A few years ago as I was being chastised by my beautician for my dry skin she asked me what I was using as a moisturiser. She was super unimpressed I opted for all natural products and even more unimpressed when I said I only used Rosehip Oil as my moisturiser. Now I do question advice from this beautician in general (she often boasted she only used French products — I thought perhaps this was a brand; nope, they just came from France), but she did have a point. My skin was dry and rosehip oil wasn’t enough. She conceded that if I must use oil, at least use argan oil.
I hadn’t heard too much about argan oil at this point but happy to give another all natural oil ago.
Disclaimer: I still swear by rosehip oil, but if you do suffer dehydrated skin like me, follow it up with a good moisturiser.
My beautician may have an affinity to chemical skincare, but she was on point about argan oil. It’s pretty darn good and perfect for skin needing a hydration boost.
What is it:
Argan oil is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree that is endemic to Morocco.
Argan oil contains tocopherols (vitamin E), phenols, carotenes, squalene, and fatty acids, (80% unsaturated fatty acids). The main natural phenols in argan oil are caffeic acid, oleuropein, vanillic acid, tyrosol, catechol, resorcinol, epicatechin and catechin.
Argan oil is great used internally and externally. There’s two types: cosmetic & culinary. The culinary version tastes like a smokier sesame oil and is exceptionally good for your internal organs. The cosmetic grade offers outstanding benefits for the body’s largest organ, the skin. (I’m sticking to using argan externally today because, well, I’m vain)
It contains healthier omega 3s than olive oil, more vitamin E than sweet almond oil, and myriad cancer-fighting antioxidants, as well.
Ways to use it:
This multitasking oil isn’t just great on your face. Similar to coconut oil, it can be used from top to toe. If you want to eat it though, buy a culinary grade oil.
1. Skin moisturiser: Argan oil is most commonly used as a skin moisturiser to hydrate and soften skin. With its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, argan oil is the ideal product to give skin a natural boost. It absorbs easily and is non-greasy and non-irritating, which makes it a great natural moisturiser.
2. Anti-aging Face Serum: Not only does argan oil act as an effective moisturiser, it can also give skin a youthful glow and reduce the visibility of wrinkles. Its anti-oxidant effect makes argan oil the ideal anti-aging product. It restores elasticity and leaves skin feeling plumper and softer.
3. Protects against environmental damage: Anti-oxidants in Argan oil help to protect skin, hair, and nails from damage caused by UV radiation. Applying Argan oil to UV damaged skin can actually fade sun spots and heal the dry leathery skin that results from over-exposure to UV by promoting the regeneration of healthy cells.
4. Acne treatment serum: Regulates sebum production to keep the skin’s natural oils at a healthy level. With regular use, the skin will no longer look or feel oily. Since argan is considered a dry oil, it absorbs quickly and is not greasy. Also, the antioxidants and fatty acids found in Argan oil may also help with the treatment of mild acne and with the healing of acne-related scarring.
If you remember back to my earlier post about oils suitable for oily skin, you will know that you need to use an oil higher or more balance in linoelic acid than oleic acid. Argan oil is approx 42-48% oleic acid and 30-38% linoelic. To optimise argan oil for oily/acne skin, try blending it half/half with a higher linoelic acid oil, like hemp oil. You’ll keep the benefits of argan, but also keep your skin balanced.
5. Hair treatment: Argan oil is proven to make hair softer, silkier and shinier. It is the ideal hair conditioner, and it can even help to treat split ends and tame frizzy hair.
- Rub it on your ends as a deep treating conditioner.
- Smooth a teeny bit over your freshly blow-dried hair to tame any fly aways.
- Apply to damp hair and leave on for 10 minutes or so; wash off well with shampoo.
6. Stretch Marks & Pregnancy; Stretch marks are an issue for many pregnant women, but argan oil is the ideal protection against stretch marks and sagging, puckered skin after birth. Argan oil increases the elasticity of skin due to its vitamin E content. Using a few drops of argan oil to rub into breasts, stomach, bottom and thighs during pregnancy will reduce the likelihood of developing unsightly stretch marks.
7. Nail booster: Massage a few drops of argan oil into your cuticles to soften, moisturize and encourage nail growth.
Argan oil is pretty readily available now – from health food shops to pharmacies. Just be careful when choosing an oil though and check it hasn’t been diluted with fillers or other ingredients. Some brands have hardly any argan oil in them!
Your best option is to choose only 100% organic, all-natural pure Argan oil from a reputable supplier.