From the Middle East, I bring you: the awesome, the unbelievable, the wondrous, the extremely hyped: ARGAN OIL!
What is it and what does it do?
Argan oil is obtained from the nut of the Argan tree unique to Morocco. It’s known to live up to 450 years and adapt perfectly to extreme drought. There used to be numerous trees, but the past 100 years that number got divided by 2 and now they’re endangered and protected by UNESCO.
Buying argan oil from a respectable source is fine. If it is extracted with respect, it does not harm the tree.
The nutritional value is – wait for it..! – pretty much the same as olive oil’s. However pure argan oil is a lot more expensive because it’s harder to process. One liter of argan oil takes around 12 – 20 hours of hand processing.
- Myristic acid (will make the oil absorb very well)
- Oleic acid (insect pheromone, haha. And helps anti-inflammatory agents penetrate the cell membrane)
- Alpha linolenic acid (anti-aging)
- Palmitic acid (reinforce skin’s barrier function)
- Stearidonic acid (anti-inflammatory)
- Vitamin E (promotes healing and strong antioxidant)
- Carotenes (protect from UV)
All of these ingredients make the oil an anti-inflammatory moisturiser, and it apparently helps to prevent skin cancer as well (so they say, don’t know how much I believe of that, but you can decide that for yourself).
Why would you buy argan oil if you have olive oil?
Three reasons! The first for me, is that it doesn’t smell. I can’t stand olive oil in my hair or on my face.. The second is that it absorbs into the skin way more easily. And the third one, is that it doesn’t feel heavy on the hair/face. It feels very light, doesn’t weigh your hair down.
Watch out for scams when buying this, check the ingredients on the packaging.
The 100% pure form can be used in food, but the version we can buy here often contains ingredients that should not be swallowed. There may be other ingredients in there which are good for your skin, but then be aware of the fact that you shouldn’t ingest it.
Morrocans will know the oil very well, they will know how it looks, smells etc.
But companies often try to trick us foreigners into believing we’re buying pure agran oil by putting it on the packaging in big bold letters. Then when you check the ingredients, argan oil may just be a small ingredient.
I am speaking out of experience, yes. The product you see above is not pure argan oil, because you cannot ingest it. Even though they told me to get this one in the store (because it was a little more expensive but it would be worth it since it was pure. -_-‘) after a bit of research I found out that it is not.
Which is fine, there’s no junk in there, the mix was specifically designed for use on hair and skin. But still, if I’d have the choice, i’d go for the all natural version.
Soo what do I do with it exactly?
- daily moisturizer, you can apply it right after you shower
- massage oil: as opposed to commercial oils, this will actually moisturise your skin
- get rid of any inflammation on your skin (Acne, Chickenpox, Psoriasis)
- finishing oil for your hair: use sparingly, or you’ll look like a greaseball
- conditioning mask for your hair: massage it on your scalp and let it work its way in there, it will temporarily “fix” split ends
- use as ingredient for face masks
- rub it onto cuticles to strengthen nails
- medical advantages: has been known to soothe pain in case of Arthritis and Rheuma, good source of fatty acids
It retails for around $40–50 for 500 ml. Which is a pretty steep price, compared to other oils. But then again think about how much pay for a general hair shine serum (that often doesn’t even have nourishing properties, it just adds shine).
All grudges put aside, I may have payed too much for my “pure argan oil”, but it does really work well for me. I mainly use it as a hair mask when my hair needs a quick fixer upper. I’ll work it into my ends, rinse it out right before I leave and blow-dry my hair.
For use as a moisturizer, this will probably do the trick on dry skin. However if you have oily skin like me an oil-free moisturiser will probably be better.
So what do you think?
Posted on June 28, 2012, in Box o' appearance, Care, General, Hair, Nails, Skincare and tagged animal testing, animals, argan, bio, biological, cosmetics, cruelty, cruelty free, effects, hair dye, health, healthy, nails, opinion, organic, personal, review, skin, skin care, skincare, strong, vegan, vegetable, vegetables. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.