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Argan oil has taken the world of cosmetics and beauty by storm. It's no surprise many refer to it as “liquid gold”.
If you’re still wondering what the hype is about and unsure if this product is for you, this article lays it all out for you.
What is argan oil?
Argan oil is extracted from the fruit kernels of the native Morrocan Argan tree. Used as a culinary staple in Morocco for hundreds of years and for its wide array of health benefits. Since 2003 demand for Argan Oil as a cosmetic product has soured and production is now at an all-time high.
Despite its use in the food industry, Argan oil is now famous all around the world for the array of applications in the cosmetic and medical industry.
It is available in 3 different forms. Most commonly, you can buy it in the form of pure oil which can be applied directly to the skin. It is also available as a capsule to be taken orally as a supplement for the health benefits. More recently it is becoming common for cosmetic companies to mix it into their products like shampoo, soaps, and conditioners.
Argan oil contains enormous quantities of Vitamin E, Omega acid 3, 6 and 9.
It is known for strengthening the body’s immune system and reducing the chance of infections.
It may help balance blood pressure.
Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides.
Affects the working of the pancreas in a positive way.
It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities likely due to the various phenolic compounds.
Argan Oil for skin
According to a study done in 2013 by the National Institute of health Moroccan women have long used argan oil to treat a variety of skin conditions such as burns, chickenpox, chafing, eczema, rash, minor cuts, and dry skin.
We now know that this amazing natural product helps with so much more. Let’s examine them more closely.
The same study discovered that argan oil protects the skin against free radical damage from the sun which prevents burns, hyperpigmentation and may prevent the development of skin cancer and melanoma in the long run.
Thanks to the large amount of vitamin E, which helps improve water retention in the skin, argan oil is most commonly used as a moisturizer. It is often incorporated into lotions and soaps and the pure oil can be applied directly to the skin or ingested orally as a daily supplement to take advantage of the moisturizing effect.
The Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and high amounts of Vit E in argan oil help reduce the symptoms and soothe skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea and atopic dermatitis. For psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, best results are achieved by applying the pure oil directly to the affected area whereas rosacea is better treated by taking the oral supplement.
Acne is largely caused by excess sebum regulated by our hormones. The anti-sebum effects of argan oil can effectively regulate the amount of sebum on the skin and thus treat many forms of acne. Applying argan oil to your face at least twice a day should yield positive results in about 4 weeks.
Argan oil has traditionally been used to treat skin infections for many years. It has antibacterial and fungicidal properties that help treat and prevent bacterial and fungal infections of the skin.
Anti-Aging and Stretch Marks
Another study by the NHI with postmenopausal participants confirmed the use of argan oil as an effective anti-aging treatment. They found a significant increase in the elasticity of the skin when participants were given a combination of oral and cosmetic argan oil. Improved skin elasticity also helps prevent stretch marks early on. To treat stretch marks, argan oil can be directly applied to the area at least twice a day as soon as you suspect or start to see them.
Reduces skin’s oiliness
For some of us, oily skin is a natural part of life and can lead to issues like clogged pores and acne. Luckily, the sebum-reducing properties of argan oil helps tremendously to reduce oiliness and get rid of the oily sheen by decreasing the sebum production of the skin.
Argan Oil for Hair
Argan oil has amazing effects on the hair and scalp. These include preventing dryness, breakage and hair loss, strengthening hair filaments, and reducing the appearance of split ends and frizz. Argan oil can be applied directly to damp or dry hair and is incorporated into shampoos, conditioners and other hair products.
Let’s take a closer look at how argan oil can benefit your hair.
The Vitamin E and fatty acids, mainly oleic acid and linoleic acid, in Argan oil lubricate the hair shafts and help maintain moisture and reduce dryness. The Vitamin E provides a fatty laying for your hair and reduces fizz and boosts shine.
Prevents damage caused by styling and colouring
Research has been done to prove that oils such as Argan oil, rich in linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid, provide a protective layer to the hair which reduce damage caused during heat styling. Split ends were also shown to be reduced by oil treatment which result in thicker, healthier looking hair. A similar Study showed that the oil reduces the damage caused by hair dye.
As mentioned earlier, A 2013 study found that argan oil protects skin against free radical damage from the sun. This advantage may also to the hair, helping to prevent drying and other damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
Argan oil for hair loss
As of yet, there is no actual study available on the effects of argan oil on hair loss. But the combined benefits of argan oil for hair and scalp health, like moisturizing and protection against styling and free radical damage, may prevent hair loss by reducing hair breakage and shedding.
There is also evidence from a 2010 study that Vitamin E can improve hair growth.
Experts suggest only buying products that are 100% pure argan oil. This is easily identified on the labels. And avoid using products that use argan oil only as a minor ingredient (I.e. listed low on the ingredient list) and products filled with synthetic ingredients.
Even though there are minor risks to using argan oil, there is always a possibility of skin irritation. We all have unique skin types and what works for one person might not work for another. To avoid any irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin, use products that are fragrance free and always experiment with the product on a small patch of skin before using it to see how your skin reacts to it.