Argan Oil is cold pressed from the nuts of Argania spinosa. There is not an abundant supply of this precious oil, though it is a sustainable crop. The demand for this oil in cosmetics is extremely high resulting in it being one of the more costly carrier oils. Argan Oil is powerful enough that a little goes a long way making it a cost effective addition to skin care and bath and body care.
ARGANIA SPINOSA KERNEL OIL
ARGANIA SPINOSA KERNEL OIL is classified as :
CAS Number 223747-87-3
COSING REF No: 54495
Chem/IUPAC Name: Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil is the fixed oil expressed from the kernels, Argania Spinosa (L.), Sapotaceae
EC / List no.: 607-015-7
CAS no.: 223747-87-3
Aragnia spinosa | Argana spinosa (Argan) kernel oil | Argania spinosa (Argan kernel oil) | Argania spinosa (Argan kernel) oil | Argania spinosa (Argan) kernel oil | Argania spinosa (Argan) seed oil | Argania spinosa (kernel oil) | Argania spinosa kernel oil | Argania spinosa kernel oil (Argania spinosa) | Argania spinosa oil | Arganum spinosa oil | Argania spinosa oil / Argania spinosa kernel oil | Argania spinosa oil [Argania spinosa kernel oil] | Argania spinosa | Argania spinosa (Argan) oil | Argania spinosa (kernel) oil | Argania spinosa seed oil | Argania spinosa oil/Argania spinosa kernel oil | Argania spinosa kernel oil (huile d'argan) | Argania spinosa kernel oil (Huile d’argan bio) | Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Argan)
Argan Oil provides nourishment and shine from the tree of life. Highly concentrated in unsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols, and polyphenols. Helps to protect and restore skin functions, provides suppleness and softness, for nourishing and protecting formulations. This ECOCERT, COSMOS and NATRUE organic certified ingredient is a powerful natural shine enhancer and provides intensive care for dry or brittle hair. It contains 80% unsaturated fatty acids and is exceptionally rich in natural tocopherols, phenols, phenolic acid, and carotenes and is preservative free with low odor. ARGAN OIL is a clear, virgin deodorized, yellow colored oil obtained from the kernels of the endemic argan tree (Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil) for cosmetic use.
Argan Oil is one of the most sought after botanical oils in todays market.
With its unique composition of unsaturated fatty acids, carotenoids, plant sterols, polyphenols, ferulic acid, Vitamin E and squalene, it delivers a therapeutic profile that offers regenerative and restructuring activity to all of your skin care products.
This revitalizing oil improves skin's flexibility to improve skin softness while also offering anti-oxidant protection.
Most of the research on this oil showed it's best attribute to be the reduction of wrinkles and smoothing of skin, making it a great choice for all anti-aging and mature skin products.
Argan oil is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.) that is endemic to Morocco.
In Morocco, argan oil is used to dip bread in at breakfast or to drizzle on couscous or pasta. It is also used for cosmetic purposes
Argan oil consists mostly of fatty acids:
Fatty acid Percentage
Argan oil has a relative density at 20 °C (68 °F) ranging from 0.906 to 0.919.
Argan oil contains tocopherols (vitamin E), phenols, carotenes, squalene, and fatty acids, (80% unsaturated fatty acids) The main natural phenols in argan oil are caffeic acid, oleuropein, vanillic acid, tyrosol, catechol, resorcinol, (−)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin.
Depending on the extraction method, argan oil may be more resistant to oxidation than olive oil.
In Morocco, the oil is used as a foodstuff, for dipping bread, or on couscous, and for medicinal use.
Amlu, a thick brown paste with a consistency similar to peanut butter, is used locally as a bread dip. It is produced by grinding roasted almond and argan oil using stones, and then mixing the argan oil and almonds in honey.
Various claims about the beneficial effects on health due to the consumption of argan oil have been made. A research article published in 2010 found that argan oil contained higher levels than other oils of γ-Tocopherol, which possesses strong chemopreventive and anti-inflammatory properties.
Since the early 2000s argan oil has been increasingly used in cosmetics and hair care preparations. As of 2020, the main cosmetics products containing argan oil are face creams, lip glosses, shampoos, moisturizers, and soaps
Appearance: Golden Semi Viscous Liquid
Odor: Characteristic Fatty / Slightly Nutty
Solubility: Oil Soluble
Absorption: Rapid, Complete
Storage: Tightly Sealed, Protected from Direct Heat / Light / Moisture
Shelf: 24 Months when Properly Stored / Handled
up to 100%
skin care emulsions 1 to 4%
body emulsions 2 to 10%
skin / body oils, salves, balms 5 to 100%
shampoos / cleansers 2 to 5%
don't be concerned due to other suppliers indicating that this oil is hard to use in formulation due to high HLB requirements, the composition of this oil is different from the more common carrier oils but it will not jeopardize the stability of your formulations and it does not require solvents, such as the polysorbates, just choose the emulsifiers as you would for any other carrier oils and make adjustments to your oil phase if necessary
skin care creams, lotions, scrubs, cleansers
bath and body creams, lotions, scrubs, cleansers
hair / scalp conditioners
after sun care
anti-aging skin care
firmness / elasticity
ARGAN OIL- Argania Spinosa: Triterpenoids, the active ingredients in argan oil have a surprisingly high potential of protecting the skin. This oil heals the wounds, protects the skin from sun, disinfects and eliminates infection with the ingredients it includes. Increases elasticity by deeply moisturizing the skin. Can be used by pregnant women to prevent skin cracks.
Pure Argan oil ozonated with active oxygen (O3) has revolutionary effects in hair, face and body care. With high oxygen concentration, strong antioxydants in argan oil help the fatty acids, vitamins A and E strongly penetrate into the skin.
The production of argan oil by traditional methods
The fruit of the argan tree is small, and round, oval, or conical. A thick peel covers the fleshy pulp. The pulp surrounds a hard-shelled nut that represents about 25% of the weight of the fresh fruit.
The nut contains one to three oil-rich argan kernels. Extraction yields from 30% to 50% of the oil in the kernels, depending on the extraction method.
It takes about 40 kilograms (88 lb) of dried argan fruit to produce only one litre of oil.
Extraction is key to the production process. To extract the kernels, workers first dry argan fruit in the open air and then remove the fleshy pulp. Some producers remove the flesh mechanically without drying the fruit. Moroccans usually use the flesh as animal feed.
A tradition in some areas of Morocco allows goats to climb argan trees to feed freely on the fruits. The kernels are then later retrieved from the goat droppings, considerably reducing the labour involved in extraction at the expense of some potential gustatory aversion. In modern practice, the peels are removed by hand.
The next stage involves cracking the argan nut to obtain the argan kernels. Attempts to mechanize this process have been unsuccessful, so workers still do it by hand, making it a time-consuming, labour-intensive process. Berber women often engage in this arduous task.
Workers gently roast kernels they will use to make culinary argan oil. After the argan kernels cool, workers grind and press them.
The brown-coloured mash expels pure, unfiltered argan oil. Finally, they decant unfiltered argan oil into vessels. The remaining press cake is protein-rich and frequently used as cattle feed.
Cosmetic argan oil is produced almost identically, though the argan kernels are not roasted to avoid an excessively nutty scent.
The decanted argan oil is left to rest about two weeks so the suspended solids settle to the bottom. The clearer argan oil is further filtered, depending on the required clarity and purity. Pure argan oil may contain some sediment.
Plantation of argans
After the first sales in the US of the cosmetic product in 2003, demand soared and production increased.
In 2012 the Moroccan government planned for increased production, then around 2,500 tonnes, to 4,000 tonnes by 2020.
It was found that stocks of argan oil were being diluted with oils such as sunflower, as the extraction process for pure argan oil can be difficult, and is costly.
In 2012, the Moroccan government started to randomly pull argan shipments and test for purity before exporting.
By 2020, production had increased exponentially, especially after studies had suggested health benefits.
Almost all of the oil is sourced in Morocco, and is forecast to reach 19,623 US tons (17,802 tonnes) in 2022, up from 4,836 (4387 tonnes) in 2014; in value terms, US$1.79 billion (GB£1.4 bn).
The area of producing the oil is expanding: in 2020 it had started near the city of Agadir, 175 kilometres (109 mi) south of the traditional argan-producing area of Essaouira, and is due to expand north.
40 kilograms (88 lb) of dried argan fruit only produces one litre of oil.
Mechanically extracted oil production has started, with the industrial scale driving down prices, impacting the small co-operatives, where work is mostly done by Berber women in the traditional, labour-intensive way.
Mechanically produced oil can cost as little as US$22 a litre, less than half the cost of oil made by the cooperatives. This can have a great social impact.
However, the huge cosmetics company L'Oréal has pledged to source all of its argan oil from the small co-operatives that sign up to the principles of fair trade.
The argan tree provides food, shelter and protection from desertification.
The trees' deep roots help prevent desert encroachment.
The canopy of argan trees also provides shade for other agricultural products, and the leaves and fruit provide feed for animals
The argan tree also helps landscape stability, helping to prevent soil erosion, providing shade for pasture grasses, and helping to replenish aquifers.
Producing argan oil has helped to protect argan trees from being cut down.
In addition, regeneration of the Arganeraie has also been carried out: in 2009 an operation to plant 4,300 argan plants was launched in Meskala in the province of Essaouira.
The Réseau des Associations de la Réserve de Biosphère Arganeraie (Network of Associations of the Argan Biosphere Reserve, RARBA) was founded in 2002 with the aim of ensuring sustainable development in the Arganeraie.
RARBA has been involved with several major projects, including the Moroccan national antidesertification programme (Programme National de Lutte contre la desertification, PAN/LCD).
The project involved local populations and helped with improvements to basic infrastructure, management of natural resources, revenue-generating activities (including argan oil production), capacity reinforcement, and others.
Argan paste making in Morocco.
The production of argan oil has always had a socioeconomic function.
At present, its production supports about 2.2 million people in the main argan oil-producing region, the Arganeraie.
Much of the argan oil produced today is made by a number of women's co-operatives.
Co-sponsored by the Social Development Agency with the support of the European Union, the Union des Cooperatives des Femmes de l’Arganeraie is the largest union of argan oil co-operatives in Morocco.
It comprises 22 co-operatives that are found in other parts of the region.
As of 2020, there were around 300 small firms, mostly co-operatives, in the area about 25 kilometres (16 mi) inland from Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast.
The women who harvest the seeds are mostly of the Berber ethnic group, with traditional skills dating from generations ago.
Employment in the co-operatives provides women with an income, which many have used to fund education for themselves or their children.
It has also provided them with a degree of autonomy in a traditionally male-dominated society and has helped many become more aware of their rights
The success of the argan co-operatives has also encouraged other producers of agricultural products to adopt the co-operative model.
The establishment of the co-operatives has been aided by support from within Morocco, notably the Foundation Mohamed VI pour la Recherche et la Sauvegarde de l’Arganier (Mohammed VI Foundation for Research and Protection of the Argan Tree), and from international organisations, including Canada's International Development Research Centre and the European Commission.
Argan Oil: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Uses
Argan oil is best known as an additive to hair and skin products, but its uses go beyond cosmetic. Argan oil has a sweet, nutty flavor that’s perfect for a wide variety of foods. It’s also known as one of the rarest culinary oils in the world.
The oil comes from the argan tree, which is native to Morocco. The fruit is peeled away and the seeds are dried, roasted, and pressed to extract the oil. The final result is a smooth, delicious oil that’s become popular around the world for its flavor and health benefits.
The fats and antioxidants in argan oil can help your body stay healthier.
The high concentration of vitamin E in argan oil makes it effective at boosting the immune system. It also helps your body maintain and repair your eyes and skin.
Other health benefits of argan oil include:
The fatty acids in argan oil can help boost your levels of “good” cholesterol and lower “bad”cholesterol, potentially reducing your risk of heart disease.
Cancer -Fighting Properties
Some early studies show that argan oil compounds may slow cancer growth and increase cancer cell death.
Applying argan oil to your skin can help support skin health and elasticity. This results in skin that is slower to sag or wrinkle, preventing common signs of aging.
The same properties that make argan oil helpful for keeping skin looking young may also help wounds heal. The antioxidants found in argan oil can help reduce inflammation. One early study showed that burns heal faster when argan oil is regularly applied, but human trials still need to be done before argan oil can be officially prescribed.
Argan oil is produced from the kernels of the argan tree. In Morroco, where Lush buys the precious oil, the very hard kernels are crushed by hand by women from different co-operatives, in respect of the traditional method. The released seeds are then sent to Agadir where they are pressed to make the oil.
Argan oil is traditionally used as a treatment for skin conditions, including acne and eczema. It contains high levels of fatty acids including linoleic acid which is anti-inflammatory and therefore will soothe the skin, and oleic acid which will protect and condition skin, scalp, and hair as well as restoring hydration.
There's also a lot of vitamins in this oil which are said to be antioxidant like the well-known vitamin E. Antioxidants are compounds that are thought to counteract the oxidation of the skin cells, which means they'll improve skin's appearance and strength.
1. Contains Essential Nutrients
Argan oil is primarily comprised of fatty acids and a variety of phenolic compounds.
The majority of the fat content of argan oil comes from oleic and linoleic acid (1).
Approximately 29–36% of the fatty acid content of argan oil comes from linoleic acid, or omega-6, making it a good source of this essential nutrient (1).
Oleic acid, though not essential, makes up 43–49% of the fatty acid composition of argan oil and is also a very healthy fat. Found in olive oil as well, oleic acid is renowned for its positive impact on heart health (1, 2Trusted Source).
Additionally, argan oil is a rich source of vitamin E, which is required for healthy skin, hair and eyes. This vitamin also has powerful antioxidant properties (1).
Argan oil provides a good source of linoleic and oleic fatty acids, two fats known to support good health. It also boasts high levels of vitamin E.
2. Has Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The various phenolic compounds in argan oil are likely responsible for most of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities.
Argan oil is rich in vitamin E, or tocopherol, a fat-soluble vitamin that serves as a potent antioxidant to reduce the damaging effects of free radicals (1).
Other compounds present in argan oil, such as CoQ10, melatonin and plant sterols, also play a role in its antioxidant capacity (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
A recent study revealed a significant reduction in inflammatory markers in mice fed argan oil prior to exposure to a highly inflammatory liver toxin, compared to the control group (6Trusted Source).
Additionally, some research indicates that argan oil can also be applied directly to your skin to reduce inflammation caused by injuries or infections (7Trusted Source).
Although these results are encouraging, more research is needed to understand how argan oil can be used medicinally in humans to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Multiple compounds in argan oil may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, though more research is needed.
3. May Boost Heart Health
Argan oil is a rich source of oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated, omega-9 fat (1).
Oleic acid is also present in several other foods, including avocado and olive oils, and is often credited with heart-protective effects (2Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
One small human study noted that argan oil was comparable to olive oil in its capacity to reduce heart disease risk through its impact on antioxidant levels in the blood (9Trusted Source).
In another small human study, a higher intake of argan oil was associated with lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and higher blood levels of antioxidants (10Trusted Source).
In a study on heart disease risk in 40 healthy people, those who consumed 15 grams of argan oil daily for 30 days experienced a 16% and 20% reduction in “bad” LDL and triglyceride levels, respectively (11).
Although these results are promising, larger studies are necessary to better understand how argan oil may support heart health in humans.
Argan oil’s fatty acids and antioxidants may help reduce heart disease risk, though more research is needed.
4. May Have Benefits for Diabetes
Some early animal research indicates argan oil may help prevent diabetes.
Two studies resulted in a significant reduction in both fasting blood sugar and insulin resistance in mice fed a high-sugar diet alongside argan oil (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
These studies largely attributed these benefits to the antioxidant content of the oil.
However, such results do not necessarily imply that the same effects would be seen in humans. Therefore, human research is needed.
Some animal studies indicate argan oil may reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance to help prevent diabetes. That said, human studies are lacking.
5. May Have Anticancer Effects
Argan oil may slow the growth and reproduction of certain cancer cells.
One test-tube study applied polyphenolic compounds from argan oil to prostate cancer cells. The extract inhibited cancer cell growth by 50% compared to the control group (14Trusted Source).
In another test-tube study, a pharmaceutical-grade mixture of argan oil and vitamin E increased the rate of cell death on breast and colon cancer cell samples (15Trusted Source).
Although this preliminary research is intriguing, more research is needed to determine whether argan oil could be used to treat cancer in humans.
Some test-tube studies revealed potential cancer-fighting effects of argan oil, though more studies are needed.
6. May Reduce Signs of Skin Aging
Argan oil has quickly become a popular ingredient for many skin care products.
Some research suggests that dietary intake of argan oil may help slow the aging process by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress (16Trusted Source).
It may also support repair and maintenance of healthy skin when applied directly to your skin, thus reducing visual signs of aging (7Trusted Source).
Some human studies show argan oil — both ingested and administered directly — to be effective for increasing skin elasticity and hydration in postmenopausal women (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
Ultimately, more human research is needed.
A few small studies indicate that argan oil may be effective at reducing signs of aging, either when ingested or applied directly to your skin.
7. May Treat Some Skin Conditions
Argan oil has been a popular home remedy for treating inflammatory skin conditions for decades — especially in North Africa, where argan trees originate.
Although there’s limited scientific evidence supporting argan oil’s ability to treat specific skin infections, it is still frequently used for this purpose.
However, current research indicates that argan oil does contain several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may be why it seems to treat skin tissue (7Trusted Source).
Keep in mind that more research is needed.
While argan oil has been traditionally used to treat skin infections, there is limited evidence to support this. That said, anti-inflammatory compounds may benefit skin tissue.
8. May Promote Wound Healing
Argan oil may accelerate the wound healing process.
One animal study revealed a significant increase in wound healing in rats given argan oil on their second-degree burns twice daily for 14 days (19Trusted Source).
Although this data doesn’t prove anything with certainty, it does indicate a possible role for argan oil in wound healing and tissue repair.
That said, human research is needed.
In one animal study, argan oil applied to burn wounds accelerated healing. However, human research is needed.
9. May Moisturize Skin and Hair
The oleic and linoleic acids that make up the majority of argan oil’s fat content are vital nutrients for maintaining healthy skin and hair (1, 20).
Argan oil is often directly administered to skin and hair but may also be effective when ingested.
In one study, both oral and topical applications of argan oil improved the moisture content of the skin in postmenopausal women (18Trusted Source).
Although there isn’t any research on the specific use of argan oil for hair health, some studies indicate that other plant oils with a comparable nutritional profile may reduce split ends and other types of hair damage (21Trusted Source).
Argan oil is popularly used to moisturize skin and hair. Some research indicates the fatty acids in argan oil may support healthy, hydrated skin and reduce hair damage.
10. Often Used to Treat and Prevent Stretch Marks
Argan oil is frequently used to prevent and reduce stretch marks, although no research has been conducted to prove its efficacy.
In fact, there is no strong evidence that any kind of topical treatment is an effective tool for stretch mark reduction (22Trusted Source).
However, research does indicate that argan oil may help reduce inflammation and improve the elasticity of skin — which could be why so many people report success in using it for stretch marks (7Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
Argan oil is often used as a remedy for treating stretch marks, although no scientific data supports this.
11. Sometimes Used to Treat Acne
Some sources claim argan oil to be an effective treatment for acne, although no rigorous scientific research supports this.
That said, argan oil’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds may support reduced redness and irritation of the skin caused by acne (7Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).
The oil also may contribute to skin hydration, which is important for acne prevention (18Trusted Source).
Whether argan oil is effective in treating your acne likely depends on its cause. If you struggle with dry skin or general irritation, argan oil may provide a solution. However, if your acne is caused by hormones, argan oil will not likely provide significant relief.
Though some people claim that argan oil is effective for treating acne, no studies support this. However, it may reduce redness and soothe irritation caused by acne.
12. Easy to Add to Your Routine
As argan oil has become increasingly popular, it’s easier than ever to add it to your health and beauty routine.
It is widely available in most major grocery stores, drug stores and online retailers.
Argan oil is usually used topically in its pure form — but also frequently included in cosmetic products like lotions and skin creams.
While it can be applied directly to your skin, it may be best to start with a very small amount to ensure that you won’t have any adverse reactions.
You can apply argan oil directly to damp or dry hair to improve moisture, reduce breakage, or reduce frizz.
It is also sometimes included in shampoos or conditioners.
If it’s your first time using it, start with a small amount to see how your hair responds. If you have naturally oily roots, apply argan only to the ends of your hair to avoid greasy-looking hair.
If you’re interested in using argan oil with food, look for varieties specifically marketed for cooking, or make sure you’re buying 100% pure argan oil.
Argan oil marketed for cosmetic purposes may be mixed with other ingredients that you shouldn’t ingest.
Traditionally, argan oil is used for dipping bread or drizzling on couscous or vegetables. It can also be lightly heated, but it is not appropriate for high-heat dishes as it can easily burn.
Because of its recent rise in popularity, argan oil is widely available and easy to use for skin, hair and food.
The Bottom Line
Argan oil has been used for centuries for a variety of culinary, cosmetic and medicinal purposes.
It is rich in essential nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Early research indicates that argan oil may help prevent chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It may also treat a variety of skin conditions.
While current research cannot definitively state that argan oil is effective for treating any of these conditions, many people report desirable results after using it.
What Is Argan Oil?
Derived from the kernels of the argan tree, argan oil can be used in the kitchen (as it typically is in Morocco, where its tree is native to) or for cosmetic reasons. The oil itself can be found in its pure form, and because of its slew of beauty benefits, it can be applied topically to the skin, nails, and hair to hydrate and nourish (more on that later).1 While it can be easy to treat argan oil like a miracle worker (because let's face it, in some cases, it really is), it shouldn't be used as the primary remedy for conditions of serious hair loss—in cases like these, it's best to visit your doctor.
The Benefits of Argan Oil
Both Hughes and Fitzsimons agree that much of argan oil's magic stems from its composition: It's rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you're looking to make hair softer and more manageable (aren't we all?), this can be your go-to oil. "Argan oil is an age-old beauty secret that has many uses, namely helping to hydrate and soften the hair," says Hughes. "With its high content of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E, the benefits of argan oil naturally help to increase hair's elasticity and consistently restore shine to dull, lifeless hair."
Fitzsimons agrees with the power of argan oil, adding that the vitamin E it contains is crucial to the health of our hair, as its rich antioxidant properties help neutralize hair damage from free radicals and other elements. "Whether we realize it or not, we put our hair through a lot of damage with everyday pollution, chemical treatments, and hot tools," he says. "Vitamin E—which argan oil is high in—helps keep your follicles free from damage all while helping to prevent splitting and breakage."
Argan oil is a natural oil extracted from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa), which is native to Morocco. Rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, argan oil is often used in skincare as an anti-aging product. Argan oil is also used for culinary purposes, the consumption of which is believed to have medical benefits, including the treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Argan oil is marketed for several different purposes, hair care and skin treatment chief among them. In recent years, argan oil has become so popular in cosmetics that the Moroccan government has stepped up efforts to increase the cultivation of argan tree groves. It's sometimes even called "liquid gold."1
No less popular is argan oil's culinary uses. Consumers are not only drawn to its mild, spicy flavor (reminiscent of pumpkin seed oil), but also its purported health benefits. As a polyunsaturated oil, it is considered heart-healthy with similar benefits to olive oil.
Proponents claim that argan oil can treat a broad range of skin conditions, including acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns, and skin infections. The high concentration of antioxidants in argan oil— including oleic acid and linoleic acid—has led some to claim that it can fight aging by neutralizing free radicals that damage cells.
Dermatologists also say that omega-3 fatty acids found in argan oil may boost collagen production and plump your skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
In addition to its use in skin creams, lotions, serums, face masks, and ointments, argan oil is often incorporated into shampoos and conditioners or used as massage oil.
According to a 2015 study in Clinical Interventions in Aging, the topical use of argan oil in postmenopausal women led to a significant increase in the elasticity of the skin after 60 days. This effect was further enhanced by the oral consumption of argan oil in half of the participating women. While promising, note that conclusions were limited by the absence of a placebo control group.
Argan oil's benefit in treating burns and skin infections is far less certain. Although argan oil is known to have antibacterial properties, it is unknown if the effect is potent enough to prevent infection or aid in healing.
A 2016 study in Ostomy Wound Healing hinted at a benefit, wherein rats treated for second-degree burns with argan oil appeared to heal faster than those treated with either 1% silver sulfadiazine (a standard burn cream) or a placebo. (Results of any animal research must be replicated in humans for them to be considered applicable.)
How to Get Healthy Skin at Any Age
Argan oil is thought to improve hair quality by preventing damage to the exterior cuticle of the hair shaft while preserving the natural pigments (melanin) that provide hair its color.
According to a 2013 study from Brazil, argan oil was able to enhance hair quality and dye retention after undergoing multiple hair coloring treatments. Hair coloring is one of the harshest procedures hair can undergo, and argan oil appears to have a protective effect when compared to commercial hair conditioners.
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Oral Therapeutic Uses
Some proponents believe that that consumption of argan oil can help treat or prevent certain medical conditions, including osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, and atherosclerosis. To date, there are few scientific studies to support these claims.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine concluded that diabetic mice given argan oil experienced far greater reductions in blood sugar than untreated mice with the condition. Moreover, the oil appeared to stabilize blood pressure—something that did not occur in the mice who did not receive treatment.
A similar study in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases reported that argan oil blunted the effects of obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet. Compared to untreated mice, those given argan oil had lower total cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin, and "bad" LDL cholesterol levels. With that being said, argan oil did not increase "good" HDL cholesterol levels vital to heart health.
Whether these same benefits can be replicated in humans has yet to be seen. Sadly, argan oil remains understudied compared to other heart-healthy polyunsaturated oils.
Possible Side Effects
Argan oil is generally considered safe for consumption and topical use. However, in some people, argan oil may cause a form of allergy known as contact dermatitis, characterized by the development of rash, redness, and itchiness at the site of application.2
Argan oil also contains tocopherols, a form of vitamin E, which may slow blood clotting and interact with anticoagulants like Coumadin (warfarin). Whether the concentration of tocopherols in argan oil is enough to instigate an interaction is unknown.
Dosage and Preparation
Argan oil is sold as a culinary ingredient and as a general health tonic. Oftentimes, there will be no discernible difference between the two options other than the price. Argan cooking oil is generally cheaper, although high-quality, cold-pressed oils can sometimes be as costly, ounce-per-ounce, as therapeutic oils.
There are no guidelines for the appropriate use of argan oil. When used topically, most manufacturers recommend dabbing a few drops onto the skin or massaging the oil into the scalp before combing it through your hair.
Argan Oil for Skin Health
Benefits of argan oil for skin
Side effects and risks
Argan oil is made from the kernels that grow on the argan trees native to Morocco. It’s most frequently sold as pure oil, which can be directly applied topically (directly to the skin) or ingested in order to provide several health benefits. It comes in supplement capsule form to be taken by mouth. It’s also commonly mixed into a number of cosmetic products like shampoos, soaps, and conditioners.
Argan oil has traditionally been used both topically and orally to improve the health of skin, hair, and nails. It contains a number of different beneficial properties and vitamins that form a powerful combination to boost skin health.
Benefits of argan oil for skin
1. Protects from sun damage
Moroccan women have long used argan oil to protect their skin from sun damage, a practice was supported by a 2013 studyTrusted Source.
This study found that the antioxidant activity in argan oil helped protect the skin against free radical damage caused by the sun. This prevented burns and hyperpigmentation as a result. Long term, this may even help prevent against the development of skin cancer, including melanoma.
You can take argan oil supplements orally or apply the oil topically to your skin for these benefits.
2. Moisturizes skin
Argan oil is perhaps most commonly used as a moisturizer. This is why it’s often found in lotions, soaps, and hair conditioners. It can be applied topically or ingested orally with daily supplements for a moisturizing effect. This is largely thanks to its abundance of vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can help improve water retention in the skin.
3. Treats a number of skin conditions
Argan oil contains a large number of healing properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Both help reduce symptoms for a number of different inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and rosacea.
For best results, apply pure argan oil directly to patches of skin affected by psoriasis. Rosacea may be best treated by taking oral supplements.
4. Treats acne
Hormonal acne is often the result of excess sebum that’s caused by hormones. Argan oil has anti-sebum effects, which can effectively regulate amounts of sebum on the skin. This can help to treat several different types of acne and promote a smoother, calmer complexion.
Apply argan oil — or face creams containing argan oil — directly to your skin at least twice a day. You should start to see results after four weeks.
5. Heals skin infections
One of argan oil’s traditional uses is to treat skin infections. Argan oil has both antibacterial and fungicidal properties. This gives it the capability to help treat and prevent both bacterial and fungal skin infections.
Apply argan oil to the affected area topically at least twice per day.
6. Improves wound healing
Antioxidants are clearly a powerful force. The strong combination of antioxidants and vitamin E found in argan oil can be used to help wounds and cuts heal fasterTrusted Source. You can take argan oil supplements regularly to experience this benefit throughout your body.
7. Soothes atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is a common skin condition with symptoms like itchy, red skin. Research has found that applying argan oil topically to the affected area can help treat symptoms. Vitamin E and the natural inflammatory properties found in argan oil can both lead to this soothing effect.
8. Has anti-aging effects
Argan oil has long been used as an anti-aging treatment. Though it was only ever supported by anecdotal evidence, a recent study with postmenopausal participantsTrusted Source was able to back up this claim. Researchers found that a combination of oral and cosmetic argan oil led to a significant increase in elasticity of the skin. This provided an effective anti-aging treatment.
9. Reduces skin’s oiliness
Some of us have naturally oiler skin than others. Those who do often go out of their way to get rid of the oily sheen that can occur. Thanks to argan oil’s sebum-reducing capabilities, it can help decrease total sebum and reduce oiliness of the skin.
One study found that a twice-daily application of cream that contained argan oil reduced significant sebum activity and oiliness within just four weeks.
10. Prevents and reduces stretch marks
Stretch marks are particularly common during pregnancy, but anyone can experience them. One 2016 studyTrusted Source found that a water-in-oil cream containing argan oil improved skin elasticity. This helped prevent and treat stretch marks early on.
Side effects and risks
Argan oil is generally considered safe for most people to use. Some individuals, however, may experience minor side effects as a result of its use.
When used topically, argan oil may irritate the skin. This can cause rashes or acne to form. This may be a more common reaction with those who have tree nut allergies. Even though argan oil comes from a stone fruit, it may aggravate those with such allergies. To avoid this, you should test argan oil on a small, easily hidden patch of skin to make sure that it won’t irritate your skin.
When ingested orally, argan oil may cause digestive upset including nausea, gas, or diarrhea. It may also cause loss of appetite or bloating, and some people may experience skin reactions like rashes or acne breakouts.
In very rare cases, people may experience more severe side effects to the argan oil oral supplement. These include confusion, difficulty sleeping, general malaise, overexcitement, depression, and agitation. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking argan oil immediately.
WHAT IS ARGAN OIL?
Moroccan women have been using argan oil for the argan oil skin benefits and hair benefits it contains for centuries, but what is argan oil, and what makes it so effective?
argan oil nut
4 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT ARGAN OIL
It is one of the rarest oils in the world.
Moroccans often use it to massage their babies, as locals are convinced of its health properties.
In 1999, the Moroccan argan forest was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Goats really enjoy eating the fruity flesh of the argan fruit and often climb the trees to access it.
WHAT IS ARGAN OIL?
Argan oil is produced by the nuts found on argan trees which are native to Morocco - these nuts contain between 1 and 3 oil-rich argan kernels which is then extracted by cracking and roasting the nuts to produce what we know as argan oil.
Argan oil contains lots of beneficial ingredients for health, hair care, and skin care including:
Vitamin E - helps maintain healthy skin and eyes, and strengthens the body's immune system
Phenols - found in plant-based compounds like argan oil, this acts as a highly effective antioxidant helping to prevent damage to DNA from free radicals
Carotenes - this is converted by the body into Vitamin A which supports healthy skin, eyes, and boosts your immune system
Fatty acids - help to produce the skin's natural oil barrier so therefore helps to keep skin looking hydrated, plumper, and younger looking
Argan oil is prepared from the fruits of argan trees (Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels) following a multistep process.
When the kernels contained in the argan fruits are slightly roasted prior to grinding, edible argan oil is obtained. Unroasted kernels are saved to prepare an oil used in cosmetology. Until the 1980’s, argan oil was, at best, considered as a tourist attraction sold in recycled plastic bottles along the dusty Moroccan roads. It is now frequently referred to as “the world’s most expensive vegetable oil”. Such metamorphosis is the result of an intensive program aimed at preserving the argan tree through the production of high-grade argan oil in rural women cooperatives . This program has necessitated the improvement of argan oil production techniques, and the ascertainment of argan oil chemical and microbiological quality. The cardiovascular-protective properties of argan oil have ascertained its popularity among consumers. After a brief description of the importance of the argan tree in the Moroccan economic system, this review will successively describe these three aspects. 2
The argan tree The argan tree of the family Sapotaceae is only endemic in Morocco, where argan groves naturally cover about 8000 km2 .
The argan tree is a slow-growing spiny tree and is either shrubby or up to 10 m high when isolated and growing in a favorable environment .
The argan tree life span frequently exceeds 200 years. The argan tree actively protects the superficial earth crust against heavy rain or wind-induced erosion. Because its root network reaches deeply into the soil, the argan tree presents the ability to resist severe drought, and it is often the ultimate warrior when the desert is encroaching on the land. The argan tree’s large canopy also shades domestic cultures and maintains the soil fertility. Because in Morocco traditional rural rules consider the argan grove as a public property where dwellers can freely circulate, argan tree leaves are frequently used by native farmers as “hanging forage” for goats or camels
Such practice, associated with (1) the overuse
of argan wood as fuel, (2) the necessity to obtain more land to always produce more fresh vegetables for the tourism industry, and (3) several consecutive unprecedented arid years, has fragmented the argan groves, rendering the argan tree a possibly endangered species. To rescue the argan groves, the phytochemical analysis of the argan tree began 15 years ago in order to putatively discover new economically interesting molecules and hence increase the argan tree market value. Indeed, several new secondary metabolites have been isolated from different parts of the tree [3–6] and molecules useful in the cosmetology domain have been identified from its leaves . However, argan oil remains the main viable economic resource produced by the argan tree so far. Its worldwide marketing is currently being successfully achieved and is giving to the argan groves the necessary momentum to positively envision their rescue. Nevertheless, only the discovery of new outputs for argan products will ascertain the safety of the argan groves in the long term
Traditionally, argan oil is exclusively prepared by women . Once the ripe fruits have been collected, their peel and pulp are discarded, affording ovoid argan nuts of the size of a big olive. Argan nuts are then manually broken, the women firmly holding them between their thumb and index finger along the longest seed diagonal and violently hitting them with a stone. The kernels are then collected and roasted for a few minutes in clay plates if dietary argan oil is to be prepared. The roasted kernels are then crushed with a manual millstone, affording a brownish dough that is subsequently hand-mixed with warm water for several minutes. The wet dough is then hand-pressed, becomes solid and releases a brown emulsion that is decanted after several minutes to furnish the argan oil. The extraction residue (press cake) is very bitter, still rich in oil and used to feed cattle. Preparation of argan oil by the traditional method is very slow, and for a single person, starting from the collected fruits, 20 h of work are necessary to prepare 1 L of oil. The preservation of traditionally prepared argan oil is often limited to a few weeks, and natives believe that the addition of salt increases the preservation period. Traditionally prepared argan oil suffers from many drawbacks, definitively precluding its large-scale marketing. For example, the added water is often of poor microbiological quality; to avoid the time-consuming fruit peeling step, argan fruits are frequently given to goats that naturally reject “peeled” argan nuts in their stools and, finally, even prepared by the same woman, different batches of traditionally prepared argan oil taste differently, the taste being sometimes not satisfactory for the consumers. The use of unsatisfactory sanitary conditions also reduces the preservation time of argan oil (sometimes to just a few weeks). However, when prepared according to sanitarily controlled rules, traditionally prepared argan oil can be preserved for up to 1 year. 3.2 Extraction method developed in the women cooperatives In the women cooperatives, strict rules for the preparation of argan oil have been implemented . Furthermore, argan oil is extracted using mechanical presses, making the mixing of the dough and water unnecessary. Simultaneously, the use of presses has dramatically increased the yield in oil, with the press cake now containing less than 10% of oil. In the women cooperatives, fruit peeling is achieved using scratching machines that pull out the fruit peel and pulp. For the roasting step, gas roasters are used. Because the delicate hazelnut taste of dietary argan oil is a consequence of the roasting procedure, standardization of this step has allowed the production of an oil of reproducible flavor on a large scale. In the cooperatives, the overall time necessary to prepare 1 L of oil has been reduced by one fifth compared to the traditional method, the most painful tasks being the most shortened. 3.3 Industrial method For industrial or laboratory purposes, argan oil can be extracted from pulverized kernels by lipophilic solvents. After solvent evaporation, argan oil is directly obtained. Only the cosmetics industry uses argan oil prepared according to this method. The term “enriched argan oil” describes an argan oil obtained by flash distillation of argan oil prepared by one of the above-mentioned methods . The level of unsaponifiable matter (see Section 4) in this type of oil is three times lower than that observed in the press-extracted oil. 4 Chemical features and composition of argan oil The edible argan oil density at 20 7C, relative to the density of water at the same temperature, ranges from 0.906 to 0.919. At the same temperature, its refractive index is 1.463–1.472, and its acid value between 0.8 and 2.5 . The acid value easily discriminates extra-virgin argan oil, fine-virgin argan oil, virgin argan oil, and lampante argan oil (Table 1); the acid value of extra-virgin argan oil must be lower than 0.8 . The variability of the extra-virgin argan oil acid value as a function of various parameters has been studied. Together with the seed origin, the technology associated with argan oil extraction is also a parameter possibly modifying the argan oil acid value . Comparing argan oil samples prepared from roasted versus non-roasted kernels, mechanically peeled versus goatdigested fruits, and fruits originating from different geographical regions, acid values ranging between 0.15 and 0.9 have been observed .
Dietary argan oil is considered by the Berber population to be choleretic, hepatoprotective, and useful to treat hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis [18, 19]. Argan oil would also prevent miscarriage. Cosmetic-grade oil cures skin pimples, juvenile acne, and chicken pox pustules. It also reduces the rate of appearance of wrinkles and is used to fight dry skin and dry hair
Argan oil, produced from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa), has been shown to have antioxidant properties. To examine the effect of argan oil in second-degree burn wound healing, an in vivo experiment was conducted among 30 adult male Wistar rats divided into 5 equal groups: a sham group, a control group (burned but no topical agent), a group in which argan oil was applied once a day, a group in which argan oil was applied twice a day, and a group treated with 1% silver sulfadiazine once a day.Second-degree burns were created by scalding hot water (85˚ C for 15 seconds). Treatment began 24 hours after the burn injury; in the argan oil groups, 1 mL of argan oil was administered via syringe to the wound. The rate of wound healing was quantified by wound measurements on days 1, 7, and 14 after burn injury. Tissues were analyzed for molecular and histologic changes in TGF-β expression and fibroblast activity. Percent contraction of burned skin tissue was determined using the stereo investigator program, which calculated the burn field to the millimeter. Means (SD) were calculated and compared using Duncan’s multiple comparison test. The group receiving argan oil twice daily showed significantly increased mRNA levels of TGF-β1 from 39.66- to 58.70-fold compared to the burn control group on day 14 (P <0.05). Both argan oil-treated groups showed significantly increased contraction compared to the burn control group at all 3 timepoints; the group receiving argan oil twice daily had a greater contraction rate (31% on day 7, 76% on day 14) than the silver sulfadiazine group (22% on day 7, 69% on day 14), (P <0.05). Histopathological assessments on days 3, 7, and 14 showed greater healing/contraction in both argan oil and silver sulfadiazine groups compared to the control group. These results suggest argan oil is effective in healing experimentally created second-degree burns in rats. Prospective, randomized, controlled clinical studies are needed to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and effectiveness of this treatment modality for patients with second-degree burn wounds.
Burn injuries rank fourth among all other injuries after vehicle accidents, violence, and falls.1 In a retrospective global study,2,3 approximately 265,000 people were reported to die from burns. In the United States, approximately 1 million people are admitted to hospitals annually due to burns, and of these patients, approximately 45,000 are treated as inpatients.4 Currently, the mortality rate of burn injuries shows a decline owing to improvements in the care and treatment of patients.2,3,5
Burn injury is directly related to the degree of burn. First-degree burns include superficial burns such as sunburn; only the epidermis is affected, causing itching and mild pain.5,6 Second-degree burns can result from contact with hot liquids or surfaces (eg, an iron); they affect the entire epidermis. Partial destruction of the dermis6,7 and edema5-7 also may occur. If left untreated, a second-degree burn can become a third-degree burn with increased edema formation.8,9 The damage in the necrotic tissue extends to the nerve endings and the patient loses sensation to pain in the burned area.5-7 This necrotic tissue is called scarring, and closure without scarring is not possible in second- and/or third-degree wounds.8,9
Wound healing involves cellular events such as cell migration and angiogenesis along with epithelial tissue repair and extracellular fluid retention.10 Many experimental studies11,12 have demonstrated an array of inflammatory cytokines are involved in wound healing. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), known to be a strong stimulator of connective tissue formation, also plays an important role in the pathogenesis of fibrotic disorders such as burns.13 Although significant improvements have been achieved in wound healing, scar tissue formation cannot be avoided after the repair process of burn injury, and this can constitute a significant esthetic problem.
Many topical agents have been used in the treatment of burn injuries.14,15 Silver sulfadiazine is a topical antimicrobial agent that has become the standard of care in burn treatment.16 However, topical application of silver sulfadiazine creams has been shown clinically16-18 to sometimes result in systemic complications such as neutropenia, redness of the skin, crystalluria, and methemoglobinemia. These treatments could prevent repair of burn injury and cause scar tissue formation. Therefore, burns and scar tissue formation after burn injuries have become one of the most extensively studied problems for which researchers have continuously developed new applications through experimental and clinical trials.
Argan oil is produced by the cold press of the kernels of the Argan tree (Argania spinosa), a plant endemic only to the drought lands of southwestern Morocco.19 Argan oil traditionally has been used as a topical treatment of various conditions, including dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles, point pain, and skin inflammation. When taken orally, clinical studies20 have shown argan oil can protect against high cholesterol and atherosclerosis and is a protective agent for the liver. Experimental studies21,22 have demonstrated the antioxidant and anticancer properties of argan oil. Argan oil is used to treat many conditions, and European, Asian and US cosmetic companies have made it readily available over the counter (OTC).
The aim of this in vivo study was to examine the effects of argan oil in the treatment of experimentally induced scalding water burns on TGF-β expression and fibroblast activity, healing, and contraction rates.
Argan oil is extracted from the kernels of argan tree fruits, either manually or through a mechanical process. Earlier, oil was obtained from the kernels manually. However, the advancements in machines have helped save time and ensure high-quality production.
Argan oil has become one of the most preferred products especially in the cosmetics and personal care industry. This is attributed to the advanced properties such as high level of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and other noteworthy benefits for skincare and haircare. Men’s grooming products such as shower gels, hair and beard oils, skin creams, and waxes that are infused with argan and other essential oils have also witnessed a rise in consumption over the last few years.
Europe is one of the major consumers of argan oil in the world. The European market is dominated by product application in personal care and cosmetics industry. Cosmetic grade is mostly processed in Europe by the solvent extraction of kernels and is mainly used for the preparation of moisturizers, shampoos, and anti-wrinkle cosmetic products. In addition, Europe has been majorly involved in biopharmaceutical research in recent years. For instance, over the past decade, pharmaceutical companies in the region have successfully manufactured biobased medicines for several diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Conventional type is harvested from the kernels of argan tree and is rich in essential fatty acids and other important nutrients. Argan trees are slow-growing trees exclusively endemic to the barren lands of Morocco. Harvesting conventional is characterized by the use of irrigation water, synthetic fertilizers, and chemical pesticides in order to cultivate high-yielding varieties and obtain increased oil content. This type is significantly used for manufacturing personal care and cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, aromatherapy, food, and home cleaning products.
Organic is one of the purest forms of argan oil, which is used extensively as an ingredient for aromatherapy. Harvesting organic argan oil is characterized by the use of biobased fertilizers such as bone meal, green manure, and compost manure to increase the crop yield. This type is sold as a luxury product and is gaining increasing interest among international cosmetics companies.
Argan oil absolute is a concentrated form, which is extracted from plant kernels through solvent extraction techniques. The production of this form involves pulverization of the kernels followed by their suspension in solvents, after which the solvents are vaporized to obtain oil. Absolute form finds application in perfumery, aromatherapy, and cosmetic products.
The blended form includes blend of argan oil with vegetables and essential oils. Typically, the blended form is used for purposes such as food recipes, cleaning, and home product formulations. Moroccan consumers are highly inclined toward using traditionally produced products. Increasing consumer demand for blends in topical applications coupled with rising consumption of argan oil blends in the cosmetics sector is projected to drive this segment growth over the forecast period.
Argan oil is gaining popularity in several medical applications owing to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-proliferative, aphrodisiac, and analgesic properties. It is being used for treating infections such as chickenpox, skin-related conditions such as burns, eczema, and psoriasis, and diseases such as diabetes, epilepsy, osteoarthritis, and atherosclerosis. Due to its antibacterial property, the product is used for treating skin wounds, cuts, and abrasions at a faster rate.
Aromatherapy massage is known to have numerous benefits. It helps harmonize, balance, and relax mind as well as body. In addition, it enhances the immune system to assist various bodily functions and fight infections. Argan oil is also available in food and cosmetic grades for commercial usage. Food grade product is generally referred to as culinary oil and differs from cosmetic grade in terms of production process. The production of culinary oil involves toasting the kernels to impart a nutty aroma and taste.
Argan oil is produced from the kernels of a nut, found inside the argan fruit from the Argania spinosa tree, native to Southwest Morocco. The outer flesh of the nuts are removed, and the hard shells are cracked open to expose the kernels. These are then cold pressed, which involves grinding them using a low heat. This produces a thick paste, which is then further pressed to extract the oil. The heat is kept low to preserve all the nutrients and taste of the oil.
On average, it takes around 25-30kg of the argan fruit to create 2-2.5kg of kernels, which in turn produces 1 litre of oil. This process often takes a day or two when done manually. Due to its lengthy production time, it's typically considered an expensive oil. Hence the nickname ‘liquid gold’.
Oils vary in weight and absorption rate, which is important to note when using them in skincare. Due to its relatively small molecules, argan oil has a quick absorption rate and is classed as a mid-weight oil, meaning that it isn’t too heavy or too light.
Traditionally, the oil was used by Morocco’s Berber tribe for its medicinal and healing properties. It was also used to help hydrate and protect skin from the harsh sun and dry desert climate. Over the years, it became a staple in many North African households, used in food and on the skin and hair.
Rich in vitamin E, fatty acids and squalene, argan oil is used to treat a multitude of skin concerns such as dryness, eczema and scarring. The fatty acids and squalene help to seal in moisture whilst vitamin E helps to soothe skin, protect against environmental aggressors and act as an anti-inflammatory. Argan oil also contains carotenoids and phenols, which work as antioxidants to protect against harmful free radicals.