Apricot kernel oil is extracted from the kernels or seeds of apricots. Making the oil is usually a several-step process. First, the fruit is collected and seeds are separated. The shell is then removed so that the kernel can be crushed and ground before the oil can be extracted.1
While apricot oil is commonly used as a carrier oil for essential oils, it can also be used on its own. With several different varieties, including conventional apricot kernel oil, organic apricot kernel oil or cold pressed apricot kernel oil, research has shown it contains several benefits, including antimicrobial and moisturizing properties.3,5 The most common uses for apricot kernel oil include hair care, skin care and natural face treatments.
Benefits of Apricot Oil
Apricot oil benefits range from treating acne to naturally increasing shine and moisture in hair. It’s believed that the high fatty acid content is responsible for these apricot seed oil benefits.2 Specifically, polyunsaturated fatty acids and linolenic fatty acids, which are thought to be easily absorbed into the skin.3,4
Because of the beneficial properties, this oil is added to cosmetics or natural products to help moisturize dry skin or as a key ingredient in massage oils.3 Apricot kernel oil is frequently combined with essential oils such as, lavender essential oil or marjoram essential oil to enhance the natural apricot kernel benefits.
Apricot Oil for Hair
There are a variety of apricot oil benefits for hair. Pure apricot oil can be used to promote shine due to its healthy fatty acids and moisturizing properties. As the apricot kernel oil properties are well-known, it’s likely you’ll find apricot kernel oil for hair in a variety of commercial shampoos and conditioners.
Using apricot oil for hair growth is also beneficial because the oil provides moisture and contains nutrients like vitamin E, that is useful for hair growth.3
For a healthy scalp, combine apricot oil with several drops of essential oils like lavender and tea tree essential oil which both contain natural antimicrobial properties that can fight bacteria and dandruff.
Apricot Oil for Skin
Is apricot oil good for skin? Studies have shown apricot oil may be useful for several conditions. Apricot kernel oil for skin can alleviate dryness and add moisture to problem areas.3 Its antimicrobial properties have been reported by users to help fight symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema.
Eczema is a skin condition that results from inflammation. Affected areas become red, dry, itchy and often uncomfortable. With apricot oil, eczema may benefit from the its antimicrobial and soothing properties.3,4 When using apricot kernel oil, eczema symptoms may be further reduced when paired with essential oils for eczema.
Make your own apricot kernel oil skin care routine by mixing 1 Tbsp. with 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oils for skin. You can also make a homemade apricot cuticle oil for dry skin and nails or a therapeutic apricot massage oil.
Using apricot oil may also be beneficial for pregnant women, as its rich in fatty acids that may help keep skin looking supply and moisturized. For an easy skin treatment, one study suggests combining 1 oz. of apricot oil with 6-8 drops of an essential oil safe for pregnancy.4
For any further apricot kernel pregnancy concerns, always speak to a trusted health care provider.
Apricot Oil for Face
While there are a number of apricot kernel oil benefits, for face concerns, the properties of apricot kernel oil may be useful for conditions such as acne. The fatty acids found in apricot oil help increase moisture, balancing out dry areas and improving overall texture.
Apricot oil has also been noted to have antimicrobial properties, that can help fight bacteria.5 Anecdotally, the apricot kernel oil comedogenic rating is quite low amongst carrier oils, and is believed to not clog pores.
Apricot oil for acne and other face conditions can be used alone or with a few drops of an essential oil with antibacterial properties, such as eucalyptus essential oil.
When using apricot kernel oil for face, skin and hair, it is often recommended to purchase organic apricot kernel oil, cold pressed apricot oil or unrefined apricot oil, as most of the nutrients remain intact.
Buy Apricot Oil
Extremely high grade and organic apricot kernel oil can be easily purchased over the internet at very reasonable prices. When purchasing apricot kernel carrier oil to be mixed with essential oils, Essential Oil Experts recommends purchasing from a vendor who specializes in essential oils and carrier oils.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Targais, K., Stobdan, T., Yadav, A., Singh, S.B. (2011, April). Extraction of apricot kernel oil in cold desert Ladakh, India. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 10 (2), 304-306. doi: http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/11508/1/IJTK%2010%282%29%20304-306.pdf
- Gupta, A., Sharma, P.C. (2009, May). Standardization of technology for extraction of wild apricot kernel oil at semi-pilot scale. Biological Forum – An International Journal, 1 (1), 51-64. Retrieved June 15, 2017 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268268643_Standardization_of_technology_for_extraction_of_wild_apricot_kernel_oil_at_semi-pilot_scale – View reference
- Gupta, A, Sharma, P.C., Tilakratne, B.M.K.S., Verma, A.K. (2012, September). Studies on physico-chemical characteristics and fatty acid composition of wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca Linn.) kernel oil. Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, 3 (3), 366-370. Retrieved June 15, 2017 from http://nopr.niscair.res.in/handle/123456789/14818
- Goodfriend, C. (2001). Aromatherapy for Pregnancy and Birth. International Journal of Childbirth Education; Minneapolis, 16 (3), 18. Retrieved June 15, 2017 from http://search.proquest.com/openview/3855f7f0a63a073e8e984f968cc97ddc/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=32235
- Ahn, J.H., Kwak, J.H., Kwon, A.R, Lee, E.S., Lee, H.H., Min, Y.H. (2014). Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil of Apricot Seed. Phytotherapy Research, 28 (12). doi: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265646716_Chemical_Composition_and_Antimicrobial_Activity_of_the_Essential_Oil_of_Apricot_Seed – View reference