The UMA Oil Files: The Multi Tasking Argan Oil
Rich in linoleic acid (the deficiency of which can lead to poor healing of wounds), Argan oil is very anti-inflammatory. That, combined with its rich Vitamin E content, make Argan oil an excellent recovery agent: from calming the skin and speeding up healing after a sunburn, to rapidly soothing the skin as an after-shave.
Furthermore, Argan’s richness in oleic acid and its high unsaturated fatty acid content makes for deep skin nourishment. It’s no wonder that Moroccan women have traditionally used it for generations to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy (and during non-pregnancies – who needs stretch marks?!)
High oleic acid content also means great nourishment for nails and cuticles. Argan oil makes for an excellent cuticle oil as it deeply moisturizes cuticles and prevents dryness, keeping nails strong and promoting nail growth.
What works for hands also works wonderfully for your feet. Try rubbing Argan oil into cracked or overly dry feet and cover with socks for a deep overnight moisturizing treatment.
While several other oils are rich in oleic and/or linoleic acid, they do not possess the same therapeutic effects and experts believe that Argan’s high tocopherol content is the reason. Tocopherols are excellent antioxidants and free radical minimizers – so argan oil makes an excellent additive to face masks, multiplying the benefits of other ingredients in your face – try in in a clay mask with a dash of turmeric.
Argan has also shown for “anti-sebum” activity in scientific testing, meaning it can help control excess oil production in the skin. So a drop of argan oil mixed in foundation or tinted moisturizer can not only make for a dewier finish, but also helps to control pesky t-zone shininess throughout the day.
And take a cue from the Moroccans, who know a thing or two about how Argan oil goes beyond a skin topical. It is to Morocco what olive oil is to Italy. Culinary argan oil, unlike cosmetic oil, is roasted before bottling and has a rich, nutty flavor - it’s great for finishing off salads, etc. Its richness in vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids is also beneficial when eaten, and some studies indicate that argan oil may have anti-cancer and anti-malarial effects when consumed. It can also minimize risk in patients with cardiovascular issues as it may lower LDL cholesterol and has antioxidant properties.
Finally, Argan oil is considered by many to be an aphrodisiac. Traditionally it has been used in this capacity to make amlou, a Moroccan almond, argan oil, and honey spread. Perhaps you want to try it in your own aphrodisiac recipe (we know you have one!)