Apricot kernel oil is a wonderful all-around skincare oil. You can use it as a daily facial oil all on its own, as a base oil for body oils and skincare formulas and as a carrier oil for essential oils.
The oil is pressed from the kernels of the apricot fruit. It is typically pale gold with a light marzipan scent.
Apricot Kernel Oil for Skincare
It is a mild oil that is well tolerated by most skin types including people with sensitive skin. It is even well tolerated by people with nut allergies who may be sensitive to other carrier oils like almond oil.
It is an emollient oil high in oleic acid that is rich and protective on the skin. It is also excellent for mature skin due to its small percentage of omega 7 palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid.
Fatty Acid Profile
The dominant fatty acid in apricot kernel oil is Oleic acid at 65%. Oils high in oleic acid are emollient and protective on the skin.
Fatty Acid Profile
Oleic acid 65%
Linoleic acid 26%
Palmitic acid 5%
Stearic acid 2%
Palmitoleic acid 2%
Apricot kernel oil has anti-inflammatory properties from naturally occurring beta-sitosterols in the oil. It contains vitamin E, polyphenols, squalene, and carotenes.
How to Use Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot kernel oil is a versatile carrier oil that you can use in a wide range of formulations and skincare recipes.
When & How Use Apricot Kernel Oil
Alone as an emollient a facial oil
Base oil for body and massage oils
Carrier oil for essential oils and aromatherapy blends
For infusing herbs and other botanicals in oil
As a base oil for creams and lotions
As a simple facial oil
Use a few drops of apricot kernel oil alone as a facial oil. It is an emollient oil and especially good for normal to dry and mature skin. Apply a few drops to damp skin either right after washing or after applying a serum or toner.
As a base oil
Apricot kernel oil makes a good base oil for a wide range of skincare formulas. Use it as a carrier oil for essential oils and aromatherapy blends, in body and massage oils and as a base for facial oils, creams and cream cleansers.
For infusing herbs and botanicals
Use apricot kernel oil to infuse herbs and other botanicals. The high percentage of oleic acid contributes to a relatively long shelf life so your infusions will last at least a year when stored properly.
Oils Similar to Apricot Kernel Oil
Sometimes suppliers run out of stock, a particular crop has a tough year and the oil becomes hard to source, or you don't have a particular oil on hand. When substituting one carrier oil for the other you want to find oils with similar fatty acid profiles and characteristics. Often you can look within the botanical family to find similar oils.
For apricot kernel oil you can safely substitute peach kernel oil, almond oil or plum kernel oil. Just make sure to update labels and be aware of any potential allergies.
Peach kernel oil
Plum kernel oil
Shelf life and storage
Oils high in oleic acid, including apricot kernel oil, will last 12 to 18 months when stored well. Light, oxygen, heat and time break down oils causing them to go rancid. Keep oils tightly sealed in a dark cool space away from sunlight and heat sources. In hot climates you can refrigerate oils to extend the shelf life. Even through the typical shelf life is 18 months, oils stored well can last far longer so you don't need to automatically through away oils that have been on the shelf for a year. Soap making is an excellent way to use up oils that are still good but have been hanging around for a while.
Apricot kernel oil is a versatile oil for skincare, herbalism and aromatherapy.
What are your favorite carrier oils? Leave a comment below.