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Ingredient spotlight: apricot kernel oil

  • 4 min read

Apricot (prunus armeniaca) kernel oil is far from a new invention – with the oil being used across cultures and the ages in a huge variety of ways and industries, from helping to treat various ailments in Traditional Chinese Medicine, to nourishing the skin in skincare products. 

The delicious apricot fruit is not the only delight on offer here, with the kernel (seed) having an oil content of up to 50%. This oil is often compared with peach oil and almond oil, and has a wealth of skincare benefits. 

Apricot kernel oil in skincare

Apricot kernel oil has quickly become a hit in the skincare world as its properties have been increasingly studied. Often used in moisturising products, apricot oil is incorporated to help soften and smooth the skin.

Discover the benefits of incorporating organic apricot kernel oil in your skincare routine.

Apricot kernel oil benefits

1. Intensely moisturising

Apricot kernel oil is used in skincare because of its intensely moisturising and nourishing properties for the skin. This is because apricot oil is rich in both linoleic acid (omega-6) and oleic acid (omega-9), two naturally occurring fatty acids.

Fatty acids – alongside a sphingoid base – make up the structure of a ceramide. Types of lipids, these fatty acids work to help to keep the skin as moisturised as possible, and ceramides are known to help to improve the skin’s complexion and deeply hydrate the skin by preventing water from escaping. 

2. Source of natural vitamin A

Vitamin A is a key ingredient in many skincare products targeting acne, an uneven skin tone or conditions such as psoriasis. Retinoids are compounds including both natural biologically active forms of vitamin A and synthetic forms of vitamin A – but many people find them to be too harsh on the skin.

That’s why more and more people are opting for natural retinol alternatives that still deliver the same skincare benefits like combating signs of ageing and photoaging. Apricot kernel oil is a natural source of vitamin A, making it a great option for those with more sensitive skin that can’t tolerate retinoids. 

Vitamin A in skincare can help to improve the appearance of wrinkles and sagging, reduce hyperpigmentation and other signs of photoaging, combat acne and soothe other skin conditions

While vitamin A is known to help protect the skin against damage caused by UV radiation, this is not a substitute for using a quality Mineral Sunscreen every day of at least SPF 25 – come rain or shine! 

3. Great antioxidant

One of the best benefits of apricot kernel oil is that its high vitamin E content means the ingredient is a wonderful antioxidant, helping to boost circulation and repair scarred and damaged skin, while also fighting damage-causing free radicals. Vitamin E can also reduce the oxidation of sebum in the pores, which helps to prevent blackheads from forming. 

Antioxidants help to protect the skin from environmental stressors and prevent free radicals from being released in the body when oxygen atoms split after coming into contact with another chemical. They help to prevent free radicals from causing damage to your skin cells by binding to them, providing free radicals with their missing electron pairing. 

4. Helps to strengthen the skin barrier

The oleic and linoleic acids in organic apricot kernel oil can help to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. A strong and healthy skin barrier is essential for keeping your skin in a good condition. The skin barrier can become damaged as skin is exposed to UV rays, pollution, and toxins in the environment.

We firmly believe that natural is the best way to strengthen and repair the skin barrier, sticking to hard working organic skincare products.

Apricot kernel oil vs jojoba oil

Derived from the nut of the jojoba (simmondsia chinensis) plant, jojoba oil is a key ingredient in many skincare products due to its moisturising, antioxidant and skin soothing nature. 

Both apricot kernel oil and jojoba oil are intensely moisturising, rich in vitamin E and a great moisturising agent in skincare products. While people may wonder which is best, at UpCircle, we don’t feel the need to play these two against each other – their skincare benefits speak for themselves!

Incorporate jojoba oil into your routine

Our Organic Face Serum with Rosehip Oil and Coffee is also rich in jojoba oil. This fan-favourite product helps to boost collagen, keep the skin firm, fade dark spots and scars while brightening the complexion.

As this serum is completely oil based, it works through occlusion, locking in the hydration provided by the moisturiser by forming a protective seal over the skin.

Is apricot kernel oil comedogenic?

Apricot kernel oil is classified as mildly comedogenic – it scores a two on the comedogenic scale of zero to five, with five being the most comedogenic. 

Using apricot kernel oil

Knowing all of the wonderful benefits of this oil, we couldn’t not use it in one of our products! 

Infused with nourishing upcycled passion fruit oil, tangerine oil and apricot kernel oil, this fast-absorbing and non-greasy body oil leaves skin deeply moisturised and gorgeously scented.

Formulated with sunflower (helianthus annuus) seed oil, you’ll also reap the benefits of this natural source of ceramides. Helping to repair the skin barrier while adding a hit of hydration, our Body Oil with Apricot Kernel Oil sinks into the skin to soften and smooth.

You’ll find this sumptuous body oil as part of our festive gifting options. "The Festive Trio" Cracker contains:

  • Lip Balm with Hemp Seed Oil and Shea Butter 
  • Home Mist with Grapefruit Water and Eucalyptus Oil
  • Body Oil with Passionfruit Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil

This will also launch as a standalone product in 2024, so keep your eyes peeled! 



At UpCircle, we take pride in upcycling ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and are certified vegan, cruelty-free, plastic negative and B-corp. Learn more about the ingredients that we upcycle into wonderful skin, body and haircare products. 

Discover our full range of organic and cruelty-free skincare products at UpCircle.