin or reactive skin, you can keep it well moisturized with some light apricot kernel oil. You can either add a few drops of this oil to your face serum, or prepare a mixture of apricot and olive oil for your face.
  • Nourishing: The high Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA) content present in apricot oil enables your skin to maintain its moisture balance. This acid also helps tone and firm up your skin. The Vitamin A and Vitamin E present in apricot oil slow down the signs of ageing. Since this oil contains anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used to soothe minor skin conditions, like eczema.
  • Lubricating: Unlike other oils that stay on the surface of the skin, apricot kernel oil is quickly absorbed by your skin, which helps lubricate it internally. This oil is often used in face creams, body lotions and lip balms. However, you could also use it regularly, in the form of massage oil. Because organic apricot kernel oil is light, gentle, mild and non-irritating, it can also be used for children and babies.

Hair

There are several hair products available in the market today that claim to improve hair growth as well as the texture of the hair. However, many of these products contain harsh chemicals and can cause more damage to your hair. Instead of these expensive and harmful products, you could try apricot kernel oil to improve hair growth and texture.

The regular application of apricot kernel oil on the hair can help make your hair soft and shiny. It keeps hair roots and strands well nourished and moisturized. Massaging your scalp with some warm apricot oil stimulates the follicles and improves hair growth too. To maximize the effects of this oil on the hair, you need to:

  • Heat the oil just a little bit till it is warm. Make sure it is not too hot or it could burn your scalp.
  • Dip your fingertips into the bowl of oil and massage it gently into your scalp. Ensure that the oil is applied to the roots in gentle, circular motions.
  • Continue massaging your head for at least 15 to 20 minutes. If possible have someone else administer the massage, so that you can relax completely
  • Leave the oil on your scalp overnight and wash it off with a mild shampoo the next morning.

Alternately, you could also add a few drops of apricot kernel oil to your shampoo and especially your conditioner.

Apricot oil is fairly safe if used correctly, but it is best to check with a doctor before using it.

References

  1. http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/aromatherapy/how-do-i-choose-and-use-essential-oils
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9225016

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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