The Berber women of Southern Morocco are known for their beautiful skin and hair. The secret to their exotic beauty is the rich oil from the fruit of the Argan tree. Moroccan Argan Oil appeared mostly in hair care products not too long ago but has been in use as a beauty product and healing salve since 1500BC. It’s great for treating dry skin, acne, ageing skin, brittle nails, dry hair, wounds, rashes, infections and even bug bites! It fixes just about everything BUT the common cold!
Argan Oil is a cold pressed plant oil from the Argan region in Morocco. To produce the oil, the fruit from the Argan tree (Argania Spinosa) is picked and placed in the sun to dry. The fleshy part is then removed and the nuts are cracked open to remove the kernels. The kernels are ground and pressed to produce the oil.
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What are the active ingredients in Moroccan Argan Oil that are great for your skin?
Linoleic Fatty Acid reduces inflammation and improves hydration. This helps to reduce scarring and pigmentation due to acne or skin irritation.
Oleic Fatty Acid improves skin’s permeability which allows nutrients to penetrate more deeply where they help to boost collagen production.
The tocopherols from Vitamin E boosts cell generation and repair.
Vitamin A is another powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Vitamin A is usually marketed as retinol and is used to treat fine lines and wrinkles as well as acne.
What are the beauty benefits of Argan Oil?
Argan oil scores a 0 on the comedogenic scale so it does not clog pores. It is a natural moisturiser that nourishes and repairs the skin without causing irritation.
- easily absorbed
- a natural moisturiser for skin and hair
- reduces inflammation
- boosts cell repair
- balances oily skin
- does not clog pores
- reduces pigmentation and scarring
- softens skin
- helps to treat hair loss
- softens and smooths hair
- treats damaged hair
- strengthens nails
- fights fine lines and wrinkles
- irritant free
How to include Argan Oil in your beauty routine?
- Night time moisture boost
After cleansing your skin, apply one to two drops by pressing and tapping it in. Argan oil is safe to use in the eye area. It deeply moisturises your skin, fights fine lines and wrinkles and makes your skin more receptive to your other skincare products.
2. Nourishing toner:
You can simply add 4 or 5 drops of argan oil to your normal toner to help moisturise and balance your skin.
You can also make your own toner:
1 cup strong chamomile tea
2 tablespoons rose water
4 drops argan oil
1 drop lavender oil
Brew one cup of strong chamomile tea until it reaches room temperature. Pour it into a sanitised container. Add the rose water and oils. It can be used just like any other toner. Shake it before use to mix the oils and fluids and apply it to your skin on a cotton pad. It helps to prepare your skin to receive your skin care products.
3. Acne treatment:
Argan oil helps to balance oily skin. It scores 0 on the comedogenic scale which means that it doesn’t clog pores.
Over-production of sebum can happen when skin is irritated, over exfoliated and under-moisturised. Argan oil hydrates the gently and effectively while reducing irritation and inflammation. This helps spots heal more quickly. It will also help to reduce redness and swelling while softening the skin to prevent scarring.
Use a few drops of Argan oil on problem areas. You can mix in a drop of tea tree oil to kill the bacterial infection.
4. Anti-Ageing moisture boost:
Because Argan oil is almost 80% fatty acids it is a wrinkle destroyer! It is full of antioxidants that fight off those ageing little free radicals. Oleic Acid helps to make the skin more receptive to moisturising or nourishing products while Linoleic acid will reduce wrinkle-causing inflammation.
Argan oil helps to repair the signs of ageing by encouraging new cell growth while deeply moisturising the skin. It also protects against further damage. Hydrated skin can better protect itself from environmental stressors like heat, cold, pollution and dry air. You can simply add a drop to your nighttime moisturiser or tap a few drops into problem areas such as fine lines, deep wrinkles, dry patches or under eye bags! No rubbing or dragging! TAP girl! TAP!
You will find an easy facial tapping massage here!
5. Reduce the Appearance of Sun Spots and Pigmentation:
Argan oil is known as an elective melanin biosynthesis inhibitor. Sounds really complicated but all it means is that argan oil can help to reduce the amount of melanin in your skin cells. The skin can overproduce melanin in response to sun damage or the inflammation caused by acne. Argan oil helps to “normalise” the amount of melanin in those damaged cells. This reduces sun spots and pigmentation due to UV damage or scarring.
You can read more about treatments for hyperpigmentation here.
6. Heal and Prevent Stretch Marks:
Argan oil is FULL of Vitamin E. We all know it’s the skin vitamin and a powerful antioxidant. Stretch marks are thin spots in the skin and can be repaired up to a point. Vitamin E helps with skin repair and regeneration. It improves elasticity and softens the appearance of stretch marks. You are less likely to get more stretch marks if your skin is moisturised. Add a few drops of argan oil to your body lotion every day and apply it to the area. You can also massage a few drops into your stretch marks after a bath or shower while the skin is still warm and damp.
You can read more about how to treat those stretch marks here!
7. Moisture and shine for dry hair:
It can be quite difficult to keep your hair healthy. Styling tools and products can damage your hair and scalp causing dry or brittle hair with split ends, a dry flaking scalp or even hair loss. Colouring and environmental factors like the weather or air conditioning can also dry out your mane until it’s a shadow of its former self!
Smoothes frizz: If you find yourself with the dreaded frizz, rub a few drops of argan oil between your hands and gently smooth it through your hair. It will tame the frizz and flyaways. Don’t apply any to the roots if they are already oily and you have to be seen in public. One or two drops will soften hair and give it a healthy shine.
Hot oil treatment: An oily scalp can be a sign that you are using products that overdry the skin and hair. Your scalp is producing too much oil to combat the dry conditions. Try a hot oil treatment for your hair and scalp. Warm enough argan oil for the length of your hair. (put a little hot water in the bottom of a shallow bowl and place a smaller, deeper bowl with the argan oil inside it). You can also warm a towel in the dryer or on a radiator while you shower. While your oil is warming, wash and towel dry your hair. Don’t use conditioner because it smoothes out the hair shaft and seals it. You want the oil to penetrate. Work the argan oil through your damp hair from roots to tips. Massage your scalp with the oil and work down. Wrap your head in the warm towel and relax for 30 minutes. Allow your hair to dry naturally. You can leave the oil in overnight, just use a towel on your pillow. Wash the oil out the following morning with your normal shampoo.
Hair loss and growth: I’ve experienced hair loss due to an underactive thyroid. It’s very very stressful which is a problem because stress just makes it all worse. If you have falling hair due to illness, stress or hormonal issues it helps to very gently massage the scalp to stimulate circulation. It supplies the hair follicles with oxygen and nutrient-rich blood. To cure hair loss, you have to deal with the medical issue that is causing it. Argan oil will provide the hair and scalp with nourishing vitamin E to keep them healthy and will help to treat any inflammation that can cause further hair loss. It is not a miracle cure but it supports healthy hair growth and keeps your remaining hair in good condition. You can use it to massage your scalp two or three times a week as needed.
8. Soothe Skin Rashes and Irritation:
Eczema and dermatitis can cause dry, itchy and inflamed patches on the body. Argan oil can help to reduce the irritation and itching while moisturising the skin to prevent further flare-ups. Pure argan oil is safe to use as a moisturiser because it has no artificial preservatives or perfumes that can cause further irritation. It also contains omega fatty acids that moisturise and repair the skin at a cellular level.
9. Razor Burn and Bumps:
Razor burn can be very itchy and unsightly. Use a few drops of argan oil and a little tea tree oil to soften the area and prevent any bacterial infection. The argan oil will soothe the inflammation and redness, it will also keep the skin soft to prevent ingrown hairs.
10. Strengthen Brittle Nails:
All that vitamin E comes in “handy” (See what I did there…Ugh)! Anyway, hand sanitisers, detergents, water, nail polish, nail polish remover, heat, cold…just about everything dries out your hands and nails. Dry nails are prone to cracking, peeling and breaking while the dry skin on your hands can not only look unsightly but can also get infected because we do EVERYTHING with our hands.
The vitamin E in argan oil will help to repair dry skin and nails. Moisturised nails will be more flexible and less likely to simply snap or tear at the slightest pressure. Our hands show some of the very first signs of ageing. You can delay these signs by keeping the skin soft and moisturised.
Rub a few drops of argan oil into your hands and nails every night before bed. Massage the nail gently to improve circulation and to help the oil penetrate. You will have fewer rough “snaggy” bits around the nails that inevitably get the tooth treatment.
Here are a few ideas on how to deal with brittle nails.
Buying Argan Oil
Look for 100% pure organic, cold pressed Moroccan Argan Oil. It will be more expensive but you want to make sure that it’s 100% Argan oil and that it hasn’t been mixed with lower quality oils or preservatives that can cause irritation. It should not contain any added fragrance. It is best to use the oil within six months after opening it. If you buy a larger container, pour a little of the oil into a smaller bottle and reseal the large container to prevent daily contamination. Store it in a cool place away from sunlight.
Because Argan oil is derived from a nut/kernel inside a fruit, it is best to do a patch test before applying it to larger areas. Be especially careful if you have nut allergies.
There is a lot of hype around argan oil. It has many benefits for the skin and hair but it is not a miracle hair growth product and it will not peel 20 years off your face in a day. There are loads of rubbish claims out there. Just like most natural products, you have to use it daily for a few weeks before you will see real results. This is true for the drugstore products as well. You have to be consistent.