Argan oil has seemed to be a huge buzzword for hair products for quite a while now, but what exactly is “argan oil”?
Argan oil comes from argan kernels, which come from argan nuts, which come from argan fruit, which come from argan trees, which come only from the argan forest of southwest Morroco.
Seriously, argan trees are slow-growing trees found only in the argan woodlands of southwest Morocco. These trees are so revered by the Moroccans that they refer to the trees as “the tree of life.” In 1998 these argan forests of Morroco were officially declared to be the “Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve,” and the region is protected by UNESCO.
For generations, natives of the area have been extracting oil from the two or three oily kernels found inside the nuts of the argan tree…and now more and more products are being produced that have argan oil as one of the main ingredients.
Why Argan Oil?
So what makes argan oil so incredibly awesome for both your hair and your skin?
Argan oil is extremely rich in beneficial nutrients including…
1. Antioxidants…Antioxidants are natural compounds found in plant-based foods—such as beta-carotene and other related carotenoids, minerals like manganese and selenium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E—that fight harmful free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. These molecules are unstable and chemically reactive, and simply cannot be avoided. They exist in the food you eat, the air you breathe, and the sunlight shining on your skin.
Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and reduce their harmful effects. These free radicals running rampant in our bodies eventually shows up as aging, fatigue, and even serious ailments like cancer. As you can see, it is important to keep these free radicals at bay in order to maintain good health.
Using products with antioxidants becomes more and more important as we get older…(yeah, I’m getting older, hate to admit it)…because our body’s superoxide dismutase (SOD), the natural defense system against such free radicals, becomes less effective…gives these free radicals more and more freedom to wreck havoc.
As far as hair and skin benefits, products with antioxidants delay the signs of skin aging, fight against wrinkles, prevent hair loss, and improve the overall health of both your skin and hair
2. Linoleic Acid…Linoleic acid, is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, part of the Omega 6 fatty acids, that occurs naturally in the body. Deficiencies in this linoleic acid can result in dry hair, dry skin, hair loss, and acne. For this reason, linoleic acid is often used as an emulsifier in the soaps and quick-drying oils.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids…Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid, but cannot be sufficiently produced by the body. This acid has to be obtained through proper diet and nutrition…mainly through plant oils—such as flaxseed oil, hemp oil, seabuckthorn seed, and berry oils—and marine oils—such as fish oil, squid oil, algal oil krill oil.
As far as skin is concerned, Omega 3 acids treat and prevent skin diseases such as psoriasis, allergies and acne. It also acts as a natural sunscreen that helps protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. These fatty acids also are important in maintaining proper skin tone and helping your skin look smooth, radiant, soft and flawless.
As far as hair is concerned, Omega 3 acids are useful for moisturizing dry and brittle hair, treating itchy and flaky scalp or dandruff, preventing hair, maintaining proper blood circulation in the scalp, and keeping your hair strong and healthy.
4. Omega-6 Fatty Acids…Omega-6 fatty acids, just like the omega-3 fatty acids described above, s another element that your body needs, but is unable to manufacture on its own. For this reason, they must also be obtained through either diet or supplements.
Both essential fatty acids are an important component of the cell membranes of each cell throughout the body. A lack of these fatty acids can prevent nutrients from entering these cells and wastes from exiting.
The acids also create a “barrier against the elements.” A deficiency is essential fatty acids can result in dry skin and premature aging.
5. Vitamin A
Vitamin A and Acne…Vitamin A—compounds such as retinol, retinoic acid, retinal and beta carotene—is a powerful antioxidant. Because vitamin A is an antioxidant, it prevent irritants and germs from attacking your skin and causing acne or other infections. Vitamin A helps clear acne by dislodging impurities from pores and slowing excess oil production.
Vitamin A and Collagen…Applying Vitamin A products, such as those products containing retinol and retinoic acid to your skin, stimulates the production of both elastin and fibroblasts, the main connective tissue cells that are responsible for developing collagen.
Collagen is necessary for filling in fine lines and helping your skin stay smooth, firm and healthy.
Vitamin A Deficiency…Vitamin A deficiency results in weak skin cells and dry, withered-looking skin. Deficiency can also cause your hair follicles to become weak and dry, eventually resulting in hair loss and thinning hair.
Vitamin And Hair…As far as hair, eating vitamin A-rich foods nourishes and moisturizes your scalp and helps your hair to become longer and stronger.prevent and diminish age spots by regulating the production of melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin color.
6. Vitamin E…
Vitamin E is another antioxidant that can be used to improve or maintain the appearance of both your skin and your hair. As far as skin, Vitamin E is a great moisturizer, especially for dry and damaged skin. As far as hair, Vitamin E nourishes your hair and repairs any damage caused by the sun’s UV rays or chemical processes.