The popularity of Argan oil has exploded since the many amazing health benefits offered by this “miracle oil” have been made public. The oil is cold-pressed from the fruit of the Moroccan Argan tree (Argania spinosa), which is so nutritious that goats climb the trees just to eat them. Inside of that fruit is the little nut from which Argan oil is produced. For centuries, dating back at least as far as 600 BC, the Phoenicians relied upon this oil for healing as well as for enhancing beauty.
Natives of Morocco’s Argan Forest, which was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998, have pressed the nut to extract its precious oil, for use as a dietary supplement, wound healing, and to nourish the skin and hair. What makes the oil so beneficial, is that it’s rich with vitamins A, C and E, as well as being loaded with antioxidants, linoleic acid and omega-6 fatty acids. When applied externally, it can help boost cell production which results in healthier skin and hair – that’s why you may have noticed that among the list of ingredients in many high-end beauty products, Argan oil is often included.
Argan oil can be used both cosmetically and culinary to improve everything from skin appearance to heart health.
17 Remarkable Benefits & Uses Of Argan Oil
1. Healing Acne
The triterpenoids naturally found in Argan oil offer amazing health benefits for skin including the treatment of mild acne and the healing of acne-related scarring. It’s also been proven in studies to lower sebum levels in those with oily skin, reducing greasiness and improving overall appearance.
As Argan oil is high in linoleic acid, it further helps by reducing inflammation caused by acne while helping to heal skin cells that have been damaged. If you suffer from acne you can use it as part of the recipe for a DIY toner. It helps give your skin a glow while battling breakouts. It’s simple to make, just pour one cup of boiling water over a tea bag of green tea and allow it to steep for about 10 minutes. Remove the tea bag and let it come to room temperature. Add 2 to 4 drops of Argan oil and a drop of tea tree oil. Use it after cleansing and before moisturizing.
For stubborn areas, place a few drops of Argan oil into the palm of your hand and lightly dab it on.
2. Fight Dermatitis
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a common skin condition characterized by inflamed and itchy patches of skin, and as Argan oil is well-known to be extremely effective for reducing rashes and itchiness, it can minimize dermatitis flare-ups like eczema by hydrating the skin so that it can better perform its barrier function. The oil contains essential fatty acids like oleic acid, linoleic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids to help lock moisture in the skin and protect cell integrity.
Argan oil also contains vitamin E which offers powerful antioxidant properties that help it fight the damaging effects of free radicals which are one of the primary causes of skin problems like eczema. Its anti-inflammatory compounds help to reduce swelling as well.
3. Reduces Premature Aging
As mentioned, Argan oil contains a high level of fatty acids, in fact, it is comprised of roughly 80% fatty acids which work wonders to erase signs of premature aging. That’s why Moroccans have famously used it for preventing premature aging and its signs, such as crows feet and wrinkles. Regular use of Argan oil has been proven to reduce the depth and severity of wrinkles, as well as to fade age spots by restoring skin’s youthful elasticity and by increasing the regenerative rate of healthy skin cells.
In a 2007 study out of the Department of Dermatology at the Medical University of Vienna’s General Hospital in Austria, a group that used Argan oil as part of their regular skin care routine for 30 days was found to have significantly improved skin hydration as compared to the group that took a placebo. As moisture loss is one of the primary reasons for skin aging, the results were significant – when skin is hydrated, it loses less collagen and is protected from the elements like sun, heat, cold and wind. Other research conducted on postmenopausal women in 2014, showed that after the participants applied a small amount of Argan oil every night for two months experienced measurable improvements in their skin’s ability to retain water. Even more impressive was that the researchers found their skin could “lose” more water without drying – that meant that it wasn’t just a cosmetic effect, but actual deep cell-level change.
4. Eliminating Razor Bumps
Razor bumps are not only unsightly, they’re uncomfortable and sometimes even painful, especially if you shave and slather on sunscreen. Argan oil can help soothe and heal those razor bumps for both men and women, after shaving your legs and bikini line, or your face. Just warm up a few drops of the oil in the palm of your hands and gently massage it into the affected area. You may also notice that the number of ingrown hairs are reduced as well.
5. Protects Against Environmental Damage
As mentioned, Argan oil contains a high level of antioxidants, which can help to protect skin, hair, and nails from damage caused by UV radiation. A 2013 study published in Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine demonstrated how Argan oil speeds recovery from damage. Melanin, which is the pigment in the skin that helps protect us from UV rays, is critical for healthy skin. If you have too much or too little, it can result in all sorts of skin problems, and even lead to a higher risk of cancer. Argan oil is an elective melanin biosynthesis inhibitor, which means that it can normalize skin cells that have too much melanin, keeping you healthy and safe from UV rays.
Applying Argan oil to UV damaged skin can actually fade sun spots and heal the dry leathery skin that results from overexposure to UV by promoting the regeneration of healthy cells.
6. Improves Skin Appearance
Even if you don’t you have skin problems like acne, eczema, wrinkles or scarring, you can take advantage of Argan oil to improve your skin’s appearance, making it soft and supple. The saponins in Argan oil help to reactivate the skin cells’ ability to regenerate, keeping your largest and most important bodily organ healthy and strong.
7. Lowers Cholesterol
Culinary-grade Argan oil, when used as a substitute for other less-healthy oils in the diet can help to lower bad cholesterol levels. The unique combination of plant sterols found in the oil – schottenol and spinasterol – actually block the absorption of bad cholesterol from inside the intestinal tract.
Argan oil is also one of the richest sources of omega fatty acids and plant sterols that regulate cholesterol. While these healthy fatty acids can be found in both plant and fish oils, research has shown that essential fatty acids from plants are twice as effective as from fish oils.
8. Relieving Arthritic and Rheumatic Conditions
The oil is considered highly beneficial for arthritic or rheumatic conditions. Flavonoids present in Argan oil have powerful anti-inflammatory properties which can be used to treat both external and internal problems, including relieving the pain and swelling of arthritis. Argan oil contains a high level of triterpenoids, in particularly butyrospermol, which are important, biologically active compounds that well known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Its high linoleic acid content increases the production of prostaglandins 1, which are known to help rheumatologic conditions too.
For relief from sore muscles and joints, massage a few drops of pure Argan oil into your skin over the affected area.
9. Aids Digestion
Culinary grade Argan oil contains organic compounds that when added to food increases pepsin concentration in the body’s gastric juices, thus improving digestion. Pepsin is an important enzyme in gastric juice that digests proteins found in meat, eggs and dairy products. Better digestion means more energy, less hunger, improved weight loss, and an all around healthier body.
10. Fighting Cancer
There have been many studies regarding the ability of Argan oil to fight cancer and other diseases. The high levels of antioxidants in the oil help protect skin from free radicals which can lead to skin cancer. There have also been studies on the healing power of Argan oil against colon and bladder cancers, prostate cancer, as well as cancerous growths throughout the body which may result from infection or inflammation.
11. Prevents Stretch Marks
The healing power of Argan oil on the skin doesn’t stop with aging and cancer treatments. This miracle oil can also be used to prevent stretch marks from pregnancy, pubescent growth of hips and mammaries, or from rapid weight gain by softening and strengthening skin. It works by helping to improve the elasticity of the skin and keeping it hydrated, which makes stretch marks less likely to form. Apply it by warming a few drops in the palm of your hands and gently rubbing it onto areas like the hips, thighs, and stomach where they’re likely to develop.
12. Repairs Split Ends
When applied to hair, Argan oil prevents drying and environmental damage by coating the hair shaft. The oil seals in moisture and smooths flyaways, making hair more manageable and less prone to breakage from brushing and styling. Argan oil can also help to seal in colorants such as henna and amla, increasing the length of time between colorings. Rich in Vitamin-E, Argan oil nourishes hair, repairing split ends, and increases hair’s shine and overall healthy appearance.
You can use it as a leave-in conditioner to help to repair split ends as well as to prevent frizz and flyaways. Start with a few drops of the oil, warming it in your palms before spreading it throughout your hair with your fingers. Pay close attention to the ends of the hair. Afterwards, add another drop to your fingers and massage it into your scalp. Many people experience immediate benefits by using it this way – it works incredibly well for promoting shine and gloss, taming frizz and leaving the hair softer and more manageable.
13. Curing Dry, Brittle Hair
In addition to using Argan oil as a leave-in conditioner to repair split ends and prevent frizz, if your hair is dry and brittle you can use it as an overnight deep conditioning treatment to leave your hair soft and moisturized. To do so, warm 5 to 10 drops in the palm of your hands and then massage it into your scalp. Continue to apply it throughout your hair, all the way to your ends, and then twist your hair up and put a shower cap over it. The shower cap helps to retain your natural body heat so that the oil penetrates your hair, and it also helps to keep your pillowcase free of oil. In the morning, simply wash your hair as you normally would, rinsing well to make sure all oil residue is washed away.
Repeat once a week, or if you have dandruff or dry scalp, do this twice each week until the problem is gone.
14. Protect Your Hair From Heat Styling
Unlike many styling agents which can cause long term damage to hair due to the many chemicals contained within, Argan oil helps to enrich the hair and nourish it with nutrients to repair the damage. Before using any styling tools, apply 2 to 3 drops of Argan oil using your hand, palm first. Then use a brush or comb to distribute it evenly throughout your hair from roots to tips which coats it with the oil, keeping it protected from heat damage.
15. Treat Hair Loss
Many men and women suffer from hair loss. While many think of it as a strictly male-related condition, 40 percent of American women experience it. When you first notice that you’re losing more and more hair in the shower, bathroom sink, and on your hair brush, don’t ignore it, treat it with Argan oil. The oil helps to prevent hair loss and even helps to promote new growth by treating the scalp three times a week.
It works by ensuring that you don’t lose more follicles than you’re able to grow – when that happens, hair loss becomes noticeable. A number of studies on the oil’s effect on hair re-growth have found that it can stimulate the scalp due to its rich nutrient content to produce more hair. Some research has also indicated that it helps hair grow faster in a shorter period of time.
To use Argan oil to treat hair loss, place a few drops of the oil onto your fingertips and massage it into your scalp using a circular motion. Start at the front hairline, working your way back across your head and down each side and back. Continue the oil massage for 15 minutes to allow the oil to totally penetrate your scalp and help stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles. Do this three times a week without fail and you’ll notice fewer and fewer hairs left in your tub, and an improvement in hair texture, thickness, and length.
16. Strengthens Nails
When applied to the fingernails and toenails, Argan oil helps to promote stronger, healthier nails naturally, thanks to its high levels of vitamin-E. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities of Argan oil may also help to fight off nail and skin infections associated with poor nail health.
The oil makes an excellent non-greasy moisturizer for the nails and cuticles. To use it, be sure to remove all nail polish first and then rinse thoroughly. Place just a fraction of a drop on each nail one at a time, and then rub it into the cuticle and nail bed. Leave it on until you’ve finished treating all of your nails and then wash thoroughly. The oil helps to condition your nails while keeping the cuticles moisturized to prevent painful hangnails.
17. Heal Dry, Cracked Feet
Dry, cracked skin on the feet and/or heels can not only be uncomfortable, it can make you want to hide them, even when the weather is warm and crying out for that cute pair of sandals. Fortunately, Argan oil can help. Rub a few drops onto your feet, paying close attention to those rough areas. If your skin is very dry, you may need to add a little more in order to completely moisturize them. Afterwards, don’t rinse. Leave the oil on and cover up your feet with a pair of socks so that it can soak in. Leave them on for at least 30 minutes, but ideally, overnight. You’ll be amazed at how they look and feel in the morning!
Where To Buy Argan Oil
While there are many cheaper Argan oil “cocktails” available in the health and beauty market which may have severely lessened benefits to your health, 100% pure Argan oil truly is a miracle oil to add to your natural remedy collection.
When using Argan oil for topical purposes, such as applying to skin or hair, you want to look for cold-pressed, responsibly sourced, additive free Argan oil. This Molivera Organics Premium Cold Pressed Argan Oil is the best option for hair, skin, face and nails.
When using Argan oil for its internal benefits, it is important to opt for culinary Argan oil – such as this bottle of Dip & Scoop Culinary Argan Oil.