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Argan oil is an organic oil extracted from the kernels of a native Moroccan tree known as the Argan Tree. It is also known as the “miracle oil” or “liquid gold,” and is rich in nutrients such as Vitamin E, linoleic acid, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Argan oil is neither too heavy nor too light, and this makes it perfect for all skin types. It can help a great deal in moisturizing the skin, reducing acne, and eliminating dry skin patches. In this article, we’ll discuss the history of Argan oil and its benefits for your skin. Read on to know more.
History & Traditional uses of Argan Oil
Argan Oil has been used for its cosmetic benefits for centuries now. It has crossed the Moroccan borders and spanned continents across the world. The Argan tree is believed to have been born in the Argana village in Morocco. It is a wild tree that grows in the Southwest Moroccan region.
One of the very first uses of Argan Oil was to light oil lamps. It was also used as fuel by the Phoenicians. It was much later when its cosmetic properties were identified by the Berber tribe in Morocco, after which they started using Argan Oil for various cosmetic and beauty purposes. The Moroccans have been using Argan Oil as a hair conditioner and skin moisturizer since the olden times.
To date, even after almost 3,500 years, the South Moroccan Berber women are popular for their unmatched beauty. And, can you guess their beauty secret? Well, it has to be the magical Argan Oil.
Another significant traditional use of Argan Oil was the protection of the skin from extremely dry climate. The oil was also used in traditional Moroccan medicine for treating rheumatism, joint pains, chronic muscle aches, and preventing pregnancy stretch marks.
In the early 90s, the Argan tree became almost extinct. Even though substitute oils were being used to make up for the unavailability of Argan Oil –because of its wonderful skin benefits and health properties— it was recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999.
In Morocco, apart from providing people with skin and health benefits, the Argan tree also provides shelter, livelihood, and food. The tree has been a critical factor in maintaining the ecological balance of the Moroccan region. The roots of the Argan tree have been able to hold the ever-expanding Sahara Desert, and have also provided the region with stability when it comes to strong winds that bring with them soil erosion. The leaves and fruits of the Argan tree are fodder for animals, and the Argan tree canopy provides other vegetable plants with ample shade to grow.
Each tree of Argan can grow up to 10 meters long and live up to 200 years. During nighttime, the tree draws atmospheric moisture, stores water, and transports a part of it to the roots. During extreme weather conditions, the tree sheds its leaves to prevent evaporation and goes into a state of hibernation.
Argan Oil – Fast Facts
Here are some interesting, quick facts about Argan Oil:
- Argan Oil is widely used to eliminate and prevent strong bouts of acne breakouts.
- High Vitamin E content in Argan Oil helps in reducing scars.
- Argan Oil rapidly gets absorbed in the skin providing you with a younger look.
- Argan Oil contains twice the Vitamin E content present in Olive Oil.
- Argan Oil contains powerful antioxidants that protect the skin against free radical damage.
- Argan Oil comes with anti-aging properties and helps in eliminating wrinkles and fine lines.
- Argan Oil is safe for all age groups (including infants).
- Argan Oil can also be used as a pre-conditioner for all types of hair. It can also enhance the shine of your hair and prevent split ends.
- The Argan Forest in Morocco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Argan nut is as big as an olive. The initial color is green which changes to brown as the fruit matures.
- A typical tree of Argan yields around 8 kgs of Argan fruit.
Health & Beauty benefits of Argan Oil
Pure Argan Oil does not have any scent and can be used on the skin, hair, and nails to moisturize and nourish these areas. It slows down the aging process and prevents premature aging as it comes with very high levels of antioxidants and Vitamin E. The powerful antioxidants fight off free radicals that damage the skin and lead to aging.
Argan Oil renews the skin cells and makes the skin softer and smoother. It works with your body’s natural moisturization mechanism to minimize skin dryness and irritation. It is one of the most widely used oils for massaging the skin as it is less greasy and easily gets absorbed inside the skin.
If you overexposed your skin to the sun and are suffering from sunburns, you can apply Argan Oil to get respite from sunburns overnight. These are just some beauty benefits of Argan Oil. In the next section, we’ll discuss the skin benefits of Argan Oil in detail by looking at them one by one.
5 Argan Oil skin benefits you should know
There are 5 ways in which you can use Argan oil to get healthy, nourished, and spotless skin. Let’s look at them.
Argan Oil gets absorbed by the skin more quickly than many other essential oils without leaving any residue. It is therefore used as a moisturizer to get rid of skin dryness and hydrate the skin. The high omega-3 fatty acid and Vitamin E content in Argan Oil makes the skin soft and smooth. You can use it all over your body. Based on a study by the Department of Dermatology at the Medical University of Vienna’s General Hospital, it was established that a group of people using Argan Oil for 30 days had significantly better skin hydration. As a part of another research performed on post-menopausal women in 2014, it was found that women who used a small amount of pure Argan Oil every night for almost two months witnessed significant improvement in the ability of their skin to retain moisture.
How to use Argan Oil as a moisturizer?
Just take a few drops of Argan Oil into your palms and gently massage in outward circular motions to absorb the oil into your skin.
Argan Oil reduces the sebum levels in your body and prevents excess sebum/oil build-up on your skin. So, if you’re suffering from acne because of oily skin issues, you can use Argan Oil to prevent acne breakouts. Argan Oil soothes the affected areas and promotes natural skin healing. The high linoleic acid content present in Argan Oil helps in reducing skin inflammation caused by acne.
How to use Argan Oil as an anti-acne remedy?
Take a few drops of Argan Oil into your palms and very lightly dab it on the affected areas.
The antioxidant properties of Argan Oil make it an incredible anti-aging product. Argan Oil helps your skin fight against harmful free radicals and prevents wrinkles and fine lines. Continued use of Argan Oil can also help in restoring lost skin elasticity. A study published by Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2013 shows the recovery of melanoma cells after the application of Argan Oil. It can regulate the skin cells that have high melanin content, preventing skin cancer. Regularly applying Argan Oil to the skin can heal sunburns and eliminate sun spots.
How to use Argan Oil as an antioxidant?
Just take a few drops of Argan Oil into your palms and gently massage in outward circular motions to absorb the oil into your skin. Continue for two to three months after which you will begin to see the results.
Yes, that’s true. The high Vitamin E content in Argan Oil helps in strengthening your nails and keeping them healthy. The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of Argan Oil help in fighting off skin and nail infections that are a result of poor nail hygiene and health.
How to use Argan Oil for nails?
Place a drop of Argan Oil on each nail and gently rub it into the nail bed and cuticle. Leave it for half an hour and wash your nails thoroughly.
Apart from the skin benefits of Argan Oil mentioned here, it can also be used to treat hair loss and promote the growth of new hair. All you need to do is massage Argan Oil into your scalp three to four times a week.
Now that you know almost everything about Argan Oil, right from its history and traditional uses to its health and beauty benefits, why don’t you make it a part of your skincare regimen too? The best thing about the oil is that it is non-greasy and light, so you can even apply it when you leave home.