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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Almond Sundries

There are so many parts of the Almond that can be used in cosmetics. So I've outlined some of the ways I've used each of these in my concoctions.

Almond in Bloom / Almond Fruit

Almond Meal: Soothing like oatmeal, almond meal is used as a gentle abrasive to unclog pores. Also known to lighten or bleach the skin.  As with all nut products you must use care and list it in your ingredient list to avoid accidental allergic reactions to your product. 

Almond Oil: Easily found in grocery stores especially in the Ethnic food sections. This beautiful, easily absorbed oil is one I use for my essential oil synergies. It is edible and full of nutrients.

Almond  Shell/Hull: The ground shells are used as a more abrasive exfoliate. The proteins within the almond shell can leave the epidermis firmer and more elastic which is why it is used in many face and body preparations.

Bitter Almond Oil is widely used in cosmetic applications. Also known as Benzaldehyde, it has a distinct almond scent that is very powerful. Use with care as this is a very powerful fragrance, a bactericide, anti viral and fungicide. The pure bitter almond essential oil has several poisonous components such as cyanide and prussic acid so use extreme care when handling this as it is also poisonous to humans. Diluted application with oil or water on skin and hair keeps them free from infections from germs, insects and fungi. Bitter Almond oil, after removal of the toxic components, is used for flavouring edibles.

My personal rule of thumb for additives is--if you can eat it then it is safe to use in soap or other skin preparations. This is the reason I personally stick to the extracted benzaldehyde for all of my applications for safety reasons. Besides, the scent is AMAZING! 

Every time I use almond fragrance, I am reminded of a direct sales cosmetic company my grandmother represented called Jafra. All of their products were almond scented about 30 years ago. One of my favourite products was a bath oil. Here is my version of that wonderful product.

Almond Bath Oil

4 oz almond oil
Chinese Royal Jelly preparation (1 vial)
1 tsp. almond fragrance (benzaldehyde)
1/4 tsp soap tint red
1 T. sodium laureth sulfate gel (SLS)

Warm the almond oil, add the SLS, tint and Royal Jelly. When cool add the benzaldehyde. Mix well. Shake before using. Pour 1 tsp -1 Tbl into a running bath.

Almond Body Scrub
1c. unscented lotion
1/4 c. ground almond hull
10 drops almond fragrance

Mix all together well. Gently wash the body with the scrub to buff dry skin. Follow with your favorite lotion. 

Almond Face Scrub
2 Tablespoons almond meal
1/2 teaspoon honey
4 teaspoons unscented liquid soap
1/4 teaspoon almond oil

Mix all together well. Store unused scrub in refrigerator and discard after 3 days or freeze.  This is formulated for normal skin types. Omit almond oil for oily skin and increase oil to 1/2 teaspoon for dry skin. Apply liberally wet face. Scrub gently. Rinse well. Avoid eye areas.

Almond Synergy
10 ml almond oil
10 drops almond fragrance
5 drops orange essential oil
10 drops vanilla essential oil 

Fill 15 ml amber bottle with 'drops' of essential oils. Top up the bottle with almond oil. I find this blend refreshing and enjoy putting it into my diffuser. It smells like almond cookies.

As with all preparations for the skin, allergy test it on a small portion of skin before applying it to large areas of the body such as the entire face. Inside of the wrist application for 15 min then checking for redness or itch is an easy test to perform before using a new product.

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