Argan is the fruit of the Argan tree, an ancient tree that primarily thrives in the arid regions of Southwestern Morocco. It produces an oval fruit the size of a walnut, containing pulp and a kernel. From this kernel, almonds are extracted, which are traditionally ground and cold-pressed to obtain the argan oil. It is nicknamed "liquid gold" by the ancient populations, due to its therapeutic and cosmetic benefits.
What you need to know about argan vegetable oil.
What is argan?
The Argan tree, botanically known as Argania spinosa, primarily grows in the southwest of Morocco. In its native region, the plantations are grouped together and referred to as argan groves ; they span across nearly 83,000 km2. As the Argan tree is classified as an endangered species, it has been listed in the heritage forest of humanity by UNESCO since 1999.
The fruits of the argan tree reach maturity in the spring and fall to the ground between the months of June and July. They are harvested and sun-dried before being depulped. Within these fruits are kernels, each containing one to three seeds known as arganons. From these almonds, the oil in question is extracted by first cold pressing. It possesses nourishing and protective properties; thus, it is recommended for the care of dry and dehydrated skin and hair.
Today, globally recognised for its numerous benefits, argan oil (I.N.C.I.: Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil) represents a significant economic asset for Morocco. Local production companies, organised in a network around an Economic Interest Group (EIG), have received several certifications such as the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) or the Ecocert Bio in 2014. It's worth noting the exponential growth of Israeli argan oil in recent years.
Note: in skincare and haircare, argan can also be introduced in the form of an extract (I.N.C.I.: Argania Spinosa Kernel Extract). The properties of this ingredient remain substantially similar to those of the vegetable oil: the extract is also softening, nourishing and emollient.
What are the benefits of argan oil for the skin?
Rich in polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (linoleic acid), monounsaturated (oleic acid), saturated (palmitic acid, stearic acid), sterols (spinasterol, schottenol, campesterol), as well as vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols), argan oil is valued for its multiple properties.
Moisturising and nourishing properties.
Its content of omega-6 and omega-9 providesnutritionandelasticityto the skin, andprevents dehydrationbystrengthening the barrier functionof the epidermis. As a reminder, the hydrolipidic film improves the resistance of the horny layer against external aggressions and limits insensible water loss. Argan vegetable oil is thus recommended for taking care ofdry and dehydrated skin.
As an antioxidant, it combats skin ageing caused by the frequent attacks of free radicals.
As a reminder, free radicals arereactive oxygen species naturally produced by the body. However, when cells are faced with astress, they produce them excessively.Excessive sources of stress are numerous, the main ones being exposure to UVA, pollution, smoking, a diet too rich in fats and/or sugars. Free radicals are particularly unstable molecules due to theirsingle electron. They tend to react with other molecules to form apair of electrons, and thus causedamage to cells, DNA and proteins in the body. Ageing is thus accelerated and wrinkles appear on the skin surface. Argan oilcontains natural anti-radical compounds such as vitamin E and squalene. They donate an electron to free radicals, stabilise them and thus prevent them from causing harm and accelerating the natural ageing of the epidermis.
A restorative and healing treatment.
The linoleic acid in this vegetable oilpromotes the regeneration of skin cells and accelerateshealing.
Gentle and non-allergenic, argan oil is well tolerated by all skin types. It does not have any contraindications. It is suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as babies and young children.
What are the benefits of argan oil for hair?
Argan oil nourishes the hair. It is recommended for moisturising dry and dull hair. Rich in Vitamin E, it also protects the hair from external aggressions (pollution, sun, cigarette smoke...) which generate an overproduction of free radicals. This phenomenon, known as oxidative stress, is a factor associated with the deterioration of hair fibres, the onset of grey hair, and even hair loss. Argan oil and the molecules it contains neutralise these free radicals to prevent them from causing damage, maintaining the quality of the hair for as long as possible.
Due to its nourishing properties for damaged hair fibres and hair, this natural compound is present in the following formulas:
Our beard oil contains several plant-based oils including that of hemp, castor, argan and sunflower. It also contains mandarin peel essential oil as well as Scots pine needle essential oil. The latter gives this oil a fresh forest and pine sap fragrance.
CHARROUF Z. & al. Argan oil and other argan products: Use in dermocosmetology. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology (2011).