Snacking on Almonds May Smooth Wrinkles, Reduce Dark Spots

Snacking on Almonds May Smooth Wrinkles Reduce Dark Spots image

The new research shows reduced measures of wrinkle severity and improved pigment intensity in postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I-II who ate almonds as a daily snack.

Snacking on almonds may help reduce wrinkles and skin pigmentation in postmenopausal women, according to a new study funded by the Almond Board of California.

In this 6-month randomized controlled trial, 49 healthy postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin type 1 or 2 were randomly assigned to eat almonds as a snack, which accounted for 20% of their total daily calorie intake, or 340 calories per day on average (about 2 one-ounce servings) or a calorie-matched snack that also accounted for 20% of calories such as a fig bar, granola bar or pretzels. 

Aside from these snacks, study participants ate their regular diets and did not eat any nuts or nut-containing products.

The study appears in Nutrients.

Skin assessments were made at the start of the study, and again at 8 weeks, 16 weeks and 24 weeks. At each of these visits, facial wrinkles and facial pigment intensity were assessed using high-resolution facial imaging and validated 3-D facial modeling and measurement. Skin hydration, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and sebum excretion were also assessed. 

There was a statistically significant reduction in wrinkle severity in the group consuming almonds.  At 16 weeks, there was a reduction of 15 percent and at 24 weeks, a reduction of 16 percent, the study showed.

There was also a 20 percent reduction in overall facial pigment intensity in the almond group by week 16 that remained  at week 24. Further, body weight remained constant for both the almond group and the control group from baseline to 24 weeks. 

"Daily consumption of almonds may be an effective means of improving the appearance of facial wrinkles and skin tone (indicated by decreased pigment intensity) among postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I and II. Consumers may describe this reduced pigmentation effect as having a more even skin tone," says study author Raja Sivamani, MD, a dermatologist at the University of California-Davis, in a news release.

Transepidermal water loss, skin hydration and sebum excretion were measured on the forehead and cheeks in both groups during the study:

•          There were no changes in transepidermal water loss at any time point among the almond and control groups.

•          At the end of the study, there were increases in skin hydration among both groups.

•          Looking at the sebum excretion rate, both groups showed an increase in the cheeks, but only those in the control group showed an increase in the forehead area.  

"Our findings emphasize the need to look at almonds as a whole food with multiple nutrient components including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) and good unsaturated fats, rather than oversimplifying potential benefits due to one nutrient alone. Almonds are high in alpha-tocopherol, which has antioxidant functions and may be partially responsible for the effects that we see in both wrinkles and skin tone in postmenopausal women," says Dr. Sivamani.

The study did have some limitations including its duration of 24 weeks. Results do not provide insight into the potential effects of longer-term almond intake. Additionally, the study participants were postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I and II More research is warranted to investigate the impact of almond consumption in other populations. And, although the snacks in both groups were calorie-matched, they were not macronutrient-matched.

Facebook Comments


We’re glad to see you’re enjoying PracticalDermatology…
but how about a more personalized experience?

Register for free