You’ve probably already heard of argan oil for its amazing abilities to restore shine and life to hair - but did you know that there are argan oil benefits for skin, too? This lush, golden-coloured oil is a miracle worker from top to toe - here’s your guide to argan oil benefits for skin and our favourite argan oil skincare products.
What Is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is pressed from the kernels of the argan tree, aka Argania Spinosa. It’ll sometimes pop up with this name on skincare ingredient lists, or sometimes it’ll appear as just plain argan oil. This lush, amber oil originates from Morocco where it has a plethora of uses - it’s not just limited to beauty.
In its pure form, argan oil is used as a rich, nutty dip for freshly baked bread or is drizzled over Moroccan dishes as a garnish - yum!
Argan oil is one of the most expensive oils in the world - and for good reason. Extracting this lush, nourishing oil from argan kernels is incredibly laborious, but is so worth it. One of the reasons its price remains so high is because it’s so difficult to mechanise argan oil production - for the highest yield, each argan fruit needs to be peeled by hand to avoid waste and ensure that every last drop of goodness is harvested.
Inika Organic Phyto-Active Botanical Face Oil | $79
This 94% organic serum uses the power of argan oil and other natural facial oils to nourish the skin.
Argan Oil: Benefits for Skin
When it comes to natural oils, few are as well-known and appreciated as argan oil. Like all the other oils out there, argan oil has a unique balance of fatty acids that are responsible for how amazing it is for skin and hair.
High-quality argan oil is composed of almost 50% oleic acid - sometimes called omega-9, oleic acid gives argan oil it’s rich, intensely moisturising texture. The high levels of oleic acid are what make argan oil a ‘wet’ facial oil - it can take a while to sink into your skin.
Plus, if you already have oily or combination skin, it’s best to steer clear of pure argan oil - it might add a bit more of a greasy feel to your skin than you would like! However, for normal and dry skin, argan oil is a total godsend. Here are some other amazing benefits of argan oil for your skin!
Powerful Antioxidant Abilities
While it’s true that most plant oils have antioxidant benefits in one way or another, argan oil has uniquely raised levels of a form of Vitamin E called γ-Tocopherol, or gamma-tocopherol. The high levels of this unique Vitamin E form are especially effective at protecting skin from wrinkle-accelerating free radicals - something which makes antioxidants a must for every skincare routine - no matter your skin type.
Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Oil | $450
A blend of over 20 precious botanic oils works in harmony to nourish and protect the skin.
However, argan oil does more than just shield skin from external stressors - in Morocco, argan oil is commonly used as a folk remedy for dark spots on the skin. There’s a kernel of truth there: the high level of gamma-tocopherols might have something to do with it. Studies performed on isolated melanoma cells suggest that argan oil can help to lighten any dark spots or hyperpigmentation on the skin for a flawless, even skin tone.
Argan oil is most famed for its ability to moisturise dry hair, skin, and cuticles - and it’s got the studies to prove it. As an emollient, argan oil is incredibly effective at locking moisture into the skin and preventing water loss. Studies have found that argan oil can increase hydration (your skin’s natural water levels) and elasticity (how soft and bouncy your skin is).
Heals Damaged Skin
Studies have found that argan oil can speed up wound healing - that term sounds a bit intense, but it’s just what studies have to call any damage to the skin’s surface! This can include acne or even areas of eczema where the skin has been damaged (and can’t function normally due to this damage).
Argan oil does a great job of temporarily relieving the symptoms of these conditions - it might not be able to address the root cause, but it helps to comfort skin by boosting wound healing and supporting a healthy moisture barrier.
Inika Organic Phytofuse Renew Resveratrol Rich Cream | $99
An antioxidant-rich cream that uses the intensely moisturising powers of argan oil to rejuvenate skin overnight.
Who Should Use Argan Oil?
It’s not a secret that argan oil is incredibly rich and nourishing - and that helps narrow down which skin types argan oil is best for. If you have a dry or normal skin type, argan oil will fit perfectly in your skincare routine - it’ll help lock in moisture and give your skin a radiant glow.
While dehydrated skin and mature skin aren’t necessarily skin types (they’re more like a state your skin is in), they can also benefit from the moisture-boosting power of argan oil.
Argan oil will help dehydrated skin hang on to as much water-based hydration as possible for smoother, flake-free skin. Mature skin tends to produce less oil and will appreciate argan oil’s ability to soften and nourish.
If you're still trying to create your ideal skincare routine, have you tried our skin quiz? It'll give you completely customised suggestions perfectly tailored to your skin type.