Argan Oil

Arganöl in Flasche mit Nüssen daneben

 

  • Base Oil
  • Comedogenicity: Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 0
  • Composition: Oleic acid (up to approx. 45 %), linoleic acid (up to approx. 35 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 18 %), stearic acid (up to approx. 7 %), phytosterols, tocopherols.
  • Iodine number: 98.
  • Cosmetic use: Dry, mature, chapped, blemished, oily skin; hair care.
  • Shelf life: Given the right storage (cool and dark) approx. 15 months.

 

Plant

The argan tree is a prickly shrub/tree that is native to Morocco. It can grow up to 10 m tall and become up to 150 years old. The tree has narrow, elongated and waxy leaves. In summer and the dry season, the tree loses part of its foliage. The tree begins to bear fruit from the age of 5. The fruit is round/oval, green and contains a nut with a hard shell. It resembles an olive in appearance, but not in size. When ripe, the fruit has a light yellow color. Each fruit contains 1-3 oval brown seeds containing up to 50% light brown oil.

Arganbaum

Extraction of argan oil

Argan oil is obtained by pressing or extraction with solvents. In the hand-pressed method, the nuts of the fruit are broken with stones (and the kernels are then roasted) and then ground to a brown dough with the addition of water. (In Morocco, argan oil from unroasted seeds is preferred for cosmetic purposes.) The dough is then kneaded until it solidifies and the liquid obtained can be poured off. However, the kernels can also be directly pressed mechanically, which involves less effort. This way, though, may leave fewer acids contained in the oil. For the extraction with solvents, any solvent can be used. The oil obtained using this extraction method is only used for cosmetic purposes.

Cosmetic use of argan oil

Argan oil prevents the skin from drying out and thus ensures smooth and supple skin. The oil is therefore very particularly suitable for dry and chapped skin. The oil has an anti-inflammatory effect and heals and nourishes stressed skin. Its antibacterial and disinfectant properties also make argan oil a suitable treatment for blemished and acne-prone skin.

Argan oil has an antioxidant effect due to its vitamin E content. This regenerates the lipid layer of the skin, neutralizes radicals and thus protects the connective tissue.

Arganöl in Flasche mit Nüssen daneben

Benefits of argan oil for skin

  • provides moisture
  • has anti-inflammatory effects
  • has antibacterial effects
  • cares for dry and chapped skin
  • suitable for impure skin
  • has antioxidant effects
  • makes the skin smooth and supple

Internal use of argan oil

Argan oil contains a high content of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as a high content of the antioxidant α-tocopherol. Due to these substances blood pressure can be regulated and the antihypertensive effect can be influenced by the intake of Arganöl.

Further a study found that an average daily intake of 15 g Arganöl lowers the plasma LDL Cholesterol level. On the basis the study results it is also asssumed that the intake of Arganöl increases the Vitamin E – plasma level due to the antioxidative activity of the oil. From this it can be concluded that Arganöl positively affects the lipid metabolism and lowers so the risk of heart vessel illnesses.

Argan oil can also be taken as a food supplement with the benefit of an antioxidant. The contained γ-tocopherol inhibits the cyclooxigenase activity and increases the concentration in plasma and tissue. It is believed to protect against inflammation caused by reactive oxygen species. Argan oil also has a relatively high content of squalene (313 mg/100g oil), which is assumed to protect against skin cancer.

Buy argan oil – what to consider?

Argan oil can be bought from roasted or unroasted kernels. For the kitchen most use argan oil from roasted kernels for taste reasons. If you, however, want to use the oil for skin or hair care, you should rather use oil from unroasted kernels, since during the roasting process a part of the high-quality ingredients is lost. As a care product, you should always use native, cold-pressed oils to get the maximum care effect. It is also important to make sure that it is 100% pure argan oil without further additives.

In order to be sure that no residues of pesticides are contained, you should use certified organic argan oil. These are examined regularly for their purity and the risk of them containing unpleasant components is very small. This is important because especially oil is a good carrier for pesticides and hormone-like substances, as it transports them well through the skin.

Sources
Sources: Krist, Sabine (2013): Lexikon der Pflanzlichen Öle und Fett. Vienna: Springer Verlag. | Braunschweig, R. (2020): Pflanzenöle - über 50 starke Helfer für Genuss und Hautpflege. Wiggensbach: Stadelmann Verlag.

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