What Is Argan Oil?
Argan Oil is a much prized oil for good reason. It has healing capabilities and bountiful protective capabilities, making it an anti-aging and anti-inflammatory powerhouse that is in high demand.
And, Wild As The Wind is no different…
Where Is Argan Oil From?
Argan oil is extracted, with some difficulty, from the extremely tough kernels of the Argania Spinosa tree, which is one of the oldest varieties of tree in the world.
This beautiful, aromatic oil comes mainly from Morocco. But even here there are only two regions where Argania Spinosa trees grow.
Argan oil is made by the Berber women of the Atlas Mountains in Southern Morocco where it has been used for culinary purposes for centuries, as well as for conditioning hair, and moisturising and healing the skin.
Believe me, Argan oil is delicious. If you haven’t had a lovely green salad dowsed in Argan oil, then you have a real treat awaiting you! (This suggestion comes with a small Caveat, as you will see if you read on…)
Why Has Argan Oil Gained So Much Attention?
Argan oil contains many healing constituents, which is why it has been enjoying centre stage in the West for a little while now. In recent years, many cosmetic companies have cottoned onto the healing and moisturising abilities of Argan oil… as well as the potential to add a little marketing spin… presenting Argan Oil as the latest thing that consumers absolutely ‘must have’ as an ingredient in their latest and greatest skincare and haircare products.
But, the West’s interest in Argan Oil is perhaps one of the rare instances where it actually supports the interests of the host nation. It’s allowed the Berber women, of the Atlas Mountains, where Argan Oil is produced, to form strong co-operatives that are doing much to repopulate their land with Argania Spinosa trees.
Argania Spinosa trees, through “recurrent drought, forest overuse, and poor forest management“, dwindled to much lesser numbers for a time. Formerly, much or North Africa was covered in these beautiful trees, but this is very much not the case any more.
Because the Argania Spinosa trees went into such broad scale decline we, as consumers, have to be very careful when buying products that claim to contain the beautifully healing Argan Oil. As the numbers of trees are now so very restricted, there really wouldn’t be enough Argan nuts from the existing trees to meet all of the claims for products containing Argan Oil, in the quantities stated, that have proliferated in recent years.
As with all things, it pays to be a little skeptical and to read the labels thoroughly. Also, pay attention to the price of the product. If the product seems too cheap, or the label seems too good to be true… then may be it is…?
In addition, if the label is heavily populated with chemicals, then it may also be unwise to invest. There are many ingredients in skincare products that are best avoided.
*Even if you are pleasantly surprised to find Argan Oil as a genuine ingredient in the product you are looking at, you still need to be careful about the other ingredients. There are a lot of skincare ingredients to avoid!
Argan Oil Healing Benefits
Argan Oil is rich in sterols, particularly Schottenol, (44-49%), which inhibits cell development. It can, therefore, replace cholesterol in cosmetics without risking the increase of blood cholesterol levels.
With remarkably high levels of Vitamin E, Essential Fatty Acids, (EFA’s), as well as a whole array of antioxidants, not to mention very respectable amounts of Squalene, (31Omg/lOOg), it’s no wonder that Argan is in such high demand. Not only is this beautiful oil very anti-aging, mainly due to it’s high levels of Vitamin E and free radical busting activity, it is also very healing and protective in lots of other ways.
*Argan Oil contains 200% more tocopherols, (Vitamin E), than Olive Oil.
Argan Oil Has Natural Squalene
Squalene essentially regenerates, hydrates and nourishes the skin and forms between 5% to 8% of the sebum within the skin. It also binds and absorbs fat soluble toxins which helps the skin to eliminate impurities. As it contains lipo-proteins, that helps prevent the formation of peroxides, which can destroy important vitamins in your skin, it helps to keep the skin fully nourished.
Squalene, or the homogenised version, Squalane, is an expensive constituent of many high-end skin products, but, because Squalene, in it’s natural form, (as it is found in the natural Argan Oil), is highly comedogenic, (very thick and likely to clog pores than the less comedogenic oils, including the homogenised Squalane), it is ill-advised, in it’s undulate form, for people with Acne prone skin… hence, it’s absence from our FACIAL OIL No.7 Dermal Defence oil blend.
However, it is very present in FACIAL OIL No. 2, the Wild As The Wind oil blend for all skin types (oily to dry), but only in a 10% dilution. Whilst this amount of Argan Oil is sufficient to deliver some pretty dramatic healing benefits, there is insufficient Squalene to cause anyone a real problem. Add to this some of the other profoundly anti-Acne oils in the FACIAL OIL No. 2 blend, like Rose Otto Essential Oil, and any potential negative effects are canceled out.
Squalene has the unusual ability to fend off skin cancer. This means it has earned a well deserved place in our flagship facial oil, for this quality alone. Although, it’s anti-sebum action is also another great reason to include Argan Oil in our extremely popular FACIAL OIL No. 2 product.
*An anti-sebum action allows Argan Oil to mediate oily skin.
*Argan Oil joins other oils within FACIAL OIL No. 2 that are reputed to have anti-cancer properties.
Essential Fatty Acids In Argan Oil
EFA’s in Argan Oil are not exactly ideal for internal consumption, (hence the Caveat about eating Argan Oil in the introduction). The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are comprised of Omega 6 & 9, without the crucial Omega 3 to balance them out. We are all generally deficient in Omega 3 because of the high amounts of the less healthy Omega 6 & Omega 9 in the modern Western diet. (This is why so many people supplement with fish oil and flax seed.)
However, the linoleic acid, (Omega 6), which is an unsaturated fatty acid, has a very useful impact on our skin, which actually allows it to waterproof the skin, whilst at the same time supporting it’s natural elasticity. In addition, it also supports membrane fluidity and strengthens the epidermal barrier.
Antioxidants In Argan Oil
The main antioxidant groups found in Argan are polyphenols, carotenoids, terpenoids, and tocopherols. They are all powerful antioxidants that fight the good fight against free radicals, thus making Argan Oil very anti-aging. The way they work is to essentially protect the cell membranes against lipid oxidation, which slows down the process of dermal aging.
Palmetic, oleic, ferulic and stearic acids are present in Argan oil in good amounts, as well as phytosterols, all of which are anti-inflammatory.
Argan oil is pretty special!
Did I miss anything? Or do you have a different experience of Argan Oil? If so, please let me know in the comments, or via email or social media.
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Wild As The Wind Products With Argan Oil
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