The form of Almond Oil most commonly used for external therapeutic purposes, e.g. as a massage or aromatherapy carrier oil is Sweet Almond Oil.
Sweet Almond Oil is one of the most popular carrier oils used in massage, aromatherapy, and other body-work treatments today. Other highly popular oils include Grapeseed Oil, Peach Kernel Oil, and Apricot Kernel Oil, for example.
Sweet Almond Oil (from Prunus dulcis and similar species) is preferably extracted by cold pressing the kernels followed by clarifying the extracted oil by filteration. However, sweet almond oil that is available more cheaply is often lower-priced because it has been extracted chemically and then refined, a process of extraction that can result in a higher yeild, hence the lower cost. For this reason, some massage practitioners and aromatherapists use refined sweet almond oil.
Sweet Almond Oil has a pale yellow colour, is oily, slightly viscous, and the unrefined oil has a slight swwet odour with a hint of marzipan. It also contains many important vitamins, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E. The benefits of sweet almond oil as an external massage / aromatherapy / carrier oil include its excellent emollient properties that help to ease and nourish areas of dry skin to smoothe inflammation and itching, e.g. in cases of eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and other forms of dry skin. It has also been suggested for soothing sunburn.
Note: There are many different carrier oils used for massage and other bodywork therapies. This section includes many popular oils but it is not a complete list.