Apricot oil is made from the kernels of the apricot which have an oil content of 40-50%. It is very similar to almond and peach oils which are all used for a variety of purposes. Apricot oil is made by cold-pressing and refining the dried kernels of the fruit. This process allows the oil to retain much of its nutritional value and also produces an oil with much more complex flavors since it hasn't been compromised by heat. It is light in color and has a very pleasant nutty flavor very similar to almond oil. Apricot oil is used widely in skincare products and pharmaceuticals, is used to treat a variety of health conditions, can be consumed directly and is also used as a culinary flavoring.
Apricot oil is composed of linoleic acid and oleic acid both of which are unsaturated fats. It is high in mono-unsaturated fats (Omega 9) and does not contain trans-fatty acids. It is also very high in Vitamin E and Vitamin A which is why it is highly sought after as an ingredient in a variety of skincare products. Apricot oil is considered a general health tonic and assists in wound healing. It is sometimes used to relieve internal ear conditions, can assist in expelling worms, helps calm inflammation, has a cooling effect and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Externally it is used as a massage oil which helps relieve stressed and strained muscles, nourishes and nurtures the skin, assists in treating a variety of skin conditions, and is used in lotions, balms, creams and soaps. It is used as a carrier oil which means it can be mixed with other oils to help them spread better and also serves as a base when combined with essential oils in aromatherapy.
Apricot oil easily penetrates the skin, is good for prematurely aged skin, and rehydrates dry or irritated skin. It's excellent softening and moisturizing properties are beneficial for hair, face and hands. The oil helps skin retain elasticity, suppleness and clarity thus skin care products with apricot oil in them are excellent for mature skin and actually aid in slowing down the aging process. It works very well with all skin types and is very useful for sensitive skin. Because it quickly penetrates the skin, it does not leave an oily residue or feel to the skin. It has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin layers. After applying to the skin, apricot oils make the skin glow with radiance. Because of its moisturizing and revitalizing properties, apricot oil is quickly finding its way into facial massages.
Apricot oil is especially popular as a massage oil and is quite commonly used as the base for massage oils. Since it is an emollient, it helps provide relaxation to the body and mind. It is also believed to help balance the nervous system and smooth out any form of emotional disharmony when used as a massage oil. It has the added benefit of helping to keep the skin glowing and healthy. When massaged into sore, tight and stressed muscles, it can help relieve the pain and strain within these muscles. It typically has a fine, silky texture making it ideal for controlled massage especially in delicate areas such as the face.
Apricot oil can be used in the kitchen. It is typically used for high heat applications such as pan frying and sautéing. It is also used in specialty sauces and salad dressings. Because of its mild flavor it will not overpower other ingredients. It is also widely used as a flavoring in baking. Because apricot oil's flavor is very similar to almond oil and is usually less expensive, it is commonly substituted for flavoring sweets and other culinary seasoning.