As a high oleic oil, sweet almond offers moisturizing, softening, and regenerating properties, and can act as an anti-inflammatory ingredient. The linoleic acid can help to restore barrier repair of our skin, and should help with dry or itchy skin.
It is hard to find good information about sweet almond oil. In my research, I came across all kinds of wonderful things said about sweet almond oil that I could not substantiate. It does apparently contain B-sitosterol (a phytosterol), which is a known anti-inflammatory and can help with barrier repair, but I couldn't find a single piece of information confirming the Vitamin A which it is supposed to contain.
Sweet almonds are used in cooking and baking in the form of nougat, macaroons, and marzipan (I'm drinking marzipan tea right now!) and it can be used as a laxative at 30 mL per dose.
What we do know about sweet almond oil is that it is a light oil with a long shelf life. It offers all the benefits of oleic and linoleic acids, and it is a good moisturizer that doesn't feel too heavy or greasy. It can be substituted for any other light oil for feel, and for the high oleic acid oils, like olive oil, for the same benefits with a lighter feel.
FORMULATING WITH SWEET ALMOND OIL
I will admit I don't use sweet almond oil very much in my formulating - you probably haven't noticed, but if you do a search for sweet almond oil, I think this will be one of the only posts containing the phrase and there aren't any recipes with this ingredient. I'm not really sure why...I think I just found other oils that offered the same benefits for a lower cost or offered more in the way of phytosterols and polyphenols and all the rest of the anti-inflammatory and moisturizing benefits I want in my products. And I'm slightly addicted to using fractionated coconut oil as a light oil!
You can substitute sweet almond oil for virtually any light oil, but the closest oils to its fatty acid profile are hazelnut or camellia oil, both of which are high oleic but dry feeling oils. Sweet almond doesn't feel dry, so if you've made products with either of these oils but want a bit more oiliness, substitute in the sweet almond oil and you've got yourself a nice emollient! And it's a great substitute for the more expensive fractionated coconut oil.
Sweet almond oil is a good massage oil as it offers a long shelf life and extended time to rub it in. You can make a nice massage oil with 98% sweet almond oil, 1% fragrance or essential oil, and 1% Vitamin E. (It doesn't contain a lot of Vitamin E, so it's nice to add it with this oil.) Unlike fractionated coconut oil or sesame oil, though, it does not come with a guarantee it won't stain fabrics, so use it when this isn't a concern!
Because it is tasteless, it's a great addition to lipsticks and lip balms - try it instead of the liquid paraffin in this recipe or in place of the 10% fractionated coconut oil in this recipe.
And because it is odourless, it won't interfere with fragrances in a solid or oil based perfume. Substitute it for the fractionated coconut oils in these recipes.
Have fun formulating with sweet almond oil!