The skincare industry is gently shifting to a more natural approach to beauty. An abundance of age-old organic ingredients has been brought to life in forms of new-age packaging, and at its forefront has been the very much sought Argan Oil.
The native Amazigh people of Morocco used this because of its beneficial healing power towards scars and for the relief of rheumatic conditions. At present, many people from around the world consider the enhancing effects of Argan oil and are fast becoming a market trend.
Where Does Argan Oil come from?
Argan Oil, for centuries, has been a highly valued skin secret amongst the Berber women of Southwest Morocco and is usually described as “liquid gold.”
It is now a skin care must have, beauty products feature argan oil as their main ingredient. These, however, have just small oil content since 100% pure Argan oil is pricey and rare.
Coming from Argan Nut, the Argan Oil grows on Argan trees seen in Southwestern Morocco. Native Berber women are still using the ancient technique of hand cracking the nuts amongst 2 stones.
Things to Consider when Buying Argan Oil
The product is readily available in many shops across the country’s medina. Understand as well that there is a variety of Argan oil quality, and so does the price range. One should be aware of some detailed facts on the argan oil and be able to tell the real deal.
- Color and Consistency
Know that an authentic argan oil must be clear and dull yellow, even if it’s slightly murky. A very gold color can be a sign that the argan oil has been combined with other kinds of oil to lower the cost. It’s pricey because one kg of oil requires 30 kilograms of nut. The oil needs to be light once applied to the skin even if the skin may not absorb it immediately, it will over time. The oil that is easily washed off the following day is possibly not from the purest form.
- Packaging and Cost
Argan oil is best bought in a container glass and not inside a plastic bottle. This kind of packaging avoids the product being contaminated by plastics. For a 150ml bottle of argan oil, anticipate paying around $20 for a good quality product.
The argan seed, due to aesthetic reasons must be cold pressed to turn out the oil and retain the high Vit E properties in the oil. In the old times, the fruit will only be compressed once it passed through a goat’s digestive tract, collecting from its manure. Goats roam the region and it loves to eat the fruit and climb straggly trees. At present, with the use of modern technology, the process is a lot more hygienic.
What are the Main Ingredients of an Argan Oil?
Vitamin E: containing 300 percent more vitamin compared to olive oil, argan oil is abundant in Tocopherol. It is an antioxidant that aids in boosting cell production and fights free radicals to improve the capacity of the skin to keep the moisture and heal a dry, damaged skin. It works wonders too on reconditioning the health of the hair.
Olei & Linoleic Acids: these are important to prostaglandin’s development which serves as a natural anti-inflammatory and healing ingredient.
Triterpene Alcohol: an additional healing agent and an anti-inflammatory agent as well.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: preserving the health of the cellular membranes of the skin, Omega-6 fatty acid is included in Argan Oils active ingredients. It improves the total elasticity and skin’s firmness and aids in the protection of moisture level.
Squalene: this component aids in fighting the sign of premature skin aging. Squalene also has properties that are antibacterial, making argan oil a great natural cure for acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Polyphenols: Aside from functioning as an antiseptic that fights free-radical, the polyphenols in argan oil can also repair skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. Also, it also acts as a natural ultraviolet shield that protects skin that also fights sun’s damage.
Natural Antioxidants: Acting as the skin’s barrier, these antioxidants protect the skin from chemicals, sun damage, free radicals and pollution.
Ferulic Acid: an organic compound, this is a very rare antioxidant found in cell walls of plants that help in intensifying the photoprotective properties by 4 times.
Sterols: known as steroid alcohols, this ingredient slows down the process of aging using increasing the moisture retention of the skin and boosting the function of the skin’s barrier.
D-7 Stigmasterol: Also a highly potent and rare antioxidant, the ingredient is clinically proven to aid in treating wounds, repairs skin and improves the healing process.
The Beauty Benefits of Argan Oil
Commonly described as ‘liquid gold’, the argan oil which is native to Morocco is a natural product obtained from argan tree’s kernels. It is exceptionally abundant in valuable nutrients such as vitamin E and fatty acids. Its properties make it great especially for the skin and hair, making it a famous skin care choice for many superstars. But it is not only for the well-known and wealthy personalities as anyone can get the benefits of argan oil for their body.
Here are some of argan oil’s miraculous benefits it can deliver:
- Deeply moisturizes the skin: Due to its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, argan oil is used as a skin moisturizer to hydrate, giving the skin’s surface a soft and natural boost. It is easy to use all over the body, in the face and neck. It can be absorbed quickly, it’s non-irritating and non-greasy, which makes it an excellent natural moisturizer. Just pour a few drops on your skin by gently rubbing the oil, just like a typical body lotion.
- Has anti-aging properties: As an anti-oxidant, not only does argan oil serves as an effective moisturizer, it’s an anti-aging product that also provides the skin with a young looking glow and blurs out visible wrinkles. It brings back the elasticity and leaves skin feeling plump and soft. The most recommended method to apply argan oil to become more effective is to massage a few drops on your neck and face before bedtime. It acts as a moisturizer and anti-ager all in one.
- Promotes skin elasticity and firmness: The vitamin E in Argan oil is a great anti-oxidant that promotes suppleness and skin elasticity, something that fades as we age. It also reduces fine lines which can come as a result of under eye circles.
- Supports healing, and anti-inflammatory properties: The antioxidants found in argan oil provides valuable benefits for healing any damaged, cracked, irritated, or even burned skin. It’s great for the prevention of dry, sore skin, and best applied to speed up the healing process, reduce inflammation, and alleviates pain.
- Can be used as a treatment for skin problems like eczema and acne: Considering a lot of oils and moisturizers can worsen the condition of the skin like acne, argan oil actually calms troubled skin and promotes healing. Acne is usually the product of oily skin. But because argan oil is non-greasy, it keeps the skin’s balance by supplying natural moisture.
Patting the argan oil gently and two times a day can help clear mild acne and balancing dry or oily skin.
- Provides natural UV protection: Argan oil is very full of vitamin E, known to protect hair, skin, nails, and lips from ultraviolet rays. Compared to other commercial sunscreens, argan oil UV protection is totally natural and free of toxic chemicals that create more damage than good.
- Adds a youthfully radiant, healthy glow to the complexion
Where to Find the Best Argan Oil?
Just close to Essaouira is Sidi Yassine which many consider as the best producer of argan oil. To create premium cosmetic and culinary oils, the company uses only the highest standards that international brands like Weleda and L’Occitane purchase from Sidi Yassine. Based on global standards, the oil produced by the company is certified organic and with close attention to detail, Sidi Yassine’s argan oil product is second to none.
Even though it is impossible to go see the farm where oil is harvested, 33 Rue Majorelle in Marrakech, Histoires des Filles in Essaouira and other great boutiques across Morocco carries the brand and makes it easy for consumers to try.
Argan Oil in the Kitchen
Culinary oils can be produced from Argan’s toasted kernels. Having a nutty taste and smooth texture, it’s great for dipping, cooking or even as a salad dressing. It’s an enhancer best for drizzling over finished dishes, salad greens, and even creamy desserts. It doesn’t hold up well over high heat so it is not quite used to fry ingredients, but it may be added to a pan of fried eggs or vegetables at the end of a sauté for flavor and depth. Remember, it is not cheap so only use a few drops at a time.
Based on research, argan oil is effective for reducing cholesterol. The organic compounds in culinary grade Argan oil when added to food increase pepsin concentration, an enzyme that digests proteins found in meat, eggs, and dairy products, therefore improving digestion. Proper digestion equates to more energy, improved weight loss, less hunger, and in total a healthier body.