A Greek myth tells that Acamante, son of Theseus, while traveling to the city of Troy together with the Greek army, stopped off in Thrace. It was there that Achamante met Phyllis, a Thracian princess. The two fell in love but Acamante soon had to leave to fight a war that would last ten years and ended only thanks to the trick of the astute Ulysses to give the Trojans a wooden horse that actually had Greek soldiers inside. After the war, all the heroes returned to their homes, all except Acamante, who instead stayed for a while in Cyprus. Phyllis, convinced that her loved one was dead, died. But Athena, who had observed the events, took pity and decided to make appear, right there where Phyllis had died, an almond tree. When Acamante arrived in Thrace and learned of his beloved's death, he rushed to embrace the almond tree. And here the miracle happened. It was still early to see the trees blossom but, like a last embrace of Phyllis, the almond tree was covered with wonderful white flowers and from that day, at the beginning of each spring, the almond tree blooms reminding men of the rebirth and beauty that follow the winter. And so, let's revive the myth of Phyllis and Acamante by creating small almond-based cosmetics that taste like timeless charm.
Almonds as cosmetics, what science says
Both almond oil and real almonds can be used for beauty. Almond oil is obtained by cold pressing of almond seeds and is characterized by emollient and antioxidant properties, capable of giving the skin elasticity, tone and brightness (Tzu-Kai Lin et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2018 - Sultana et al, J Cosmet Dermatol, 2007). Not only that, the topical application of almond oil has been shown to attenuate and prevent stretch marks (Tzu-Kai Lin et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2018). For their part, almonds are a concentrate of polyphenols, with antioxidant, anti-radical and anti-inflammatory action (Barreca et al, Nutrients, 2020).
The almonds ground into a flour can be used to prepare excellent scrubs, which remove dead cells and brighten the complexion, counteracting blemishes and dull skin. Blend five almonds and add 2 teaspoons of rose water to make a cream. Add a teaspoon of whole cane sugar, a precious source of glycolic acid for more effective exfoliation (Tang et al, Molecules, 2018), and 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil. Mix and massage on your face, then let it rest for a few minutes and finally rinse, sprinkle a little floral water and then apply a drop of serum oil or your usual face cream.
As for body care, sweet almond oil is excellent. Better to use this oil for the body and not for the face since it could be comedogenic in those with predisposed skin. As mentioned, sweet almond oil is a valuable ally against stretch marks, which can happen at any age, for example due to weight fluctuations. A scientific research has precisely observed the validity of the synergy between sweet almond oil and aloe vera gel to counteract and stop the formation of stretch marks (Hajhashemi et al, J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med, 2018). An easy recipe for daily use is to apply on skin a little aloe gel and immediately after spread sweet almond oil!