My quest for natural ways to achieve flawless skin and perfect hair lead me to a plant oil called the Argan oil which is dramatically (or truly?!) also called ‘Liquid Gold’. It’s the ‘in thing’ since a couple of years now. It has achieved a cult beauty status, new products are launching every week claiming to bestow its user with the bountiful benefits of Argan oil.
What is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is rare plant oil that is extracted from the kernels of the seeds from the fruit of the argan tree (Argania spinosa) which only grows in small area of the southwest region of Morocco. Extraction of argan oil is done by hand and thus becomes labour intensive and a very painstaking and time consuming process making the oil very expensive.
Benefits of the Argan Oil : Following are the most trumpeted benefits of Argan oil:-
1. It is antimicrobial, non-irritant, non-comedogenic, anti-inflammatory and very rich in antioxidants.
2. Helps repair and regenerate cells damaged from free radicals produced by damage from sun exposure and other environmental aggressors.
3. Hydrates and absorbs into the skin without leaving a greasy residue making it very supple. It also makes hair frizz free and moisturised.
4. Provides nourishment to the skin at a cellular level
5. Softens wrinkles and fine lines. Also reduces scars from acne, burns, chickenpox, stretch marks etc.
It sounds too good to be true, right? Should you buy this ‘liquid gold’? Yes, it is all true!! This oil is really a fabulous beauty enhancer and it does perform its task with utmost dedication.
If you do want to use Argan oil, make sure you buy the pure oil from an independent shop as some online outlets sell fake Argan oil, using cheap oil as a replacement. Or you could choose certified organic products containing Argan oil, as these will provide lots of other lovely natural ingredients, without the chemical nastiness, to nourish and protect your skin. But it’s worth to spend some extra pennies to buy 100% pure oil, instead of paying less for something you could find in your kitchen cupboard.
Following things are to be kept in mind while buying Argan Oil
1. The packaging of Oil: Don’t buy Argan Oil sold in clear or plastic bottles. Light breaks down the oil’s best properties and dark glass is the only way to store Argan Oil. Glass packaging is also eco friendly and fully recyclable. That is why while buying Argan Oil pay attention to the packaging i.e., it should be packed in dark amber glass bottle.
2. The price: The price of the product should be determined by the concentration of argan in the product. Check ingredients carefully, you should not pay for a product which has a low concentration of argan oil. Remember that pure Argan oil will be expensive due to its labour intensive extraction method.
3. The scent: Argan oil has a mild nutty aroma. The scent disappears after few minutes upon contact with your skin, as true Argan Oil absorbs quickly. You should avoid strong smelling or odourless oil. Either way it is highly suspicious.
4. The texture: Argan Oil should be smooth, non-sticky and not too watery. When applied on skin it should get absorbed easily and give soothing effect.
5. The colour: Argan oil has light golden yellow colour. If the colour is too light, then most likely it is mixed with other oils.
6. Sediment: As this is natural product, sediment is a sign of quality and there is nothing unusual. The pure oil may have a tiny bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle and will appear a bit “cloudy”.
Other Options Available: There are many other fabulous fruit, plant and seed oils that offer these same benefits as that of Argan Oil. Oils such as Rosehip, Perilla, Avocado and Sweet Almond are all amazing moisture boosting oils and each have their own unique properties that set them apart.
Thus, although the Argan Oil is worth all the money spent (but be sure to buy genuine oil). There are other less expensive options available in the market. Also the cosmetic effects of the oil may differ from individual to individual as per the skin type.
So try and see it for yourself!!