Argan Oil also known as Moroccan Argan Oil is harvested from the fruits of the Argania spinosa tree that grows well in semi-arid regions of North Africa – mainly Morocco.
This oil has been used from ancient days for medicinal, cosmetic and culinary purposes. It has now become popular in the west mainly as a beauty product.
The oil is extracted from the kernels of the fruit. While part of the process is mechanized, it is mostly done manually by the Berber tribes who inhabit North Africa. ,
Ingredients in Argan Oil and Benefits
Argan oil is rich in natural antioxidants and several nutrients that provide benefits both internally and externally.
Argan oil can be used just like olive oil for cooking, as a salad dressing, as a dip for bread and so on.
For the skin, the nutrients found in argan oil can reduce wrinkles, moisturize skin and hair, minimize stretch marks and treat skin conditions like eczema, acne, dandruff and psoriasis.
The main ingredients found in Argan oil are Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Essential fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acids, squalene, polyphenols and plenty of other natural antioxidants. We will briefly look at what these nutrients are and some of their benefits.
Vitamin E (Tocopherol): Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which is a fat-soluble vitamin present in many types of oils and foods. Argan oil is said to contain 300% more vitamin E than olive oil.
This makes it a powerful antioxidant that can benefit us both externally and internally. Vitamin E can protect against certain types of cancers, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
It can protect improve eye health, relieve menstrual pain and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and could even help those with diabetes.
Topical use of vitamin E can protect and repair skin and neutralize damage caused by environmental pollutants like wrinkles and dry skin. It can also protect the skin against damage by UV rays.
Oleic Acid and Linoleic Acid: Both these acids are present in argan oil and help with the production of prostaglandin and are powerful healers and can reduce inflammation.
Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is present in many cooking oils and cosmetics. It acts as an emollient when used in lipsticks, lotions and skin creams. It may also help those with diabetes. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid that is not synthesized by the human body.
Linoleic acid could be effective in reducing body fat and cholesterol and could even reduce the risk of certain cancers. As a cosmetic it is used in skin-nourishing products. Since it has anti-inflammatory properties, it is often used after corrective peel treatment to reduce scarring, relieve pain and quicken recovery process.
Squalene: This is an essential omega 2 oil. It contains anti-bacterial properties which benefit those suffering from skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema.
Taken internally, it may reduce the risk of contracting heart diseases and certain types of cancer and benefits many other health problems since it is an effective natural antibiotic.
Polyphenols: This is referred to as a ‘natural sunscreen’ that prevents damage caused by the sun, reduces signs of aging and fights damage caused by free radicals.
There have been several studies in recent times on the antioxidant benefits of plant polyphenols, consumption of which may help protect against diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases and cancers.
Natural Antioxidants: Argan oil has plenty of natural oxidants that protect the skin from damage caused by pollutants in the environment.
It can hydrate and moisturize skin and restore the natural glow to dull and dry skin. Consuming foods rich in natural antioxidants is said to lower the risk of contracting certain diseases.
Always remember to that to get the best benefits from argan oil that you should buy only pure argan oil. Being an expensive oil, some manufacturers use only a small quantity in beauty or health products.
This will not provide any cosmetic or health benefit. Always look for a label that says ‘100% Pure Argan Oil’. Purchase the product from a reputed manufacturer.