You probably already know about Argan Oil. Or at least you have heard of it, often it gets confused with Morrocan oil. We understand the confusion. they both come from Morocco and they both do great things for your skin and hair.
But Argan oil is special, really special we’ll get to the why in a moment.
Argan oil is found in a lot of skincare and hair care products. Not only can you rub it into your skin, and coat it on your hair you can take it as a supplement. It has some great properties that improve skin, hair, and nails. But what is this magical oil, and why is it so special?
What is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is found in the nut of the Argania tree of Morocco. It’s rich in Omega 6 and 9 essential fatty acids. It’s non-toxic and can be taken internally or used topically on skin and hair. It absorbs easily, doesn’t clog pores, reduces inflammation and helps clear up acne.
Traditionally, argan oil has been used by the Berber populations for centuries. as a medicine to treat dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and taken internally for joint pain. It was also prized for it use in skin and hair care.
Where Does Argan Oil Come From?
Argan oil comes from an Argan tree that grows in Southwestern Morocco. The scientific name for this tree is Argania Spinosa, and it’s the only tree in the genus Argania.
That means there’s nothing close to it on the same branch of the evolutionary tree. Making pure argan oil unique and very special.
Argan trees have the ability to withstand long periods of drought, intense heat and thrive in very poor quality soil. The ability to grow in these harsh conditions makes the fruit that these trees produce very special.
It is also favoured by goats and you will often see images of goats in argan trees eating the leaves and fruit
Because argan trees grow in barren land they form a natural barrier against the advancing desert, by preventing soil erosion and by protecting water resources.
Is Argan Oil Ethically Sourced?
The case for ethically sourced and produced argan oil depends on the supplier.
L’Oreal one of the biggest cosmetic companies in the world launched the “Sustainable Argan” scheme in 2008. This involves preserving the argan forest and preserving the traditional way of argan oil harvesting by the Berber women who extract the oil.
The Argan tree forests are of such significance that UNESCO declared it a Biosphere Reserve in 1998.
Not all argan oil will be pure or ethically sourced so buy it from a relaible source.
What is Argan Oil Made Of?
Even though the seeds, leaves, fruit are edible it is the oil that is the most prized.
The main reason it’s so beneficial is that the extracted oil is packed with Vitamin E which is an antioxidant. It is also rich in oleic acid (omega 9) and linoleic acid (omega 6) essential fatty acids.
Is Argan Oil Comedogenic?
Argan oil is non-comedogenic meaning it won’t clog pores. This makes it great for acne-prone skin, and sensitive skin.
It has been studied extensively for its skincare benefits. It’s one of the best natural products for skin, helping with common conditions like acne, rashes, and cuts. Because it’s non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores), you can use argan oil as a moisturizer whatever your skin type.
This oil is a multitasker.
Skincare Benefits of Argan Oil
The oil is clear with a slight yellow color, much like olive oil. It makes a great moisturizer because the skin readily absorbs it without clogging pores. Once it’s absorbed, the body uses the nutrients from the oil to reduce inflammation. This anti-inflammatory property helps with acne, wounds, and even.
We notice as we get older, our skin becomes less elastic. We develop fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. These are typically where our face moves the most when we make various facial expressions.
In a clinical trial, argan plant stem cells helped reduce wrinkles by up to 27% in just two months in women aged 39-61. Argan oil also protects the skin against two enzymes responsible for destroying collagen and elastin.
Collagen is one of the body’s most important proteins. It’s key to the health of your muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, and bones. Elastin is found deep within your skin’s connective tissue, helping your skin bounce back into place when it moves.
- Retains Hydration
Argan oil is beneficial for women who have experienced menopause. When a woman’s body goes through menopause, there’s a reduction in estrogen production. Estrogen stimulates collagen and oils in the skin.
A study done with postmenopausal women showed hydration effects in the skin after 60 days. Researchers asked the women to consume argan oil butter and use the oil topically on their arms. The oil worked, improving the skin’s ability to be a barrier against losing moisture. It also helped maintain the skin’s water-holding capacity.
Among the skin’s many vital functions, the outer layer acts as a barrier, keeping bad things out and retaining the good stuff. When your skin gets dry and itchy, this is your body’s way of telling you this barrier is in trouble.
- Reduces Redness
Several factors can cause skin redness. Allergies, rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and medications can all cause irritation that reddens the skin. For the most part, the skin becomes red because your body increases blood flow to the area.
Argan oil can give the skin’s defenses a boost by bringing in nutrients and rebuilding the barrier. In a study of Moroccan healing plants, researchers found that argan plant extracts healed redness from sunburn and eczema.
- Fades Hyperpigmentation
Melanin is responsible for giving our skin color. Darker skin has a higher concentration of melanin than lighter skin. Hyperpigmentation happens when melanin is over-produced in one area.
Hyperpigmentation is not truly harmful to the skin, but it does make some people self-conscious about their appearance. There are many chemical therapies designed to reduce melanin. Argan oil, however, is a natural alternative to bleaches and chemical peels.
It lightens the skin by stopping the production of two enzymes that make melanin: tyrosinase and dopachrome tautomerase. So, it doesn’t attack the skin, causing damage while it destroys melanin. Instead, it goes right to the source and stops melanin production.
Is Argan Oil the Same as Moroccan Oil?
Yes and no. Argan oil comes from Morocco and other places in the same area of the world. Products that contain argan oil sometimes use the term Moroccan oil. However, Moroccan oil can contain other ingredients in addition to argan oil.
Some of these ingredients are perfumes, colorants, other carrier oils, and chemicals. Cyclomethicone is a non-toxic solvent and emollient commonly used in skincare products. Dimethicone is a conditioner also used in skincare, also with no known toxic effects.
Argan oil is strictly the oil from the seeds of the tree with no added ingredients. High-quality products will list ‘Argan oil” on the label and not “Moroccan Argan oil.”
Can Argan Oil be Used on Oily or Acne-Prone Skin?
Yes, argan oil is an effective treatment for both. In chemistry, there’s a saying that, “like dissolves like.” That means water dissolves water-based chemicals, and oils dissolve other oils. So, the use of argan oil on oily skin will help break up your skin’s naturally-produced oils.
Because the argan oil will help hydrate your skin, diluting the oils in your face and neck won’t make you dry out. Your skin will still be protected and get the added benefit of all the nutrients argan oil contains.
Argan oil is also a proven treatment for acne. It helps control your body’s production of sebum, the fatty molecules in skin oil. It’s even suitable for treating acne scars by increasing hydration and repairing the skin’s structure.
Who Can’t Use Argan Oil?
Argan oil is not an essential oil, but it is a nut oil. If you have nut allergies you should avoid argan oil.
Look for high-grade pure argan oil that is not diluted with olive oil or other cheaper vegetable oils. These cheaper vegetable oils can be comedogenic and cause a reaction or breakout.
Argan Oil vs. Rosehip Oil
A rosehip is a seed pod made by the plant after an insect pollinates it. Once the petals fall away, what’s left is a tough-leathery bulb. These “hips” are often used in teas to add color, flavor, and vitamins.
Rosehip oil is the oil produced by pressing the rose’s seed pods. Medicinal rosehip oil has two primary sources: wild roses found in the Andes (Rosa rubiginosa) and the European dog rose (Rosa canina).
Rosehips and argan oil come from two very different types of plants. Roses are bushes or shrubs. Argan is a large tree that grows in a separate part of the world. However, the part of the plant – the seeds – used is the same.
You’ll find a lot of crossover between rosehip and argan oils. They are both used as anti-inflammatories, moisturizers, and acne treatments. However, the ways they act on the body are different. They contain different sets of vitamins and nutrients that do similar things.
Argan oil has a hefty dose of vitamin E. Vitamin E helps fight infection, reduces UV ray damage, and promotes cell regeneration. Rosehips contain a high amount of vitamin C, but that’s not transferred to the oil when extracted. Rosehip oil has beta-carotene, a form of provitamin A.
Vitamin A, or retinol, is only produced in animals. Beta-carotene comes from plants and is what your body uses to make vitamin A. Research on beta-carotene as an antioxidant and cancer-fighting nutrient is far from conclusive.
As a remedy for inflammation, both oils work well. Rosehip oil has high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. Studies suggest that it can help treat eczema, neurodermatitis, and cheilitis.
Argan oil has monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids. These mainly help with hydration and repairing the skin barrier mentioned earlier. They also make argan oil a suitable carrier for other topical medications.
Rosehip oil is an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation. Scientists evaluated a serum with rosehip oil as its main ingredient. The study showed that it significantly lightened skin of Indian women who volunteered to participate. The results appeared after just two weeks of applying the oil.
Argan oil benefits are many. This oil rich in essential fatty acids is a skincare multitasker.
As wells as reducing the appearance of dark spots/hyperpigmentation caused by acne and other inflammatory disorders. Researchers have focused more on argan oil as an anti-inflammatory and post-inflammatory treatment.
Argan oil protects your skin from moisture loss by stopping it from evaporating. It is a great addition to moisturiser.
If you are using a 100% pure argan oil in your skincare routine then use it after moisturiser to lock in the hydration of your moisturizer.
Argan oil is one of the good guys and good quality ethically sourced oil is now thankfully affordable and easily available.