Why Argan Oil Should Be a Staple in Your Beauty Cabinet
Read Time: 3-4 Minutes
Sourced from the kernels of argan trees (Argania spinosa L.) in Morocco, argan oil is an extremely versatile ingredient. Commonly used in food and cosmetics, argan oil is quickly gaining ground worldwide as a skin care staple. At once nourishing, moisturizing, and soothing, argan oil is gentle enough for all skin types while providing some serious anti-aging benefits.
In this installment of our Ingredient Spotlight series, we’ll dive into the details of argan oil benefits in skin care—how it’s made, what makes it so nourishing, and how we can take full advantage of its many unique properties.
How is argan oil produced?
Producing argan oil is a very specialized process. The small, round fruit from argan trees contains a hard-shelled pit, which is encased in a layer of pulp. Within this pulp lies a kernel; this is where the precious oil is found. Argan fruit falls from its trees and is gathered by workers for kernel extraction.
Extracting these kernels is no easy task, and can only be done by hand. Skilled laborers crack open the fruit and then grind and press the kernels until oil is produced. When sourcing for culinary purposes, the kernels are roasted before being pressed, which results in more oil extraction per kernel.
What can argan oil do for my skin?
This notoriously hard-to-access oil is well worth the work, providing numerous benefits for body, face, and hair. Here’s what it does:
- Softens and moisturize dry skin, hair, and cuticles
- Smooths fine lines and wrinkles
- Neutralizes free radicals
- Helps prevent signs of aging
- Helps relieve skin conditions such as eczema
- Calms inflammation
What does argan oil contain that makes it so effective?
Packed with antioxidants and vitamin E, argan oil is replete with anti-aging, moisturizing, and soothing agents. Powerful but gentle, it nourishes without clogging pores and can be used by all skin types, whether acne-prone or super-dry. A truly versatile oil, it’s ideal for head-to-toe use. Below, we’ll break down the major components of argan oil and explore how each one benefits our skin:
Essential for skin membrane health, fatty acids help stimulate cell regeneration and keep our complexions looking youthful and vibrant. Here are the details on the major ones in argan oil:
- 29.3-36% linoleic acid - A powerful omega-6 essential fatty acid (EFA)—which means it’s vital for human health, but isn’t produced naturally in the body—linoleic acid strengthens the skin’s barrier, which protects us from sun damage and pollution. Moisturizing, healing, and soothing, this fatty acid can even help alleviate acne. Sometimes referred to as vitamin F, linoleic acid also softens the skin.
- 43-49.1% oleic acid - Also found in safflower, almond, and avocado oil, this rich fatty acid seals in moisture.
- 12-13% palmitic acid – Found naturally in our skin, our palmitic acid reserves diminish with age, but we can still reap its benefits with topical application. Not only does it have anti-aging properties, but it's also been found to offer relief from dermatitis and eczema.
Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
Argan oil contains 771 mg of vitamin E per 1 kg of oil. Vitamin E is packed with antioxidants, which act as free radical scavengers and prevent signs of aging. A powerful moisturizer, vitamin E also improves the skin’s water-binding ability, allowing it to better retain moisture and remain hydrated.
Furthermore, applying vitamin E under sunscreen can boost its effectiveness, and when it’s applied after sun exposure it can even repair sun damage. An effective healing agent, tocopherols help diminish the appearance of scars and can soothe irritated, rough skin.
Polyphenols / Ferulic Acid
Polyphenols are a true wonder ingredient; not only do they provide UV protection, but they also have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and free-radical fighting properties, promoting repair and healing. Like vitamin E, they can also help repair the effects of sun damage.
Argan oil is particularly high in ferulic acid, a highly unique polyphenol. When exposed to sunlight, its antioxidant, free-radical-scavenging properties actually increase, helping to combat photo-aging.
Whether ingested or applied topically, triterpene alcohols have been found to reduce inflammation, contributing to argan oil’s many skin care benefits.
Occurring throughout nature, phytosterols stop the slow-down of collagen production caused by sun damage and actually encourage new collagen production, making them a powerful skin protector and anti-ager.
Found in plants, animals, and our own sebum, squalene acts as an antioxidant and an emollient, softening skin as well as preventing and diminishing wrinkles and fine lines. Easily absorbed, squalene locks in moisture while promoting cell growth, key to maintaining a youthful, radiant glow. Like polyphenols, it also prevents UV damage.
So I can use argan oil all over my body?
Gentle enough for everyday use, morning and night, argan oil can be used on the face, body, cuticles and nails, and hair. It’s great for rough patches on elbows, heels, and knees, and makes a great addition to a cozy at-home spa night. Applying a small amount under the eyes will help lock in moisture and soothe delicate skin. Take this a step further and try using it as a natural, gently moisturizing eye-makeup remover.
To combat dull, dry hair, try an overnight conditioning treatment. Rub a few drops into your hair, then pop a shower cap on before bed. Wash out in the morning to reveal instantly shinier, sleeker hair. Argan oil can also be used as a quick antidote to frizzy tresses. A drop or two will tame flyaways and promote shine.
To enjoy the benefits of argan oil from head-to-toe, try incorporating our Pure Argan Oil into your beauty routine. Sourced from traditional producers in Morocco, our lightweight and antioxidant-rich argan oil is ideal for all skin types and can be used whenever you need an extra boost of moisture.