Argan oil is a rare treasure. It comes from trees that grow in the harsh climate of the Moroccan desert, making it one of the scarcest oils in the world. Its effects on our bodies when used as an ingredient in beauty products are strikingly potent.
But many who use Argan oil don't realize that they aren't getting all the benefits from it they should be. Actually, the magical effects we want are often blunted.
Nearly Gone for Good
For thousands of years, Argan oil was used in Morocco in food for its powerful nutrients. But it was also a beauty phenomenon. Argan oil helps with anti-aging (loaded with antioxidants), is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, adds shine to hair, and is a great moisturizer for sun-exposed hair and dry skin.
The crazy thing is, the tree was almost extinct just a few decades ago.
Back in the 90s, demand wasn't high for Argan oil as an export. The locals used it themselves, and even in their food. But that didn't provide enough income to justify having trees in place of other crops that could be exported for more profit to support their economy. The Argan tree dwindled, almost totally gone from existence.
But when Argan oil was rediscovered for beauty products, it emerged thriving. The beauty industry's fascination with Argan oil's unique and incredible benefits saved the Argan trees and our hair from damage.
But this beauty movement sweeping across the world came with a problem.
Most of the Argan oil products out there blunt its effectiveness to hydrate and negate some ability to deliver the very benefits we buy it for.
Although Argan oil is called liquid gold, most brands demote it to liquid bronze or silver at best. These products often sacrifice the incredible effects of Argan oil for the sake of mass convenience.
Store-bought brands often pair Argan oil with harmful chemicals in their formulas. The toxins used do not complement the oil. Instead, they work against it. Rather than restoring your skin and hair, they leave you with dry hair and a damaged scalp over time.
The Benefits of Argan Oil
Here are the benefits you should be getting.
Pure Argan oil contains a host of nutrients.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Omega 6 fatty acids
- Linoleic acid
- Oleic acid
As part of beauty and hair care products, this team of nutrients is potent! Even using just a little bit of clean (toxin-free) Argan oil goes a long way.
It's no wonder people throughout history have used Argan oil in such a wide array of ways.
Argan Oil for Skin
Argan oil soothes dry skin, making it great as a moisturizing agent (also helping with dandruff). It improves the skin's ability to retain water and stay hydrated. Even in the cold, it helps heal cracks in the skin and soothe minor wounds.
It's used in lip balms, salves to reduce stretch marks (yes, it works!), and as an agent to help soothe other inflammatory skin issues (like diaper rash and eczema).
Because Argan oil contains allantoin and melatonin, it also promotes the growth of healthy tissue. It protects against sun damage. And it helps with scars, ulcers, and wrinkles.
The list of good news feels endless. Argan oil reduces inflammation, eliminates free radicals, and restores skin. This anti-aging wonder even helps combat acne. Studies show that the amount of oil that causes acne decreased when the participants applied an oil mixture including Argan oil to their faces.
For all these same reasons, Argan oil is wildly effective for hair treatments and scalp conditioning!
Argan Oil in Hair
Many of us have probably heard of using Argan oil in deep conditioning treatments and hair masks. It is wonderful for hydration, but it also actually repairs the strands (everything from the hair follicles to split ends), supporting hair growth, resisting breakage as well as hair loss, and even minimizing damage after a coloring treatment.
If you live in a humid climate or blow-dry your hair, frizz is a problem. But Argan oil tames frizz and protects your hair from heat damage like a superstar. No wonder, since it grows in the desert!
Even without humidity and blow dryers, there are plenty of factors contributing to dryness and hair shaft damage. Whether it's chlorine from a pool, sun exposure, hot irons, curlers, or coloring treatments, the vitamin E and fatty acids in Argan oil can help repair it and even add more shine back to your mane.
Argan oil, when used alone, builds fantastic hair health. Paired with the right ingredients, and even a little Argan oil goes a much longer way than we'd think. But paired with the wrong ones, and your scalp and hair could come out of the other side in worse shape.
What Blunts Argan Oil's Amazing Effects
Argan oil's wide array of uses is either aided or battled against by the ingredients it's paired with. Unfortunately, in most cases, hair care products contain toxins like sulfates.
Sulfates are the reason many shampoos are foamy. While that foaminess feels nice between our fingers, it also dries out your hair and scalp. Sulfates are often the main contributors to brittle, dull, and thin hair. They strip the hair of oil to the point of irritation rather than cleansing it and preserving hair health. Over time, they also lead to a host of other inflammatory skin responses and further issues. Goodbye elasticity. Goodbye natural shine. Goodbye healthy growth.
Although the damage sulfates do is bad enough, they aren't the only harmful chemical present.
Another is food dyes. Artificial food dyes are in shampoos.
Besides causing behavioral problems, food dyes contribute to the amount of cancer our world battles. It doesn't make sense to rub that into our scalps when considering our skin absorbs most of what we put on it.
Hair and skincare products with these harmful chemicals do the exact opposite of what Argan oil is trying to do. Since there are more than only these few harmful chemicals blunting Argan oil, the question becomes how do I actually get more benefits from Argan oil, and leave all those nasty toxins out of the picture?
The process is simple.
How to get more Benefits
To reap the most from Argan oil you can, it needs to be used in a way that won't blunt its amazing abilities. That means avoiding as many toxic ingredients as possible.
Home remedies with natural ingredients (like salves or balms) are certainly a wonderful option we love. But they do take time. On the other hand, it can be difficult to find products with potent natural ingredients that aid Argan oil (and do not battle against it).
We make that part easy.
If you're not up to searching for clean sources for all the ingredients needed for the DIY projects, check out our hair care bundles.
We use argan oil in our products along with ingredients that support it, which is how you can get more from this amazing oil. Our Nourishing Conditioner for All Hair Types and our Enriching Conditioner for Wavy, Curly Hair (which is great for anything frizzy) have deep lists of powerful ingredients working together to better your health and help you have more fantastic hair days.
In those, we pair high-quality Argan oil with ingredients like hydrolyzed quinoa, nettle, safflower, shea butter, and avocado butter. Each of those natural ingredients aids Argan oil in strengthening hair from its roots to its ends.
If you do love using Argan oil in conditioner but also want to tackle some DIY Argan oil salves or balms, check out our resources below for links that can help! Just add or replace olive oil with Argan oil in the recipes.
1. Wells, Katie. (2020, April 29). Top 10 Argan Oil Benefits for Skin, Face, and Hair. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/426023/argan-oil-benefits/
2. Wells, Katie. (2015, March 31). Do Food Dyes Affect Behavior? Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/36873/do-food-dyes-affect-behavior/
3. Wells, Katie. (2013, February 28). Pregnancy Stretch Marks Salve. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/8183/stretch-marks-salve/
4. Wells, Katie. (2011, December 5). Homemade Healing Salve. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/3520/homemade-healing-salve/
5. Wells, Katie. (2012, September 6). Healing Lip Salve Recipe. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/5859/healing-lip-salve/