Almonds and almond oil are known to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antihepatotoxicity, and immunity-boosting activity.1 The seed from the deciduous almond tree (Oleum amygdalae), which is native to Iran and parts of the Levant, almonds contain copious amounts of phenols and polyphenols, fatty acids, and vitamin E, all of which are known to exert antioxidant activity.2-5 These seeds have been found to have a substantial impact on serum lipids.4 Emollient and sclerosant characteristics have also been linked to almond oil, which has been found to ameliorate complexion and skin tone.5 Significantly, in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that UVB-induced photoaging can be attenuated through the use of almond oil and almond skin extract.2 Further, in traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and ancient Greco-Persian medicine, almond oil was used to treat cutaneous conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.1.
In 2019, Foolad and Vaughn conducted a prospective, investigator-blind, randomized controlled trial to determine the effects of almond consumption on facial sebum production and wrinkles. Participants (28 postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I and II completed the study) consumed 20% of their daily energy intake in almonds or a calorie-matched snack over 16 weeks through the UC Davis Dermatology Clinic. Photographic analysis revealed that the almond group experienced significantly diminished wrinkle severity, compared with the control group. The investigators concluded that daily almond consumption has the potential to decrease wrinkle severity in postmenopausal women and that almonds may confer natural antiaging effects.4
In a similar investigation 2 years later, Rybak et al. reported on a prospective, randomized controlled study to ascertain the effects of almond consumption on photoaging in postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I or II who obtained 20% of their daily energy consumption via almonds or a calorie-matched snack for 24 weeks. Results demonstrated significant effects conferred by almond consumption, with average wrinkle severity substantially diminished in the almond group at weeks 16 (by 15%) and 24 (by 16%), compared with baseline. In addition, facial pigment intensity was reduced by 20% in the almond group by week 16 and this was maintained through the end of the study. Further, sebum excretion was higher in the control group. The investigators concluded that the daily consumption of almonds may have the potential to enhance protection against photoaging, particularly in terms of facial wrinkles and pigment intensity, in postmenopausal women.3
Later in 2021, Li et al. conducted a study in 39 healthy Asian women (18-45 years old) with Fitzpatrick skin types II to IV to investigate the effects of almond consumption on UVB resistance. The researchers randomized participants to eat either 1.5 oz of almonds or 1.8 oz of pretzels daily for 12 weeks. Results showed that the minimal erythema dose was higher in the almond group as compared with the control group. No differences were observed in hydration, melanin, roughness, or sebum on facial skin. The authors concluded that daily oral almond intake may improve photoprotection by raising the minimal erythema dose.2
In a 2022 review on the cutaneous benefits of sweet almond, evening primrose, and jojoba oils, Blaak and Staib noted that all three have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years in traditional medicine to treat various conditions, including skin disorders. Further, they concluded that the longstanding uses of these oils has been borne out by contemporary data, which reveal cutaneous benefits for adult and young skin, particularly in bolstering stratum corneum integrity, recovery, and lipid ratio.6
Later that year, Sanju et al., reporting on the development and assessment of a broad-spectrum polyherbal sunscreen delivered through solid lipid nanoparticles, noted that almond oil was among the natural ingredients used because of its photoprotective characteristics. Overall, the sunscreen formulation, Safranal, was found to impart robust protection against UV radiation.7