An Introduction to Argan Oil
Take a deep breath when you read this: there are over 10,000 industrial chemicals in common skin care products. The average American adult is exposed to 168 hazardous chemicals each day. And everything applied to the skin, be it lip stick or deodorant, sun block or general skin care products are absorbed by the body, just like they’d been eaten.
Remember that scene in the second season of The Simpsons, in which Mr. Burns ran for Governor, and a three-eyed fish, affectionately called “Blinky”, mutated by the pollution from Burns’s own power plant, came back to haunt him?
The natural skin care movement gets stronger by the day, folks. And one of the more prominent players in this industry is argan oil. From the deserts of Morocco.
What is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is an oil and popular natural skin care supplement, valued for its cosmetic properties and medicinal uses. Among other things, argan oil is used to:
- moisturize the skin
- fade wrinkles
- fight acne
- heal skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis
- strengthen finger nails
- condition damaged hair
Argan oil is an extract of the Argania tree that once covered much of North Africa. Today the tree is endangered, and grows only in a UNESCO protected biosphere in Morocco. And considering that a litre of argan oil constitutes a full season of output from a single tree, argan oil is both rare and highly prized.
More over, the composition of argan oil is of particular interest to the anti-aging industry and to consumers looking for a natural alternative to common skin care products. With a hefty dose of fatty acids, antioxidants, polyphenols and a skin-loving 200% more vitamin E than olive oil, you can see why argan oil has been used for over 3,500 years, for health and for beauty.
A Closer Look at Argan Oil
Argan oil is versatile. In fact, many consumers dabble a small amount in their hair after a thorough cleanse, to treat split ends. You can also use argan oil to fade stretch marks, strengthen finger nails, reduce wrinkles and those fine lines from the sun.
A closer look at argan oil reveals traces of:
Vitamin E (Tocopherol) – A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E reduces harmful free radicals and protects the skin from sun damage. Vitamin E also improves the skin’s ability to retain and use water.
Essential Fatty Acids – These keep your cells healthy and your skin plump, with the ability to re-form after stretching.
Oleic and Linoleic Acid – Essential for their anti-inflammatory properties and to help heal the skin.
Antioxidants – The body’s warriors that protect the skin from free radicals, sun damage, chemicals and pollution. If Blinky the Fish had more antioxidants, he might have avoided that trademark third eye.
Polyphenols – Protection from UV rays and aging from sun damage, polyphenols are anti-inflammatories and fight free radicals.
Squalene Oil – With similar functions to olive oil, squalene oil is a natural moisturizer, a powerful healer and is ideal for people with eczema and psoriasis.
Should You Use Argan Oil?
If all this has your attention, and you’re excited about argan oil and its many uses and healing properties, know this: you’re looking for argan oil in its purest form.
Indeed, it’s not uncommon for some of the larger skin care brands to dilute argan with additives and preservatives. Sometimes these products have in excess of 20 ingredients. All of which dilute the product and reduce the good things that argan can do.
Having said that, argan oil is called “liquid gold” for a reason. It’s rare, it’s potent, and with a track record over three millennia, it’s proven.
If you have dry skin, sensitivities to common skin care products, frizzy hair, wrinkles or stretch marks, or a general interest in natural skin care, then yes, argan oil holds value and is worth your purchase.
But remember that you’re looking for pure argan, undiluted with preservatives that degrade argan oil and the magic it does. Your best bet is to purchase argan oil in its pure form, from a major skin care name with minimal use of parabens and with discount packaging.
To that end, you might consider Skinception Cold Pressed Cosmetic Argan Oil, which offers the power of argan oil with the comfort of the Skinception name with a proven track record, live customer support, discount pricing and a firm, money-back guarantee.
The Many Uses of Skinception Cold Pressed Cosmetic Argan Oil
Skin care can be expensive. After all, to look young you need a wrinkle cream and a stretch mark product. You might use an eye cream, and you certainly need a moisturizer.
What’s in your bathroom vanity?
If you’re among the millions of American consumers who want to look young, it’s a safe a assumption that most, if not all of these products and more play a role in your daily skin care ritual. And so they should. Good skin care products can help you look beautiful and stay young while you do it.
But there’s another cosmetic you may have heard about that’s making the rounds in the skin care industry. And with a track record of more than 3,500 years in its native Morocco, it’s quickly becoming the go-to skin care product in Europe and North America.
The product is argan oil, of which Skinception Cold Pressed Cosmetic Argan Oil might be of interest to you.
From the ancient argan tree and grown in a small, UNESCO protected biosphere, argan oil has been used for millennia, originally by the ancient Phoenicians, for its nutritional, medicinal and cosmetic properties.
Argan oil, for many consumers, is a popular and affordable natural skin care product. And like a Swiss Army knife, it’s a multi-tasker, with many, many uses for your daily routine. Of the things argan oil can do, consider that it can:
- moisturize the skin
- stop premature aging
- fight wrinkles
- reduce stretch marks
- treat sun damage
- condition your hair
Culinary students and Food Network junkies might also like that argan makes a great cooking oil, though if you’re reading this, you’re probably more intrigued by what argan oil can do as a natural beauty product. If that’s the case, buy cosmetic argan oil, which preserves the integrity of its essential fatty acids and vitamins, rather than culinary argan, which loses these properties.
As a Moisturizer
Argan oil is an excellent moisturizer, for your face and your body. The absence of parabens or dangerous chemicals that are absorbed into the body by most common skin care products makes argan a good entry point into the natural skin care market.
For Your Face – Argan makes a good night cream, which is a good way to begin with the product. Start with a small amount. Massage it on your face in a circular motion with your middle or ring finger (they’re weaker than your index finger and less likely to tear).
After a few days, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your facial skin. When that happens, double up on your argan efforts. Use it in the morning, as a base for your make up or as a general facial moisturizer, and again at night. Apply it with the same method, with the same fingers, and voila! – a treatment for wrinkles and acne.
Argan can even treat chapped lips.
For Your Body – To treat stretch marks, apply argan to your body after your bath or shower. For a moisturizer, mix argan oil with your regular body lotion, or use argan by itself. Argan oil hydrates the skin and makes it plump and gives it elasticity. As an anti-aging product, it’s one of the best.
Remember also that sun damage is a leading cause of wrinkles. Argan helps with that as well. Simply add argan oil to your body after sun exposure. Just don’t add it before you go out in the sun. For that you need a Broad Spectrum sunscreen.
As a Beauty Product
Argan Oil is nourishing to the body, always gentle, and leaves no oily residue.
Experiment with argan. If you choose a product like Skinception Cold Pressed Cosmetic Argan Oil, you’re assured that the product is completely pure, without additives or those dreaded parabens that research links to heightened risk of breast cancer.
For Your Nails – Argan can strengthen your nails, make them less brittle and less likely to break off. To do this, mix equal parts argan and lemon juice, then soak for at least 15 minutes. This is great for your cuticles and should give your nails a healthy glow.
For Your Hair – Those rumors that argan makes a good hair conditioner are true. For damaged hair, add a generous amount, starting at the ends, then wrap in a warm towel. Wear the towel for at least 30 minutes or over night. Then wash and style as usual.
For dandruff and dry scalp, massage argan beginning at the ends and into the roots. Do this once or twice a week. And for frizzy hair, rub one or two drops between your palms and scrunch into the ends.
A final thought on argan for hair care. Argan oil is a natural moisturizer than can soften the hair and give it shine. Yet it’s also good for natural hair growth, and to that end, guys with hair loss might even consider that argan oil can encourage hair growth, or at least make what’s remaining look healthy.
Try Skinception Cold Pressed Cosmetic Argan Oil
If all this appeals to you, and you’re sold on argan oil for its many beauty applications, remember this: buy it pure, and preferably not from the big labels.
Why’s that? The big guys sometimes dilute pure argan with additives that diminish its beauty properties. And though production of argan oil is done in a very specific region in Morocco, by the women of that area, the major labels sometimes manufacture argan in large factories in Casablanca, with little or no benefit from the sale of argan to the women who made it.
Instead, purchase argan oil from a smaller skin care label. They’re more likely to manufacture argan the traditional way – by hand – and by the Moroccan women who’ve perfected the technique over thousands of years, and in a fair trade co-op, at competitive wages and with health care and educational opportunities for the women and their families.
A suggestion? Try Skinception Cold Pressed Cosmetic Argan Oil, which is argan in its purest state and manufactured in a fair trade co-op. Yet it comes with the name recognition of a respected label and live, 24/7 customer support. That’s good for peace of mind, and it’s backed by a no risk 60 day money back guarantee.
Argan Oil and the Ethical Marketplace
What does ethical mean to you? To many consumers, this oft-used term is a generic catch phrase for products and technologies that are deemed sustainable, itself a common phrase, that are made with minimal exploitation of humans, animals or the environment.
Argan oil is an oil extracted from the argania tree of Morocco, prized for its cosmetic, therapeutic and medicinal properties. Argan oil is a multi-player in the natural skin care industry, and is used to treat a variety of ailments, including acne, wrinkles, dry skin, psoriasis and eczema. Additionally, argan makes an effective hair conditioner and is a common treatment to strengthen finger nails.
And yet, beyond its many uses, the production of argan oil and how it ends up in your bathroom cabinet makes an interesting story unto itself.
How it’s Made
Argan oil has been used for at least 3,500 years in what is today Morocco. In ancient times, the argania tree, from which it derives, covered much of North Africa, and the Berber people developed a process to extract argan that changed little until the 20th century.
To extract argan, the Berber women would collect the ripe argan fruit from the base of the tree, and peel back the layers and collect the valuable pits within. Next they would grind the pits between two stones to extract the fruit kernels from the pits.
If the argan was to be used for cooking, the women would roast the kernels to enhance the flavor of the oil (argan for cosmetic use often skips this step), which they would grind in a stone quern to produce an oily paste.
Until recently, Berber women would typically kneed the paste to extract the oil, and would then decant and filter the oil to remove impurities. But in the early 1990s, the European cosmetics industry noted the high antioxidant content of argan and its many beauty and skin applications, automated the extraction process and set up factories in Casablanca that monopolized production.
Argan Oil and Fair Trade Production
The growth in popularity for argan oil as a cosmetic treatment in the late 20th century shifted production from the Berber women and traditional extraction methods to modern factories, hundreds of miles from the arganeraie region. And with this shift, a loss of quality control, to say nothing about the lost benefits of argan oil to the Berber peoples who performed the process over thousands of years.
Around this time, a study by the German Government Development Agency (GTZ) chronicled the plight facing the Berber women, often portrayed by major argan oil producers as having a large role in and benefiting from argan production, when in reality, the women received little benefit from surging argan sales, and the product became diluted in the process.
In 1995, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the GTZ outlined a strategy with Moroccan authorities to shift argan oil production back to Berber women in a series of fair trade cooperatives with competitive wages, flexible working conditions, health and education opportunities for the women and their families.
In addition, another objective was to develop a sustainable production process, in which the argan tree was protected, and the region designated a nature reserve, to prevent further degradation of the relatively small growing area.
As a result, UNESCO designated the arganeraie region as a protected biosphere in 1998. And much production of argan oil, through trial and error, has shifted back to Berber women, now active in these co-ops that provide economic protection and benefits to the traditional makers of this rare oil.
How You Can Help
Be aware that some of the larger skin care manufacturers dilute argan oil with preservatives that degrade the product of its antioxidant content. This not only makes it less effective as a cosmetic treatment, it’s not unlikely that production of these argan treatments are made in factories in Casablanca, with little benefit to the Berber women and their families.
In that light, and to increase the likelihood that the argan oil you’ve purchased was produced ethically, by Berber woman, it’s advisable to purchase argan oil in its pure form, undiluted, without additives or preservatives.
Buy cosmetic argan oil from small or mid-sized skin care companies. Yes, they may be more expensive than products from the big labels, but if it’s undiluted, and it’s not one of the large brands, it’s more likely that the product was made by the knowledgeable Berber women, in a fair trade co-op, with the economic benefits to reflect that endeavour.
As a suggestion, you might try Skinception Cold-Pressed Cosmetic Argan Oil, which meets the prerequisites listed above, and which offers the cosmetic benefits of this revered oil product with the promise that it was made ethically, by the Berber women, in a fair trade co-op.
FAQs About Argan Oil
What is argan oil?
Argan oil is an oil extracted from the kernels of the argan tree. The oil is highly valued for its many cosmetic, therapeutic and medicinal properties. Among other ailments, argan oil is an effective treatment for dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles, stretch marks and acne.
One of the hottest sellers in the natural skin care industry, argan oil is particularly gentle on the skin, and for this reason, is recommended for consumers with naturally dry skin and/or sensitivities to common skin care products.
Where does argan oil come from?
Argan oil comes from a 10,000 square mile UNESCO-protected biosphere in southwestern Morocco, and can only be extracted from trees grown in this area.
Used for at least 3,500 years by the Berber people of this region, the oil was traditionally processed by hand, in a laborous process, in which a single litre of the oil took two days of manual labor.
In the early 1990s, argan oil production shifted from the Berber people to modern factories in Casablanca, though government agencies and NGOs have redirected much argan production back to the Berber women.
What’s in argan oil?
Argan is high in antioxidants, squalene oil, polyphenols, essential fatty acids, oleic and linoleic acids and has at least 200% more vitamin E than olive oil.
What makes argan effective for anti-aging?
The antioxidants in argan oil fight free radical damage and can protect against aging from the sun. The fatty acids enhance cellular health, with the collagen and elastin required to keep skin young and healthy.
Does argan have other applications?
Argan oil makes an effective hair conditioner. You can add argan to your hair, whether wet or dry, and it’s an ideal remedy for dry hair or split ends. Experiment a little; a few drops can add shine to hair and improve its appearance.
You can also use argan oil to strengthen your nails. Mix one part each argan oil and lemon juice, paint it on your nails with a brush and leave it on for fifteen minutes.
In addition, argan oil can be used for cooking, though cosmetic argan is made with a different process than product meant for cooking and should therefore be used for that purpose only.
Are there side effects with argan oil?
You’ll find that argan oil is very safe. In fact, it’s recommended for people with skin sensitivities and irritations to common skin care products. There are no known wide spread side effects with argan oil, but if you have specific concerns regarding argan, it’s best to speak with your physician.
What’s this about argan oil and fair trade?
Upon efforts from two German government agencies and several non-government organizations, much production of argan oil has shifted away from modern, foreign-controlled factories in Casablanca and large cities and back to the local Berber women who perfected the extraction process over thousands of years.
The issue of argan oil products manufactured in large-scale factories has not disappeared completely. In particular, argan products with preservatives and packaged by some major cosmetic brands have origins in such industrial workshops.
Fortunately, the global interest in ethical consumerism has contributed to fair trade cooperatives, in which women extract and process argan oil in their traditional manner, with competitive wages, flexible working conditions, health care and educational opportunities.
Should I buy pure argan oil or just an argan-based product?
Buy argan oil in its pure state. This preserves the integrity of the beneficial nutrients in argan oil, for maximum benefits, be they cosmetic or otherwise.
Additionally, pure argan oil is more likely to have been processed in a fair trade cooperative than a factory and by a manufacturer that claims to share the benefits of argan production with local Berber women but fails to do so.
Look for an argan oil product manufactured by a small or mid-sized skin care company. They’re more likely to extract their products ethically, in a fair trade co-op, than the larger brands. Look for a commitment from the company that it’s been processed in this manner. One example? Skinception Cold Pressed Cosmetic Argan Oil.