Friday Favorites: Argan Oil – Beauty Benefits and Uses
My sister asked me the other day what I use for a wrinkle cream and if I could make any all natural recommendations to her.
I had to laugh because it made me think back to when I was obsessed with wrinkle creams just a few years ago. Little laugh lines were starting to creep up around my eyes and like so many other women, I thought a cream would be the magic answer.
Ugh, I don’t even want to know how much money I spent on these high promising and high dollar wrinkle creams over the years.
But now I know better and I want to share my secrets (research!) with you.
The only way to get healthy, glowing, wrinkle reduced skin is to rebuild and restore your skin’s lipid barrier.
The crazy thing is that the majority of these high dollar wrinkle creams actually destroy your skins lipid barrier in the long run. In time, these creams that contain silicones, mineral oils, artificial preservatives and fragrances will irritate, dry out and destroy your skin!
So how do you rebuild and restore your skins lipid barrier?
There’s 2 ways:
The most important way to rebuild your skin is by restoring it from the inside out. And you do this by eating a clean, anti-inflammatory diet that is rich in healthy, saturated fats (animal fats, avocados, olive, coconut oils). I’ve heard this before, but truthfully, it’s always gone in one ear and out the other. But, I’ve been eating a very clean, anti-inflammatory diet (Paleo/Primal) for about 4 years and I am a living testimony that it’s 100% true. My skin actually glows, I have less laugh lines and smoother, more even, softer skin. I told my sister that my skin looks better now than it did 5 or even 10 years ago and I can thank a Paleo/Primal/Clean diet for that.
The other way to rebuild your skin’s lipid barrier is from the outside in by giving your skin oils that actually feed and restore that hydro-lipid barrier.
Argan Oil is my oil of choice to feed my skin what it needs to restore that lipid barrier.
Why Argan Oil?
I, along with others, nicknamed Argan Oil “liquid gold” because of the profound effects I’ve seen on my skin. It’s such a rich concentration of vitamins and minerals and has powerful natural properties to heal skin ailments and protect against premature aging caused by oxidation.
Triterpenoids are an active substance found in Argan oil that offer amazing skin protection like healing scars, providing anti-inflammatory benefits, sun protection and disinfection to keep pollutants, smoke, toxins, and microorganisms from entering the skin’s barrier. It’s also amazing for chicken pox, acne, psoriasis, eczema, and stretch marks during pregnancy.
Argan oil also contains sterolins which improve skin metabolism, and promote moisture retention.
Because Argan oil has extremely high levels of Vitamin E, it’s considered very effective for anti-aging. The antioxidants in Argan oil help neutralize free radical damage which is very important for skin exposed to such polluted and toxic environments nowadays.
For the last 5 years, I’ve used coconut oil as my facial moisturizer and I’ve sung the praises about it here. I still use coconut oil for everything that I’ve always used it for, except now I use Argan oil exclusively as my facial moisturizer.
So why the switch? Why Argan oil over coconut oil as a facial moisturizer?
Here’s my reasons:
Argan oil is more lightweight than coconut oil. Argan oil also absorbs into the skin almost immediately whereas coconut oil does not. Before I started using Argan oil, I usually only used coconut oil as a night moisturizer because it made my face so greasy. If I needed moisturizer in the morning, I would have to be careful to use only a very, very small amount of coconut oil or else I’d look very greasy. FYI – The grease face look is not a good look for going out in public. I don’t have to worry about this with Argan oil. It’s so lightweight and gets absorbed very quickly. It makes for a great daytime moisturizer.
After using Argan oil exclusively on my face for about a month, I’ve noticed better results (smoother skin, more even, more moisturized, fewer fine lines) than I ever have with coconut oil. I’m not sure why this is, but hey, I’ll take it.
The downside of Argan oil:
Argan oil is the rarest and most expensive oil in the world. The reason it’s so expensive is that it’s literally extracted by hand. It takes one woman 3 days to produce 1 liter of oil! But, a little goes a long way with Argan oil. Only a few drops are necessary to reap the benefits so a small 4 ounce bottle should last you over 6 months.
Other uses for Argan Oil:
I’ve been using Argan oil for my hair that I’m excited about so I thought I’d share. It makes a great frizz tamer. I have crazy, Lion King hair in the hot, humid summer months. The only beauty product that I haven’t gone all natural with was a frizz tamer/hair smoother because I never found anything that’s all natural that works without making my hair an oiled mess. But, I’m happy to say I’ve ditched my previous frizz tamer and now use a small bit of Argan oil on my dry hair. It works great and doesn’t leave my hair oily. It also adds incredible moisture and shine and is a great split end mender. I love it!
What to look for when buying Argan oil:
If you’re interested in trying out Argan oil for your face or hair, I want to give you some tips to make sure you’re getting the pure, good stuff. You want to look for 100% cold pressed, organic, virgin Argan oil. Avoid labels that just say “contains Moroccan oil” and don’t mention 100% Argan/Moroccan oil. Companies often use a very small amount of Argan/Moroccan oil in their product and then label it as Moroccan oil even though it’s filled with silicones, preservatives, dyes and actually only contain a very, very small amount of Argan oil. So the key is looking for 100% Argan/Moroccan oil. Argan oil should be the first and only ingredient on the list.
Here are some great options if you’d like to purchase Argan oil: