There are some very good things out there for natural beauty that, with my nut allergy, are very bad for me, so I have to be cautious of many DIY beauty recipes. Fear of cross contamination is certainly on my mind, because let's be honest here, living with a severe allergy means the only kitchen that's safe for me is my own. The main reason I've resisted delving into the benefits of nuts in skincare is because I will never be able to say, "This worked for me; drop everything you are doing and get obsessed." Of course, there is no denying the benefits of sweet almond oil in skincare products. It's highly regarded in natural skin couture, with face serums containing sweet almond oil often costing upwards of $40. That's when I decided to put on a pair of latex gloves, grab some nut-friendly subjects, and get on board the almond craze... from a distance, of course.
Almond oil is extracted through dried almonds and comes in a
sweet and bitter form. Sweet almond oil is way more popular and often the oil
we see in beauty care products. Almond oil is rich in antioxidants and acts as
an anti-inflammatory, making it ideal for maintaining moisture in your
hair and skin. The more I watched my friends 'fro lock in
moisture each day, the more I secretly longed to be able to use almond oil on my own head. Needless to say, I ended up with a serious case of the "Why Me"s.
Like many carrier oils, sweet almond oil is rich in antioxidants and has all the nutrients to promote healthy skin and hair when applied topically. This oil is seriously no joke when it comes to vitamins; it's a good source of vitamins A, B, D, and E which we know to be important in anti-aging, healing, and maintaining a healthy complexion. Here's where things get really exciting though: According to a study published in 2007 by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, sweet almond oil was found to reduce damage caused by UV radiation and act as a preventative measure for exposure. This makes sweet almond oil a great moisturizer for most skin types.
Folks suffering from dry skin will find sweet almond oil
particularly beneficial. According to sources at Livestrong, sweet
almond oil acts as an emollient, trapping moisture in, while providing
nourishment and healing properties. In my experience, the best oils for dry
skin are likely the be the best oils for dry hair as well.
Kinky experts at Curly Nikki, Black Girl Long Hair, and Natural Hair Rules all list sweet almond oil as one of the best natural oils for curly, dry hair. One of my own IRL hair crushes has been all about the almond oil game for years; it's the base ingredient in all her favorite hair products. Those same emollient and anti-inflammatory properties create an ideal environment throughout our scalp that promotes hair growth and stops hair loss.
Clearly, I can't personally say that after using sweet almond oil, you will wake up a modern-day Rapunzel. However, after watching my friends play around with almond oil for a few months, I can attest to these easy, affordable recipes being a great start at achieving your quest for long, soft hair and silky, youthful skin.
Sweet Hair Sheen
According to Curly Nikki, sweet almond oil acts as a great hair sealant, but doesn't hold the same moisturizing properties as the heartier oils like coconut oil. That doesn't mean you can't give your locks, be they fine or kinky, a nice spritz of hair sheen and reap the benefits of a hair sealant. Use equal parts of almond and jojoba oil and then add a few drops of sage essential oil for scent and extra hair benefits throughout the day.
Sweet Under Eye Serum
Since the study above claims sweet almond oil can reverse
and protect against sun damage AND it's got vitamin E, which holistic and
traditional medical sources agree is a great anti-aging
vitamin for skincare, this oil is going to make for a fantastic anti-aging
serum. Instead of shelling out your hard earned cash for a $50 dollar serum, make your own! Use sweet almond oil and a few drops of
patchouli to help alleviate crows feet and sagging. According to Style Craze,
sweet almond oil is great if you still have last night's baggage under your
eyes. Use your new, affordable serum to get
rid of dark circles under your eyes by applying the mixture before you
shut your eyes for the night.
Image: Fotolia; Giphy; Shareefah Mapp