apricotArmeniaca vulgaris, Prunus armeniaca

Family: Rosaceae

Part Used: kernels

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

Apricot is native to Asia. The tree grows to a height of about 35 feet, has white to pink flowers and orange-yellow fruit.

Contains: minerals and vitamins

Practical Uses: all skins, especially prematurely aged, sensitive, inflamed and dry. The carrier/base oil is used to dilute essential oils in aromatherapy for massage oils and other formulations.

Therapeutic Properties: analgesic, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitumor, antitussive, aphrodisiac, demulcent, emetic, emollient, expectorant, laxative, nourishing (skin), pectoral, sedative, vulnerary

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

This carrier comes from the kernels of the apricot fruit. Originally native to Armenia, Apricot Kernel carrier oil is now produced all over the southern Mediterranean, particularly Turkey and Spain. The fruit is a source of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, an important immune-booster and skin nourisher. This carrier helps to soothe minor skin irritations or mild eczema.

*Special Tip: if you have dry elbows, take two small bowls and place 20 ml / 4 tsp Apricot Kernel oil in each one, after a bath or shower, when your skin is still moist, place your elbows in the bowls and soak for at least 5 minutes. Pat off any excess oil to reveal soft skin.

Special Blends

Add these essential oils to 20 ml / 4 tsp Apricot Kernel oil:

To moisturize dry skin on the face:

  • 4 drops Neroli, 2 drops Frankincense, 4 drops Roman Chamomile

To nourish dry skin in body massage:

  • 6 drops Sandalwood, 2 drops Palmarosa, 2 drops Mandarin

*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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