Argan oil is the beauty industry’s big new trend; suddenly, it’s being included in everything from hair conditioner to body lotion. It’s true that this rare natural oil has been used by Moroccans on hair, skin, and nails for hundreds of years, but what is it that makes products from the argan tree so effective?
Where Does it Come From?
The argan tree grows almost exclusively in the northern African countries of Morocco and Algeria. The oil is extracted from the seeds, which grow inside a fleshy, unpleasant-tasting fruit. Moroccan locals, usually women, grind and hand-press the seeds to extract the rich oils. It can take up to ten hours to extract a single liter of the oil. This long process and the rarity of the argan tree itself account for the scarcity of argan products in the main-stream marketplace.
Effective Nutritional Composition
Oil from the argan tree is permeated with rich nutrients such as vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids. Its unique composition makes it one of the most powerful vegetable oils for improving skin and hair health. A few of the most beneficial components of natural argan products are:
- Gamma tocopherol is a form of vitamin E and a powerful antioxidant. Besides many other nutritive properties of gamma tocopheral, it provides cells with protection against nitrogen free radicals, which have been linked to skin cancer and signs of aging in the skin.
- Essential fatty acids, such as oleic and linoleic acids, are key components of skin cell membranes, helping skin cells to retain a healthy level of moisture and repel harmful particles. Keeping skin cell membranes healthy also improves the retention of hair and, as an added benefit, fatty acids can help to seal and smooth hair follicles.
- Squalene and schottenol are organic compounds that enrich the natural skin barrier and have also shown anti-carcinogenic properties in clinical trials.
- Triterpene alcohols have soothing anti-inflammatory qualities and are purported to accelerate healing.
In addition to these beneficial elements, argan seed oil also contains a wide range of antioxidant acids, carotenoids, and polyphenols, all of which provide nourishing and anti-aging advantages for both skin and hair.
Where to Find it
Lately, more skin and hair products with argan oil are being produced. It is important to look for pure, organic argan seed oil that has not been processed or infused with chemicals. All-natural brands like Acure Organics and Zakias Morocco offer a wide range of argan oil products that are produced without the use of chemicals or additives. Look for Acure Organics in the Living Clean store, or learn more about natural beauty care: