Carrier oils derived from fruit kernels have become ever-popular in recent years, primarily for their moisturizing properties when used within the cosmetic industry. But have you heard of apricot kernel oil, and if not what is it?
Apricot kernel oil is an oil often used alone or within cosmetic products such as massage oils, cleansers, moisturizers, and hair products to nourish, soothe, and hydrate the skin and hair. It is made by extracting oil from apricot kernels, and can even be used medicinally to treat chapped, burned, or wounded skin.
Continue reading for an in-depth guide on apricot kernel oil, including how it’s made, its most popular uses, its appearance/scent, as well as some substitutes for this popular oil.
What is apricot kernel oil made from?
Apricot kernel oil is made by the process of pressing the kernels of apricots and extracting the oil. While apricot trees were generally believed to have originated in China, they are now grown in many countries with Turkey being the largest producer of apricots in the world.
Once apricots have been harvested, the oil extraction process begins with softening the shells of the kernels via soaking, before cold pressing to extract the oil in a way that protects the quality of the apricot oil.
Uses for apricot kernel oil
Apricot kernel oil can be used for many different purposes. It is anti-inflammatory, and can therefore be beneficial for medicinal uses such as treating skin that has been affected by burns for example.
It’s highly moisturizing, making it great for hair masks and as an ingredient within skincare products. It can also be used to remove makeup as its oily texture allows it to break down makeup such as foundation and mascara.
Apricot kernel oil is also popular with massage therapists as it is slow to absorb into the skin and provides healing properties to soothe sore muscles or skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
It is often blended with essential oils to create a soothing mixture – take a look at these 112 essential oils to see what kinds of oil apricot kernel oil may be blended with.
Benefits of apricot kernel oil
There are many benefits to using apricot kernel oil on your skin. Take a look at the below advantages to learn more about why you should consider using this popular carrier oil on your skin:
- Promotes soft, supple skin
- Low comedogenic rating of 2 meaning it shouldn’t lead to breakouts
- Can reduce dandruff by keeping scalp well moisturized
The benefits of apricot kernel oil are often compared with those of coconut oil – here’s a comparison between apricot kernel oil and coconut oil to show you how these two types of oil are similar and different.
Appearance and scent of apricot kernel oil
Unrefined apricot kernel oil smells like apricots and has a mid-yellow color.
If it is refined, or mixed with other ingredients, it may appear lighter yellow in color and have a more subtle scent.
Substitutes for apricot kernel oil
There are a few potential substitutes if you’re looking for an alternative to apricot kernel oil:
- Almond oil
- Peach oil
- Camelia oil
- Hazelnut oil
- Macadamia nut oil
- Sweet almond oil
Take a look at these 63 carrier oils for some other examples of carrier oils that may be beneficial for you.
Shelf life and storage of apricot kernel oil
Apricot kernel oil should last at least 1 year if stored correctly. It should be kept in a cool, dry place that is free from strong direct sunlight to ensure it lasts and doesn’t spoil.
If you notice a bad smell or change in appearance/texture, we recommend disposing of your apricot kernel oil and replacing it.
Take a look at the below frequently asked questions for more insights into apricot kernel oil.
Apricot kernel oil is good for soothing inflammation on the skin, and it can also help to remove pain such as aching joints and sore muscles.
It is often used as a massage oil as it absorbs slowly without leaving a greasy finish to the skin, and gives a soft, supple feeling. It also helps to moisturize the scalp which can prevent dandruff and irritation.
Apricot kernel oil is often shortened to apricot oil – therefore there is no difference between the two.
Apricot kernel oil is considered to be safe for use on the skin and to consume. If you’re purchasing apricot kernel oil for food purposes, it’s important to check that the label says that it’s edible before using it.
You should avoid apricot oil if you have a tree nut allergy as apricots are considered to be tree nuts in this instance.
Apricot kernel oil may help to make the skin appear more plump and healthy, therefore reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It can also give the skin a healthier, more radiant appearance, which can lead to a younger-looking complexion.
Apricot kernel oil should not lead to breakouts as it has a low comedogenic score of 2. But if you have oily skin, you may want to use apricot kernel oil in moderation to prevent excess oil build-up on the skin, as this can lead to spots and breakouts long-term.