Jul 042020
What Is Argan Oil – Benefits & Uses
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Welcome to my 'What Is Argan Oil' post!

First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Have you ever been to Morocco? If your answer is "yes", then you may already know about this wonderful natural product. It has many benefits for your hair and your skin. But do you know what it is, how it is made and the benefits it can provide to our health and the environment?

As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives. 

These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green. 

Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green! 

What is Argan Oil?

This oil is produced from the kernels of the Argan tree which is native to Morocco. It is used for a variety of different culinary and cosmetic purposes because of its fantastic health properties.

Properties of Argan Oil...

Argan oil is a good source of linoleic and oleic fatty acids. Both of these fats are known to support good health. It also has high levels of vitamin E which is important for healthy skin, hair, and eyes. Argan oil contains the following fatty acids:

  • Oleic - 42.8%
  • Linoleic - 36.8%
  • Palmitic - 12.0%
  • Stearic - 6.0%
  • Linolenic - <0.5%

Its density is relative at 20 degrees Celsius or 68 Fahrenheit and ranges between 0.906 to 0.919. Argan oil is high in Vitamin E and also contains carotene, phenol, scalene, fatty acids (eighty percent of which are unsaturated).

The phenol in argan are mainly natural and include caffeic acid, catechin, catechol, epicatechin, oleuropein, resorcinol, and tyrosol. Argan oil is relatively resistant to oxidation and some types are more resistant than olive oil.

Argan Oil Health Benefits...

 Argan oil is a fantastic natural health product that can be used in a variety of ways to treat several ailments.

Skin Moisturizer...

Argan oil is most commonly used as a moisturizer for softening skin. Because it contains fatty acids and Vitamin E, it is the perfect product for giving skin a boost naturally.

It is non-greasy and non-irritating, making it a preferred choice for many people. It also absorbs quickly making a great choice for people who are frequently on the go.

Hair Conditioner...

It is an ideal product for conditioning hair and it has been proven to increase the softness, silkiness, and shininess of hair. It is also well-known for taming fuzziness and treating split ends.

Sleek and Shiny Styling...

Building on what we mentioned previously about it being used to treat fuzziness; argan oil is often used as a styling product too.

Using it makes hair easier to manage and gives it a healthy shine. I use it by adding a few drops to my hands, rubbing them together, and then running my fingers through my hair.

Woman-With-Long-Hair

Anti-aging...

Research suggests the dietary intake of argan oil may help slow the process of aging by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress; giving skin a glow and reducing the visibility of wrinkles.

It has the effect of an anti-oxidant and this is what makes this a fantastic anti-aging product.

Skin Conditions...

Argan oil has been traditionally used to treat skin infections, limited research supports its effectiveness. However, it has certain anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit the skin tissue.

Do you or anybody you know suffer from dry skin conditions such as eczema? Symptoms of this condition are itchiness, dry, and flaky skin which can also feel quite raw.

Argan oil will have positive effects on these symptoms, soothing the skin, adding moisture, reducing itchiness, repairing the damaged skin, and preventing further dryness and irritation. Simply add a few drops directly to the area and gently rub it into the skin.

Acne...

Many acne treatments can make the condition worse. Argan oil soothes the skin and promotes healing. Some people have oily skin and are more prone to acne. Because argan oil is non-greasy, it works by naturally balancing the skin by providing moisture. Anti-oxidants help by reducing damaged skin cells and inflammation.

I would recommend after cleansing, pat the affected area dry and then directly apply a few drops of argan oil to the skin. This ensures that the moisture and nutrients are being applied to clean and dry skin. You should also gently rub this in with your clean hands.

This procedure can be repeated twice daily. It should help clear up mild acne and balance dry or oily skin.

Skin Protection and Healing...

It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties allowing it to reduce inflammation caused by injuries or infections. Antioxidants are brilliant at healing skin that is burnt, irritated, cracked, or damaged. Some people even say that it can help reduce the appearance of scarred tissue or speed up the process of healing minor wounds.

When skin is dry or sore, try using the argan oil as a preventative as you the results will be better. It can be used to speed up the healing process too. It is proven to soothe pain, reduce inflammation, and increase the rate at which the skin heals.

Pregnancy...

Many women suffer from stretch marks and sagging skin after birth. The vitamin E in the argan oil increases the electricity in the skin.

You can apply a few drops to the areas which are likely to incur this stretching (breasts, stomach, bottom, and thighs), you will be far less likely to get these marks.

Foot, Hand and Nail Treatment...

Brittle nails, dry hands, cracked and had skin can all be reduced and treated with argan oil because of its softening and moisturizing properties.

After using, your skin is going to feel soft and nourished and nails will be stronger and healthier. I would recommend massaging a few drops into your cuticles, hands, and feet each night.

Lip Moisturizer...

Your lips are fragile and sensitive. It is easy for them to become dry, sore, and/or cracked; particularly in hot or cold climates. Argan oil will help them to stay soft and moisturized so that they can move with ease.

I would directly apply the oil to the dry skin. A couple of drops should be plenty. Rub in and wipe off the excess.

Woman-Open-Mouth-Smiling

Heart Health...

Argan oil is a source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fat. Research shows it can reduce the risk of heart disease through its impact on antioxidant levels in the blood and lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and higher blood levels of antioxidants.

Reduce Diabetes...

Some research conducted on animals suggests that argan oil may reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance to help prevent diabetes. The researchers suggest that it was the antioxidant content of the oil that produced these outcomes.

As this research was conducted on animals it is not yet clear if the same effects will be found in humans.

Potential Anticancer...

Argan oil could slow the growth and reproduction of certain cancer cells. One study applied polyphenolic compounds from argan oil to prostate cancer cells and found that it inhibited cancer cell growth by 50% compared to the control group. Again, more research is needed.

Environmental Benefits...

Argan oil is not only a fantastic natural cosmetic product and food oil but it also has some notable positive impacts on our environment and society. The Argan tree supports its environment in many ways.

For example, it is a source of food, shelter, and shade in the hot deserts. The deep roots of the tree help to preserve the desert habitat and promote its stability.

The production of argan oil has encouraged the protection of the trees which has resulted in them not being cut down. Many more of these trees have been planted to aid production.

To ensure sustainable development in the Arganeraie reserve in Morocco, an association called 'Réseau des Associations de la Réserve de Biosphère Arganeraie' (Network of Associations of the Argan Biosphere Reserve, RARBA) was started.

RARBA has contributed to many local environmental projects. For example, the anti desertification program which included local people made improvements to basic infrastructure, managed natural resources, had activities that generated revenue, produced argan oil, and worked at reinforcing capacity.

Promotes Social Economic Status...

The production of argan oil promotes the social-economic status of Morocco. Over 2 million people are being supported by this production in the main oil-producing region - Arganeraie. Most of the argan oil that is produced today is made by women cooperatives.

The Union des Cooperatives des Femmes de l’Arganeraie is sponsored by both the Social Development Agency and the European Union. It is the largest union of argan oil co-operatives based in Morocco. It includes twenty-two co-operatives from that region. Being part of a co-operative provides women with income that can be used to better their lives. Many of these women have spent their money on education for themselves or children.

Morocco is traditionally male-dominated and these co-operatives have provided these women with more independence, autonomy, and awareness of their human rights. This co-operative model has been an inspiration to many other producers of agricultural products.

How is Argan Oil Made?

 Argan oil comes from the kernels from the argan tree. These kernels can be found inside the argan fruit. The fruit is small and oval. This fruit is so delicious that goats in morocco climb trees to get to it!

A peel covers the fleshy pulp and underneath this, there is a hard nut. Inside the nut is where you will find the kernels, normally one to three. These kernels are oil-rich.

There are different methods for extracting oil. A common method is to air dry the fruit and remove the pulp. This can be used to feed animals so that it is not wasted. A traditional method involves allowing the goats to eat the fruit and collecting the nuts from the droppings.

This saves a lot of the labor process but is not a modern practice. The next step involves cracking the nut to access the kernels. People have tried doing this mechanically but have been unsuccessful. Therefore, this step in the process is done by hand and is, therefore, is time-consuming and labor-intensive.

To make culinary argan oil, the kernels are gently roasted. Once they have cooled, they are ground and pressed. The mash forces unfiltered and pure argan oil to separate from the kernels. The unfiltered oil is decanted into containers. What remains are often fed to cattle because it is rich in protein.

A very similar process is used when producing cosmetic argan oil. The key difference in this process is that the nuts are not roasted before removing the kernels. This is to prevent the oil from having an excessively nutty scent.

Simple to Add to Your Daily Routine...

As argan oil has become increasingly popular, it's easier than ever to feature it to your health and wonder routine. Argan oil is now widely available in most major grocery stores, drug stores, and online retailers.

Traditionally, people in Morocco used argan oil to treat skin diseases and to treat skin and hair cosmetically. Over time, argan oil has increased in popularity for cosmetic uses. More and more companies are using it as an ingredient in their cosmetic products.

For example, in 2007 only two US products were containing it. In 2011 over 100 products were containing this oil. Pure Argan Oil (without additives) is also on popular demand for cosmetic uses. Purchased in its pure form can be expensive but many consumers believe it is worth the money.

Young-Woman-Relaxing-On-Massage-Table

For Your Skin...

Argan oil is typically used topically in its pure form — but also frequently included in cosmetic products like lotions and skin creams.

While it is often applied to your skin, it's going to be best to start with a really bit to make sure that you simply won’t have any adverse reactions.

For Your Hair...

You can apply argan oil on to damp or dry hair to enhance moisture, reduce breakage, or reduce frizz. It is also sometimes included in shampoos or conditioners.

If it is your first time using it, start with a little amount to ascertain how your hair responds. If you've got naturally oily roots, apply argan only to the ends of your hair to avoid greasy-looking hair.

For Cooking...

There are many ways that people use argan food oil. For example, much like how extra virgin olive oil can be used, argan food oil can be used in salad dressings, poured on couscous, or used to as a dip for bread.

In Morocco, there is a traditional recipe called Amlou that is used for dipping bread. It has a similar consistency that is similar to peanut butter. It is made by combining toasted almonds and argan oil and grinding them with stones. This is then mixed with honey for a sweet treat.

When eaten, argan oil can have fantastic anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive properties. This is because it has been found to have very high levels of y-tocopherol, higher levels than other oils.

If you’re curious about using argan oil with food, search for varieties specifically marketed for cooking, or confirm you’re buying 100% pure argan oil. Argan oil marketed for cosmetic purposes could also be mixed with other ingredients that you simply shouldn’t ingest.

Traditionally, argan oil is employed for dipping bread or drizzling on couscous or vegetables. It also can be lightly heated, but it's not appropriate for high-heat dishes because it can easily burn.

What Is Argan Oil: The Final Verdict!

Argan oil is a labor-intensive product and because of this, it can be relatively expensive to purchase. However, it has some notable properties and can be used to treat a wide range of ailments.

It is safe to use in its pure form and one bottle can be put to different uses. Some people do like to look out for products that contain it too but that personally isn't for me.

Not only does it have cosmetic uses, but some forms can be used within the kitchen too. Let us not forget that it has many positive impacts on our environment and society as well! This oil has changed the way I live my life and I hope to share this knowledge so that others can benefit from it too!

You can read my review on the different companies selling argan oil. Please re-visit this site in a few days and I will provide a link here.

If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below and I will be in touch soon.



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Reader Comments

  1. Hey Catherine,

    I have always wondered how argan oil is made, and I also have wondered why it is so expensive. I like how detailed this post is. You provide information on where argan oil comes from, how it is made, and even the fact that the process of making argan oil is eco friendly. I had no idea that they just give the remains of the argan fruit to animals. It makes sure every single part of the plant is used for some reason which I think is really cool.

    Another thing I liked about this post is that not only do you provide information about where argan oil comes from, you also include many different uses for it as well as other extra tidbits of information. I learned a whole lot more about argan oil when I was just trying to figure out where it came from! I had no idea you could use it for cooking too! how cool is that?

    One final question. Do you know if the oil has any positive effects on facial hair growth in men? Would it possibly make it grow faster? I couldn’t find any information on this anywhere. Anyways, thanks for the great article. I will definitely be back to read more.

    Cheers,

    Max

    1. Hello Max,

      Firstly, I would just like to say a big thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting.

      It is clear that you enjoyed the post and found it helpful and it pleases me to know that. I enjoy knowing that the information I have spent time working on has been useful to you in some way or another.

      It really is cool that you can use argan oil for cooking.

      With regard to your question about using argan oil to promote hair growth in men, the answer is yes you can. This is because argan oil contains Vitamin E which promotes hair growth. It also contains antioxidants that further boots cells and promote growth.

      I hope this helps you. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

      All the very best.

  2. I loved reading this post about argan oil as you’ve obviously done a lot of research. I never knew how argan oil is made, and it’s good to know that cattle are fed left over pulp extracted from the nuts. I’ve used argan hair shampoo and conditioner, and impressed with the shine it gives. I will certainly give argan oil a try on my skin as it’s quite dry. Also, I never realised it can be used in cooking:)

    1. Hello Kathy,

      The benefits for skin are my personal favorite. I havent used anything that compares to it. I am pleased that you will be trying his out. I would be absolutely thrilled to hear about your experiences. Please feel free to leave your own review once you have tried it.

      All the very best.

  3. To be honest, I did not know that argan oil could be a part of the diet. I thought it was only for the skin and hair. So I really find this post very interesting and informative. Because of the health benefits, I would like it to be a part of my diet. Do you take it in capsule form or just a tsp of the pure oil?

    1. Hi Carol,
      It is really important to note that you should only be eating pure culinary oil. Most products that you buy to put in your hair will have lots of other chemicals in it that you definitely should not be eating. I have not seen the capsules for sale, but that is not to say the do not exist somewhere. I hope this helps you.
      Take care!

  4. I didn’t know that argan oil had so much benefits! I really want to use this now. I think this can be good for my face as well as my lips because they dry up rather quickly! I love this post, it is so informative! Thank you for sharing this and doing so much research! I wouldn’t have know that this oil existed if I didn’t visit this website.

  5. Hi Catherine,
    Amazing post. I love it and it’s really interesting to know that Argan oil helps with dry skin, hail, and has other health-related benefits. I can’t wait to give it a try because I have been dealing with dry skin, not eczema, all my life and I have tried almost everything dermatologists can prescribe while in the military, but nothing seems to work. Also, I am a fan of natural options so I will be sharing it with my friends too.
    Thanks for the post. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  6. I really enjoyed reading about all the benefits of argan oil. I’m especially happy to hear that the Cooperatives des Femmes de l’Arganeraie is involved in the production of it.

    M. Charland

  7. This is a very detailed informative post, thank you for that. I really learned a
    lot about argan oil. Like that you can cook with it. Who knew.
    I do remember seeing products in the beauty supply store that had argan
    oil listed on the front as an ingredient. So I figured it was good for you but
    until now I didn’t realize HOW good it is.
    I have dry hands often from using polymer clay and isopropyl alcohol when
    I work on my crafting projects. I plan to get some argan oil for my hands. I
    see it’s also good for nails, I need that.
    This is a really great post, Catherine, thank you.

    1. Hi Teresa,

      Thank you, I am so pleased that you enjoyed it. I find these products that have argan oil as an ingredient are often overpriced and contain other harsh chemicals.

      Instead, I just prefer to buy the real thing, as the quality is better. Pure argan oil can be expensive but you get what you pay for.

      I hope this helps.

  8. Who knew Argan oil had so many benefits! You’ve certainly broadened my knowledge of this great Oil.

    I’ve personally used Argan oil for many years for my hair (not that I have much) and knew it had benefits for skin but didn’t know-how. Now reading your article I now understand how it’s benefited my acne and dry skin.

    I’ve used it with selected meals, due to the taste, it’s a personal preference but love cooking with it.

    I’ve also in the past used coconut Oil for cooking and skin care, which I love and was wondering if you know how the two compare?

    1. Hi Damon, I am pleased that you have been using both of these oils and getting so many benefits from them.

      Coconut is probably the best well-known carrier oil for essential oils. Argan oil has a nutty scent to it whereas coconut oils do not making it a great career oil.

      Coconut can also be used on the skin to protect you from the sun. However, I would not use Jojoba oils in the sun as the opposite would happen.

      Argan oil is rich in vitamins A and vitamins E, and monounsaturated fats making good for wrinkles, dry skin, dry hair, and inflammation.

      I hope this helps. If you would like further information on different natural carrier oils, please read this post:

      https://aboutgoinggreen.com/carrier-oils-for-essential-oils/

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