Drench your Skin and Hair in the Goodness of Argan Oil. Here’s Why.
Argan Oil is a name that you might be familiar with. It is a common name in skin care products and also a staple in the culinary world of Morocco. This natural plant oil has great medicinal and nutritional value, which is why people refer to it as ‘liquid gold’. But how many of us truly know about the wonders of Argan oil, who should be using it; and why it is gaining popularity all over the world these days? Keep reading further to get all your questions answered.
About the plant
Argan oil is extracted from the seeds of the fruit of the argan tree. The scientific name of this tree is Argania spinosa. It is native to Morocco and has been used in many of their traditional remedies and recipes for centuries. It has subtle nutty flavors, along with several health benefits.
The goodness of Argan Oil
Argan oil is packed with essential nutrients that protect from environmental damage and ageing, making skin and hair healthier. It contains natural antioxidants such as Melatonin, Vitamin E, Polyphenols, and Plant Sterols. It is Polyphenols that give the oil a unique flavor. Argan oil is rich in Vitamins A and C and fatty acids such as Omega, Oleic, and Linoleic.
Thanks to its several health benefits, Argan oil is frequently used as a part of cooking or as a supplement capsule that is to be ingested. It is believed to be helpful in the treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure. Argan oil is also applied topically in the form of pure oil, soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. It is a common ingredient in skincare products due to its hydrating and anti-ageing properties. In this article, we will focus on the benefits of Argan oil for skin and hair.
Argan Oil Benefits for Skin
1. Protects from sun damage
The antioxidants in Argan oil provide protection against damage caused by the sun and help heal burn scars. It reduces brown spots and hyperpigmentation that can be caused due to UV exposure. It is believed that long-term usage of Argan oil can prevent the development of skin cancer and melanoma. Topical or oral application of Argan oil allows you to reap the same benefits, leaving you with bright, even-toned skin.
2. Moisturizes skin
One of the most common uses of Argan oil is as a moisturizer, which is why it is often found in conditioners, soaps, and creams. It is rich in Vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble antioxidant that increases the retention of water in the skin, making it plump. It also serves as a great moisturizer for lips if they are chapped, dry or flaky. Vitamin A naturally hydrates and conditions the lips, restoring the lost moisture and giving you soft and healthy lips.
3. Prevents acne
Acne and breakouts are often a result of sebum on the face. Argan oil helps regulate the amounts of excess oil on the skin, effectively reducing the chances of breakouts and promoting smoother and healthier skin. It is a non-comedogenic oil that balances and neutralizes the production of oil without clogging pores. Apply Argan oil directly to the skin at least twice a day to see acne-fighting benefits.
4. Anti-aging properties
Regular usage of Argan oil can cause a significant increase in the skin’s elasticity. This prevents sagging and wrinkles, giving the skin a youthful glow. This can be achieved through oral as well as cosmetic usage. It naturally nourishes the skin, makes the skin firmer, reduces dark spots, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Works on several skin conditions
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and antibacterial properties, Argan oil is often used to treat skin infections that are caused by bacteria and fungus. It helps relieve symptoms of atopic dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis by soothing the skin, reducing inflammation, and promoting skin repair. These skin conditions can be treated with the help of topical cream or oral supplements. However, if your skin problems are acute, do consult a dermatologist or a skin specialist.
Argan Oil Benefits for Scalp and Hair
1. Conditions hair
Due to its moisturizing qualities, Argan oil serves as a great mark or conditioner for hair. It hydrates the hair from within, reducing frizz, dryness, and knotting. It can easily penetrate the hair cuticles since its molecules are smaller compared to other oils. Because of this, it gives the feeling of thicker and fuller strands. It can be used as a leave-in conditioner
2. Treats itchy scalp and dandruff
Dandruff is usually caused by dry, itchy, and scaly skin. Massaging Argan oil into hair allows it to penetrate hair follicles and hydrate the scalp. This improves blood circulation and reduces inflammation as well. The healing properties of the oil allow it to deeply moisturize the scalp, just like it does to our facial skin. The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties soothe itching and provide relief from oxidative stress.
3. Protects from heat damage
One of the most common sources of damage to the hair is heat. Tools like straighteners, curlers, and blow-dryers can strip the hair’s natural oils. Argan oil creates a protective barrier on the hair since it is able to withstand high temperatures. It is a great all-natural replacement for heat protection spray to use before heat tools.
4. Adds shine
We all dream of the type of shine and bounce that is shown in shampoo commercials. Argan oil is here to fulfill that! With its emollient properties and fat-rich contents, Argan oil can nourish your tresses, restoring their shine and luster. It can be absorbed quickly, which is why it does not leave behind a greasy residue when used in reasonable amounts.
5. Boosts hair growth
Argan oil contains a compound called phenols which strengthen the hair follicles and along with antioxidants, it helps promote cell production and regeneration. The vitamins in Argan oil make your scalp healthier and stronger which ensures faster growth of thicker and healthier strands of hair.
6. Protects hair color
Coloring your hair often and using different kinds of chemical treatments makes hair dry, fragile, and faded. Even though it feels impossible to revive your natural hair again, Argan oil might help change that. It nourishes and coats each strand of hair while penetrating the hair follicle to help repair it from within. Argan oil can help in retaining the natural color of the hair by preventing environmental factors and ageing from causing discoloration.
Benefits of Argan Oil during pregnancy
1. Argan oil consists of several essential nutrients which are needed to maintain the mother’s and the baby’s health. It contains healthy fatty acids and vitamins which promote healthy hair, heart, skin, and eyes.
2. Regular use of Argan oil can help reduce visual signs of ageing such as wrinkles. It supports the repair and maintenance of facial skin, keeping you looking young forever.
3. Argan oil is an effective treatment and prevention for stretch marks. It nourishes the skin and reduces inflammation which helps get rid of scars.
4. The building block of our skin is collagen. It is what determines the skin’s ability to snap back after it has been stretched. Argan oil helps increase the elasticity of the skin, making it hydrated and resistant to damage.
5. Thanks to the Polyphenols in Argan oil, it serves as a sunscreen and protects the skin from harmful UV radiation. It can control inflammatory reactions that are triggered by sun exposure.
Side Effects of Argan Oil
Generally, Argan oil is safe for consumption for most people. However, some people with tree nut allergies may experience minor side effects. Even though Argan oil is derived from stone fruits, it can trigger a similar reaction. It can cause a type of allergy known as contact dermatitis. It is best to apply Argan oil on a small patch of skin and wait for 24 hours to test for any adverse effects. You can safely use the oil after this. In case you experience any of the following symptoms, discontinue use immediately and consult a dermatologist.
Probable side effects in topical consumption:
- Acne breakouts
Probable side effects in oral consumption:
- Loss of appetite
During pregnancy and breastfeeding:
Apart from the allergic reactions mentioned in rare cases, Argan oil is completely safe to use during and post pregnancy!
How to Use Argan Oil
Skin: Argan oil can be applied topically in its pure form or as an ingredient in cosmetic products. It is easily available in medical stores and even online. Usually, it is best to start the application with small amounts, so as to not overload the skin. However, if you have extremely dry patches of skin such as elbows, knees, and heels, you can apply liberal amounts to moisturize them.
Hair: Argan oil can be applied directly to the hair and scalp. You can use pure oil or look for it as an ingredient in shampoos and conditioners. Apply the oil on the mid-shaft to the ends and let it absorb for 20-30 minutes to soak in the goodness. Some of the ways to use Argan oil:
- Nourishing conditioner
- Hydrating hair mask
- Heat protective spray
- Soothing scalp treatment
- Styling product
Oral: If you wish to use Argan oil as an ingredient in cooking, make sure to buy the kind that is specifically marketed for it. Cosmetic and cooking Argan oil cannot be interchanged since it might be mixed with other ingredients that may be harmful when ingested. It is usually used as a salad dressing or as a drizzle rather than in high-heat dishes since the oil can burn more easily.
1. Does Argan oil expire?
Typically, Argan oil has a shelf-life of up to two years. However, its quality can be altered if it’s not stored properly. Argan oil should be kept away from the sun and extreme heat. You can keep it in the refrigerator to preserve the oil and simply allow it to fall back to room temperature when needed for usage. Get rid of any oil that has passed the expiration date, loses its color, or has a rancid odor.
2. How to choose the right Argan oil?
It is always best to go for Argan oil that is stored in a dark-tinted glass or PET container because that protects the oil from sun exposure. The oil should have a cloudy gold color and a slight nutty smell.
3. What is cold-pressing?
Cold-pressing is the process through which Argan oil is extracted from the argan seed. This simply means that after the fruit is harvested, the oil is extracted at a temperature that is always below 27°C. Through this method, the beneficial properties of the oil are preserved, ensuring a higher quality oil. Other methods of extraction can reduce the effectiveness of Argan oil.
4. Is there a difference between Culinary and Cosmetic Argan oil?
Culinary oil is extracted from argan seeds that are roasted before they are cold-pressed, whereas cosmetic oil does not necessarily have to go through that process. This gives the oil a deeper and nuttier flavor which is unlike any other cooking oil. Culinary oil can be used for skin and hair as well, but it does not have the same level of effectiveness as heating the seeds can lower the benefits.
From cooking to moisturizing, Argan oil can be used in more ways than we can count. It can provide treatment for many different kinds of skin conditions and nourish the skin from within. It prevents sun damage, signs of ageing, and even acne breakouts. But more than this, Argan oil is the best treatment for all types of hair. It is an excellent natural conditioner that fights frizz and boosts shine. It promotes healthy hair growth and fights dandruff by soothing dry and itchy scalps. The oil can also protect hair’s natural color.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, Argan oil can help increase collagen and repair damaged skin. This helps pregnant or new moms by reducing stretch marks, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also hydrates the skin while protecting it from UV radiation. Argan oil is one of the few ingredients that are completely pregnancy-safe and natural. And with its long list of benefits, is there any reason to not be using it?