The beauty industry is always seeking out the next best thing when it comes to finding ingredients for product formulations. From lychee to snail mucin (yes, you read that correctly), there are a great number of products sourced from around the world to enhance your beauty routine. While I’m all for seeking out the latest and greatest that the beauty industry has to offer, sometimes it’s best to stick with the tried-and-true products that our grandmothers or aunties introduced to us.
In this case, I am referring to the wondrous ingredient/product that is argan oil.
What is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is made up of the kernels of the seed of the argan fruit that grow on the argan trees, which are native to Morocco. These fruits ripen around June or July and turn a bright green slash yellow shade. Inside of the argan fruit, there is a milky pulp layer, which is covered by a thick peel. In the center, lies an ovoid, almond nut-sized seed, known as the argan nut, which contains up to three oil-rich white kernels from which the oil is extracted.
Upon harvest time, these fruits are collected, the kernels are extracted and then air-dried, ground, and pressed to release the oil. Depending on how the kernels are pressed, the oil released can be used for culinary or aesthetic purposes.
Beauty Argan Oil vs. Culinary Argan Oil
Culinary argan oil is produced by roasting the nuts, to give the oil a delicious nutty scent and flavor, and then grinding them into a sticky paste to get the oil. The oil is packed with unsaturated essential fatty acids, which is great to add in your diet for heart and brain health.
Argan oil made for cosmetic purposes is made by cold-pressing unroasted kernels, which also makes this oil a lighter shade than its culinary counterpart.
Beauty Benefits of Argan Oil
Now that we’ve explained a bit about argan oil and what it is, here’s a small breakdown of what this lovely oil can do for your beauty routine.
Rich Source of Vitamins and Nutrients
Argan oil is chock full of nutrients and vitamins, especially vitamin E, a major requirement for healthy skin, hair, and eyes. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can help improve water retention of the skin and can help soothe inflamed, irritated skin.
Rich in Antioxidants
Argan oil is rich in fatty acids, like Omega 3 and Omega 6, which provides moisture and nourishment to the skin. Another benefit of fatty acids, like oleic and linoleic acids, are that they are also anti-inflammatory. Combine this with the fact that argan oil is also considered to be non-comedogenic, makes this oil a great treatment for easily irritated skin, without worrying about it clogging your pores.
As previously mentioned, argan oil is considered to be highly non-comedogenic. In fact, on the comedogenic scale (featured below), which ranges from zero to five, argan oil is rated at a zero.
Aside from face serums or masks, argan oil is a great ingredient to use in cleansers. With cleansers you want to avoid products that dry up your skin and will clog your skin with unnecessary ingredients, so argan oil helps kill two birds with one stone.
Hair We Go Again
Research shows that oils, like argan, that have a high percentage of linoleic, palmitic, and oleic acid add a protective layer to the hair that helps protect it from breakage during heat styling. For the color-loving girlies, argan oil is also shown to help reduce damage caused by hair dye and other chemical processing treatments.
Who Shouldn’t Be Using Argan Oil?
While there are multiple healthcare and beauty benefits to this incredible oil, it’s not the ideal product for everyone. For those who have tree nut allergies, it’s been recommended to stay away from this oil to avoid triggering allergies or other potential side effects.
Things To Keep In Mind When Buying Argan Oil
As you may have read thus far, there are many benefits that explain why argan oil is so popular around the world. Which is the exact reason why you need to be careful when buying this highly sought-after product. From handbags to facial oils, there is a ripe and often-dangerous market for knock offs.
While many brands can claim “100% Pure Argan Oil”, there have to be certain requirements in place before the product can be considered valid. The most valid labels certifying that an argan oil product has been organically produced are Ecocert and COSMOS. Also, argan oil is registered as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), so the term “argan” oil can only be used to describe oil whose production is linked to the protected Souss-MassaDraa region of Morocco. Argan oil produced anywhere else isn’t technically proper argan oil.
While it can be considered an old-school beauty tool, argan oil is definitely for the new kids on the beauty block too.