Argan oil: benefits and uses in cosmetics and natural health

Argania Spinosa, does that ring a bell? Obtained from the argan tree, a thousand-year-old tree in Morocco, Argan vegetable oil (also called argan oil) has always been used for its therapeutic, nutritional and cosmetic properties. Very nutritious, it is the best friend of dry skin, dull hair and damaged nails. Toasted, the oil is a real treat for the taste buds. And, for all the fans of essential oils, it is the perfect vegetable oil for an optimal penetration of the aromatic actives through the skin! Latin name: Argania spinosa L. Skeels. Part used : Almond

Main properties

  • anti-oxidant : the presence of natural anti-radical compounds such as tocopherols (including vitamin E), squalene or carotenoids make this oil an excellent anti-aging remedy. This property associated with that of skin repair and protection allows this oil to fight effectively against the signs of dryness and aging of the skin. It is also very effective in preventing stretch marks in pregnant women.
  • hypocholesterolemic, cardiovascular protector : the oil from Argan almonds is rich in vitamin E and phenolic compounds (ferulic acid), substances involved in the balance of the cardiovascular system. The presence of spinasterol, plant sterol with a great physicochemical similarity to cholesterol, leads to a decrease in plasma concentrations of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, the latter being considered "bad cholesterol".
  • soothing : Argan oil has a composition similar to that of skin lipids, so it quickly penetrates the skin for a moisturizing and nourishing effect. The contributions of omega-3, 6 and 9 also participate in restoring a good elasticity of the skin. Argan oil is also used in hair care to nourish dry hair in depth and obtain shiny and flexible hair. The schotténol, a sterol present in this vegetable oil softens the skin.
  • healing : the linoleic acid in this vegetable oil allows the skin to regain its tone and lost firmness, making it a flagship in the fight against early aging and the appearance of wrinkles.
  • nourishing : very moisturizing due to its linoleic acid content, this vegetable oil is the ally of damaged hair, flaky and dried out skin, but also brittle nails.

Characteristics and composition

Cosmetic characteristics
  • Skin type: dry, all skin types, mature, oily.
  • Type of hair: hair loss, dullness, dandruff, dry, damaged.

Organoleptic characteristics
  • Appearance: viscous liquid, often cloudy
  • Color: yellow to brown
  • Odor: sweet, characteristic.
  • Touch : bold.

Characteristics for the formulation
  • Unsaponifiable and active ingredients : vitamin E, squalene, schottenol.
  • Comedogenicity index : 0 (=non comedogenic)
  • Average saponification value: 193
  • Oxidation stability: good
  • Stability at high temperatures: sensitive
  • INCI name: Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil

Fatty acid composition
  • oleic acid (omega 9 MUFA) : 43 à 49,7 %
  • linoleic acid (omega 6 PUFA) : 29 à 37,5 %
  • palmitic acid (SFA): 11,5 à 14 %
  • stearic acid (SFA): 4,3 à 7,2 %
  • unsaponifiable matter: ≤ 1 %

Physical characteristics
  • Density at 20°C: 0.908 à 0.918
  • Flash point : 175
  • Peroxide index : 10
  • Acid value : 4.000

Botanical characteristics
  • Botanical family: Sapotaceae
  • Country of origin: Morocco.
  • Distilled part: almonds
  • Production process : first cold pressing
  • Latin name : Argania spinosa L. Skeels

Precautions for use

Authorized use of the product

Dermal route Oral route

Authorized users

Adults and Teens Children under 6 years old Pregnant and nursing women Babies under 3 years old


Preferably stored in a cool place, away from light and heat.

Nutritional benefits

In addition to its richness in essential fatty acids, Argan oil contains tocopherols (including vitamin E, also known as α-tocopherol) and phytosterols such as schottenol and the α-spinasterol, which are natural antioxidants. These fight free radicals from peroxidized lipids by neutralizing them. This antioxidant property confers aprotective role towards cell membranes and blood vessel walls. Due to their chemical nature, these compounds can help to maintain the body's natural defenses against a range of diseases related to oxidative stress, such ascardiovascular diseases (atherosclerosis, cholesterol, etc...), cancers and inflammatory processes. Indeed, Argan oil has been the subject of an epidemiological study of 182 people regularly consuming argan oil and showed in these people a risk twice less to develop high blood pressure than subjects not consuming it.

  • Tips for use: by mouth, about 2 tablespoons of Argan oil will serve to cover the entire recommended daily intake of linoleic acid (omega-6). In cooking, it is mostly the toasted Argan oil that is used, it has an exquisite taste of roasted hazelnuts. It is preferable to consume it raw, because it loses its flavor during cooking. That's why chefs use it more to season their dishes, to spice up the taste and perfume. Argan oil is mainly used in Moroccan recipes. You can therefore use it without fear in tagines and other couscous. It combines very well with spices, such as paprika, coriander, turmeric, cumin, saffron. It will also accompany fish and all salads.
  • Other complementary vegetable oils: Flax, Hemp or Perilla oils are very interesting in nutrition because they are particularly rich in omega-3. They help balance the omega-6/omega-3 ratio. The ANSES recommends in fact to bring 5 times more omega-6 than omega-3; however at the present time it would seem that we consume too much omega-6 compared to omega-3 (20 for 1, instead of 5 for 1).

In case of wrinkles, mature skin

Efficiency : +++

Free radicals, the cause of skin aging, are molecules or atoms that have gained or lost an electron. These are unstable and unbalance the membrane structure of skin cells, especially collagen, the structural element that is responsible for the elasticity of the skin, especially the face. What makes Argan oil special is its composition. Composed of 80% of unsaturated fatty acids, mostly oleic acid and linoleic acid, Argan also contains 8% of vitamin E: it is a major antioxidant, which protects the cell membrane, especially white and red blood cells. Thus, this vitamin E participates in the proper functioning of the immune system and the cardiovascular system, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin E. And the Argan oil has not finished to make us good: it also contains a sterol, more precisely the schotténol, which is an excellent cutaneous regulator. This sterol is indeed one of the major assets of Argan oil, because it is present in very few other vegetable oils.

  • Application advice : by skin, a few drops of Argan oil morning and evening on the areas at risk of your skin (corner of the eyes and mouth, frown lines, expression lines, etc.).
  • Complementary essential oil(s): against wrinkles, you can add a few drops of essential oil of Rose Geranium to your Argan oil to increase its effectiveness.
  • Other suitable vegetable oils: Argan oil is very interesting in case of skin aging thanks to its rich composition in antioxidants. Other vegetable oils can also be used in this case such as the Mushroom Rose, the Apricot Kernel or even the Prickly Pear Seeds.

In case of dry skin

Efficiency : +++

Dry and dehydrated skin requires special care. This care can be provided by fatty acids, natural components of our sebum but also of our cell membranes. It is in fact the richness in essential fatty acids omega-6, linoleic acid, that Argan oil is particularly appreciated. These fatty acids will prevent the drying of the skin by strengthening the hydrolipidic barrier of the skin. To be clearer, fatty acids will in fact have a strong affinity with the skin, ie they will be attracted by the composition of the skin (its hydrolipidic film particularly) and easily cross the skin barrier. Thus the skin is better protected from external aggressions, since its barrier is reinforced. The skin is also better hydrated because it loses less water, which enables it to remain impermeable to allergens.

  • Application advice : by skin, apply a few drops of Argan oil as a night or body cream.
  • Other suitable plant oils: Argan oil is very interesting for dry skin but the Hazelnut is also very nourishing in this case.

In case of Scar, Wound

Efficiency : +++

The rich composition of phytosterols of the D7-sterol family (schottenol, spinasterol) of Argan oil finds it a traditional use in the treatment or prevention of skin or hair problems, especially in men. These molecules would act directly on the 5-alphareductase, enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. High levels of the latter would cause physiological disorders, such as acne, excessive hairiness and calvitia.

Compounds such as tirucallol, b-amyrin or butyrospermol carry the healing and protective activity of Argan oil. Other clinical studies have proven the regenerating, moisturizing (by limiting water loss) and restructuring effects. The cutaneous application of Argan oil restores the hydrolipidic layer and increases the nutrient content of skin cells. It also stimulates intracellular oxygenation, neutralizes free radicals and protects the connective tissue.

  • Application advice : par cutaneous way, after a good cleaning of your skin, massage a few drops of Argan vegetable oil on the affected areas morning and evening.
  • Complementary essential oil(s): for wound disinfection and proper healing, you can add a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil to your Argan oil to increase its effectiveness.
  • Other suitable plant oils: Argan oil is interesting for soothing the skin but other plant oils can also be very interesting in case of skin problems and inflammation: the Calophyll Inophyl, the Calendula, the Black cumin.

In case of Dandruff, Dull hair, Hair loss, Dry hair

Effectiveness: ++.

The composition of Argan oil is particularly interesting for hair, because of the strong presence of unsaturated fatty acids, but especially 8% of vitamin E. Major antioxidant and excellent natural anti-aging, vitamin E is present in few vegetable oils. A sterol is also found in Argan (schottenol) which, as a skin regulator, helps to revitalize the cells and thus boost their activity (especially to fight against hair loss). Nourishing thanks to the many fatty acids it contains (especially linoleic acid), Argan oil repairs dry and damaged hair. By acting in the heart of the hair fiber, Argan oil thus comes to strengthen it to protect it more from the many external aggressions. Its great capacity of penetration makes it possible to come to fill the capillary scales which were opened by brittleness. Thus tightened, the hair fiber reflects light better and the hair regains its shine.

  • Application advice : apply a few drops of Argan vegetable oil directly to your hair, insisting on the ends and lengths. Leave on for a few minutes for an intense revitalization.
  • Complementary essential oil(s): for brown hair, particularly prone to lack of shine, the essential oils of Lemongrass and Romarin Cineole reinforce the action of Argan to provide pretty copper highlights.
    For dull hair and hair loss, you can combine a drop of Ylang-Ylang with Argan oil.
  • Other suitable plant oils: take care of your dry and brittle hair by combining Argan oil with other plant and essential oils such as The Shea Butter to nourish the hair fiber, the Ricin Plant Oil to limit hair loss and the Fine Lavender essential oil against scalp dryness! Apply before your shampoo for 3 to 5 minutes.

In case of brittle nails

Effectiveness: ++.

The richness of Argan vegetable oil in fatty acids allows nourishing the nail in depth. For stronger and shiny nails, the vitamins that make up Argan oil will be particularly interesting. The fatty acids possess on the one hand the ability toregenerate the skin tissue but also to protect the nail through the antioxidant action of vitamin E which will capture free radicals. Very nourishing, Argan will make your nails less brittle, soften your cuticles and especially strengthen them.

  • Application advice : To soften the cuticles: add a drop of Argan oil on the fingers. Then rub the oil between the fingers, then cut the rest of the cuticles. They will then be soft and well maintained. To nourish and strengthen brittle nails: apply directly 1 to 2 drops of Argan vegetable oil on your nails and massage. Avoid doing this when the nail is varnished: it creates a barrier between the environment and the nail, which prevents the oil from being absorbed.
  • Complementary essential oil(s) : by combining Argan vegetable oil with essential oils, the strengthening power will only be potentiated. With essential oil of Lemon for example, you will lighten your nails, which will appear whiter than ever.
  • Other suitable plant oils: Argan oil is interesting for nourishing nails but the best plant oil for strengthening and fortifying nails is Ricin.

In case of oily skin

Efficiency: +.

Argan oil is also suitable for the care of oily skin, being an oilnon comedogenic. It will allow to nourish the skin, which will reduce the secretion of compensatory sebum, without smothering it and promote the formation of acne pimples or blemishes. In addition, the penetrating character of Argan oil will prevent the face from shining under the effect of an oily residue on the skin.

  • Application advice : by skin, apply a few drops of Argan oil as a day or night cream.
  • Complementary essential oil(s): essential oils of Rose Geranium or even Green Mandarin can be added (1%) as a complementary care to the HV.
  • Other suitable plant oils : it is Jojoba oil that is most suitable in case of oily skin.

Virgin, deodorized, toasted Argan, what are the differences?

You can find the vegetable oil of Argan under three different qualities, each having a particular interest:

  • virgin oil: it is obtained from the first cold pressing of argan kernels. It is particularly used in cosmetic care, both for the skin and hair. Its odor is quite neutral and we strive to make it so. If the oil has a strong smell, it is certainly that the affiaches, the fruits of the argan tree, have been harvested after being digested by goats.
  • deodorized oil: in this case, the oil undergoes an additional filtration step so that the natural smell of the oil is reduced. It is used in many cosmetic recipes, its neutral smell is a real advantage. Be careful, however, to ensure that the deodorization is carried out cold and without chemical solvents so as to respect the properties of the oil.
  • the toasted oil: here, the almonds are toasted before being cold pressed which gives the resulting argan oil that special nutty taste and smell. The toasted Argan oil has wonderful culinary and nutritional benefits.
Argan of Morocco Organic Virgin Vegetable Oil

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