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Argan oil is a precious commodity that has been used for centuries in Moroccan traditions for its extensive skin and hair benefits. Made by cold-pressing the kernels of the argan tree exclusively found in Southwestern Morocco, argan oil contains high concentrations of essential fatty acids and antioxidants that make it a powerhouse for skin health.
The antioxidant properties of argan oil help protect skin from environmental damage caused by factors like pollution and UV rays. Additionally, argan oil is highly moisturizing and helps improve the skin’s barrier function. Its anti-inflammatory qualities also make it beneficial for treating many skin conditions.
In this blog post, we will take a comprehensive look at the research-backed benefits of argan oil for skin and how you can incorporate it into your skincare routine.
Moisturizes and Hydrates Skin
One of the biggest benefits of argan oil is its ability to deeply moisturize and hydrate the skin without clogging pores. This is largely because of the high vitamin E content, a potent antioxidant that improves water retention in skin cells.
A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that applying argan oil based creams twice daily for four weeks led to a significant increase in skin hydration levels without any adverse effects. The natural fatty acids help replenish lost moisture and protect skin barrier function.
Argan oil can be used as a standalone moisturizer or mixed with your regular facial moisturizer to boost its hydrating effects. Its light non-greasy texture absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving any residue behind. Consider applying it morning and night for best results.
Protects Against Photodamage and Premature Aging
Our skin undergoes significant photodamage from prolonged sun exposure which accelerates signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles and loss of elasticity over time. Argan oil contains powerful antioxidants like polyphenols, ferulic acid and catechins that protect skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation and free radicals.
A 2013 study evaluated the photoprotective potential of argan oil on human skin cells. Results showed argan oil could help prevent DNA damage from UVB rays and reduce the activity of inflammatory enzymes linked to skin cancer and premature aging. Regular use may also help minimize hyperpigmentation and age spots caused by sun damage.
For sun protection benefits, apply argan oil generously all over the exposed areas of your skin 30 minutes before heading out in the sun. Reapply every 2 hours for continued protection throughout the day.
Reduces Acne Breakouts
Acne occurs when sebaceous glands in the skin produce excess sebum clogging hair follicles. Argan oil contains fatty acids that have anti-sebum properties, effectively regulating the skin’s oil production and preventing blocked pores.
A study on 60 women with oily, acne-prone skin found applying a cream containing 5% argan oil twice daily led to significant reductions in sebum levels, acne lesions and pore size within 4 weeks. The anti-inflammatory compounds in argan oil also help soothe inflammation and redness associated with breakouts.
For acne-prone skin, massage 2-3 drops of pure argan oil into areas prone to breakouts as part of your morning and nightly skincare routine. Be patient as it may take 6-8 weeks to see visible improvements.
Improves Skin Elasticity and Reduces Stretch Marks
As we age, our skin loses its natural elasticity and collagen production declines leading to wrinkles and sagging. Studies have found argan oil strengthens elastic fibers in skin, boosting elasticity when used topically or taken orally.
A 2016 randomized controlled study evaluated the effects of an argan oil based cream on stretch marks development during pregnancy. After 28 days, women applying the cream twice daily showed significant improvements in skin elasticity and reduction in stretch mark severity compared to the control group.
For improving skin firmness, massage 1-2 drops of argan oil all over your body, especially prone areas after showering when skin is damp. This allows for better absorption. Look for a cream containing argan oil if specifically treating stretch marks.
Soothes Skin Conditions Like Psoriasis and Eczema
The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits of argan oil make it an effective natural remedy for relieving symptoms of various inflammatory skin conditions.
A small pilot study found twice daily application of pure argan oil on psoriasis patches led to noticeable improvements in redness, scaling and itching within 4 weeks. Similarly, patients with atopic dermatitis who applied argan oil reported relief from inflammation, itching and lesions.
If you have psoriasis, eczema or other inflammatory skin issues, massage 2-3 drops of argan oil gently into affected areas after your regular moisturizer for added hydration and soothing effects. Look for gradual improvements over 2-4 weeks of continued use.
Treats Skin Infections and Speeds Healing
With antimicrobial properties, argan oil has been used for centuries to treat skin infections and speed wound healing. Test tube studies show it inhibits the growth of common bacteria, fungi and yeast linked to various skin infections.
Traditionally, Berber women would apply argan oil directly to wounds, infections and burns for its disinfectant and healing abilities. Even today, argan oil continues to benefit skin infections like bacterial or fungal infections when applied topically.
To use as an antiseptic, apply argan oil directly to cuts, abrasions, minor burns or infected areas using clean fingers a few times daily. Clean the wound first with mild soap and water. Continue usage till signs of infection subside.
Reduces Signs of Aging
As we age, our skin loses collagen and elastin production declines causing wrinkles and sagging. Studies show argan oil protects against UV damage and free radicals to slow down visible signs of aging.
A 2016 study evaluated the effects of oral and topical argan oil on skin elasticity and hydration levels in post-menopausal women. Compared to placebo, supplementing with argan oil capsules along with applying a face cream containing argan oil twice daily led to significant improvements in elasticity within 28 days.
For anti-aging benefits, massage 1-2 drops of argan oil gently into cleansed face and neck skin morning and night as part of your skincare routine. Look for long-term improvements in texture, tone and wrinkle reduction.
Potential Side Effects
While largely well-tolerated, some people may experience minor side effects from argan oil like skin irritation, redness or breakouts in rare cases. Those with nut allergies should do a patch test before full use.
When taken orally, potential side effects could include nausea, bloating, diarrhea or loss of appetite for some individuals. Discontinue usage and see a doctor if issues persist or worsen. Argan oil is generally safe when used as directed for most healthy adults.
With its rich content of antioxidants, vitamin E and fatty acids, argan oil has numerous scientifically validated skin and hair benefits. Whether used alone or blended into products, a regular argan oil routine can improve several skin conditions, protect from UV damage and slow signs of aging.
Start with a patch test and introduce argan oil gradually into your skincare routine. Consistency is key to reaping its maximum rejuvenating effects. Always consult a dermatologist if new issues arise while using argan oil products. Proper usage makes argan oil a wholesome, all-natural addition to your beauty regimen.
In conclusion, argan oil has been prized for its restorative properties for skin, hair and health applications for centuries. Hailing from the southwestern region of Morocco, argan oil derives its anti-aging, healing and moisturizing benefits from high concentrations of antioxidants like vitamin E, phenols and fatty acids. Extensive research has validated argan oil’s ability to protect skin from sun damage, improve elasticity, diminish acne breakouts and signs of aging, hydrate and nourish dry skin while soothing inflammatory conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Whether consumed orally as supplements or applied topically, argan oil works to repair and replenish skin at a cellular level thanks to its nutrient-dense composition.
While certain individuals may experience minor irritation, argan oil is generally very well-tolerated and safe to use for most adults. Regular inclusion of argan oil in one’s skincare routine can go a long way in maintaining a youthful, clear and radiant complexion. Its lightweight, non-greasy texture also makes it suitable for all skin types. With continued usage, one can significantly boost collagen production, reduce signs of photodamage and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time. Argan oil’s anti-inflammatory capabilities also help address acne scarring and pigmentation issues. Overall, it is a versatile natural ingredient that works hard to deliver glowing, healthier skin from within as well as on the surface.