High Street chemists' shelves heave with expensive creams and lotions for itchy, flaky skins and scalps. But could a bottle of almond oil, costing as little as £1.59, really be all you need?
Almond oil, or oleum amygdalae, has been used in ancient Chinese, Ayurvedic and Greco-Persian schools of medicine to treat dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. But it seems modern science has also found benefits.
Dermatologist Dr Mervyn Patterson says: 'Almond oil contains ursolic acid and oleic acid which are plant-derived compounds known to have anti-inflammatory and barrier repair effects.
'If you imagine the stratum corneum (the outer layer of skin) as 12 different slates on top of each other stuck together with mortar, this provides a barrier to the rest of the skin. "