Almond Oil: The Secret Behind the 8 Million Dollar Hands
01/22/2012 | 02:35 PM
Almond Oil – An Overview
In November 2011, the Daily Telegraph reported the secret behind 5 million pound ($7.8 million USD) hands. The model, Gemma Howorth, had tried countless moisturizers, and was often given free samples by cosmetic companies. Having tried them all, she uses only almond oil to moisturize. As she runs Body London, the UK's only body-part model agency, she advises all her models to use almond oil too.
Ms. Howorth was tapping into an ancient practice that is currently going through a rediscovery. Almond oil has been used for thousands of years as a moisturizer, massage oil and hair tonic. High in vitamins A, B, E, F and minerals chlorine, iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium, it is also used in a number of cuisines or as dietary supplement for its heart health and cholesterol lowering properties. Today, scientists are discovering the reason behind its multiple uses and these ancient customs.
Almond Oil – Benefits
- Lowers cholesterol: Studies show that almond oil raises HDL (good) cholesterol, lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), and reduces overall cholesterol.
- Heart Health: Almond oil has high monounsaturated fats (MUFA), and other constituents, including potassium, magnesium,and Vitamin E , that are likely cardioprotective.
- Rejuvenates skin: Almond oil has been shown to reduce the UV effect of photoaging on the skin. Almond oil is rich in vitamins A, D and E, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are recommended in the treatment of skin disorders including: psoriasis, eczema, dry skin and erysipelas (a type of infection).
- Keeps you regular: Almond oil is a mild laxative and loosens compacted stools. The laxative dose is up to 30 ml per day, according to the American Pharmaceutical Association's "Practical Guide to Natural Medicines."
Almond Oil – How to Use
Almond oil can be bitter or sweet. In general, ‘almond oil’ that is sold in stores refers to the sweet kind; the bitter is used by some naturopathic doctors for muscle spasms, as an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic agent and others, although when ingested in high doses, it is toxic.
- Dietary Supplement: To ingest almond oil, you can try adding two to four tablespoons of almond oil over green salads, cooked potatoes, sautéed vegetables or chopped, raw vegetables. Or you can mix two tablespoons into a protein drink. For a simple breakfast, try greek yoghurt, plain honey, mixed with two tablespoons of almond oil.
- Cooking oil: almond oil is light and cooks at 430 F (smoke point), a few degrees below peanut oil, but higher than virgin olive oil. For this reason, you can use it for stir fries, French fries, or for your general cooking.
- Moisturizer: As a body moisturizer, almond oil is high in oleic acid and linoleic acid which replenishes the intercellular structure of your skin. It is recommended as a body moisturizer, although its high fat content means that it is usually too heavy as a facial moisturizer, especially for people with oily skin.
- Make-up remover: Because almond oil has a chemical formula similar to the sebum produced by our skin, it can be used for removing the makeup from the face, including the areas around the eyes. Its vitamin D and vitamin E are also good for the eyelashes.
- Massage Oil: Almond Oil is a good source of vitamin E, commonly known as the sunshine vitamin, and essential to immune system health and muscle growth. It is light enough to be easily absorbed by the skin, leaving it without an oily layer.
- Hair tonic: Almond oil is one of the most powerful natural stimulants for growth and strengthening of the hair strands. It feeds the roots, stimulates regeneration, and improves hair’s elasticity and shine. To use almond oil on the hair, simply put a few drops of oil on your fingertips and then massage your scalp.
Almond Oil – Possible Side Effects
- Anaphalaxis. Almond oil can cause allergic reactions in people with nut allergies. If you think you may be sensitive, you can try ingesting half a teaspoon and waiting a day to see if you have an allergic reaction.
- Lowering blood sugar. Ingesting almond oil mimics the effects of estrogen and can lead, in case of prolonged consumption, to lowering the blood sugar levels. It must be used with caution by diabetics or patients who are under medication for diabetes.
- Weight gain. Because almond oil is high in calories, excessive use may lead to weight gain.
- Drug interactions. Almond oil may interact with supplements intended to lower cholesterol, including niacin, garlic and fish oil. Talk to your doctor if you are on any such medications.
Almond oil is a safe and effective beautification product proven to help rejuvenate your skin. It can be used as a massage oil, moisturizer or hair tonic. It can also be eaten or added to food as a dietary supplement. Because it is high in MUFAs, it is good for heart health, and has lowering cholesterol properties. It is also high in vitamin E, which is essential for muscle growth and immune system health. Its mild, fragrant aroma, light texture and low price make it a popular product.
1) Hyson DA, Schneeman BO, Davis PA. Almonds and almond oil have similar effects on plasma lipids and LDL oxidation in healthy men and women. J Nutr. 2002 Apr;132(4):703-7.
2) U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 2008. Guidance for industry: A food labeling guide. Accessed 10/19/2010 at www.fda.gov. http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12354500/Articles/ADA10_SunflowerAlmondButter.pdf
3) Sultana Y, Kohli K, Athar M, Khar RK, Aqil M. Effect of pre-treatment of almond oil on ultraviolet B-induced cutaneous photoaging in mice.J Cosmet Dermatol. 2007 Mar;6(1):14-9.