Extracted from the kernels of the argan tree, argan oil is rich in fatty acids and antioxidant compounds. It has been used for years by Berber populations for culinary and cosmetic purposes. It was introduced to Europe several decades ago. However, is it completely risk-free? Are there any side effects associated with its use on the skin or hair?
Are there any dangers associated with the cosmetic use of argan oil?
What is argan oil?
Known by its I.N.C.I. name "Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil", argan oil is extracted through the cold pressing of kernels taken from the fruits of the argan tree, a plant with the botanical nameArgania spinosa which primarily grows in the southwest of Morocco. Berber women have been using it for centuries in cooking but especially to enhance their beauty. Recognised globally today for its multiple benefits, argan oil represents a significant economic wealth for Morocco. Local producing companies, organised in a network around an EIG (Economic Interest Group), have received several certifications such as the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) or the Ecocert Organic in 2014.
Due to its biochemical composition, argan oil is a companion for mature skin as well as dry skin and hair. It contains a significant amount of vitamin E and fatty acids. In skin and hair care, it is recognised for its antioxidant, moisturising, toning and softening properties. It is used alone, in its pure form, or it is included in the composition of treatments (shampoos, body lotions, conditioners, masks...) with other active ingredients and compounds.
Are there any contraindications to the external application of argan oil?
The only contraindication that exists pertains to the intake of anticoagulant treatment. Indeed, argan oil can enhance its effects. Aside from this, argan oil is gentle and non-allergenic. It is perfectly tolerated by all skin types. It is even suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as babies and young children.
Note: If you are using a skincare product containing argan oil, simply ensure that you are not allergic to any of the components present in the specific formula.
CHARROUF Z. & al. Argan oil and other argan products: Use in dermocosmetology. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology (2011).