What is apricot and where does it come from?
Apricots are soft, juicy fruits with a large stone in the centre. The apricot tree is native to central and east Asia but the majority of apricots are grown in the Mediterranean, in particular Turkey.
How are apricots used in natural skincare?
You'll typically find apricot oil, apricot powder or apricot seeds in natural skincare products. The centre stone of the apricot is pressed and and around 40-45% of it is an orangey/yellow oil once it has been crushed and filtered. The seed is then ground to different fineness depending the texture required for the product.
What types of product will you find apricot in?
You'll find apricot oil in face and body oils, natural cleansers, lip balms, face creams and skincare balms. Apricot powder or seeds are usually found in soaps and exfoliators.
What will apricot do for your skin?
Apricot oil is rich in fatty acids with omega 9 (oleic acid) and omega 6 (linoleic acid) making up 95% of apricot's properties - 75% oleic and 20% linoleic acid. Apricot kernel oil is also high in Vitamin A which helps cell regeneration and the toning, tightening and brightening of the skin. It's an emollient that's non greasy so will sink into the skin quickly and provide a softening effect.
It's also high in Vitamin E which helps to keep the, skin moisturised, supple and clear and has a very similar make up to almond oil which can be a more expensive alternative due to a different extraction method.
Apricot oil is a natural triglyceride, an emollient which helps to replenish the skin and protect it from moisture loss. It has a good slip on the skin and is a natural replacement for mineral oil.
There's also Vitamin K which helps to brighten and enhance glow making it ideal for facial skincare products like eye creams and moisturisers.
What skin types is apricot suitable for?
Apricot oil is a carrier oil, so can help other ingredients and essential oils be absorbed into the skin safely. There are different schools of thought on the ideal concentrations of the fatty acids found in apricot oil for different skin types and the effect they have on the skin’s barrier but apricot kernel oil is generally best suited for neutral skin. The hydrating properties in apricot oil can be beneficial for dry or dehydrated skin types.
If you have a particular skin concern it is best to seek advice or do a patch test of the product.
What is the INCI name for apricot?
INCI: prunus armeniaca
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Sources & disclaimer
Winter, Ruth. A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, 7th Edition. Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.
Milady Skincare and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary 4th Edition; M. Varinia Michalun, Joseph C. Dinardo
An Atlas of Natural Beauty: Botanical ingredients for retaining and enhancing beauty L'Officine Universelle Buly