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For centuries, argan oil has been known for its benefits to the hair, skin, nails, etc. Here’s an overview of this precious golden liquid.
Argan oil comes from the argania or argan plant, a flowering tree that grows in the semi-desert regions of southwest Morocco.
Argan oil is extracted from tiny, oil-rich seeds in the tree’s nut-like kernels. The nuts are small and covered by a thick peel. When the peel and the fleshy pulp are removed, one to three oil-rich argan seeds are exposed. From these seeds, the precious oil is extracted.
For millennia the Berbers, indigenous peoples of Morocco, have been aware of the benefits of argan oil to moisturize skin, to heal certain physical complaints, to condition hair, and so on. Indeed, the advantages of argan oil were known as far back as 1550 B.C., when they were reported by Phoenician traders.
In 1510, 3000 years later, the adventurer Leo Africanus traveling across Morocco found argan oil still in use for the same beneficial purposes. As Africa was increasingly explored by Europeans, news spread of the many advantages of argan oil. Soon it was being exported to Europe, where the golden oil was sold for such astronomical prices that only the wealthy could afford it.
Eventually the benefits of argan oil became known to those of all classes. Like the ancient Moroccans, people around the world began to reap the rewards of argan oil. In the twenty-first century, the advantages of using argan oil have made it increasingly popular among both men and women.
The main uses of argan oil are for the skin (face and body), hair, lips, nails, and feet.
For the skin, it may be used as a night-time facial moisturizer, a whole-body moisturizer, an exfoliator when mixed with a natural scrub such as brown sugar, an adult acne remedy that reduces inflammation and scarring, a rejuvenator of aging skin, a preventative for stretch marks, and for both men and women, a treatment for razor bumps and razor burn.
For the hair, it can be used either as a leave-in conditioner or a deep conditioner. It’s also a dandruff preventative. Used as a styling aid, it can help repair split ends, tame frizz, and reduce fly-away hair. Additional benefits of argan oil for the hair include protection against the heat of flat irons, hair driers, and heated curlers. It also imparts body and a healthy shine. For men or women experiencing early-stage hair loss, there is some evidence that argan oil can promote the growth of new hair when very small amounts are rubbed gently onto the scalp.
There are still more benefits of argan oil for those with chapped lips, especially because it lacks the waxiness of traditional chapped lip treatments and because it is more easily absorbed into the sensitive skin of the lips. Not only does it heal chapped and cracked lips, it keeps the lips soft and smooth, and it can reduce the appearance of fine lines in the lip area.
Those with dry cuticles and nails will find argan oil to be an ideal treatment. This is true for both men or women, even if they don’t use nail polish and experience the drying effects of products such as polish removers. Not only does argan oil moisturize cuticles, it can keep nails from breaking and splitting and reduce hangnails.
Finally, there are benefits of argan oil for those with dry feet. It is an effective treatment against dry cracking skin on feet in general and heels in particular. It is also useful for those who use polish and other pedicure products on their toenails.
Specifically, argan oil has proven benefits for body and face, and for the hair.
Argan oil is particularly favoured by those who prefer using organic, natural products for skin and hair care, as opposed artificial substances that may be full of chemicals.
Argan oil is made up of 80 percent omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids. Moreover, laboratory testing has shown that argan oil has valuable antioxidant effects. This means it neutralises free-radical agents on the body and face, protects tissue, and restores and rejuvenates skin on the face and body.
Rich in vitamins A and E, argan oil has healing properties and can prevent or reduce scarring from cuts, burns, acne, and so on. Scientific studies have shown that when applied to skin, argan oil reduces inflammation as it moisturizes.
Argan oil also offers substantial benefits to the hair. A non-greasy oil, it can function as an effective leave-in conditioner that may be applied while hair is still wet or when damp or dry. For newly washed hair, it will tame fly-away ends and make hair easier to style. Applied prior to using a dryer, hot rollers, or flat iron, it can protect against the harmful effects of heat.
Additional benefits of argan oil include fighting dandruff and dry scalp. It promotes the growth of healthy, strong hair and helps prevent brittle hair, split ends, and hair breakage.
As noted above, there is also evidence that argan oil can help stop or slow early-stage hair loss and may promote the growth of new hair.
Argan oil is so effective that only one to three drops are needed for skin care, regardless of the condition you’re dealing with.
In the morning, you can apply a single drop or two to your palm, rub your hands together, and gently smooth the golden oil onto your skin as a moisturizer before applying make-up.
If you have spots, gently dab argan oil onto your problem areas with a cotton bud.
To moisturize the body and treat blemishes such as scars or stretch marks, put two or three drops into your palm, rub your hands together, and gently smooth over your stomach, arms, calves, feet, or other problem areas.
For razor bumps or burns, again apply a drop or two in your palms and very lightly massage the affected area.
Once per week, you may wish to exfoliate your face or body using a homemade scrub of argan oil and brown sugar. In your palm, mix 1 tablespoon of brown sugar with one to three drops of argan oil. Rub gently into your skin in a circular motion for about three minutes, paying special attention to acne-prone areas or dry skin. Rinse well with warm water (you may wish to take a warm shower) and gently pat your skin dry with a clean dry towel.
As we’ve shown, not only are the benefits of argan oil diverse and many, but it’s something that’s easy to incorporate into your daily and weekly beauty routines. Take regular advantage of its many uses, and no doubt you’ll soon look and feel younger, healthier, and happier.