If you’re someone who keeps up with the latest trends in skincare, you have most likely heard of almond oil.
It’s all over the internet, with numerous influencers and beauty gurus telling you how to use it in different ways while informing you about the benefits of this amazing and multi-purpose oil.
Almond oil is a kind of vegetable oil, made by being extracted from almonds or, to be precise, the seeds of the almond tree.
What a lot of people don’t know is that there are two kinds of almond oil that are completely different: sweet almond oil and bitter almond oil.
The type that is widely used is sweet almond oil.
Being extracted from edible almonds, it contains highly beneficial properties such as vitamins E and K and it is also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids.
In other words, sweet almond oil is the one that makes all those rich and nourishing moisturizers, lotions, conditioners, and other skincare and hair care products.
Apart from that, it is also used in cooking as it makes for a great flavoring agent for food and drinks.
On the other hand, bitter almond oil comes from a different source. It is extracted from bitter almonds and it contains toxic chemicals.
Bitter almonds contain hydrocyanic acid – a toxic compound that your body turns into cyanide if eaten raw, which can lead to severe poisoning and can even result in fatal consequences.
However, bitter almond oil is sometimes used to make medicine as it is good in treating pain, spasms, or cough.
Does almond oil clog pores?
Almond oil is widely known as a type of vegetable oil that does not contain comedogenic properties.
It is proven that non-comedogenic oils are not likely to cause your skin to break out or intensify the irritation of sensitive skin prone to acne, redness, and dryness.
With that being said, almond oil is much less likely to clog pores unlike other types of oils, such as coconut oil, which rates high when it comes to its comedogenic property levels resulting in clogged pores which then lead to more severe skin problems.
Nevertheless, it is always important to have in mind that skin is an individual thing so, as much as it can be beneficial for some, almond oil can still lead to some consumers experiencing breakouts.
To be sure whether you should use almond oil in skincare or not, it is highly advisable to do a patch test.
Apply a small amount of almond oil and wait for 24 hours to see if it causes any type of allergies or irritations.
If not, you’re safe to use it on your face, hair, and body and enjoy all of its benefits.
What products clog pores?
Pores on your face, scalp, and body start getting clogged in cases where dead skin cells, excess oil (sebum), and dirt accumulate on the skin, preventing it from “breathing”.
The problem begins when these things combined get trapped inside the pores of your skin, clogging them, which later results in different types of acne, including whiteheads, blackheads, cystic acne, and others.
Being that the beauty and skincare industry comes out with numerous cosmetic products on a regular basis, consumers are often led to buying all these creams, lotions, and serums thinking they have to be up to date in order to improve their skin and look more beautiful.
The truth is, most of us don’t pay that much attention to the ingredient list when buying these products.
A lot of people also don’t know their exact skin type either, which then usually leads to buying and using products that can clog their pores, later causing severe skin issues.
Here are some of the most common substances in products that clog pores:
Heavy cosmetics: Makeup that contains heavy comedogenic ingredients such as oils, fragrances, and parabens are the ones that affect the skin the most.
These are found in all types of makeup products, but they’re most prominent in liquid foundations, and concealers, as well as in setting powders, blushes, and other products that are directly put onto the skin.
Sweat and oils: During the hot summer days, most people are prone to sweating a lot. While sweating itself releases toxins from the skin, it can also cause major breakouts.
Especially when combined with different kinds of oils, whether it is oil-based makeup, massage oil, or sun-tanning oil that you haven’t properly removed from your skin after using it.
That way, it stays trapped inside your skin, causing the pores to clog.
Medications: You’ve probably seen a fair share of those bulked-up muscular guys at the gym. If so, you might’ve noticed that many of them have severe acne, especially on their arms, shoulders, and back.
Of course, these can be caused by a number of things, but steroids are usually also the ones to blame for clogged pores, leading to acne-prone skin.
Also, some prescribed medications such as hormones can increase oil production, thus contributing to pore-clogging.
Some oils: Unlike almond oil or jojoba oil, which isn’t supposed to cause skin issues, there are certain types of oils, such as coconut oil that have high comedogenic levels. Cocoa butter is another example of a product that is responsible for clogging pores and leading to the formation of acne.
Pollution: There are factors that cause clogged pores that we, unfortunately, can’t affect and pollution is one of them.
Smog, dust, and any other kind of dirt caused by pollution have proven to be one of the most prominent reasons for getting clogged pores, as these settle on the skin and “trap” the pores.
What can clogged pores lead to?
Those who take good care of their skin and have a strict skincare regimen know how important is it to try their best to avoid ending up with clogged pores.
These aren’t supposed to be taken lightly, as they can cause irritating and painful skin problems that are difficult to get rid of.
This is a list of common skin issues caused by having clogged pores:
Acne: Acne represents the most severe and common problem that clogged pores contribute to.
Excess sebum levels, dead skin cells, as well as other debris combined, can settle into the pores on your skin, creating a perfect environment for bacteria, causing irritation, redness, and inflammation.
These can be very painful at times, especially in cases of cystic acne. The consequences include severe sensitivity, scarring, and hyperpigmentation.
Blackheads: This type of acne is not as severe and painful, but is known to be extremely annoying and nasty-looking.
Blackheads occur as a result of skin pores being partially blocked, while sebum and debris are exposed to air. This causes oxidization, which then turns them black and highly visible.
Whiteheads: Another type of acne that isn’t very serious, but can be slightly painful when popped is whiteheads.
These are formed when pores are completely clogged and the sebum and other debris stay trapped under the skin, causing white-colored bumps to come out on your face.
Enlarged pores: If not cleansed and completely taken care of, clogged pores on your face can stretch out and grow larger, making their appearance more prominent and fairly noticeable, as they look like indentations or holes in your skin.
Dull and lifeless skin: Built-up dead skin cells, along with debris and too much sebum clogs pores which can result in your skin feeling and looking dull, dry, lifeless, and with an uneven tone.
How to prevent clogged pores?
If you’re new to skincare and are unsure of how to take good care of your skin, here are some tips that will help you prevent developing clogged pores and achieve healthy-looking, clear skin:
Cleansing: If you cleanse your skin in the morning and in the evening (especially after removing makeup), you remove all the built-up dirt and excess sebum that largely contributes to creating clogged pores.
Use a gentle cleanser that is best according to your skin type. Opt for those that are fragrance-free, as perfumes and other fragrances sometimes cause irritations and dryness.
Exfoliating: A gentle physical exfoliant with soft beads is a great product for removing dead skin cells from your face. Don’t resort to harsh and aggressive scrubs that can lead to irritations and redness.
If you’re not sure how to pick the best physical exfoliant, make an appointment with a licensed cosmetologist.
Non-comedogenic products: Look for products that are oil-free, lightweight, and non-greasy.
Water-based, fragrance-free makeup and skincare products that are oil-free and lightweight are great options for all those who are prone to getting clogged pores easily.
Sun protection: Being overly exposed to the sun can lead to developing clogged pores, sunburns, and hyperpigmentation. It is strongly advised to use sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Wear a hat and avoid going out in the sun around noon, as this is when the sun is the hottest and you’re most prone to getting sunburns.
Getting rid of clogged pores
If you have been skipping your daily skincare routine, using comedogenic products, and simply haven’t been taking care of your skin lately like you normally do, there is a higher chance you may have clogged pores.
Fortunately, there are different ways to get rid of clogged pores, and here are some of the most effective ones:
Steam: Steaming your face can be a great way of opening up your pores and cleansing them from the dirt that clogged them in the first place.
Simply place your face over a bowl filled with hot water (at a safe distance, of course), cover your head with a towel or a cloth, and remain in this position for a few minutes.
After that, you are free to pop any blackheads you might find, as it will be much easier now.
Exfoliate: Exfoliating the skin can help to remove dead skin cells and other debris that can clog pores.
Use a gentle exfoliating product that is suitable for your skin type, and be sure not to overdo it, as too much exfoliation can irritate the skin.
Use physical exfoliants that are gentle on your skin, as you don’t want to scrub too harshly and cause further skin damage.
In case you prefer chemical exfoliants, opt for acids such as AHAs and BHAs which are known to unclog pores effectively.
Clay face masks: Clay is known to be good for cleansing skin and drawing out any dirt, excess sebum, and other debris from the skin that causes pores to clog.
Apply a clay face mask once or twice per week, leave it for about 15 minutes, and rinse it off with lukewarm water.
Retinoids: Retinoids are famous for dealing with clogged pores and are known to be efficient in unclogging them, thus preventing any additional skin damage such as acne.
Before you opt for Retinoids, consult a dermatologist or a licensed skin specialist for precaution.
What does almond oil contain?
Almond oil has a multitude of purposes and it’s got plenty of nutrients that are beneficial to us. Some of these include:
Vitamin E: This is considered to be one of the strongest antioxidants known for protecting the skin from all kinds of damage.
Omega-3 fatty acids: These acids help with the reduction of inflammation of the skin as well as in the body. They are also known to be a great factor in stimulating nail and hair growth.
Unsaturated fats: These are famous for their benefits such as lowering bad cholesterol levels as well as reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular illnesses.
Magnesium: This is a very important nutrient, especially for those who do sports on a regular basis. Magnesium is one of the key factors in maintaining healthy bones, as well as recovering muscles.
Protein: Almond oil also contains protein, essential for tissue repair and promoting muscle growth.
What is almond oil used for?
Almond oil is one of the vegetable oils with a wide range of uses. It is definitely something you should have in your kitchen or medicine cabinet for the following:
Skincare: Being rich in vitamins and nourishing properties, almond oil is an amazing ingredient incorporated in moisturizers, skin conditioners, and lotions.
It moisturizes and hydrates the skin, without being too heavy and clogging the pores.
Hair care: It is also used as one of the main ingredients in hair conditioners, hair masks, and oil-based serums whose aim is to nourish the hair, improve its quality and repair the damage.
Massage: Almond oil is commonly used in massage therapy sessions, as it improves circulation and relaxes the muscles, while also nourishing and soothing the skin.
Cooking: Almond oil is a great alternative to many other cooking oils, as it has a slightly nutty flavor, which goes well with almost any dish, as well as being rich in healthy fats.
Almond oil in skincare
It is a widely-known fact that almond oil has features that come in handy in skincare.
Vitamins, fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory properties make almond oil very beneficial for almost any skin type and that is why you’ll find almond oil as one of the main ingredients in many skincare and beauty products, especially those designed for dealing with dry and sensitive skin.
These are some of the ways almond oil is used in the skincare industry:
Moisturizer: Whether it be in the form of face moisturizer, body lotion, or serum, almond oil contains properties that moisturize and hydrate the skin, leaving it smooth, nourished, and full of life.
Cleanser: Apart from moisturizing, almond oil is also used in a form of cleansers.
Those that contain almond oil in their ingredient list remove makeup perfectly, as well as cleanse the skin from any other debris.
Exfoliant: When combined with sugar or sea salt, almond oil can be great for exfoliating your skin, resulting in removing all of those nasty dead skin cells, and removing the excess sebum and dirt. If you find it too harsh for exfoliating your face, use it on your body.
Hair oil: It’s also incorporated in many hair serums and oils which help promote hair growth, repair dry and damaged hair, and provide a soft, healthy feel to it.
When not to use almond oil?
Despite being generally known to be safe for most consumers, there are some exceptional situations where you should really consider using almond oil or even completely avoid it.
People who have allergies to nuts such as almonds aren’t supposed to use almond oil in any form.
Some of the most known allergic reactions are swelling, and itches, but there are also more severe ones such as difficulty breathing.
Additionally, if your skin is acne-prone or oily, almond oil could potentially cause clogged pores, despite being non-comedogenic.
Do a patch test before using it in a rich amount, to see whether it will cause any breakouts.
If so, opt for other, lighter oils such as jojoba oil.
Finally, almond oil should especially be avoided if you have open wounds, infections, or sunburns.
In these situations, applying almond oil can slow down the healing process, cause further irritations, and damage the already-impaired skin.
Overall, almond oil is a great non-comedogenic product that is versatile and multi-practical.
It has many properties which are beneficial to the body and skin if used properly but keep in mind to patch-test it in order to make sure it’s safe to use or consult a professional for advice.
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