For some time now, everybody has been talking about Argan oil. In addition to nutrition and medicine, the rare vegetable oil is also used in cosmetics to unfold its positive effect. In perfumeries and pharmacies the name is emblazoned on tubes and jars of creams, lotions and hair care products and advertises high promises. But what actually is Argan oil and for which types of skin and hair is it suited?
The precious oil is extracted from the kernels of the fruit of the argan tree. Its striking features are its golden yellow color and intense aroma. The endangered argan tree (Argania spinosa) has high demands on its environment and therefore grows only in a very limited area in the southwest of Morocco. The recovery of the oil is time-consuming and tedious. For the production of the oil, which is traditionally hand-pressed and carried out mainly by women, about one liter of refined oil is extracted from approximately 30 kg of fruit. Argan oil contains 20 % saturated and 80 % unsaturated fatty acids and is characterized by its content of tocopherols and antioxidants as well as its valuable composition of phytosterols such as schottenol and spinasterol.
Argan oil has an excellent effect as a skin and hair care product. This is due to its mix of fatty acids and valuable antioxidants. In cosmetics, not roasted, but natural Argan oil is used. In contrast to the oil from roasted nuts, it is almost odorless and still contains all of the vitamins. Likewise, mostly cold-pressed Argan oil is used when it is applied as a pure oil directly on the skin. For everyday care, only a few drops are needed, for a facial mask, a little bit more can be used. The high quality ingredients of the oil have a moisturizing and nourishing effect on dry, rough and damaged skin. Sensitive or blemished skin is soothed and will become more resilient. If the skin is supplied with sufficient moisture, wrinkles that are caused by dry skin will disappear and the antioxidants that are contained in Argan oil will prevent skin aging.
For a long time, the oil has been used for treating sunburn or wounds. Through the alleviation of acne and eczema, Argan oil is also popular for treating problem skin. The scope of application ranges from the face, over the entire body up to the hair. Argan oil makes dry, brittle and damaged hair shiny and smooth. Dry, itchy scalp is soothed and cared for. Again, pure Argan oil can be applied drop by drop on the tips of the hair or be spread throughout the hair before washing it as a cure or be applied specifically to the scalp. It is also interesting to note that many care products can be enhanced with pure Argan oil. Adding a few drops to your favorite facial cream or hair conditioner will turn it into a luxury skin care product. Serums and creams will thus soak the skin much better. It will appear smoother and well cared for. Hair care enriched with Argan oil will be more effective and will make the hair look much healthier and stronger.
Besides pure Argan oil, a wide range of products with the oil as one of its ingredients is on the market. Facial creams, body lotions, shampoos, hair conditioners and cures are just a selection of the classic products that are now available containing the Moroccan treasure. When buying beauty products, it must be paid attention to the actual percentage of Argan oil contained in the product. Often, in order to cater for this trend, manufacturers add only the smallest amount of the expensive ingredient to their products, but nevertheless charge the customer properly for it. Therefore, simply always carefully check the list of ingredients. From the position the ingredient Argan oil is listed, it can be seen whether Argan oil is actually contained in a large amount. The further at the beginning it is listed, the more is included – the closer it is to the end of the list, the less is contained. Many manufacturers only disclose the name of the substance taken from the INCI-nomenclature in the list of ingredients. For Argan oil, this would be "Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil". Knowing this denotation will help the layman to decipher the confusing manufacturer information and to find the right product with ease. In conclusion, it can be said that Argan oil should be an integral part of professional and self-made cosmetics.
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