Essential oils are tens of times more powerful than herbs because they are so concentrated. This means that most of them cannot be applied directly to your skin. If you want to use essential oils as a massage treatment then you will need to dilute them in a carrier oil. Argan oil is a great option.
History of Argan Carrier Oil
Argan oil is made from the kernels of the argan tree, a tree which grows in Morocco. Argan oil is edible, and in Moroccan culture it is not uncommon for people to dip bread into it for breakfast, or to drizzle it on other carbohydrates such as pasta.
The oil has a long history. It has been used for beauty purposes and healing since at least 600 B.C.. In recent times it has become popular in the cosmetic industry. The oil, and the industry surrounding it, now play an important role in the environment and economy of many parts of Morocco.1
Argan oil is rich in triglycerides and tocopherols. It has a chemical makeup of about 80 percent unsaturated fatty acids, with the primary components being oleic acid and linoleic acids. In terms of triglycerides, it contains dilinoleoyl-oleoyl-glycerol, as well as dioleoyl-linoleoyl-glycerol and palmitoyl-dioleoyl-glycerol, with a small amount of triolein as well. The primary tocopherol that is found in argan oil is gamma tocopherol. Argan oil extracted from plants that grow in different regions may have slightly different balances in terms of the relative amounts of triglycerides, but overall they remain quite similar.2
Uses for Argan Carrier Oil
Argan oil is a versatile substance. Indeed, it is sometimes referred to as ‘liquid gold.’ It is rich in nutrients and it can be highly beneficial for your skin and hair. Let’s take a look at some of the main uses for argan oil:
1 – Moisturizer
Argan oil is often used as a moisturizing agent, because it is rich in fatty acids and Vitamin E. It is readily absorbed by the skin, and it is non-irritating, so you can use it even on relatively sensitive skin. Add some antimicrobial essential oils and you have a great skin care product that could help to stave off the effects of aging.3
2 – Conditioner and Styling Agent
Argan oil is a great hair conditioner that can make your hair softer and silkier. In addition, it is quite light and readily absorbed, so you can use it as a styling agent. Rub a few drops onto the palms of your hands, and then comb your fingers through your hair to apply the oil and tame frizzy hair.
3 – Stop Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are something that many pregnant women fear. Argan oil can help to protect the skin from stretch marks, by increasing the elasticity of the skin. Indeed, argan oil is often used by older women who want to retain skin elasticity.4 Rub it into areas where you’re concerned about stretch marks appearing and hopefully, you will ward them off. You can use it after pregnancy as well to promote the healing of stretch marks if any do develop. Seek advice before using essential oils during pregnancy. Most oils are safe but some are not recommended during the early stages of pregnancy.
4 – Treating Acne
Argan oil can be a useful product for acne sufferers because it contains antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation and heal damaged skin. Just wash your skin with mild soap and pat it dry, then apply a few drops of argan oil to the affected area. This will help to introduce the nutrients are able to penetrate into the skin. Rub the oil in very gently. Apply morning and night to promote healing.
5 – Healing Damaged Skin
If you have minor burns, cracked or irritated skin, perhaps from working outdoors or from practicing a sport, then argan oil could help to heal your skin. It is best used as a protective agent rather than for healing, but it can do both since it can reduce inflammation and soothe pain too. Do not apply the oil to open wounds, especially if you have mixed it with other essential oils. If the skin is chapped, chafed or sore then you can get some benefit from it.
Essential Oils You can Pair With Argan Oil
There are many great essential oil recipes which use argan oil as a base. If you want to use it as a moisturizer, then you should consider combining it with mongongo oil or hazelnut oil, because these contain extra polyunsaturated fats which can provide even more moisturizing benefit.
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For an acne treatment, pair argan oil with tea tree. This antifungal, antiseptic and anti-viral oil is well-known for its skin care powers but by itself, it can be quite drying. Mixing it with argan oil ensures that you get all of the ‘nasty-fighting’ benefits without having to worry about skin irritation.5
For a nice anti-aging face mask, mix argan oil with rosehip seed oil. The extra Vitamin A and Vitamin C in rosehip pairs nicely with the argan oil, providing antioxidant properties.
Safety and Precautions
Argan oil is generally recognized as being safe and is well tolerated by most people, even during pregnancy. Some people may have adverse reactions to it, so as with any other new substance it is a good idea to perform a spot test on a small patch of skin on the inside of your arm before you try using the oil on your face or rubbing it all over your body. Wait a few hours after the test. If you don’t experience any adverse reactions, then you are good to go.
If you are going to use argan oil as a carrier oil, dilute the other essential oils in accordance with the directions on the bottle. For most oils, a solution of between 0.5 and 3 percent is strong enough for a therapeutic effect.6
Argan oil is a great oil for skin and hair care, and it is incredibly versatile. Use it sparingly if you have oily skin, and research the essential oils you put in your blends. Stronger is not always better when it comes to dilutions of essential oils!
Take a look at MONQ’s selection of essential oils; they’re prepared for you by an expert team of aromatherapists who have created the perfect blends. Zen Blend is a favorite!
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