Apricot oil is usually a familiar fixture in massage oils and essential oil formulas thanks to its non-greasy, silky texture and neutral smell. But if you’ve been wondering if this unpretentious oil has more to offer, you are on the right track! Apricot oil, obtained from the kernels of apricots, has a high content of oleic and linoleic acids and even boasts of some vitamin E – all components that can work wonders for your skin.1 2 And thanks to these components, apricot oil has the following benefits to offer.
1. Works As A Moisturizer
If dry, itchy skin is a problem you fight on a daily basis, try applying apricot oil. Oleic and linoleic acids in the oil can work wonders in different ways. Apricot oil is easily absorbed into the skin and acts as an occlusive agent that blocks the loss of moisture from your skin. It is also an emollient that can soften your skin – and that too without that greasy texture that most of us loathe. Apricot oil also contains vitamin E, which can enhance the ability of the skin to absorb and hold water, therefore improving skin hydration.3 4
2. Tackles Acne
Apricot oil is a traditional remedy for acne control. And though apricot oil’s action hasn’t been studied specifically, the linoleic acid content of this oil is likely the reason it counters acne.5 Low levels of linoleic acid can result in hyperkeratinization or excessive levels of keratin, which is a protein found in your skin, nails, and hair. Hyperkeratinization can cause dead skin cells to stick together, clogging pores and causing pimples. In fact, one study found that applying linoleic acid for a month reduced the size of microcomedones or plugged skin pores by 25%. So if you’re prone to acne, use apricot oil to tackle microcomedones before they become whiteheads or blackheads.6
id="3-helps-protect-against-the-damaging-effects-of-pollution">3. Helps Protect Against The Damaging Effects Of Pollution
Our skin is constantly exposed to air pollution and smog. And though apricot oil hasn’t been studied specifically for its protective effects against pollution, research indicates that vitamin E in it could have a beneficial effect. One animal study found that the topical application of vitamin E protected the skin of mice from oxidative damage caused by exposure to ozone present in smog. So it makes sense to fortify your skin with a little vitamin E-rich apricot oil before you head out for the day.7
id="4-helps-ease-eczema">4. Helps Ease Eczema
Eczema is an inflammatory skin disorder where you get itchy, dry skin that may ooze when scratched. It’s a common skin condition too – around 30% Americans are thought to be affected by it.8 Apricot oil is often used for its soothing effect to treat eczema.
Interestingly, research has found that a phytosterol known as β-sitosterol, which is the main sterol present in apricot oil, might have a beneficial effect on eczema. A study observed that treatment with this compound reduced inflammation and scratching in test animals who had eczema-like skin lesions.9 10
5. May Help Fight Psoriasis
Psoriasis, a skin disorder where you get flaky, crusty, red patches on your skin with silvery scales, affects anywhere from 2 to 26% of Americans.12 But apricot oil can help those with this condition. Psoriasis is associated with the excessive proliferation of skin cells known as keratinocytes. And one lab study found that bitter apricot essential oil has an anti-proliferative effect as it could induce apoptosis or death of human keratinocytes.13
Try These Apricot Oil Recipes Today!
Apricot oil can add to your skincare routine in a variety of ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
id="fruity-cleanser-with-apricot-oil">Fruity cleanser with apricot oil
Puree a little papaya with apricot oil, yogurt, and honey to prepare a cleansing face mask. Massage this into face and then rinse off with cold water. Papaya and yogurt help remove dead skin cells while apricot oil and honey moisturize and soothe your skin.15
Mix ¼ cup of apricot oil and 3/4th of a cup of sunflower oil and pour half a cup of this mixture into a heat-safe bottle and place it in a bowl of hot water so that it gently becomes warm. Once it’s warm, add 8 to 10 drops of an essential oil of your choice such as lavender, holy basil, or sage oil and shake the bottle till it blends. Add the remaining half cup of apricot and sunflower oil to this and you’ve got a beautiful afterbath oil. 16
|↑1||Tan, Terry. Naturally Speaking – Chinese: Recipes and Home Remedies. Marshall Cavendish, 2007.|
|↑2||Gupta, Anil, P. C. Sharma, B. M. K. S. Tilakratne, and Anil K. Verma. “Studies on physico-chemical characteristics and fatty acid composition of wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca Linn.) kernel oil.” (2012).|
|↑3||Vitamin E and Skin Health.
|↑4||Michalun, M. Varinia, and Joseph C. Dinardo. Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary. Cengage Learning, 2014.|
|↑5||Kanlayavattanakul, M., and N. Lourith. “Therapeutic agents and herbs in topical application for acne treatment.” International Journal of Cosmetic Science 33, no. 4 (2011): 289-297.|
|↑6||Letawe, C., M. Boone, and G. E. Pierard. “Digital image analysis of the effect of topically applied linoleic acid on acne microcomedones.” Clinical and experimental dermatology 23, no. 2 (1998): 56-58.|
|↑7||Thiele, Jens J., Maret G. Traber, Maurizio Podda, Kenneth Tsang, Carroll E. Cross, and Lester Packer. “Ozone depletes tocopherols and tocotrienols topically applied to murine skin.” FEBS letters 401, no. 2-3 (1997): 167-170.|
|↑8||Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis). National Institutes of Health.|
|↑9||Han, Na-Ra, Hyung-Min Kim, and Hyun-Ja Jeong. “The β-sitosterol attenuates atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions through down-regulation of TSLP.” Experimental Biology and Medicine 239, no. 4 (2014): 454-464.|
|↑10||Rudzińska, Magdalena, Paweł Górnaś, Marianna Raczyk, and Arianne Soliven. “Sterols and squalene in apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) kernel oils: the variety as a key factor.” Natural product research 31, no. 1 (2017): 84-88.|
|↑11||Tietje, Kate and Bob Zajac. Natural Remedies for Kids: The Most Effective Natural, Make-at-Home Remedies and Treatments for Your Child’s Most Common Ailments. Fair Winds Press, 2015.|
|↑12||Psoriasis. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑13||Li, Keyou, Wenhua Yang, Zhe Li, Wangwang Jia, Jiazhou Li, Pengfei Zhang, and Tiancun Xiao. “Bitter apricot essential oil induces apoptosis of human HaCaT keratinocytes.” International immunopharmacology 34 (2016): 189-198.|
|↑14||Duke, James A. The green pharmacy guide to healing foods: proven natural remedies to treat and prevent more than 80 common health concerns. Rodale Books, 2009.|
|↑15||Gehring, Abigail R., ed. The Homesteading Handbook: A Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 2011.|
|↑16||King, Erica. Go Lavishly Natural: 100+ Recipes for Healthy Natural Hair, Mind, & Soul. Balboa Press, 2017.|