Is there a difference between apricot kernel oil and apricot oil?


Apricot oil is a beautiful oil rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin E. This is why I love it and use it to create beautiful aromatherapy skin blends and as a carrier oil. 

I’m often asked what the difference is between apricot kernel oil and apricot oil, so in this article, we are going to get the definitive answer! 

So today, I will answer all your apricot oil and apricot kernel questions. Are they the same product? What is a kernel, is apricot kernel oil used similarly to apricot oil, and how does the word ‘kernel’ change things and more! 

So before we delve into the finer details, let’s first start by taking a look at the brief takeaway answer so you can find out for certain what the difference is between apricot oil and apricot kernel oil.

Is there a difference between apricot kernel oil and apricot oil? There is no difference between apricot kernel oil and apricot oil. Apricot oil is extracted from the kernels or seeds of the apricot fruit, which can also be known as apricot kernel oil. The word ‘kernel’ refers to the seed of the apricot. They are the same product and have the same benefits.

Ok, so now we’ve got the simple answer, so we can understand a little more about whether there is a difference between apricot oil and apricot kernel oil, let’s discover a little more why there might be confusion. 

Confusion over apricot oil and apricot kernel oil 

There are so many different products on the market that sometimes there can be confusion over different names and a lot of head-scratching over whether you have chosen apricot kernel oil correctly or whether it was apricot oil you needed! 

Welcome to Willow Yard
Welcome to Willow Yard

As far as apricot oil goes, you can rest assured that both names are used to describe the oil from apricots and that the word ‘kernel’ is literally where the oil is taken from. 

However, it doesn’t stop us from wondering whether we’ve got it right! 

With information at our fingertips with our smart devices, we are usually not far away from the definitive answer, especially when you want to know the difference between apricot and apricot kernel oil! 

Although we can now understand that both Apricot oil and apricot kernel oil are the same product, it’s worth understanding that there are two types of kernel used which will depend on the type of end product it is used for. 

apricot kernel
apricot kernel

Two types of apricot oils for different purposes

It’s worth knowing for when you are wondering if there is in fact a difference between apricot and apricot kernel oil, is that there are two types of apricot oils available. 

One is for culinary and the other for cosmetic purposes. 

In some cases, the flavor content of these oils is adjusted or altered to more suit the purpose. 

For example, usually, apricot oil which is marketed for culinary consumption purposes has a label saying edible and may be adjusted to enhance the nutty flavor. 

On the other hand, the apricot oil marketed for cosmetic purposes doesn’t carry a label. 

The apricot oil marketed for cosmetic purposes has components adjusted to be more suitable for skincare. 

So with these variations and adjustments setting in, many might think that apricot kernel oil is the edible one, whereas the apricot oil is the one suitable for cosmetic or skin care purposes- but the fact is these both are the same oil!

So you might also be wondering another common question, why apricot oil is sometimes also called apricot kernel oil? and does the word  “Kernel” make any difference? Let’s find out below. 

Why is apricot oil also called apricot kernel oil?

Apricot oil is made by extracting oil from the apricot seed, which is another way of referring to the kernels. 

So as apricot oil is made from the seed, it’s one of the main reasons apricot oil is also called apricot kernel oil. 

So whether it’s being used for cosmetic or culinary purposes, the apricot oil extracted from the kernels. 

The extra word “Kernel” is just a way of emphasizing where the oil is extracted and it doesn’t make any difference to the oil. 

So now we’ve definitely found out the apricot oil and apricot oil are in fact the same thing, you might actually be wondering exactly what this beautifully rich oil is, what it contains, and also its flavor and scent profiles. 

“The extra word “Kernel” is just a way of emphasizing where the oil is extracted and it doesn’t make any difference to the oil.”

What are apricot oil and apricot kernel oil? 

So for anyone wondering Is there a difference between apricot kernel oil and apricot oil, let’s discover a little more.

Apricot oil is a thin, light, and odorless oil that is extracted from the apricot seed or the kernel of the apricot.   Its sweet flavor and delicate fragrance are perfect for skincare. It’s high in vitamins E and K, fatty acids, and antioxidants such as catechins and other caffeic acids, and has a rich oleic acid content. 

I always only recommend using certified high-quality organic essential oils on your skin, so head over to find out more. Are Fragrance Oils Safe For Skin? How, Why, Safety Tips, and why you should never use fragrance oils on your skin.

Flavor and fragrance profile 

The apricot flavor profile, whether you know it as apricot kernel oil or simply just apricot oil, is pleasingly sweet and light. Itsarthy and nutty flavor is similar to other nuts. Many people often confuse the flavor of apricot oil with almond oil – because they have similar flavor profiles. 

But to be more precise, apricot oil has a more nuanced flavor to it which is fresher with a more botanical aroma and taste. 

What does apricot oil contain? 

Most importantly, Apricot oil contains a component called linoleic acid (omega-6) – an element that the human body can’t synthesize naturally. 

This linoleic acid also plays an important role within the structure of the cell membranes of the human body. 

All these components in this oil add up to the many benefits of apricot kernel oil. 

While it may have taken a backseat to those more popular carrier oils such as jojoba, coconut, or argan, apricot kernel oil closely resembles the natural sebum produced by the skin and offers many cosmetic and medicinal benefits. 

Used on its own or mixed with your favorite blend of essential oils, apricot kernel oil:

  • Brings a radiance gift your skin
  • Eases joint pain 
  • Moisturizes hair 
  • Help treat skin problems without leaving a greasy residue.

And according to medical studies  apricot seeds have been used to treat a variety of skin diseases and given its pro-apoptotic effect on human keratinocytes is a good candidate to help treat for psoriasis along with: 

  • Easing joint pain 
  • More quickly heal wounds 
  • An effective skin barrier 
  • Anti-inflammatory properties 

“apricot kernel oil closely resembles the natural sebum produced by the skin and offers many cosmetic and medicinal benefits.”

To find out more about my favorite essential oils with immune-boosting anti-inflammatory properties, head over, and discover more in my specially curated list of best oils for the immune system!

So you might be wondering if the flavor of apricot oil and apricot kernel oil is the same? Let’s find out. 

apricot fruit for apricot oil

Flavour and content profile of apricot and apricot kernel oil

So now that we know the answer which is that both apricot and apricot kernel oil are the same, another common question is if the flavor and content profile of apricot oil is the same for apricot kernel oil? 

All the above-discussed profile of apricot oil is the same for apricot kernel oil as we can now understand that both names can be used interchangeably for the same product. 

Why do many think apricot oil is different from apricot kernel oil?

The main reason many think or point out reasons for apricot and apricot kernel oil being different is that apricot oil comes in two different varieties for different purposes. 

Initially, apricot oil was used in the massage industry, then gradually it moved over into the cosmetic industry. 

For many years apricot oil has always been an important part of herbal medicine because of its health benefits. 

So in recent times, from these health benefits and its nutty flavor content, apricot oil is now used for culinary consumption purposes as well. 

What can I use as a substitute for apricot oil? 

If you are making some blends for either massage, electronic or reed diffusers or skincare apricot oil is a good choice with its wealth of antioxidants and moisturizing benefits. 

Eucalyptus has so many benefits when diffused, so pop over to my other helpful article on how to use this power-packed oil.

Or if you would like to find more about massage with apricot oil with the best essential oils for calm and relaxation, discover my favorite massage blends and recipes

If a recipe calls for apricot oil and you don’t have any, one of the best kinds of substitutes is to use a kernel oil from a different fruit or nut such as peach, plum, avocado, hazelnut, shea, coconut, macadamia, and almond. Avocado oil packs a punch with antioxidants too along with olive oil. 

And finally…

I hope that’s given you the best answer as to whether apricot kernel oil is the same as apricot oil, and also shown why there is sometimes confusion and some of its benefits. 

Don’t forget to check out more articles that help to explain many of your aromatherapy questions and answers! Head over to find out the benefits of lava bracelets and why you need one,! and also discover more about how, when, and why to use essential oils in your garden.

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