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The peach tree (Prunus persica) is small to medium-sized fruit tree in the rose (Rosaceae) family. Thought to have originated in China, it is important in Chinese mythology and symbolism, where it is thought of as the fruit of immortality. The trees produce beautiful clusters of pink flowers along the branches.
The Spanish explorers brought peaches to the New World. Today, peach trees are cultivated commercially in United States, China, Japan, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, and in various European countries with suitable weather conditions.
The peach is a drupe fruit with a fleshy exterior surrounding a hard pit, within which the kernel is stored. Peach kernel oil is expressed from these kernels or nuts. Each kernel contains up to 50% oil. The oil is colourless to pale yellow and has a faint almond-like aroma.
There are hundreds of peach varieties, ranging from white and yellow to red flesh. Peaches usually have fuzzy skin and varieties with smooth skin are called nectarines.
Peach kernel oil is rich in beneficial fatty acids and vitamins, such as vitamin E. It softens and conditions skin without irritating it and is non-comedogenic.
Peach kernel oil absorbs easily and it is popular in facial oils, massage products and lip balms.
Aromatherapists sometimes use peach kernel oil interchangeably with apricot kernel oil.