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If you’ve been a Wellness Mama reader for a while now you know that I’ve used coconut oil for everything from cooking to skincare to digestive help. Another of my favorite oils is argan oil. Argan oil benefits include skin, hair, and face support and can be used in many ways.
What Is Argan Oil
Argan oil is a precious edible and cosmetic oil that comes from the kernels of the Argania spinosa fruit. Argan trees are rare and only grow in desert-like conditions in Morocco where they can live up to 450 years. This makes the oil rare as well.
Argan fruit kernels are roasted to extract an edible oil with a variety of dietary uses. Unroasted kernels produce a cosmetic-grade oil with topical benefits for skin and hair. Often referred to as ”liquid gold,” this oil contains ample amounts of:
- Vitamins A and E
- Omega-6 fatty acids
- Linoleic acid
Since this oil is rare, it’s also more expensive than other carrier oils. I often add smaller amounts to skin and hair care recipes in addition to olive or coconut oil as you don’t need much to reap its benefits.
Argan oil is generally safe for topical use. Most people won’t have an adverse reaction, but it’s always best to check. Always test new products (even natural oils like this) in small amounts on just one area of the body before applying in larger quantities.
This nutritious oil is a staple in my skincare routine. I use it topically to address everything from acne flare-ups to wrinkles and frizzy hair. Plus, there are several ways that kids can benefit from the many benefits of argan oil, too!
Argan Oil Benefits for Hair
Argan oil is a fantastic oil for hair care, especially for battling dry, brittle, or damaged hair. This oil nourishes hair and scalp while creating a smoother, hydrated appearance.
Frizzy hair is a frustrating issue that’s tough to remedy if you live somewhere with lots of humidity. This amazing oil is a popular ingredient in store-bought frizz-taming sprays and leave-in-conditioners because it works so well at smoothing the hair shaft.
However, many of these products contain sulfates and other toxins that I prefer to avoid. I place a few drops of argan oil on my palms and run them through my hair before blow-drying to minimize frizz and prevent heat damage from the hairdryer.
Deep Conditioner for Dry, Damaged Hair
There are many things that can cause dry brittle hair. Commercial hair treatments and styling tools can contribute to dry hair. Swimming in chlorinated pools, spending extended periods of time in the sun and wind, and overwashing are some other reasons hair may become dry and brittle.
The vitamin E and fatty acids in this oil make it an excellent ingredient to include in hair treatments to smooth splayed ends and make hair shine. A 2013 study confirmed that using argan oil conditioner following a color treatment minimizes hair damage from the treatment. This is one reason I included it in my Wellnesse Conditioner formula.
For an easy-to-make oil treatment, simply work 5-10 drops of warmed argan oil from the scalp of your head to the ends of your hair. Twist your hair up into a shower cap and leave the oil in through the night. In the morning, rinse the oil from your hair in the shower.
I also love this recipe for a nourishing hair oil treatment. Substitute argan oil for the olive oil in this recipe to deeply hydrate damaged hair. When I notice that my hair could use a boost, I do this treatment, and I’m always amazed at how wonderfully it works!
Argan Oil Benefits for Skin
Argan oil contains powerful antioxidants that tone, hydrate, and help heal the skin. I’ve used it in everything from herbal healing salves to creamy lotions for dry hands and feet.
Supports Healing Wounds
It appears the benefits of argan oil as a wound-healing agent is two-fold. This moisturizing oil helps allantoin (a natural compound used to promote the growth of healthy tissue) penetrate the skin and improve the condition. In studies it was found to help with skin ulcers and hypertrophic scars.
Argan oil is an amazing tool to support healthy skin growth. For this reason, I often substitute two tablespoons of argan oil for olive oil in this homemade healing herbal salve recipe. The argan oil compliments the anti-inflammatory and astringent properties of the other natural ingredients.
Natural Sun Protection
Argan oil contains the antioxidant melatonin (among others). According to a 2017 study in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, melatonin has photoprotective properties that assist the body in healing and preventing further damage from the sun.
Wrinkles and fine lines naturally occur as we age, but exposure to UV rays can speed up the process. Adding this moisturizing oil to a carrier oil (like coconut or grapeseed oil) and using it as a total body moisturizer can help reduce sun damage. Adding a few drops of this oil to an all-natural lotion (like this one) is another excellent way to reap the UV protective benefits of argan oil.
Reduce Stretch Marks
One of my favorite argan oil benefits is that it can be used to fade stretch marks. After six children, I can attest to its effectiveness as a remedy for stretch marks. Mix 5-10 drops of argan oil with this stretch mark salve and apply it daily.
Hydrate Dry, Cracked Skin on Hands and Feet
Studies show that the use of argan oil improves the skin’s ability to hold water and maintain hydration. This makes argan oil especially useful for hydrating skin in the winter when the air is cold and dry.
I love adding a few drops to hand cream before bed. Also, I often include it in this cracked heel salve whenever my skin could use a hydration boost.
From spot treatments to total body moisture, this oil is useful from head to toe. Whether you are looking to heal a minor wound or clear up stretch marks, this natural oil is worth investing in.
Argan Oil Benefits for Face
Argan oil is commonly found in high-priced facial serums and creams to promote healthy-looking skin. However, most of these store-bought products contain chemicals and added ingredients that I don’t want near my face.
There’s plenty of good reasons to include this oil in a face care routine, but I prefer to make my own serums and moisturizers to reap the benefits of argan oil without toxins.
None of us want wrinkles, especially ones that appear before they should. Argan oil can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and keep early aging at bay.
This 2015 study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging showed that the use of argan oil improved skin elasticity in a group of postmenopausal women. It may not be the fountain of youth, but reducing the appearance of wrinkles with this highly nutritious oil is worth a try.
I use this herbal face oil to ward off wrinkles and create healthy-looking skin on my face. It includes argan oil, and although it is expensive to make, it lasts 6-8 months. Just a small amount is needed, and ‘it’s still cheaper and less painful (not to mention less risky) than a Botox treatment!
For those that deal from acne, the thought of making your face more oily may sound counter-intuitive. But, there is some benefit to it!
Research shows that the level of natural oil that causes acne decreased as participants used an oil mixture that included argan oil on their faces. The fatty acids in argan oil help reduce inflammation and help support healthy skin.
Acne can pop up at any age, and it is difficult to deal with. When I have a breakout, the first thing I reach for is a gentle, but stimulating, exfoliant like this cumin face scrub.
After washing my face with natural ingredients, I dab a small amount of argan oil over my face making sure I address any problem areas. So far, this treatment method has worked wonders on my skin.
Hydrating Lip Treatment
Another area of the face where argan oil comes in handy is for lip care. In the winter when the weather turns colder, I often get dry chapped lips. Argan oil’s ability to lock in moisture and soothe irritation makes it a perfect ingredient to include in lip balms.
This healing herbal lip balm is natural to make, and it moisturizes while also being antibacterial and antifungal. Add argan oil instead of grapeseed or vitamin E oil to reap the benefits of this nutritious oil for your soft, smooth lips.
Argan Oil for Kids
While argan oil is best known for its help with aging skin, it’s also a great choice for kids’ skin.
Reduce Inflammatory Skin Conditions
It seems everyone is dealing with some kind of skin condition these days. Not to mention, babies and young children have more sensitive skin than adults. This makes managing a little one’s skin problems even more challenging.
Fortunately, argan oil is safe for children to use. Because it contains antioxidants and other nutrients, it is perfect for helping a variety of inflammatory skin issues common in children. Apply argan oil topically for:
While there is a lot to address with skin conditions (like a diet that may be triggering it), argan oil can help to soothe dry, irritated skin and promote healthy skin growth.
Nutrient-Dense Massage Oil for Kids and Babies
Homemade massage oil is useful for a variety of childhood ailments. Everything from upset tummies to bumps and bruises can be relieved with a gentle and relaxing massage using nutrient-dense ingredients. Argan oil makes a fantastic addition to whatever carrier oils and essential oils you choose to use to make a massage oil at home.
Where I Get Argan Oil
Though argan oil is more expensive than many other oils, it’s worth it to me. I like that I can use a natural oil instead of over the counter or prescription skincare products. My favorite essential oil company, Plant Therapy, carries a quality argan oil that I use currently. I’ve also ordered this brand from Amazon with great results.
This article was medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a board certified family physician. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Have you tried argan oil? How has it helped you?