Sweet almond oil is one of the most well-known and commonly used carrier oils. With its light, nongreasy weight and high fatty acid content that can nourish and soothe skin, sweet almond oil is popular as a massage oil and bath additive.
Sweet almond oil is an emollient oil extracted from the nuts of the sweet almond tree (Prunus amygdalus var. dulcis). The sweet almond oil is almost clear with a light yellow tint and a sweet, nutty fragrance.
Sweet almond oil is one of the most common massage oils in the bodywork trade, and many massage therapists use the oil straight as a massage lubricant. In aromatherapy carrier oil blends, sweet almond oil is a frequent component of any carrier oil blend, or used singly when a light, nongreasy oil is desired.
Sweet almond oil has many features that make it unique as a carrier oil. It absorbs into the skin with medium-fast speed and is a nongreasy moisturizer. It is inexpensive to produce, but will go rancid quickly when exposed to light and air unless it is mixed with more stable oils, like wheat germ oil or jojoba oil. Even just adding 10 percent of another oil to your sweet almond oil will help keep it from spoiling.
Sweet almond oil is known for its many skin benefits. While it is used for all skin types, sweet almond oil is particularly effective for dry skin that is prone to itching and irritation. The oil is a nice choice for the natural oil cleansing method because it is light, moisturizing and doesn't leave a greasy residue on the skin once it absorbs.
Sweet almond oil has a naturally warming or heating effect, making it a great choice for a massage oil. This heating effect is just one reason why sweet almond oil is used in muscle tension and pain relief aromatherapy blends. The absorbing effect of sweet almond oil makes it popular to mix with essential oils.
As with all oils, the purity of the carrier oil is important whenever it's used directly on the skin, whether in a massage setting or for homemade bath and body products. Cold pressed oils prevent the formation of trans-fatty acids. Oils made from organically grown nuts help minimize pesticides or other harmful chemicals being transmitted through the sweet almond oil.
- Photo Credit Brian Lary