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What Is Argan Oil?
Argan oil, also known as argania spinosa kernel oil, comes from the kernels of the Argan tree, native to Morocco. Argan oil naturally contains vitamin E, carotenes, squalene, and fatty-acids making it a worthy ingredient in skincare products. This ingredient was first introduced in cosmetics in 2003 and it quickly gained popularity based on a wide range of benefits.
You’ll find argan oil as an ingredient in products, but it’s also sold as 100% pure oil. This moisturizing, soothing ingredient is gentle enough for all skin types.
Argan Oil Benefits In Skincare
It’s no surprise argania spinosa kernel oil is an ingredient in popular better-for-you and plant-based skincare products; it does wonders for your skin! So what can argan oil do for your face? From hydration to anti-aging benefits, this ingredient one of our favorites!
Fight Free Radicals – Argan oil contains antioxidants such as vitamin E and polyphenols to protect skin cells from free radical damage caused by sun exposure and other environmental factors. This may help reduce the appearance of redness, hyperpigmentation, and could even help protect against the development of skin cancer.
Hydration (without excess oiliness) – Argan oil provides hydration to the skin. It’s rich in vitamin E which helps water retention in the skin. Despite its ability to hydrate, it won’t lead to excess oiliness. This oil has sebum-reducing properties to help control that greasy, shiny appearance of the skin.
Fights Acne – While argan oil isn’t considered an “acne treatment” it can be a worthy acne-fighting ingredient in your skincare products. Acne caused by excess sebum (oil) production can be lessened with ingredients such as argan oil. It also makes for a great ingredient in acne products since it can help even the appearance of redness while it hydrates the skin. Many harsh-chemical acne treatments leave skin raw and dry. Argan oil can help alleviate some of the nasty side-effects caused by harsh acne treatment products.
Anti-aging – Applying argan oil to your face daily may reduce the appearance of aging. Anecdotal evidence shows argan oil may help improve the elasticity of the skin. It can help repair the skin barrier to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What Makes Argan Oil So Effective?
Argan oil is comprised of fatty acids that are essential for skin membrane health. Fatty acids help stimulate cell regeneration for a bright, toned complexion.
- Linolenic acid – this omega-6 fatty acid produced naturally in the body strengthens the skin’s barrier. It helps protect against sun damage, softens skin, and helps the skin retain moisture.
- Oleic acid – This fatty acid locks in skin moisture. It can also be found in safflower, almond, and avocado oil.
- Palmitic acid – This is also found naturally in our skin, but it diminishes as we age. This helps protect the skin’s lipid barrier fighting aging, dry skin, itchy skin, and skin conditions such as eczema.
Squalene softens skin and is easily absorbed into the skin. It can help prevent wrinkles, fine lines, help retain moisture in the skin, and prevent UV damage.
Argan oil contains vitamin E, which is packed with antioxidants. This free radical scavenger helps the skin retain moisture, it hydrates, and it can help prevent the signs of aging.
Vitamin E can help soothe and heal the skin. It’s great for soothing skin after too much sun but it can also help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and scars.
Triterpene alcohols can help reduce inflammation and it may help skin repair the damage caused by UV radiation.
Argan oil is high in ferulic acid, a type of polyphenol that’s rich in antioxidants. It’s free-radical fighting properties increase when exposed to sunlight. It provides UV protection and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Phytosterols promote collagen production to help protect skin and slow the effects of aging.
Argan Oil vs. Moroccan Oil – What’s the Difference?
Argan oil and Moroccan oil are very similar so they are often confused. Argan oil comes from the kernels of the argan tree, which is native to Morocco. This is the true pure form or Argan oil. Argan oil can be referred to as Moroccan oil, but if the label says “Moroccan oil” it may include other oils in addition to Argan oil.
Moroccan oil generally refers to a mixture of oils that include Argan oil. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s good to understand what other ingredients are included in the mixture. If you’re using Moroccan oil on your face, you may want only non-comedogenic ingredients so the product doesn’t clog your pores.
So which is better? It comes down to what you are looking for. For a non-comedogenic, moisturizing, anti-aging oil, pure Argan oil is the way to go. However, if you are looking for ingredients that offer other benefits as well, then Moroccan oil might be a better fit for your skin needs.
Here are some other skin replenishing oils you’ll also love:
Will Argan Oil Clog Your Pores?
No, argan oil will not clog your pores. This ingredient is non-comedogenic, lightweight, and absorbs into the skin quickly. This ingredient may help reduce clogged pores over time! Argan oil can help decrease oil production in the skin helping skin stay balanced and healthy, without excess oiliness.
Is It Vegan?
Yes, argan oil is 100% vegan and cruelty-free by nature. This skincare ingredient is 100% plant-based, so as long as animal products aren’t used during the manufacturing process this ingredient is vegan.
What Does Argan Oil Smell Like?
Naturally scented argan oil smells similar to olive oil. It’s also described as popcorn. The smell should quickly dissipate after applying. Some people are concerned about their argan smelling like goats or manure. Gross. While we haven’t personally experienced argan oil that smells like poop. If it smells bad, it’s likely gone bad or is not pure argan oil. It has a unique smell but it shouldn’t be pungent.
Be wary of argan oil that has strong bad smell as it may have gone bad. On the other hand, it it doesn’t smell at all, it could be diluted or mixed with other ingredients. Also keep an eye out for argan oil products that use a clear bottle. Search for colored or tinted bottles that block sunlight. This helps keep the oil from deteriorating and loosing its key benefits to the skin.
Where to Buy Pure Argan Oil?
You can find high-quality sources of pure argan oil are most specialty beauty shops and even select health-food grocery stores. You can also find plenty of pure argan oil options on Amazon here.
The source of the argan oil is important here too. Minimally processed oils tend to be most expensive but they are also more effective. In other words, you may not want to reach for the cheapest argan oil option available.
Is Argan Oil Safe?
Yes, argan oil is widely used and considered safe for all skin types. In rare cases, this ingredient can cause irritation, rashes, or acne. Take precautions if you have a tree nut allergy.