Origin: Argan oil is born from the nuts of the fruits of Argan Tree. The history of Argan tree can be traced back to a village called Argana, which lies to the northeast of the Moroccan city of Agadir. The Argan tree grows in the south-western region of Morocco, where these trees are loaded with fleshy fruits. Mostly, goats eat these fruit and leave behind a hard nut. This Argan tree nut contains kernels that are the source of the beauty serum Argan Oil.
For more than 3,500 years, locals in Morocco have been using Argan Oil in cosmetic, for cooking and for medicinal purposes.
Since ancient times, the Moroccans have been using Argan oil as a skin moisturizer and hair conditioner. Phoenicians as early as 1550 B.C. have noted the usage of Argan Oil by locals to heal and beautify their bodies.
In 1510 African explorer Leo Africanus came across the Argan Oil when he was traveling across Morocco. From there, the oil traveled to Europe where only the rich and wealthy class had access to this expensive, rare and exotic oil.
For centuries, the womenfolk of this community sat on the ground in circles pounding stones to bang the Argan nut’s outer shell to extract this liquid gold.
Scientifically: It has many health benefits, most notably, it lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome. This healthy oil prevents a group of risk factors such as high cholesterol, increased body weight, high blood pressure. Argan oil has been advocated for treating hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). This further lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Argan oil contains natural plant sterols like stigmasterol, spinasterol that have cholesterol reducing effects. It has a high content of oleic acid that regulates blood cholesterol. Studies show that Argan tree nut consumption lowers body weight, body mass index and reduces waist circumference.
Research indicates that argan oil is richer in Vitamin E than any other oil. Phenolic compounds, a form of antioxidants, present in Argan oil prevents infection.
It enables weight loss by helping in better digestion and maintaining blood cholesterol. A reduction in body weight lowers the risk of other diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease. Argan oil has been revealed to be high in antioxidants, including polyphenols, tocopherols, and sterols (Guillaume and Charrouf) which can fight oxidative stress, which contributes to signs of aging and deteriorating health.
The high levels of vitamin E and fatty acids in Argan oil make it a great moisturizer. It is blessed with non-greasy and non-irritating qualities thus it gives a good hydrating boost to the skin. This natural hydrating agent gives skin a youthful glow and fights against the effects of anti-aging. It repairs damaged skin. Argan oil is the best barrier against stretch marks and sagging. In cold weather, this wonder packed oil when applied on lips ensures lips are soft and supple.
When used on hair it makes hair softer, silkier, and shinier whilst treating split ends.
Usage: Argan oil is generally used in its raw form. However, it is also often included in cosmetic products like lotions and skin creams.
It can be applied directly to damp or dry hair to improve moisture, reduce breakage, or reduce frizz. It is also sometimes included in shampoos or conditioners.
Conventionally, Argan oil is used for dipping bread or sprinkling on vegetables. It can also be lightly heated, but it is not appropriate for high-heat dishes as they can easily burn.
Below are some DIY with Argan oil:
- To make a brightening Argan oil mask, mix 2 Tbs of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 Tbs of yogurt, 1 Tbs honey and 5 Drops of Argan oil. Leave it on your face for fifteen minutes.
- To make a moisturizing Argan Oil hair mask mix 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil, 1 Tablespoon of Argan Oil, 1 Tbs Honey and few drops of lavender essential oil. Whisk and warm these ingredients. Now, apply the same on your hair.
- Take a few drops of argan oil and apply it onto the hair as a leave-in conditioner. This makes hair smooth and manageable.
- Apply a small amount of argan oil to dry and cracked feet and heels before bed. Wear clean socks to avoid staining your sheets. This makes your heels super soft.
- Mix a few drops of argan oil to brown sugar and gently use this on your lips. This exfoliates and makes your lips pink.