What is Argan Oil?
Last Updated: February 19th, 2018
If you have had even the slightest interest in beauty products within the last five years, you have probably heard the phrase "argan oil" being thrown around. But what is argan oil? Where does it come from? What does it do? And more importantly, how can it benefit your beauty regimen?
These are all very important questions which, unfortunately, not many people are asking (and even fewer people are actually answering). But we believe that a well-informed consumer is the best kind of shopper, so we have put together this comprehensive report on what is argan oil. Keep reading for an informative history of argan oil's origins, as well as a complete rundown of all the beauty benefits argan oil can have for you.
What is Argan Oil: Historical And Geographical Origins
For centuries, the Southwest region of Morocco has been home to a plant known as the argan tree. Whenever the argan trees are ready to reproduce, they grow a large fruit comprised of a fleshy exterior, a large, hard pit in the center, and 2-4 argan tree seeds within the center of that pit. Those seeds, when extracted manually by cracking the pit's tough exterior and processed, yield the "Moroccan Gold" of what is argan oil that we know and love today.
The local farmers who cultivate, harvest, and process the oil (mostly Berber women) have been using it in a number of different ways since its health and nutrient benefits were first discovered. If the seed kernels are roasted before processing, then the resulting argan oil can be used in a variety of culinary dishes. And this doesn't just add a tasty flavor to the recipe; the oil is full of fatty acids which are great for lowering cholesterol and improving overall heart health. For the people of Morocco, health and beauty are just about synonymous for what is argan oil to them.
What is Argan Oil for Hair, Nails, and Skin
As beneficial as it is for heart health, the thing that really drives demand for this up-and-coming beauty craze is what is argan oil for beauty. It started with the Berber farmers in Morocco using it on their hair and skin to protect themselves from the desert climate. Now, it is being sold to Europe and the Americas as a whole body beauty tonic to improve the look of skin, nails, and especially hair.
What is argan oil for your hair? A miraculously restorative conditioner, for starters. The main components which make up argan oil are vitamin E, and a handful of essential fatty acids which are difficult to find together and in such high concentrations in other botanical oils. When applied to dried-out and damaged strands, argan oil nourishes for extra hydration. It also fortifies the hair shaft to keep the good stuff in, and the bad stuff out.
Applying argan oil to the skin has similar effects. Vitamin E has long been heralded as an excellent skin conditioner, and the fatty acids enhance the emollient and humectant process. Another way to describe what is argan oil is a natural sun screen; the nutritional components of this oil help prevent fine lines and premature signs of aging by naturally protecting your skin cells from sun damage.
Recently, cosmetologists have discovered that argan oil can be great for your hands and nails, too. What is argan oil, in their opinion? A cure-all for chapped hands and weak, brittle nails, that's what. As discussed earlier, argan oil has a powerful ability to restore moisture to skin, even the rough and overexposed skin on your hands. You can also incorporate argan oil into your manicure routine to help prevent your nails from chilling and breaking. Just rub a drop of argan oil into each nail bed, and massage until completely absorbed. The fortifying fatty acids and other nutrients in the oil will help your nails grow stronger and longer.
What is Argan Oil, and How Can I Get It?
The explosion of argan oil popularity has made this beauty oil available virtually anywhere that hair, skin, and nail care products are sold. Unfortunately, the down side to this massive availability is that not all of these products are created equal. It can be hard to know for sure whether the argan oil product you're thinking about purchasing is the real deal, or too good to be true. Let our experts help you. We've scoured the internet for the best argan oil products available today, and we've weighed the pros and cons of each one.