Itty bitty apricots pack big power!
I’m sure you’ve heard of apricot kernel oil before - it is a common skin care product ingredient even in commercial products, but apricot fruits pack a whole bunch of skin benefits in their flesh too! Apricots are high in skin-strengthening and damage-fighting antioxidants – and remember what those colors mean. Orange pigmented foods contain vitamins called carotenoids, like carrots, and contribute to Vitamin A in the body. That's an important vitamin for healthy skin, so it's great that we can get it so easily in just an easy piece of fruit.
Today I made a scrubby apricot mask with leftovers from fruit leather snacks.
Oil-Smash Apricot Mask - puree half of one apricot with one strawberry, and 2-3 tablespoons of clean water.This makes a nice, thick puree that works perfect for a pantry face mask. I threw in some strawberry for its salicylic acid and properties to help balance excess oil. Different irritants can upset skin's pH balance causing excess oil or dryness, so these easy, natural tips can help even things back out. Just leave this apricot mask on for about 10 minutes and then rinse clean. I always follow with a moisturizer anytime I wash my face, but do what works best for your skin.
Now let’s chat about the pits. ;) Don't worry, they aren't poisonous in small doses, and we won't be eating them today! Apricot kernels/seeds are one of the only sources of vitamin B17 (pretty neat) and they are being studied heavily for effectiveness against fighting types of cancer. Powerful stuff right at our fingertips! Apricot pits are actually quite easy to harvest if you give it some time. Soak your pits overnight in water with a splash of vinegar to help soften the outer shell. Once softened, you can crack the shell with a hammer (put them in a baggie), or you can try busting them open with a nutcracker (or handy pair of pliers). Once cracked, you'll find a little white apricot kernel inside that is jam-packed with oil,, and you can process these kernels down in a coffee grinder for fresh apricot kernel oil and a gentle, natural exfoliant. You can mix the apricot kernel powder with body oils, or even some apricot puree for a gentle, vitamin-rich body scrub.
Other stone fruits like peaches have great skin benefits too, so keep them in mind when you're looking for natural ways to care for your skin.
(I like to dip them in sugar and roast low and slow - 300-325 degrees - until they are jammy and delicious.)