The Argania spinosa tree that grows in semi-arid regions of Morocco in North Africa gives us argan oil.
Argan oil offers us cosmetic, medicinal and culinary benefits as it is rich in many antioxidants.
Being produced almost solely in Morocco, this oil is also often called ‘Moroccan Oil’ or ‘liquid gold’.
Some experts however say that there are slight differences between argan and Moroccan argan oil. This oil is difficult to produce despite extensive mechanization of the process. ,
Differences From Argan Oil
Some experts state that pure argan oil is extracted solely by hand and is undiluted.
However, Moroccan Argan oil is more commercialized, being mass-produced in mechanized factories in Casablanca and it is said to contain more additives. Hence, pure Moroccan argan oil should have a label stating that it is pure and it should be produced by fair trade co-operatives by Berber women.
Undiluted pure Moroccan argan oil contains plenty of nutrients and antioxidants that provide all the various health and cosmetic benefits for the skin. Pure oil can be used in cooking similar to olive oil.
Moroccan Argan oil contains additives like cyclomethicone and dimethicone which are silicones, aloe Vera, vitamin E and other additives. These ingredients are meant to add to the benefits offered by Moroccan argan oil and usually offer very good benefits for the hair.
Hence, the main difference between Moroccan argan oil and argan oil is that the former is a branded form of the latter and may contain besides pure argan oil also various additives. The additives could vary depending on the use of Moroccan argan oil.
Uses of Moroccan Argan Oil
If Moroccan argan oil is pure with less or no additives, it could offer many benefits.
Additives in Moroccan argan oil are not necessarily bad if they are healthy additives and there is sufficient quantity of pure argan oil also in the product. Pure argan oil contains oleic and linoleic acids which are unsaturated fatty acids, phenols, squalene, vitamin E, carotene and other compounds.
Good quality Moroccan argan oil could offer the following benefits:
- It can fight signs of aging line wrinkles and fine lines that affect our skin exposed to environmental pollutants and harmful UV rays. Antioxidants in this oil can reduce damage caused by free radicals and saponins can soften the skin. It can also hydrate and moisturize skin.
- When used as a vegetable oil, the plant sterols in this oil can reduce cholesterol levels, improve immunity and circulation.
- Triterpenoids in this oil can heal scar tissue, act as a disinfectant and provide relief from joint pain.
- It is also said to improve digestion
- Used on the skin, Moroccan argan oil can treat various skin blemishes caused by acne, eczema, psoriasis etc. and remove pregnancy stretch marks.
- It offers many benefits for the hair. It is an excellent hair conditioner and can restore moisture and make hair smooth and glowing. Vitamin E content in this oil can reduce dryness and prevent frizzy hair. It can also treat dry and flaky scalp conditions like dandruff.
- For the face and body, Moroccan argan oil acts as a gentle cleanser and moisturizer. Antioxidants can also reduce acne outbreaks.
- Used on the nails, it can soften cuticles and prevent cracking and peeling of nails.
- It can also be used to treat cracked heels, as bath oil for the entire body and as overnight hair treatment oil.
Moroccan argan oil which contains high levels of oleic acid should be used minimally on acne-prone skin for it could aggravate acne outbreaks by causing clogged pores.
When buying Moroccan argan oil, be careful to check the label and avoid blends that contain very little argan oil. Blended Moroccan argan oil maybe gooey, yellow and very heavy and it may offer very little benefits.
Pure argan oil should be silky and smooth and get quickly absorbed when applied on the skin. It should not feel slimy or sticky nor should it burn skin.
It should also be stored preferably in dark bottles that do not let light through. This will preserve the integrity of the oil. Pure Moroccan argan oil is quite expensive.
Hence if you are purchasing inexpensive argan oil, chances are that it will contain very little of the oil.
Impure oil could or oil with too many strong chemical additives may cause allergic reactions when used externally. Perform a skin test before using it to ensure that your skin does not react adversely to Moroccan argan oil.
If you do develop an allergy discontinue using the product at once.
Make sure you check for all these factors before purchasing a bottle. Always consult a health expert before using Moroccan argan oil for a specific health problem.