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Cosmetic Uses of Argan Oil

Argan oil, extracted from the nuts of the argan tree, has been used by Mexican women for a very long time. Read on for some information about its cosmetic uses.
Of late, argan oil is getting widely acknowledged for its culinary, cosmetic as well as medicinal properties. While it has been introduced recently, in different parts of the world, this oil has been used in Morocco, throughout the centuries. This oil is extracted from the nuts of the argan tree that is endemic to certain parts of Morocco and a very few other regions.

Argan Oil Facts

So this oil is extracted from the nuts of argan tree that is found in the arid region of Morocco. One of the oldest trees on earth, argan tree is now considered an endangered species and is protected by the UNESCO. Traditionally, the pits of these trees are collected (often from goat droppings which contain undigested pits of argan fruit, which are consumed by these animals that climb on the tree) by the indigenous people of the region, called Berbers or Amazighs. They clean and dry the pits that are ground and pressed to extract oil.

Nowadays, the whole process of argan oil production is done on a commercial basis, with the help of machines. Each argan pit contains around three white kernels. These kernels are roasted and pressed to produce oil. The oil extracted from roasted kernels have a nutty flavor and is used for culinary purposes. Those produced from raw kernels are mainly used for cosmetic as well as medicinal purposes. You may be surprised to find that around 32 kilograms of argan fruits are required to produce one liter of argan oil. It contains high levels of vitamin E, carotenes, phenols and essential fatty acids, and so, is considered healthy.

Cosmetic Uses

So, argan oil is used for various purposes, including cosmetic, medicinal and culinary ones. Traditionally, oil extracted from roasted argan kernels is used for preparing bread dips and salads. Unroasted version is used to treat skin diseases and as a remedy for dry skin and acne. It is also said to be useful in treating arthritis and is said to be an excellent digestive aid.
  • Argan oil can nourish dry skin and can be a good remedy for cracked hands, knees, and elbows.
  • It is claimed to be a highly effective anti-aging agent that can erase fine lines and wrinkles on the skin.
  • While some people find it beneficial as a remedy for acne marks, it may happen that in some rare cases, this oil causes acne.
  • Argan oil is also said to clear stretch marks and other blemishes on skin. It is also a wonderful cuticle softener.
  • It is also popular for hair care. It is said to moisturize hair and remedy split ends. It is also used for making hair smooth and shiny.
How to Use Argan Oil

Consumption of this oil is said to be beneficial in reducing bad cholesterol levels and in lowering high blood pressure. It is also claimed to protect the heart and liver from many diseases. It is believed to be an aphrodisiac too. So, you may use it in small amounts, in bread dips, salads, salad dressings, pastas, etc. As far as the cosmetic uses of argan oil are concerned, it is used for both skin care and hair care. You can apply a small amount of this oil on the hair and wash it with shampoo, after an hour or two. You may also use a few drops to smooth frizzy hair. Similarly, argan oil can be applied on the skin. It can be used as such or in combination with other oils, like, sesame oil. You may apply a few drops on the face, before bedtime and wash off in the morning. Even though, argan oil is said to cause no side effects, in some rare cases, acne may develop. In such cases, discontinue its use. In case of a pedicure and manicure, you can use a mixture of argan oil and lemon juice as a cuticle softener. All you have to do is to dip your nails in this mixture for around ten minutes.

In short, argan oil, which is otherwise Moroccan oil is fast getting popular, due to its so-called benefits. You may use it for cosmetic or culinary purposes. If you want to use it for medicinal purposes, make sure to do it as per the instructions of a qualified herbal practitioner. Try to get pure argan oil from authentic manufacturers, as there are adulterated versions in the market.
By Sonia Nair
Published: 3/23/2011
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