Acne is one of the most common and widely spread chronic skin disorders affecting millions of people around the globe.
In the United States alone, it affects 17 million people every year.
A lot of methods and medications have been introduced with time which ranges from antibiotic to various herbal and home remedies.
This article will discuss the importance of almond oil towards the health of the skin and its efficacy towards dealing with acne problems.
About Almond oil
Almond is primarily a tree species native to the Middle East and southeast Asia.
The edible seed of this tree is also known as almond and it is from this seed that oil is extracted.
These almond seeds contain approximately 44% oil of which 62% is monounsaturated oleic acid (Omega-9 fatty acid) , 29% linoleic acid ( polyunsaturated Omega-6 essential fatty acid) and 9% saturated fatty acid.
When applied on the skin, it serves as a great emollient and lubricates the skin, moisturizing and nourishing it.
How does almond oil help the acne-prone skin
The presence of fatty acid provides a natural emollient to the skin which helps in locking the moisture of the skin protecting it against any exposure to pollution or harsh conditions which may otherwise alleviate the acne condition.
These fatty acids also tend to dissolve the excess sebum thereby cleaning and unclogging the pores that were resulting in acne breakouts.
It also has natural exfoliating properties that help in removing the dead skin cells.
Also, the moisture retained and absorbed by the skin helps in repairing skin damage.
While choosing this treatment, it is very important that you use sweet almond rather than bitter ones because the former is effective in cleansing, exfoliating and repairing while the latter only add to the fragrance of products.
How can it be used
There are various forms in which almond can be used. Some of them are listed as below:
- As a scrub: It can be used as a carrier oil and mixed with powdered sugar or salt to make into a scrub. While the salt or sugar will exfoliate the skin, removing the dead skin cell, almond oil will add the required moisturizer. The face must be washed clean before its application. Scrubbing can be done once a week.
- For facial massage: This simply requires gently massaging a few drops of almond oil onto your skin for 10 to 15 minutes. The best time to do this is at night before sleeping. It relaxes your skin muscles and gently removes the dead skin cells while also lightening your dark circles. Almond oil is also effective against wrinkles and sun burns.
- As a cleanser: This simply involves applying almond oil on your skin and leaving it on for some time before washing it off. This will clear your skin of dirt and open up the clogged pores by removing the dead skin cells.
- As a facial moisturizer: It can be applied directly on the skin as a moisturizer or a make up a base. It gets easily absorbed by the skin and will also form a protective layer saving it from pollution exposure. It is best when applied with hands soaked in warm water.
Other Benefits of using almond oil
Almond oil is a naturally occurring substance and therefore has a lot of skin and health benefits. Some of these benefits are enlisted below:
- It contains antioxidant properties which eliminate toxins and unwanted harmful substances from the body. It can be eaten on a daily basis.
- Alpha-tocopherol is an important source of vitamin E and is abundantly present in almonds. This vitamin specifically nourishes and maintains the health of the skin.
- Almond is also believed to possess anti-aging properties
- It is effective in curing constipation and relieves the digestive processes
- It takes care of the bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol in the body by adding healthy monounsaturated fats. These fats are effective in reducing the risks of heart disease.
Possible side effects of using almond oil
Though when taken in the correct quantity it rarely causes any severe adverse impact, overdosage might lead to some disturbances:
- Being high in calorie and fat, uncontrolled consumption can lead to weight gain
- Almond are rich in vitamin E. If you are already taking a rich vitamin E diet, taking almond along with it can lead to dangers of vitamin E overdose which includes lethargy, headache, diarrhea, and blurred vision
- Too much of almonds can cause constipation and abdominal bloating. This can, however, be avoided by drinking large amounts of water along with it to help with digestion.
The debate over Bitter Almond
There has been a long-standing debate over the use of bitter almond even as the government in California has made compulsory its pasteurization before bringing it out in the market.
It has been argued that bitter almond contains hydro cyanide acid (HCN) which is a poisonous chemical unsafe for consumption.
This acid can adversely affect our health by slowing down the nervous system and cause breathing problem even resulting in death.
While it also contains vitamin B17 that possibly helps with cancer, the FDA has nonetheless ruled it out as poisonous.
This is the highest source of vitamin B17 and was yet banned from the United States in 1995.
According to the Food and Drug Authority of the US, the consumption of bitter almond was linked to 2 salmonella outbreaks in 5 years and therefore it necessitated its pasteurization.
Precautions while using almond oil or raw almond
You must be careful to use sweet almond rather than bitter almond as the latter is only used for fragrance and might not have the same effect on your skin.
You must check for any adulteration before buying almond oil from any shop.
You must do a patch test to check for allergies before completely deciding on starting its topical application on a regular basis
Since almonds are a rich source of manganese, taking it along with manganese-rich diet might trigger drug interactions.
It can then interfere with any antipsychotic drug, blood pressure medication, antacids and laxatives.
What users say about almond oil for acne treatment?
We did an analysis of inline reviews by consumers who have used almond oil for their skin. Here is a summary of what they liked and disliked about it:
What they liked about it
Many consumers were happy that it was a very effective moisturizing agent.
It did not clog the pores in spite of being an oil but got excellently absorbed by the skin making it soft and supple
A lot of consumers found a noticeable reduction in the acne spots and marks.
It was also effective in healing the redness caused by inflammation and improved the overall health of the skin.
What they did not like about it
In our survey of online reviews of consumers, we could not find sufficient limitations expressed by the consumers for almond oil, to reach any specific limitation.
However, it is believed that in cases of allergies, it might cause irritation and new purges.
Almond oil offers a natural solution to most of your skin problems whether it is wrinkles, spots, dark circles or acne.
It stimulates the circulation of blood and relaxes the skin muscles calming down the stress while at the same time providing an outer protective layer against pollution and harsh climate.
It is also one of the best known natural moisturizers. Almond oil is easily available in the market and quite inexpensive as you will need only a few drops at a time.
It may offer one solution to all your skin problems by making your skin healthier.
It is highly recommended by users and is definitely worth one try.