Known as “liquid gold” or “the Gold of Morocco” Argan Oil has been used by the Moroccan people for generations (tracing back as far as 600BC by the Phoenecians) for its appearance enhancing and healing abilities against conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Argan Oil’s roots can be traced back almost exclusively to South West Morocco from the slow-growing Argan tree. It is so nutritious that goats climbs up the tree to eat them! (84% of their diet comes from Argan!). Originally, the locals would extract the Argan (which was never digested) from the faeces of the goat which is then cracked, roasted and ground to produce the oil. Nowadays, following on from the “argan boom”, more sophisticated methods have been put in place to yield a much higher quality oil that is ready for export. Local co-operatives instead hand pick the argan fruit, which is almond shaped and resembles a large olive, directly from the tree. The kernels are then hand-extracted from the hard shell, hand-ground in a stone grinder, hand-kneaded for hours and cold-pressed into oil. Making just one litre of oil will take a local Berber women 3 days to do.
This “miracle oil” has grown hugely in popularity over the past few decades due to its science backed benefits for your skin, hair and body. Full of monosaturated fatty acids and antioxidants and free of harmful toxins and parabens this anti-ageing, all-natural oil is world revered for its healthy and beauty benefits. The increased demand has led to a huge spike in the number active local co-ops producing the oil from just 3 in 1999 to 150 in 2010 resulting in an improved economic landscape for the local community. The Argan forest was named a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1998 to ensure its sustainable development.
What are the benefits of Argan Oil?
Containing essential nutrients, this highly sought after, non-greasy oil can be applied to the face, hair and body for deep moisture and nourishment. Here are a list of the top 10 benefits:
1. Skin Moisturiser
Due to high Vitamin E, Omega fatty acids and linoleic acid this non-greasy and non-irritating oil is highly absorbent and hydrates and softens the skin. It falls perfectly into the middle of the spectrum; it is light enough to be used as a daily facial cream and hydrating enough to be used as an overnight treatment too. Containing both antibacterial and fungicidal properties, Argan Oil can be used to on all skin types for a calmer, smoother complexion.
2. Treating eczema
Containing a high amount of a rare form of Vitamin E, this highly moisturising and hydrating oil can regulate excess Sebum levels in those suffering from eczema. Argan oil holds an advantage over water-based moisturisers in that while it is still highly absorbent it does not evaporate quickly. It penetrates deeply into the skin cells providing relief for hours. It has a strong anti-inflammatory affect on the skin reducing itchiness.
3. Treating acne
Oil on oily skin – surely not?! Actually, break outs often occur not because of natural oily skin but dry, hurt and inflamed skin brought on by harsh acne products. To overcompensate, the damaged skin barrier then reacts by producing more oil which clogs pores and triggers a breakout. Argan can break this cycle. High in oleic acid, the argan oil will regulate sebum production, repair the skins hydrolipidic film and produce more natural oils that won’t clog pores. Through its high levels of Vitamin E and antioxidants the argan oil will promote skin cell regeneration and skin elasticity and will allow the skin to breathe. As a result, it will prevent and heal marks acne leaves on your face and body.
4. Preventing/ treating stretch marks
Stretch marks are a result of the rapid stretching of the middle dermis layer of the skin which can break or tear allowing deeper skin layers to show through. The Vitamin E present in Argan helps promote cell growth and the antioxidants increase cell signalling, the process by which the body communicates with cells. The omega 3 and omega 3 fatty acids contained within the Argan also serve to protect the skin and reduce inflammation. Argan moisturises and strengthens your skin dermis and improves elasticity to reduce the chance of tearing.
5. Hair conditioner
Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants argan oil hydrates and softens hair, tames frizz and restores shine. The Vitamin E neutralises hair damage from free radicals and helps prevent split ends/ breakage. It also boosts cell production to produce healthy hair and prevent the growth of thin/ brittle hair. By simply adding a few drops of argan to your normal conditioner you can significantly improve the health and strength of your hair.
6. Deep nourishing hair treatment
By applying the argan as a leave-in conditioner the beneficial effects on your hair can be intensified and prolonged. Unlike most leave-in conditioners that can make hair clumpy, Argan is non-greasy so it leaves no greasy residue while still being super absorbent. This treatment is especially effective for dry and brittle hair to really penetrate the cells and provide deep moisture and nourishment for your hair and scalp.
The tocopherols in the Vitamin E and fatty acids will battle free radicals and there by reinforce cellular strength and diminish scarring and the appearance of wrinkles. Unlike mineral oils that sit on the skin, argan oil penetrates deeply into the skin to helps its ability to regenerate. Containing saponins, the argan will also help promote healthy skin metabolism; the process by which the nutrients are broken down. The antioxidants will protect the skin from external damage such as external pollution and UV radiation to give the skin a healthy glow.
8. Treating brittle nails
Like hair, nails are made of Keratin and in the same way become dry, damaged and inelastic. Brittle nails that crack easily are the result of being dried out from a lack of nutrients. Containing high quantities of linoleic acid, Vitamin A and Vitamin E Argan will provide much needed nourishment and hydration. Unlike commercial nail treatments that focus on improving the strength of the existing nail (with new weak nails growing coming through the same as before) the Argan will attack the underlying cause. Deeply absorbent, the argan oil will penetrate the nail bed and fortify the internal structures to restore strength and shine.
Losing thousands of skin cells a day, face masks are a great way to give your skin a big boost of nourishment! With its great ability to moisturise and hydrate skin, argan makes the perfect complement to your face mask regime to make your skin look more supple. It will help reduce the appearance of fine lines, remove dead skin cells and restore a healthy glow. Make sure to pay special focus to any troubles areas such as acne or scars for the best results.
10. Foot Treatment
Argan is the perfect answer to dry, cracked skin. With high Vitamin E and linoleic acids, it will soothe, moisturise and repair the skin on your feet, especially heels. Leave a couple of drops on overnight under cosy socks for the best effects.
Please not that while Argan oil is generally very safe to use some people may experience minor side effects as a result of us:
*Avoid direct contact with eyes. If contact occurs wash eyes with clean water immediately
**Test on a small patch of skin first before applying to broken or inflamed skin. If you experience an allergic reaction stop using immediately (most commonly to those with tree nut allergies)