by Jayne Leonard March 8, 2016
Argan is a golden, smooth oil traditionally used in Morocco for both culinary and beauty purposes. With a rich blend of essential fatty acids, antioxidants and the all-important skin nutrient vitamin E, word of argan oil’s skincare benefits have recently spread!
What’s more, research now provides a scientific basis for the centuries-long knowledge of argan oil’s beneficial effect on the skin.
In 2007, a mere two beauty products on US shelves contained this middle-eastern emollient. In 2011, that number shot to 111 – a figure that has rapidly risen as our appreciation of all things argan continues to intensify.
So what makes argan oil so special? Why is it so effective in everything from lipsticks and eye creams to facial wipes and washes?
1. Naturally Moisturizing
One of the most common uses of argan oil is as a moisturizing lotion. Being a natural oil, it hydrates, softens and protects the skin.
If you’re worried about your skin feeling greasy, give it a go – you’ll be amazed. It’s absorbs quickly and is light enough to use as a daytime facial cream yet so hydrating that it can be used as an overnight treatment too.
Remember, this is a high quality product so a little goes a long way. After cleansing your skin, warm a single drop of the oil in the palms of your hands. Using circular motions, apply it to the face and neck.
At night time, in the winter months or in dryer climates, you may need to apply a second drop for added hydration and protection.
2. Good for All Skin Types
No matter what your skin type, argan oil can work for you.
Like we’ve seen, those with dry skin can benefit from the fantastic hydrating effects of this oil, which can also reduce itching and flakiness.
Even those with oily skin will find argan oil a safe product to use. This light balm is non-greasy and won’t clog your pores – meaning it shouldn’t be a cause for concern among those who suffer from blackheads. If you deprive your skin of oil, it can start to overproduce sebum, its own natural oil. By applying argan oil to the skin, you are balancing and neutralizing your innate oil production levels.
Those with sensitive skin can rest safe in the knowledge that using 100% natural argan oil shouldn’t irritate their delicate epidermis (although always conduct a patch test on any new products first).
Finally, argan oil benefits combination skin by hydrating and balancing the oil production – thus reducing the differences between the dry and oily areas of face.
3. Gently Tones The Skin
If your toner is drying out your skin, or causing a little irritation – as most toners can – then argan oil may be just the solution you are looking for.
You can add a few drops of argan oil to your regular toner, shaking well before use, to offset its harsh effects.
Or, if you prefer a more natural approach, make your own toner minus the astringent ingredients of alcohol and parabens found in conventional beauty products.
Leave a green tea bag to steep for 10 minutes in a cup of boiling water. Remove the tea bag and allow to cool before adding two drops of tea tree oil and two drops of argan oil. Seal in a clean glass jar and use morning and night after cleansing (shaking before each use).
4. A Natural Eye Serum
Because it’s an all-natural product, argan oil is perfectly safe to use around your eyes – the most delicate part of your face. Its vitamin E content can even help to reduce fine lines in this area.
While one drop of argan oil gently massaged into the skin will cover both eyes, you can also combine it with other natural ingredients to make an even more effective morning eye serum.
This blend of oils will pep up tired eyes, address early signs of aging and eliminate dullness. Fill a small container (0.5 oz) to the halfway point with jojoba oil. Then add in equal parts of argan oil and evening primrose oil to fill the bottle just over three quarters of the way. Finally, add in 10 drops of carrot seed oil (a natural UV protector) and 10 drops of vitamin E oil.
Store in a cool, dark place and use daily for rejuvenated eyes.
5. Treat Acne
Acne can flare up thanks to excess oil on the skin. As mentioned earlier, argan oil is great for those with oily skin as it helps to regulate the skin’s natural production of oil. In fact, research has even shown that argan oil can reduce sebum levels in individuals with oily skin.
In a 2007 study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 20 healthy volunteers with either oily or combination skin were asked to apply an argan oil-based cream twice daily for four weeks during the winter months (January and February).
Sebum levels were taken before and after the treatment through a mixture of clinical assessments and instrumental measurements.
95% of volunteers experienced a visible reduction in excess sebum on the skin, and the area covered with oily spots decreased by 42% leading researchers to report that the argan oil cream can both reduce greasiness and improve the appearance of the skin.
Argan oil’s high linoleic acid content can also help to reduce the inflammation associated with acne while healing damaged skin.
For maximum acne relief, use argan oil in conjunction with the green tea and tea tree oil toner mentioned above.
6. Heal Skin Problems
Not only does argan oil treat acne, but it can soothe and heal a variety of other skin conditions thanks to its anti-inflammatory agents like vitamin E, vitamin A and other antioxidants.
After doing a patch test, try argan oil to address skin problems like eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and rosacea – all commonly associated with dry or sensitive skin.
It can also be effective at healing minor scarring from acne (as are these other natural remedies for acne scars).
7. Improve Elasticity & Prevent Premature Aging
With its fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin A and antioxidants, argan oil is a fantastic balm to erase signs of premature aging.
If used regularly, it can reduce depth and severity of wrinkles, restore elasticity, fade age spots and increase the regenerative rate of healthy skin cells.
8. Eyelash Conditioner
Every year in the US, women spend over $22 million on mascara in a bid to elongate and highlight their lashes – with 83% of us using the product regularly.
But mascara is filled with chemicals and can do damage to our eyelashes. That’s where argan oil comes in. Not only does it moisturize and condition lashes, helping them stand up to the negative effects of mascara, but some say it also helps the lashes grow – which could eliminate the need for mascara altogether!
Warm a drop of the oil between your fingers and gently rub it onto your lashes. If you have a clean mascara wand to hand, you can use this to rake through the lashes, evenly distributing the oil.
For best results, apply this treatment before bed. You’ll soon enjoy fuller and more pigmented lashes and you may find you can even go without your precious mascara!
9. Soothe Your Skin Post-Shave
Men can benefit from argan oil after their morning shave. Frequent shaving causes excessive stress to the skin which can lead to irritating and uncomfortable razor bumps and burns.
Warm a drop or two of the oil in your hands and lightly massage into the affected area after shaving. It will moisturize, reduce inflammation and bumps, heal wounds and prevent scarring.
Of course, argan oil is also perfect for women to apply to any area of the body post-shave!
10. Nourish Your Lips
If your lips are dry, flaky, tender or sending you any of these other warning signs, it might be time to pay them a little more attention!
Thankfully, argan oil can benefit the skin on the lips too – it makes a great lip treatment or natural lip balm. Heal cracked lips and enjoy the perfect pout by rubbing in one or two drops several times a day – especially during winter.
When dealing with flaking or excessively rough lips, they may need some extra TLC. Exfoliate and moisturize this thin skin with an easy DIY scrub. Simply mix a couple of drops of argan oil with fine brown sugar and lightly massage into the lips before rinsing off.
11. Eliminate The Need For Multiple Products
Is your bathroom or nightstand overcrowded with what seems to be hundreds of tubs, bottles, vials and sprays – all in the name of glowing skin?
If so, you need to invest in a high-quality argan oil which can replace literally all of these products. Argan is a day and night moisturizer, anti-aging cream, eye serum, chap stick, aftershave balm, emollient and acne treatment all-in-one!
So go on – embrace argan oil, join the minimalist movement and experience radiant natural beauty!
Choosing an Argan Oil
When selecting an argan oil for beauty purposes, make sure to choose only ‘100% argan oil’. Avoid blends labeled only with ‘Moroccan oil’, which may contain only a small amount of argan oil and are heavy and sticky. Strive to purchase organic and fair trade products where possible.