When I first learned about Argan oil a few years ago I was instantly intrigued by it. However I did not immediately joined the crowd for two reasons: first because I was skeptical about using an oil on my face (#oilyskinteam) and second because it became overly popular. I did try a few different argan oils from different brands, but they did not do anything special for my skin so I just moved on to different beauty oils. Then a few months ago, I tried Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil*, and it was love at the first application. I finally understood what the fuss was really about and I wanted to share my experience with you–that along with a few things that I have learned about Argan.
Argan oil is extracted from the kernels of a tree (called Argania Spinosa) that the Moroccan Berbers call ‘The Tree Of Life”. The reason why it is so precious to the Moroccan Berber community is that they get so much use out of it: from feeding their animals with the leaves, to using the oil in their cuisine, and even using the nut shells as a heating fuel. Then of course there is the use that you and I are more interested in, and that is skincare. Although many of the claims made for face oils, Argan included, have not been backed up by scientific research (yet, in my modest opinion), the chemical properties of Argan oil can give us an idea of how good it can be for the skin. I wanted to put some facts that I know you will find interesting:
1. Argan oil is very rich in Vitamin E.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It neutralizes free radicals, which are caused by our exposure to multiple environmental factors, (such as pollution, pesticides and smoke). Free radicals are responsible for collagen damage (fine lines, wrinkles). Being Argan very high in Vitamin E, it helps the skin to recover from the exposure to damaging elements by destroying the free radicals.
That is why you should eat plenty of Vitamin E rich foods such as nuts, avocado, spinach, broccoli, and butter (real, grass-fed butter).
2. Argan oil is very rich in fatty acids.
The content of fatty acids in Argan oil is considered to be 79% unsaturated and up to 20% saturated. Skin cells’ ability to hold water decreases with age and fatty acids help skin cells to retain water. Argan helps to restore the skin water-lipid layer. This results in more elastic skin, and smoother texture.
3. Argan oil has high levels of polyphenols
Polyphenols make argan oil a great tool to prevent photoaging and sun-damage.
4. Argan oil has sebum-regulating properties
A study that involved twenty people age 17 to 50, showed that argan oil applied topically twice a day for four weeks was effective at regulating sebum production in 95% of the people used in the study.
I also wanted to add that the oleic acid content in argan oil is considered to possibly be comedogenic. However, I have not experienced any issues with it and it appears that most people who have tried it, have not either.
On to my experience with it, the Kahina Argan Oil is the first Argan oil I have tried that has actually worked for me. The texture is very light and has a beautiful, nutty scent that reminds me of coffee. Compared to any other beauty oil I have used my skin absorbed this one the quickest, leaving it very moisturized, but not greasy. Once absorbed it leaves the skin feeling very supple and makes it look radiant, but not shiny. In fact, I feel comfortable using it on my forehead (which tends to get very oily) as I do using it on the rest of my face (sensitive, prone to redness) because it moisturizes, but it also balances my skin. I think that this is indeed the most oily skin friendly beauty oil. Last, but not least, my skin has been particularly clear since I started to use it, so there may be blemish-healing properties as well.
One question remains: Why did I not like argan oil when I first tried it and why am I having such great results with Kahina’s?
First thing to consider is how argan oil is bottled, because just like other cold-pressed oils, it is susceptible to oxidation. Some cold-pressed oils’ properties may get destroyed by light, heat, and oxygen. The Vitamin E that naturally occurs in argan oil is not an adequate protection against oxidation and careful bottling (in dark glass, like Kahina’s) is required for optimal preservation. Second thing is quality. I would not be surprised to find out that cheap argan oil may be diluted with other inexpensive oils, just like many grocery stores carry olive oil that is diluted with cheaper oils. I would love to know your opinion/experience with this hot topic and what you do to prevent being scammed in your shopping.
Bottom line: I am still skeptical about the Argan oil found at the drugstore, but I am a happy Argan convert because Kahina’s Argan Oil has worked wonderfully for my skin. In addition to that, one 30 ml bottle of Kahina’s argan oil costs $ 36 and I use it on my face, around my eyes, on my hair, hands, and body, while all my other favorite face serums are a lot more expensive.
Where you can find it: Kahina Giving Beauty or Beautysage (w free shipping) if you are in the US. If you live in Europe check out Ahalife. I highly recommend trying this oil, especially if you have oily/combination skin.
In case you’re wondering, “why are there goats behind the bottle?”. They actually climb the Argan Trees and eat the pulp of the fruits.
What is your favorite cold-pressed beauty oil? Have you tried Argan oil?