If you look through the ingredient list on your favorite massage creams, you may find apricot oil is among the substances included—or apricot kernel oil, as it is sometimes called, since the oil is derived from the apricot’s kernel. Since apricot oil is so common, massage therapists should understand the potential benefits it offers.
1. It’s Light and Long-Lasting
To begin with, apricot oil’s physical characteristics lend themselves well to massage. Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo, co-founder of Bath, Body, and Candle Moments in Staten Island, New York, noted that apricot oil is extremely light, which means that “it’s easily absorbed without greasy texture.”
Apricot oil has a long shelf life as well. Birgitta Lauren, holistic health coach, nutritionist and aromatherapist at Expecting Fitness, a company designed to help women with pre- and postnatal fitness and nutrition in the Beverly Hills, California, area, uses many different oils in her practice and indicates that apricot oil will last for a year—or two years if it is kept refrigerated.
2. It’s Rich in Fatty Acids
Among the benefits of apricot oil is its wealth of fatty acids. The CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries) reports that apricot oil contains three different fatty acids: oleic acid, linoleic acid and palmitic acid. All of these have been linked to healthier skin.
For example, according to an article published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Korean Medical Science, these fatty acids are among the acids that “determine the physiological structure and function of the human skin,” making them critical to the aging process. It is the presence or lack of these specific acids that can have an effect on the number of wrinkles that develop, the elasticity of the skin, and the skin’s response to ultraviolet ray exposure as it ages.
These fatty acids also offer benefits when it comes to optimal skin health and wellness, especially when they are present in the ideal amounts. For instance, the National Eczema Association indicates that there are positive benefits in regard to skin hydration and protection when the right ratio of oleic acid to linoleic acid exists.
3. It’s Packed with Vitamins
Another of the benefits of apricot oil is that it contains vitamins E and A, both of which have been associated with healthier skin. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports that, when applied to the skin, vitamin E helps protect against ultraviolet ray damage, is anti-inflammatory and works as an antioxidant, largely because “topical applications of vitamin E permeate the epidermis and dermis.”
Vitamin A has positive effects on skin health, too, some of which include “a reduction in fine wrinkling, increased smoothness, and diminished hyperpigmentation.”
Massage Cream with Apricot Oil Benefits Clients
Due to these advantages, apricot oil can be a good choice for massage therapy clients who have concerns about aging or the skin’s response to excessive sun exposure.
Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities also potentially make it a great cream ingredient for self-care if you have skin issues such as eczema and acne.
About the Author
Christina DeBusk is a freelance writer who specializes in health and wellness and business marketing. She currently writes for ChiroNexus as well as other health-related publications. She can be contacted through christinamdebusk.com.