Argan oils are cold-pressed oils derived from the raw or lightly toasted kernels of the argan tree. This extraction process results in two main grades of argan oil: cooking grade oil (made with toasted argan kernels) and cosmetic grade oil (made with raw kernels). After being cold pressed, pure argan oil color appears as a pale or rich yellow.1
For those wondering what is argan oil used for, Moroccan argan oil has traditionally been used to treat skin problems including scars, psoriasis, and burns.1 Today, argan oil is frequently used as a skin care and hair care oil. Using argan carrier oil is also a popular way to dilute essential oils. When it comes to manufacturing argan oil, Morocco is the leading producer.
As argan oil from Morocco has grown in popularity, it’s become an important source of income for Moroccan citizens who still produce it by hand. Though the intense manufacturing process and a limited supply of trees make argan oil expensive, it’s one of the most beneficial oils on the market.1
Some of argan oil’s most notable benefits include its high vitamin E, essential fatty acid and squalene content—a substance believed to protect against oxidative stress.3
What Does Argan Oil Smell Like?
Though the smell of argan oil can vary, most argan oil reviews state that it often has a mild, pleasant, nutty smell. It’s important to ensure that the grade of oil you are using is suited for your intended purpose.
Argan Oil Hair Treatment
Because of its moisturizing properties and high vitamin E content, many people use argan oil for hair treatments. There are many commercially available argan oil products for hair, but you can easily create your own argan oil shampoos, moisturizing hair masks, and other hair treatments at home.
One of the most popular applications is using argan oil for hair growth. Because argan oil has a high content of vitamin E—a nutrient observed to help with hair growth—this oil may be an excellent choice for people who may be concerned about hair loss.4
For a potent mixture that will promote hair growth, combine argan oil with lavender essential oil—an essential oil that has been recorded to promote hair growth.5
Argan oil can also be used to make an argan oil hair mask. For a pure argan oil mask, simply apply the oil to your hair, leave on for 30 minutes and then wash your hair normally. Alternately, you can extend the use of your argan oil by making a hair mask with a mixture of argan oil and coconut carrier oil.
Additionally, argan oil can also be used to make argan oil shampoo by adding a few drops to your favorite bottle of shampoo and mixing the ingredients. Repeat the previous process with conditioner to create a luxurious argan oil conditioner.
Argan Oil for Face
In addition to hair benefits, argan oil is also an excellent carrier oil for face treatments. When using argan oil on your face, it’s advisable to use the highest quality, organic argan oil to ensure the best results.
Using argan oil for acne may also be beneficial. Argan oil is excellent for reducing pimples and has been reported to help regulate sebum production, an important factor in controlling acne. When a cream featuring argan oil was applied daily to the face, researchers observed oily spots on the face were reduced by 42%.2
For an at-home acne treatment, argan oil carrier oil can be mixed with the beneficial qualities of eucalyptus essential oil, which have been observed to help eliminate bacteria responsible for acne.6 Mix 1 Tbsp. of argan oil with 2-3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and apply directly to oily skin patches or acne lesions.
Argan Oil for Skin
Not only is argan oil a great choice for treating acne, it’s one of the best oils for many other skin care purposes.
Argan oil has been clinically shown to improve the elasticity of skin—a factor in skin aging—when applied topically. In a 2015 study, post-menopausal women used argan oil as moisturizer on one arm for 60 days. Results showed that net skin elasticity increased by approximately 24%.7
Argan oil is often considered one of the best carrier oils for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Because these conditions often result in inflamed skin, combining the moisturizing properties of argan oil with the anti-inflammatory properties of lemongrass essential oil can make an effective argan oil treatment for dry skin relief.6 This mixture can then be applied directly to problem areas to reduce inflammation and increase moisture.
Argan Oil Benefits
There are many benefits of argan oil, including its ability to fight acne, reduce stretch marks, slow the aging of skin, and improve skin elasticity.2,5,7 Additionally, argan oil’s unsaturated fatty acids help to hydrate skin, and when applied topically, argan oil may help protect against skin damage because of its squalene and sterol content.3
Argan Oil Uses
For readers wondering how to use argan oil in their everyday life, there are many different uses for pure argan oil. Some of the most popular applications for argan oil include using argan oil for eyelashes, skin care, or hair treatments. Users can also use argan oil in cosmetics, or combine it with an essential oil, such as nutmeg essential oil to create a fragrant massage oil.
For a natural insect repellent, pure argan oil can be mixed with geranium essential oil as an effective tick repellent, or mixed with peppermint essential oil to help keep mosquitoes away.
Where to Buy Argan Oil
In the past, figuring out where to find argan oil was a difficult task. Now, due to the advancements in technology, organic and pure argan oil products can easily be purchased over the internet at very affordable prices. Trusted brands like Organix, and Josie Maran Argan Oil can be purchased from the comfort of your own home.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Villareal, M. O., Kume, S., Bourhim, T., Bakhtaoui, F. Z., Kashiwagi, K., Han, J., & Isoda, H. (2013). Activation of MITF by Argan Oil Leads to the Inhibition of the Tyrosinase and Dopachrome Tautomerase Expressions in B16 Murine Melanoma Cells. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,2013, 1-9. doi:10.1155/2013/340107
- Dobrev, H. (2007). Clinical and instrumental study of the efficacy of a new sebum control cream [Abstract]. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology,6(2), 113-118. doi:10.1111/j.1473-2165.2007.00306.x
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (n.d.). Argan Oil: A Great Source of Natural Gamma-Tocopherol, Unsaturated Fatty Acids, Squalene and Sterols. Retrieved May 31, 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/95s0316/95s-0316-rpt0255-05-Argan-Oil-vol174.pdf – View reference
- Beoy, L. A., Woei, W. J., & Hay, Y. K. (2010). Effects of Tocotrienol Supplementation on Hair Growth in Human Volunteers. Tropical Life Sciences Research,21(2), 91-99. Retrieved May 31, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819075/
- Lee, B. H., Lee, J. S., & Kim, Y. C. (2016). Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice. Toxicological Research,32(2), 103-108. doi:10.5487/tr.2016.32.2.103
- Boukhatem, M. N., Ferhat, M. A., Kameli, A., Saidi, F., & Kebir, H. T. (2014). Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs. Libyan Journal of Medicine,9(1), 25431. doi:10.3402/ljm.v9.25431
- Bensouda, Y., Boucetta, K. Q., Charrouf, Z., Aguenaou, H., & Derouiche, A. (2015). The effect of dietary and/or cosmetic argan oil on postmenopausal skin elasticity. Clinical Interventions in Aging, doi:10.2147/cia.s71684