Oils are very popular with those that like to look after their skin/hair, and there seem to be new oils on the shelves every time I visit the drugstore. But what is argan oil, and why is it so popular?
Argan oil is a plant-based oil that is derived from the kernels of argan trees, which are indigenous to Morocco and Algeria. Itis a popular ingredient in cooking and baking and as a drizzle/dip for salads and bread dishes, plus it’s also used as a carrier oil to help provide moisture and nourishment to the hair/skin.
There’s so much to learn about argan oil, which is why in this article I’m going to provide you with lots of different facts including what argan oil is made from, popular uses for argan oil, benefits, substitutes, and the appearance/scent of this popular oil product.
What is argan oil made from?
Argan oil is made from kernels of the argan tree, a plant that primarily grows in Morocco. It is made in two different ways depending on whether its purpose is to be used for culinary or cosmetic purposes.
Argan oil for food purposes involves the following steps:
- Collecting fruit from argan trees
- Drying fruit in the sun
- Collecting kernels
- Roasting kernels
Filtration is also a common step to remove wax and gum content.
Cosmetic argan oil is produced by following the same method as culinary argan oil, except skipping the roasting step.
Pure argan oil, also known as organic argan oil, is predominantly used for adding moisture to the hair, skin, and nails.
Uses for argan oil
There are many different uses for argan oil, in both a culinary and cosmetic sense.
Culinary argan oil
Argan oil is popular as a food item, particularly in its native country of Morocco. It is often used as a drizzle for salads and couscous and as a dipping oil for crusty bread.
It can also be made to make Amlu which has a similar consistency to peanut butter. It’s mixed together with ground-roasted almonds and honey to create a thick paste used commonly as a bread dip in Morocco.
Cosmetic argan oil
In the cosmetic industry, argan has been used since the early 2000s as a popular ingredient in both skincare and haircare products. This is due to its moisturizing, nourishing properties, helping to reduce inflammation and make skin/hair appear more healthy.
Some typical products containing argan oil include the following:
- Hair oils
- Facial oils
- Lip products
- Face masks
One of our favorite coconut shampoos is made using argan oil!
Argan oil can also be used with essential oils such as lavender and bergamot for healing purposes such as for massages and soothing the skin.
Benefits of argan oil
Argan oil is highly beneficial for the diet, skin, and hair due to its wealth of sought-after ingredients.
It is rich in antioxidants which could help to lower the chance of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancers and diabetes, plus it’s anti-inflammatory which helps to soothe sore skin or burns.
Another key benefit of argan oil is that it’s highly moisturizing, which is why it’s so commonly used in hair and skincare products. Argan oil can be bought alone to use as a facial oil, body oil, or hair oil, plus it is a prominent ingredient in many other products in the cosmetic industry.
It’s suitable for all skin types including oily skin as has a comedogenic rating of 0, making it non-comedogenic and therefore meaning it won’t clog pores.
Appearance and scent of argan oil
Argan oil is typically clear, however, it can be yellow in color when sold commercially as it’s often mixed with other oils.
It has a luxurious, nutty scent that is light and not too strong. Organic argan oil is often compared with olive oil when it comes to its aroma.
Did you know there are dozens and dozens of carrier oils? Here’s the low down on a narrowed-down list of 63 types of carrier oils.
Substitutes for argan oil
Argan oil can be substituted by other oil products, here are some other popular oils that you can use instead of argan oil:
- Jojoba oil
- Almond oil
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
Shelf life and storage of argan oil
Argan oil is generally stored in dark, glass bottles to ensure quality and potency is kept to the best quality. Light can affect the quality of argan oil, which is why it’s generally sold in darker containers.
Make sure to continue storing argan oil in this way for the duration of its use to gain its best effects, and keep it in an area that is cool and away from direct sunlight.
Argan oil should last for around 2 years after purchase if stored correctly. If you notice your argan oil has a bad smell or becomes discolored/cloudy in any way, it could have degraded and should therefore be disposed of.
Take a look at the below frequently asked questions to learn more about argan oil!
Argan oil is great for boosting your immune system, as it contains a high concentration of vitamin E and helps your body to maintain/repair the skin and eyes. Because it’s made up of ‘good’ fatty acids, argan oil can help to reduce the risk of conditions such as heart disease.
Argan oil is sometimes compared with coconut oil due to both being highly moisturizing products. Here’s a comparison if you want to know a little more about argan oil compared with coconut oil.
It is very beneficial to use argan oil on hair as it can help to keep it prevented from damage, such as split ends or breaking due to heat exposure.
It can help to neutralize hair damage as it is rich in antioxidants, which is why many use it both to soften the hair and also as a heat protectant.
Argan oil is perfectly safe to use on the face, as it absorbs Outside of allergies, argan oil is generally safe to use on the face, as it absorbs quickly into the skin and won’t leave it feeling greasy. Argan oil has high levels of fatty acids and linoleic acid which help to keep the skin nourished and hydrated, without leaving a greasy finish.
While argan oil can help to improve the condition of hair and prevent split ends, there have been no thorough studies carried out that show argan oil has helped to regrow hair.
However, as argan oil helps to condition and nourish the hair, it is less likely to break and therefore can make the hair appear thicker and healthier.
Argan oil is used as an anti-aging ingredient in many products, as it can help to make the skin look firmer and more plump. This can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
You should avoid argan oil if you have very oily skin, as argan oil may be a little too heavy for your skin type. However, argan oil is non-comedogenic which means that it won’t clog pores, meaning that you shouldn’t get acne as a result of using argan oil.
Argan oil should also be avoided if you suffer from a tree nut allergy, as argan oil is technically derived from a tree nut.