What: Argan (Argania Spinosa) oil is deemed by many a super-ingredient for skin care due to its high levels of antioxidants, essential fatty acids and natural vitamin E, (Wiki). Because this natural oil is said to contain three times more anti-aging Vitamin E than any other natural oil, it is often used in skin care products for its restorative and anti-aging benefits.
Origin: Argan oil is an oil produced from the green fruit of the Argan tree (argania spinosa), endemic to southwestern Morocco, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties (Wiki). Morocan women have used Argan oil for centuries for its healing and age-defying effects. It is the women of the Berber culture (from this region) who traditionally, and exclusively, produce the Argan oil which is then exported to other countries.
Though the Berbers use Argan for far more than skin care (food, charcoal, building material), the oil remains its primary use. Argan oil is very high in Vitamin E. Argan oil is rich in the essential fatty acid, linoleic acid. This acid is converted in the body in other fatty acids which lead to the production of prostaglandins, used in the body's functions including immune, inflammatory process as well as blood clotting. The oil also contains phytosterols (naturally-occurring plant alcohols) which brighten and boost radiance in skin.
Products Found In: Argan oil is a rich and highly emollient oil, which is quickly absorbed by the skin and leaves behind no residual greasiness. It is known to reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks and scarring. The oil is effective in fighting signs of aging and sun damage as well as improving the skin’s elasticity. It may also be used to soften cuticles and as a hot oil treatment for hair. Argan oil is often used in facial moisturizers, treatments, anti-aging skincare, facial cleansers, make up items, eye creams, body care, and hair care (EWG).
Alternative Names: Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Argania Spinosa, Argania Spinosa (Cosmetic Analysis).
Toxicity: Argan oil is generally classified as not toxic or harmful (EWG).