Argan Oil. Liquid gold for your hair and skin
Published: 1 February, 2019 - Updated: 31 July, 2020
What is Argan Oil and where does it come from?
Also known as 'Moroccan liquid gold', argan oil is extracted from seeds that are harvested exclusively by women using ancient methods in the Berber tradition.
Argan oil has food and cosmetic uses. For cosmetic use it is extracted from un-roasted seeds and by mechanical cold pressing to ensure the quality of the resulting oil:
- 1 liter of Argan Oil after 4 hours of processing can be preserved for up to 2 years, containing a high amount of antioxidants, a premium quality, with low water content, a bitter taste and a golden color.
Argania spinosa: The Argan Tree
The Argan tree of the family Sapotaceae is indigenous to Morocco, where the argan forest naturally covers about 8,000 km², and has a lifespan of more than 200 years. This area was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998, due to its ecological value and its importance for the local economy of the area.
Argan oil is obtained from the fruit of the argan tree. The fruit has a green and fleshy exterior, which contains a hard-shelled pit, with two or three seeds inside from which the oil is obtained.
Properties and benefits of Argan Oil
This oil is the secret of Moroccan women and has been used traditionally in Morocco for hundreds of years for its anti-aging properties, reducing wrinkles and moisturizing dry skin. Moroccan women have also used it to remove pimples from the skin, for scars, brittle nails and to give shine, strength and hydration to the hair, avoiding its splitting and frizz.
In order of importance, Argan Oil contains: polyunsaturated fatty acids (oleic 49%, linoleic 36%), squalene, tocopherols (especially gamma-tocopherol), phenolic compounds (ferulic acid, among others) and sterols. This combination of compounds makes it extremely useful for anti-aging, elasticity and moisturizing of skin and hair.
The properties of Argan Oil provide the following benefits:
- Anti-photoaging effect: due to its antioxidant action (by the presence of gamma-tocopherol, squalene and ferulic acid) it decreases oxidative damage to the skin. It helps to reduce the formation of wrinkles, slowing the signs of aging and diminishing expression lines.
- Emollient effect: it is quickly and efficiently absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin due to the activity of fatty acids (such as oleic and linoleic) and squalene, restoring the softness and flexibility of the skin and hair.
- Moisturizing effect: the combination of fatty acids and squalene contributes to the maintenance of the skin's protective barrier, reducing water loss and promoting hydration and elasticity.
What is argan oil used for?
It can be used for hair and skin care, including face, body and also nails, providing softness and a soothing effect.
In the hair, different studies have shown that argan oil reduces hair protein loss by 42%, which helps strengthen hair4 and gives it shine. On the skin, argan oil significantly restores the skin's elasticity.
How to use argan oil on the skin
You can apply the argan oil on the skin of your face, neck or body. Always on clean skin (wet or dry), massaging gently until the oil is completely absorbed.
- Alone or in addition to your usual moisturizer: argan oil can be applied alone or in addition to your daily moisturizing routine. In the latter case, a small amount of oil is placed in the palm of the hand and the necessary amount of your moisturizer or daily care lotion is added. Mix, and spread with a gentle massage on the face or body.
- For a glowing make-up: liquid gold is perfect for making your make-up look luminous and even softening your pores. This technique is known by many make-up artists as a 'gold-flecked oil face'. It consists of applying makeup foundation on different points of the face and before blending it, applying a few drops of organic argan oil on the makeup sponge or beauty blender, applying it with gentle touches.
How to use argan oil on your hair
Argan oil can be applied directly to the hair, but it can also be used to complement your regular shampoo or conditioner to enjoy its properties.
- Directly on clean and wet hair: after washing and before drying and styling, apply a small amount of argan oil from the middle to the ends, to achieve a final finish with shine and softness on the hair.
- Before shampooing wet hair: if your hair is very dry or damaged, you can apply the argan oil from the roots to the ends and leave it on for about 20-30 minutes before rinsing and washing. If your hair is greasy, apply it halfway to the ends and leave it for less than 20 minutes. You can also use it to repair split ends by applying a few drops to damaged ends and even leave it overnight before rinsing and washing.
- Combined with the shampoo or conditioner: put a few drops of oil in the palm of the hand and add the necessary amount of shampoo or conditioner. Mix, massage into the hair and rinse.