Prunus amygdalus, Prunus dulcis

Family: Rosaceae

Part Used: nuts

Base oil: can be used as a base oil, 100 percent

Sweet almond is native to Asia and the Mediterranean region, and is found in dry soils. The medium-sized tree grows to a height of about 35 feet and has pinkish-white flowers. There are approximately fifty species of the wild almond trees, but only a few varieties produce a sweet kernel.

Contains: glucosides, minerals, vitamins. Rich in protein

Practical Uses: Helps relieve itching, soreness, dryness and inflammation. Good for all skin types. Sun-tanning oil. The carrier/base oil is used to dilute essential oils in aromatherapy for massage oils and other formulations.

Therapeutic Properties: alterative, anti-inflammatory, antilithic, antipruritic, antitumor, astringent, carminative, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, galactagogue, laxative, nervine, tonic, vulnerary

Caution: the nuts contain cyanide. It is best to use small amounts of the oil at one time.

Pressed from the edible nuts of the sweet almond tree, Sweet Almond oil is rich in both minerals and oleic acid, a skin nourisher and hydrator. Sweet almond oil is used to treat dryness, chapped hands and sun-damaged skin. This carrier has a slippery feel, so it needs to be massaged thoroughly into the skin. This will leave your skin feeling smooth and silky. Sweet almond oil softens undernourished or dry skin, encouraging cell renewal. This oil rejuvenates the skin and reduces fine lines.

*Special Tip: for dry hands or damaged nails, stand the base in a small glass dish of 100ml / 3 ½ fl oz Sweet Almond oil in a bowl of hot water to warm the oil (this improves absorption). Then soak your hands or nails in the warmed oil for 10 minutes.

Special Blends

Add these essential oils to 20 ml / 4 tsp Sweet Almond oil:

To rehydrate dry skin:

  • 2 drops Rose Otto, 4 drops Neroli, 4 drops Frankincense

To rejuvenate scaly skin on the heels and elbows:

  • 4 drops Myrrh, 4 drops German Chamomile, 2 drops Patchouli

Source: Harding Jennie, The Essential Oils Handbook. Duncan Baird Publishers, 2008

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Making a Skin Mousse

Take a clean glass jar that is big enough to hold up to 20ml/4 tsp of the finished mousse. Add 15ml/3 flat tsp Aloe Vera gel, then 5ml/1 tsp jojoba carrier oil and stir the mixture with a small spoon. The oil and gel will start to combine and thicken. At this point, add another 2.5ml/ ½ tsp Aloe Vera gel and keep stirring. The mixture will suddenly go smooth and slack, taking on an opaque, pale cream colour. You will have approximately 20ml/4 tsp mousse in total – enough for around ten applications to the face.

You can use the mousse unfragranced, or you can add essential oils to the mousse blend and stir again. The mousse will last between four and six weeks at a cool room temperature and will leave your skin feeling calmed, restored and soft.

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Skin Oils and Lotions

The essential oils are prepared in much the same manner as they would be for a massage, except that the base oil should include the more nourishing oils such as jojoba, avocado or apricot kernel oil. The focus here is on treating the skin itself and dealing with particular problems. A gentle circular movement of the fingertips is often enough for the oils to be absorbed; it is important not to drag the skin, especially in the delicate areas of the neck and around the eyes.

Rose and neroli are good for dry or mature complexions; geranium, bergamot and lemon can help combat acne and greasy skin.

A few drops of essential oil can also be mixed into a bland cream or lotion, or added to a basic face mask, which might include oatmeal, honey, or clay together with the pulp of various fruits.

In some conditions, such as cold sores (herpes) and athlete’s foot, it is better to use an alcohol-based lotion instead of an oil or cream. This can be made by adding 6 drops of essential oil to 5 ml of isopropyl alcohol or vodka. This mixture can be further diluted in a litre of boiled and cooled water for treating open cuts or sores, such as those caused by chickenpox or genital herpes.

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