Argan Oil is essentially a plant oil, derived from the kernels of argan trees, which are native to the country, Morocco. Often referred to as “The Golden Oil”, this oil is known for its health benefits and healing properties.
The fruit of the argan tree is bright green in color and small in size, often round or oval in appearance. Its a pulpy fruit covered with a thick peel but inside it contains a nut, which weighs approximately 1/4th the weight of the fruit. This nut holds one to three argan oil-rich kernels which can be taken out through a couple of extraction methods. Both the methods require the removal of the fleshy pulp from the fruit. Some do it by drying out the fruit while the contemporary practice involves removing the pulp mechanically. The new method allows the pulp to be used as cattle fodder, which the goats in particular, absolutely cherishes.
In the past, some Moroccan rituals allowed the goats to surmount the trees so that they can feed freely on the fresh argan fruits, and the nuts were later retrieved from the goat droppings, thus, considerably reducing the exhaustive labor, but thankfully, such practices do not exist anymore.
The following step requires recovering the argan oil-rich kernels from the nuts. Many companies have tried to automate this process but none have succeeded. For generations, the natives of Morocco, have been doing this process by hand. It makes it very time consuming, labor-intensive and exhausting process. The workers then grind and press these kernels to extricate the argan oil. This unfiltered oil is then poured into large oil vessels where it is stored for a couple of weeks so that the solid residues can settle at the bottom and clearer argan oil can be obtained. There are more filtration methods available to further clarify this oil, depending upon the usages or purity required for the end product.
Argan Oil Properties
Raw Argan oil is super rich in the essential Vitamin E. (It has more than twice the amount of Vitamin E, compared to the much popular, Olive Oil). It is a rare oil which consists of both oleic (42.8%) and linoleic (36.8%) fatty acids. You may know them better as Omega 9 and Omega 6 fatty acids, respectively. These are very hard to obtain and makes Argan oil stand out from the rest. Other elements include phenolic oils, squalene, and phytosterol compounds.
Benefits of Argan Oil
For centuries, the women of Morocco have adopted Argan oil as a major component in their beauty routines, so as to preserve their skin in the unrelenting, unforgiving desert conditions. This multipurpose powerful oil consists of robust antioxidants, essential nutrients, and precious fatty acids, all that is recognized as the building blocks of healthy skin. We have listed diverse advantages of Argan oil, which are:
Night Time Moisturizer
Argan oil gets absorbed into your skin very quickly and works great as a night time moisturizer. Moreover, it does not leave any oily residue.
After cleansing your face with a good cleanser, use a single drop of oil and massage it all over your face and neck in small circular motions. Leave it overnight for awesome results. You can also add this oil in your regular Moisturizer, BB (beauty balms) Cream or foundation for that extra glow. It is mild and safe to use around your eyes as well. On dryer days and winters, you might require two drops of oil, but always remember to apply it sparingly.
Prevents Stretch Marks
Argan oil promotes the elasticity of skin, thus helping it counter stretch marks. Just use 2-3 drops of the oil and lightly massage it on the potential problem areas like stomach, hips, and thighs. The Vitamin A and Vitamin E in the oil will moisturize and help rejuvenate the skin, thus making it very less likely for any stretch marks to develop.
If you already have stretch marks then do not worry. Simply mix brown sugar and argan oil to form a scrub and massage it on the stretch mark area, prior to taking a shower. As you take bath, rinse the scrub thoroughly and apply the oil again to moisturize. This will lighten away the appearance of stretch marks, with its regular use.
Treats Razor Bumps & Burns
Razor bumps and razor burns are very irritating and annoying. Both men and women have to go through this phase. Men after shaving their beard while woman after shaving their legs. Argan oil is a very effective remedy to soothe the irritated skin. Just warm a drop or two of the oil and gently massage it over the affected area.
Prevents From Sun Damage
Morocco has very rigid and dry conditions. The natives have been using argan oil since long, to prevent their skin from any sort of sun damage. According to a recent research in 2013 (link), it was ascertained that liveliness of antioxidants in argan oil help shields the skin from any drastic damage caused by the sun. As a result, this prevented the people from getting any sunburns or hyperpigmentation. With regular usage, this can also prevent skin cancers like melanoma.
Effective Skin Toner
Skin toning is a significant step for your skincare regime. Just add a couple of drops of the oil in your favorite skin toner and reap the all-natural benefits to achieve that dewy glow on your skin.
According to a recent research study (link), Argan oil has been established to subdue sebum levels in individuals who have oily skin. This is a good news for the people who have the pesky acne conditions. Some chemical creams can give you relief from acne, but in the long run, they will damage your skin. Moreover, they can be pretty expensive as well. Argan oil, on another hand, helps reduce the inflammation caused by acne, as it consists of linoleic acid, which assists in soothing the damaged skin. Pairing argan oil along with tea tree oil really does wonders, as they help fight stubborn acne while reducing the scarring and redness.
As mentioned before, you can make an effective exfoliant by adding 1 tablespoon of brown sugar into a couple of drops of argan oil. Rub the solution gently on your face using your hands for two to four minutes. Remember to rub the solution using small circular movements and focus on the acne prone areas or the dry areas. Rinse with warm water and pat dry to get the best results. Regular exfoliation helps remove dead skin, diminishes the wrinkle lines and bring a glow to your skin. Read about the Benefits and How to Exfoliate and Get Best Results for a great looking skin.
Argan oils advantages are not limited to skin only. It works as a fabulous leave-in-conditioner for your hairs, due to its non-greasy texture. It makes it easier to style your hair and get rid of frizz and fly-aways. It also protects your hair from the heat of hairdryers, curlers, and flat irons. It repairs those pesky little split ends while repairing the hairs and gives them a natural and healthy shine as well. According to a few recent research, Argan oil also promotes the growth of the hairs, so you can use a couple of drops of this magnificent oil and massage your scalp gently with it.
If you have dry and brittle hairs, then you can use it, once a week, as an overnight deep conditioning treatment. Just drop 4-8 drops of the oil on your palm and massage your way from the scalp to the hair tips. Leave it overnight and rinse it thoroughly in the morning, making sure that you get rid of all the oily residue.
If you have dry scalp or dandruff, you can replicate the above deep conditioning process, but instead perform it twice a week, until the dandruff is eliminated entirely.
Argan Oil benefits not only just your skin and hair but your lips as well. It serves as an extraordinary lip balm. Just use 1-2 drops of the oil and very lightly, apply it on your lips. It is a perfect remedy for chapped lips, so keep it handy, especially in the winter season. Besides healing your cracked lips, it will also make them silky soft, smooth and conditioned.
Conditioning Nails & Cuticles
Argan oils help conditions your nails and keep your cuticles moisturized at the same time. Its non-greasy formula makes it an efficient and effective treatment for your nails and cuticles. It will prevent them from becoming dry or brittle and will also keep a check on those painful hangnails.
Remove any nail polish from your fingernails and toenails and then rinse them thoroughly. Just use a fraction of a drop of oil, one at a time, into each and every nail bed and then massage it thoroughly. Do the same application on the cuticles as well. Leave the oil until you feel they are treated. Once you are satisfied, rinse away all the oil and residue, thoroughly. Apply any polish, if desired.
Cures Cracked Heels
If you have cracked heels or dry skin on your feet, then you can use argan oil to effectively treat them. Just rub in two drops of the oil and massage it on your feet, paying special attention to the problem area. Once massaged, try wearing some cozy socks so as to trap in the heat and giving the oil, the chance to get soaked into your feet. Wear it overnight for maximum results. Wash the soles of your feet the next morning with a warm dampened cloth, to get rid of any oily residue.
Side Effects of Argan Oil
If you have any kind of nut allergies, then you should deem caution before using argan oil as well. Although it is termed as a stone fruit, the oil comes from the kernels obtained from nuts. This could be allergic to some people. One should always perform a small patch test before trying out anything new. To test whether you are allergic to argon oil, you can apply a small quantity of it on the inside of your arm, just above the wrist.
Argan oil has been rightly named as “The Golden Oil of Morocco”. The benefits of argan oil can also be reaped as a dietary supplement. As a culinary food oil, argan oil is used for dipping bread or poured over couscous and salads, etc. Almou, a thick brown paste, similar to peanut butter is used locally as a bread dip. It’s made from roasted almonds, honey, and argan oil.
The slow-growing precious argan trees are so treasured, that in 1998. UNESCO declared the argan forest as a biosphere reserve (link). Most of the cosmetic companies are nowadays including Argan oil in their hair and skin care products. Such is the popularity of this wonderful oil that Morocco government have been encouraging local farmers and aims to increase its production from 2500 tonnes to 4000 tonnes by the year 2020.