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Propriétés bronzantes huile végétale d'abricot.

Tanning: What are the effects of apricot oil?

Extracted from kernels, apricot vegetable oil is a relatively popular natural ingredient in cosmetics and a source of numerous benefits for the skin and hair. Due to its orange color, it is sometimes attributed with tanning properties. Discover in this article what the scientific evidence is.

Published April 29, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

Does apricot oil promote tanning?

If apricot oil is considered an ingredient that promotes the tanning process, it's because it contains carotenoids, specifically β-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. This is a pigment naturally present in all green plants and plays an important role in their photoprotection. Indeed, β-carotene balances the photosynthetic role predominantly filled by chlorophyll, the green pigment of plants. Studies have even shown that carotenoids are capable of absorbing some UV rays. However, this absorption is relatively weak and would not provide true protection to the skin.

Beta-carotene can also directly influence melanogenesis and stimulate the synthesis of melanin. This is why carrots, which are rich in carotenoids, are considered foods that promote tanning. A study has indeed focused on this subject and highlighted the benefits of a diet rich in carotenoids. For 4 weeks, 15 women followed this type of diet, corresponding to an intake of 176,425 μg of beta-carotene per week, while 15 others consumed only 2,073 μg of beta-carotene per week. The researchers then observed a tanning effect of carotenoids. Other studies report similar results.

Nevertheless, evidence of such an action of β-carotene in topical application is more scarce. Some sources report effects of β-carotene on melanogenesis following its use on the skin, but it appears that the concentrations involved are much higher than that of apricot oil. Therefore, we cannot assert that this vegetable oil stimulates tanning. However, this does not mean that it does not provide benefits during sun exposure. Theapricot oil has antioxidant properties that allow it to neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by UV rays. It thus has a certain photoprotective effect.

Just like melanin, apricot oil does not provide sufficient photoprotection to forgo the use of sunscreen.

Does apricot oil help maintain a sun-kissed complexion?

While it may be challenging to conclude on the influence of apricot oil on melanogenesis, it can still be considered a valuable ally for prolonging one's tan. Indeed, its orange hue provides an immediate healthy glow effect. Apricot oil can be applied directly to the skin or combined with a skincare product. To do this, simply add one to two drops of vegetable oil to a cream or massage oil.

Furthermore, apricot oil possesses intriguing moisturizing and nourishing properties that are beneficial for soothing the skin after sunbathing. The rich texture of this oil indeed allows it to restore the hydrolipidic film present on the surface of the epidermis, which is weakened after UV exposure. Apricot oil thus counters the drying effect of the sun. Additionally, its richness in unsaturated fatty acids allows it to strengthen the cohesion of the cells in the stratum corneum. Through biomimicry, apricot oil can integrate into the intercellular cement composed of lipids, which strengthens the skin barrier formed by the epidermis, also weakened by the sun.

Apricot oil is a perfect after-sun treatment, striking a balance between skin protection and radiance.

The apricot oil in our tanning concentrate.

You can find apricot oil in our tanning concentrate. Suitable for all skin types, this product contains neither silicones nor microplastic glitter. Our antioxidant-enriched tanning concentrate allows for a warm, sun-kissed complexion without the need for exposure to UV rays and their associated risks. Designed to blend with a moisturizer, it provides a customizable tan depending on the amount used and is suitable for all skin tones.

In addition to apricot oil, our tanning concentrate is formulated with 2% Vitamin E. This well-known antioxidant is capable of trapping free radicals and combating oxidative stress, in order toimprove the skin's conditionand prevent skin sagging and hyperpigmentation issues. More than just a tinted product, this is a true hybrid care that combines an immediate healthy glow effect with skin protection.


  • ANSTEY A. Systemic photoprotection with α-tocopherol (vitamin E) and β-carotene. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology (2002).

  • COLLINS C. & al. Consumption of High-Carotenoid Fruits and Vegetables Affects Skin Yellowness and Plasma Carotenoids in Young Women: A Single-Blind Randomized Crossover Trial. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2016).

  • STAHL W. Carotenoids in human skin. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids (2019).

  • QADIR R. & al. Cold pressed apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) kernel oil. Cold Pressed Oils (2020).


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