Argan oil, also known as liquid gold, is considered a miracle ingredient. Argan oil is rich in nutrients, including fatty acids and vitamin E. It is used in everything from cosmetics to food. The popularity of argan oil is taking the world by storm and its health benefits are becoming more widespread.
This “miracle oil” is also becoming a popular choice for many celebrities. However, you don’t have to be rich and famous to reap the health benefits of argan oil.
Let’s take a closer look at what this miracle oil can do for you.
What Is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is produced by extracting the oil from argan tree nuts. Argan trees are primarily located in Southwestern Morocco.
The argan tree is considered so beneficial to the environment that, in 1998, Morocco’s argan forest was declared a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The forest is still threatened with deforestation as locals chop down trees for building materials and firewood. However, this has diminished in recent years as more locals have become involved in the production of argan oil.
To get oil from the fruit of the argan tree, you need to dry and extract the nuts, crack them, and press them to release the oil. This will result in a thick argan paste (which can be used for cosmetics). Nothing is wasted in the process, as the outer pulp provides food for local animals and the shells are burned for fuel.
Types of Argan Oil
Argan oil has been given different names, based on its usage.
Edible argan oil: This is made from roasted kernels. It is antioxidant-rich and has a hazelnut flavor.
Cosmetic argan oil: Cosmetic argan oil is prepared through the process of solvent-extraction. The seeds are grinded and then purged or washed using a petroleum distillate. The oil is commonly used in skin and hair products.
Beauty argan oil: The preparation time for beauty argan oil is less than that of edible oil, mainly because roasting is not necessary during preparation. The manufacturing process involves picking the fruit, peeling it, breaking the nut and kernel pressing.
Enriched argan oil: Preparation of enriched argan oil requires the removal of free fatty acids by steam distillation (separating the free fatty acids) at 200 degrees Celsius.
Nutritional Benefits of Argan Oil
The presence of omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid provides anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties for the skin.
Argan oil is rich in vitamin A and omega-9 unsaturated fatty acids.
Argan oil contains tocopherols, which makes this oil a powerful antioxidant that can limit the effects of free radicals.
Top 7 Health Benefits of Argan Oil
1.Reduces premature aging: Because argan oil contains 80% unsaturated fatty acids, it works well in erasing signs of premature aging (e.g. wrinkles) by regenerating the healthy skin cells.
2.Protects against environmental damage: The antioxidants found in argan oil help protect the hair, skin and nails from UV radiation by promoting regeneration of healthy cells.
3.Heals skin diseases: The triterpenoids found in argan oil can help stop the growth of warts, break down tumorous skin cells and treat certain forms of dermatitis.
4.Anti-inflammatory benefits: Argan oil contains flavonoids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. If you require relief from sore muscles and joints, massage a few drops of the oil onto the affected area. Its powerful anti-inflammatory benefits can also be beneficial for people struggling with polycystic ovarian syndrome (a common endocrine system disorder for women of reproductive age), poor digestion, weight gain, or bladder problems.
5.Lowers cholesterol: Using culinary-grade argan oil as a substitute for unhealthy oils can help lower bad cholesterol. The combination of the plant sterols schottenol and spinasterol can help block the absorption of bad cholesterol.
6.Fights cancer: The antioxidants found in argan oil can help protect skin from free radicals, which can lead to skin cancer. Previous studies have shown the healing power of argan oil against various cancers, including colon, prostate and bladder cancer.
7.Helps with digestion: Culinary grade argan oil that is added to food will increase pepsin concentration in the body and improve digestion. This means more energy and a healthier body.
Everyday Benefits of Argan Oil
1.Hydrating toner: Add a few drops of argan oil to your favorite facial toner to hydrate and tone simultaneously.
2.Bronzer: Add a drop or two of argan oil to your bronzer, tinted moisturizer or foundation for a luminous glow.
3.Hair shine: If you have dry, lackluster hair, add a few drops of argan oil to the palms of your hand. Rub them together and run your fingers through your hair for maximum shine and to tame frizz.
4.Lip exfoliator and moisturizer: For smooth, moisturized lips, mix together one or two drops of argan oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Massage onto your lips and then rinse.
5.Leave-in conditioner: To hydrate and moisturize your hair, add a few drops of argan oil to your wet hair (make sure to saturate the ends as well as the scalp). This is particularly effective on hair that is dry from using a flat iron or a blow dryer on a daily basis.
6.Dry feet and heels: If you’re suffering from dry skin, massage a couple of drops of argan oil to the affected areas on your hands or feet. Then put on a pair of socks and let the oil soak into the skin. Leave the socks on for about 20 minutes.
7.Prevents stretch marks: Argan oil can help prevent stretch marks (i.e. caused by pregnancy or weight gain) by softening and strengthening the skin.