It didn’t take long for argan oil to go from a beautiful, tourist-attraction plant to one of the most famous oils used in skincare products. The many health benefits associated with argan oil are responsible for this success.
Sometimes referred to as “liquid gold”, argan oil is the ingredient you can find in almost every cosmetic product.
So it must be really good, right? Yes, it is!
But, do you actually know why is argan oil so widely used in beauty products? Why do you read about it in every article?
People like to say using argan oil for skin and hair is pure magic, but I would like to help you learn the facts about this oil and what makes it so special.
Find out about the benefits associated with argan oil, how you can choose the best argan oil product and how to use it in your daily skincare regimen to get all the goodies for your skin.
Argan Oil comes from the argan tree which is a slow-growing tree exclusively endemic to the dry lands of southwest Morocco. The extraction of oil requires a very complicated multistep process that begins with careful fruit drying.
The oil is mainly produced for edible and beauty products.
Traditionally, argan oil was used in Morocco as a topical remedy for various problems, such as dry skin, acne, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles, skin inflammation, dry hair, and hair loss. Ingested, argan oil was used as an anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, hepatoprotective, and choleretic remedy.
Today, argan oil is mostly industrially prepared in Europe as an ingredient for shampoos, moisturizers, and other cosmetic products.
Before you get alarmed and skeptical about argan being, in fact, an oil, and start worrying that it will clog your pores, let’s clear the air.
Not all oils are created equally. This might come logically when you think of motor oil and sunflower oil, but the difference is not so obvious in oils . Yet, every oil has a different formulation and different absorption rate, which makes them better or worse for different skin types and conditions.
Coconut and olive oil, on the other hand, are heavier on the skin and even though they are highly nutritious, they can make things worse for oily skin, but usually work great as moisturizers for dry skin.
Argan oil falls somewhere in the middle, being not too heavy and not too light. But, compared to other oils, argan oil has a smaller molecular size, which allows it to penetrate the cells' walls and get absorbed really quickly. This gives argan oil the ability to hydrate the skin without clogging pores.
When you pair this ability with the high nutritional density of argan oil you can start to see why people lose their heads over it.
Its fatty acid composition consists of almost 80% of unsaturated fatty acids with oleic and linoleic acids as main components.
Its uniqueness comes from being high in both - oleic (omega 9) and linoleic acid (omega 6), which is really rare to find. Both ingredients are known for aiding in acne related problems.
Oleic acid is a blessing for dry and aging skin since it penetrates easily into the skin's surface, refilling lost moisture and preventing it from evaporating. Oleic acid is also the component that makes the oil greaser and pore-clogging, which is why experts advise using oils that have higher linoleic acid than oleic. Hint - argan oil has that!
Linoleic acidic is of particular significance to the skin because it plays a crucial part in building the structure of the skin’s barrier. The strong barrier helps the skin keep water in and pollutants out. Also, the topical use of linoleic acid helps reduce acne breakouts.
In the cosmetic industry, argan oil is most commonly used for getting shinier and healthier hair, and soft, glowing and clear skin. It’s believed that argan oil can moisturize the skin, and its powerful anti-aging properties reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, treat acne breakouts and acne scars, and reduce stretch marks. Here’s more in detail about all the benefits associated with the regular use of argan oil.
The powerful combination of vitamin E and fatty acids with the right ratio of oleic and linoleic acid is what gives argan oil potent hydrating, moisturizing and nourishing properties. It’s great for the skin because it absorbs quickly and doesn’t clog the pores.
If you live in an arid and cold climate, argan oil can save your skin from drying out.
You might even find websites that recommend replacing your moisturizer with argan oil.
Is that wise?
Argan oil won’t hurt your skin, but you should look at it as an addition rather than a replacement for standard moisturizers. Dermatologists say that a good moisturizer has to deliver both water and oil, and argan oil is a great way to finish your beauty routine in order to lock down all the nutrients and water you’ve just received.
Argan oil decreases the excess sebum activity on the skin which is a common reason for frequent acne breakouts and more inflamed pimples. In 2007, a study proved this effect clinically by testing the efficacy of the sebum control argan oil cream. The results showed that topical application of argan oil products might improve the appearance of oily and acne-prone skin.
Additionally, argan oil has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and soothe acne symptoms.
So yes, we now know that using oil for oily skin and acne problems is not that crazy.
The claim that argan oil is a powerful tool in the battle against the consequences of time and age is not merely anecdotal. For example, in 2015 scientists found that the use of both dietary and cosmetic argan oil significantly improves the elasticity of the skin in postmenopausal women.
The fatty acids that make up most of this oil are really beneficial and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots, fight off dryness and tighten the skin. All of these benefits counter the effects aging has on the skin.
One recent study highlighted the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in argan oil that might help your skin heal faster and soothe wounds. Another study conducted on rats showed that argan oil significantly accelerates the wound healing process, although more studies are needed to confirm the same effects in humans.
Still, having in mind the moisturizing properties of argan oil and the potential benefits in healing wounds, next time you find yourself with a razor bump apply a few drops of argan oil on the affected area and give your skin a relief. You can use it on the legs and bikini line or, and for men, on the beard area. Using it like this might be helpful for minimizing ingrown hairs too.
This benefit is probably familiar to you since argan oil is really popular in over-the-counter products that claim to reduce stretch marks. Interestingly enough, there’s no conclusive proof that argan oil is, in fact, effective in reducing the appearance of stretch marks. But, the known abilities to tighten the skin and improve skin’s elasticity might indicate that argan oil can lead to some success in fighting off stretch marks.
Because is soo good for the skin and it absorbs quickly you won’t see the harm in trying it out on your stretch-mark affected areas.
In addition to improving your skin’s texture, argan oil can help you protect the skin from the damaging ultraviolet rays. The high content of Vitamin E and antioxidants are the main culprits for this ability. More so, if your skin is already dealing with a nasty sunburn, you can apply argan oil to soothe the pain and help the burns heal faster.
Just a reminder - argan oil can’t be a substitute for an actual sunscreen, but rather give your skin some extra layer of protection and help your skin rejuvenate after being exposed to sunlight.
Using argan oil topically is considered really really safe, and side effects are extremely rare. There’s always the possibility to be allergic to argan and to experience minor side effects when you use it - especially the first time.
If you have tree nut allergies then your skin might react to the argan oil developing irritation and rash. Even though argan oil doesn’t belong to the nut trees group it can still aggravate your skin. Common reactions in these cases include redness, itchy skin, rashes, or difficulty breathing.
Yes, because of its small molecular size, easy absorption, and non-comedogenic properties, argan oil works well with all skin types.
Dry skin - Argan oil is an amazing moisturizer that helps the skin keep the water and stay hydrated for a long time. It also balances sebum production and which reduces the flakiness and itching related to dry skin.
Oily skin - The ability to balance sebum production works amazing for oily skin as well because, in this case, argan oil will inhibit the activity of the sebaceous glands. Packed with many antioxidants and vitamin E, argan oil will scavenge free radicals and reduce inflammation and frequent breakouts.
Combination skin - Combination skin is a mix of oily and dry skin, where different areas of the face have different oil-gland activity. Because we already mentioned that argan oil works for both, oily and dry skin, people with combination skin type should not worry. Argan oil will help your skin regain its moisture where is a little dry, and where the skin is oilier it will nourish it without clogging the pores.
Sensitive skin - Argan oil is gentle on the skin, which means the people with sensitive skin type can also use it. Some experts believe it might even help to clear up eczema, rosacea or other skin conditions. Just to be on the safe side though, if you have sensitive skin you should test the product on a small patch first to ensure no negative reactions.
There are many products on the market, with many different formulations and different production methods. Here are some tips to have in mind before buying argan oil, in order to ensure you are getting the best product for your skin.
Applying argan oil directly on the skin works as an amazing moisturizer which can hydrate and soften the skin. Being high in vitamin E and fatty acids, argan oil is the best ingredient to give the skin a healthy boost. The Vitamin E along with linoleic acid will help the skin strengthen its barrier and retain more hydration.
You can also, enrich your current moisturizer and add a couple of drops of argan oil in your moisturizer bottle.
Argan oil is relatively light and absorbs really quickly in the skin, making the skin more hydrated and moisturized for a long time. So, how to use it as a face mask? Well, just pick a natural face pack from here, with ingredients that work best for your skin type and add a few drops of argan oil. Follow the instructions for the chosen face pack and enjoy while your skin feeds on the natural and moisturizing ingredients.
Leaving argan oil on the skin overnight is an option because it absorbs really quickly and doesn’t leave any oily residue.
Before going to bed, clean your face with warm water and a gentle cleanser to completely get rid of makeup residue and other dirt build up from that day. When you are sure that your face and hands are clean, apply two to three drops of argan oil on your palm and gently massage into your face in a circular motion.
The vitamins and fatty acids inside the oil will nourish and keep your skin moisturized throughout the night.
To use argan oil as an exfoliant you have two options. One is to find an argan oil-based product with exfoliating properties or go for do-it-yourself exfoliator at home, which is not that hard to make.
One really simple procedure involves mixing 1 tablespoon of brown sugar with a couple of drops of argan oil in your hand. Rub the mixture into your face in a circular motion for a few minutes - but gently. Afterward, wash off with lukewarm water and pat dry. In the end, you can apply a moisturizer.
Be careful with the brown sugar, and to use too much pressure, especially if you have sensitive skin, because this motion can be too harsh and irritate the skin.
Regular exfoliation removes dead skin cells and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This will give you while a younger, fresher appearance.
Using a toner in your daily skincare routine is a really important step. They are almost necessary for people with oily and acne-prone skin. A good toner will help you gently exfoliate and clean the skin from any dirt and heavy makeup.
The common concern regarding toners is the possibility of leaving the skin too dry, which you can easily take care of by adding a few drops of argan oil into your favorite toner. This way you will get clear, but also moisturized and soft skin, without worrying about getting too dry.
Even though there’s argan oil in your toner, always use a moisturizer afterward.
If you feel your lips are getting rough and peeling you can make yourself an exfoliating treatment and moisturize them afterward to really make them soft and glowy.
How? Well, mix together one tbsp of brown sugar, a few drops of vanilla extract and a few drops of argan oil. Apply the mixture on your lips using your fingertips and gently massage them. After a couple of minutes rinse off with lukewarm water and finish the procedure by applying a few drops of argan oil directly on the lips.
What does this mean? Well, there are a lot of oils that hold many benefits for the skin but can be really strong when applied directly on the skin. And, here’s where argan oil comes to play. Dilute your favorite essential oil with argan oil to make it more suitable and gentle for your skin.
For example, you can mix lavender oil and argan oil together. Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and gently apply on your face. Leave it to absorb and act on the skin for half an hour, and then rinse off with lukewarm water.
Argan oil rapidly gained popularity in the beauty industry because of its impressive composition of Vitamin E, oleic and linoleic acid.
People in Morocco have used this oil for ages, for both edible and cosmetic purposes, but now the West is starting to catch up with that tradition.
Argan oil is associated with many skin and hair benefits - it moisturizes the skin, has anti-aging properties, it can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, treat acne breakouts and scars, anecdotally, it can even reduce stretch marks, and protect the skin from sun damage. For some of the benefits, there are even extensive studies that back up the claims.
Argan oil is gentle, non-comedogenic and suitable for all skin types.
Do your research and find a good quality product which you can incorporate in your daily skin routine.