Close to the Atlas Mountains within the Souss-Massa area of Morocco, North Africa, rows of argan timber have grown since time immemorial. These historical timber are a vibrant life pressure holding again the encroaching Sahara Desert with their deep root system. Their oil has lengthy been a supply of diet and a pure protector of pores and skin and hair in opposition to the arid components. These are properties it shares with many oils and butters derived from native African timber, crops and different botanicals we cowl in our submit:
Nonetheless, cold-pressed argan oil is among the many most extremely prized of all this continent’s pure beauty oils, and is, maybe rightfully, known as ‘liquid gold’. That is partly attributable to its color, but additionally on account of its luxurious texture, wealthy fatty acid profile, and a wealth of nutrient compounds that make glowing additions to your skincare and haircare formulation. True to its nickname, this is without doubt one of the costlier oils, but it surely’s not out of attain for house formulators. Let’s crack open the key to what makes this oil such a worthwhile beauty ingredient.
Argan oil – the background story
Argan oil (INCI: Argania spinosa kernel oil) is a welcome addition to just about any method – from luscious Moroccan-themed physique oils and butters to hair oils and nourishing facial oils and serums.
Beauty-grade argan oil is often chilly pressed from the uncooked kernels of the fruit of the argan tree. It’s widespread for goats to climb these shrubby low timber and graze amongst their branches. This really helps the locals harvest the kernels. The trendy course of of manufacturing the oil is just not so totally different from the normal means – kernels are nonetheless gathered, dried, hulled, milled and pressed – but it surely’s now mechanised for effectivity and the next yield, and the oil might be refined and deodorised. (i)
The Advantages of Formulating with Argan Oil for Pores and skin and Hair
With its capability to extend moisture and elasticity within the pores and skin and defend in opposition to trans-epidermal water loss – mixed with its antioxidants compounds – argan is a superb oil to make use of in formulations focusing on mature pores and skin. (ii)
Like most plant oils, the advantages of argan oil are revealed by way of its fatty acids. It’s a mono-unsaturated oil with oleic acid and linoleic acid – plus antioxidants similar to polyphenols, vitamin E and even a small quantity of coenzyme Q10 (i). Palmitic acid (a waxy, saturated fatty acid) offers the oil substance and lends a light-weight occlusive layer that protects the pores and skin barrier, making it appropriate for delicate pores and skin or merchandise meant to revive pores and skin barrier operate (ii). Additional background lies in our posts:
Even with its barely viscous texture, argan oil stays a stunning oil for all hair varieties because it absorbs shortly and simply. The truth is, it’s grow to be a trending haircare ingredient that’s well-known for its capability to assist tame frizz and penetrate the hair follicle to present rise to fuller, shinier hair (i). It could even assist to mitigate hair loss when recurrently utilized to the scalp (iii).
Our scholar Eliz Chausheva created this deep conditioning hair masks that features argan oil together with loads of different goodies to situation dry and broken hair. Eliz included hibiscus powder and blue tansy amongst her substances to supply the attractive color, proving that hair merchandise don’t have to be a boring white.
We featured argan oil in our hair and scalp oil formulation under, and it will get a deserved talked about in our podcast on pure, sustainable haircare.
Argan oil – understanding its totally different grades for formulation
Virgin or unrefined
Pure, unrefined cold-pressed argan oil is essentially the most nutrient-dense grade out there – if you will get it natural, even higher. That is the sort that virtually comes straight from the kernel and right into a bottle, except for some filtering, and the color can vary from darkish brown to amber. Nonetheless, this selection comes with a pungent earthy odour that nearly approaches the nutty scent of uncooked shea butter, however it’s much less chocolaty, and extra animalic in scent profile. This is likely to be well worth the trade-off if this degree of purity meets your concept of pure or is essential in your model ethos. However the odor is just not for everybody, and it may be tough to masks. We discover what pure means proper again in episode 1 of our podcast, because it’s such a basic a part of studying pure beauty formulation.
Refined and deodorised
If you need the advantages of argan oil with out the odor, this one is good. The refined, cold-pressed oil has a fatty acid profile that’s much like the virgin oil, though when you evaluate the certificates of research (COA) or the protection knowledge sheet (SDS) of every, you may discover variations within the stability of fatty acids and nutrient compounds. There may be additionally a refined model that’s solvent-extracted, which tends to have fewer antioxidants. (iv) These oils are lighter in color and price extra because of the refining course of. If you’re new to security knowledge sheets of beauty substances, this weblog submit is the place to start out:
Adulterated or just diluted?
Argan oil might be adulterated with cheaper oils and bought as “pure” argan oil, however there are a number of ways in which good suppliers can take a look at and confirm the standard of their oil. Nonetheless, typically argan oil is mixed with inexpensive oils to make it extra inexpensive, whereas permitting the mix to retain the fatty acid profile of pure argan oil. On this case, it’s not “adulteration” whether it is indicated clearly as such on the label or within the documentation, and its composition is mirrored in a lower cost.
Ideas for formulating with argan oil
Argan oil is protected to be used as much as 100% – it’s non-irritating and never photo-toxic. Add it instantly into face or physique oils, however in heated balms and emulsions, it’s greatest so as to add argan oil throughout the cool-down section since it’s verging on warmth delicate and over heating it could hurt its useful botanical compounds. Check out our article on warmth sensitivity:
Should you go for the virgin oil, one strategy to strategy the odour can be to deal with it as a scent ‘notice’ as an alternative of making an attempt to masks it. Create a floral-forward mix of important oils similar to bergamot FCF, rose geranium or rose absolute, lavender, vetiver or patchouli. The animalic notice of the argan oil could properly add depth and a classic really feel to your florals. It will rely in your percentages and the odor of your specific argan oil but it surely’s value a strive.
Method Botanica graduate Carmina Grety Stamate tackled the odour problem in her hair masks formulation (under) by together with some fabulous important oils – rosemary, jasmine and frankincense. Rosemary is a perfect selection because it imparts quite a few advantages into pure hair merchandise which we cowl in our submit:
Argan oil has a steady shelf-life of about one 12 months when saved away from warmth and light-weight. And when integrated into merchandise, the shelf life might be prolonged with a further antioxidant such a vitamin E (Tocopherol) or rosemary extracts.
Sustainability and the Argan Oil Challenge
The Argan Oil Challenge (AOP) was established in 1985 with the aim of defending argan timber from deforestation and making certain the sustainable manufacturing of argan oil, in addition to making a dependable supply of earnings for native ladies. The AOP helped arrange organised women-only cooperatives and outfit them with schooling and literacy, plus modernising their harvesting and processing instruments to assist produce high-quality argan oil extra effectively so it could possibly be dropped at markets past Morocco (iv).
Many suppliers work with these cooperatives and buying from AOP-backed entities is a win-win: you get a high quality oil, and also you’re supporting these native communities and the longevity of their valuable argan timber.
Extra about argan oil and its botanical magnificence
Argan is a luxurious oil that may elevate your formulation. For a extra in-depth have a look at this this oil, and the advantages of botanical oils normally, contemplate becoming a member of our membership web site The Lab at Method Botanica. The Lab is a treasure-trove of bite-sized specialist programs – or Mini-Labs – together with The Botanical Oils Mini Lab, the place we demystify the chemistry of plant oils to disclose their pores and skin advantages, shelf life, and extra.
Additional studying and references
(i) Mentioned Gharby and Zoubida Charrouf: Argan Oil: Chemical Composition, Extraction Course of, and High quality Management, February 3, 2022.
(ii) Tzu-Kai Lin, Lily Zhong, and Juan Luis Santiago (2022): Anti-Inflammatory and Pores and skin Barrier Restore Results of Topical Utility of Some Plant Oils.
(iii) Zoubida Charrouf and Dominique Guillaum (2018): The Argan Oil Challenge: Going from Utopia to Actuality in 20 Years.
(iv) Hanae El Monfaloutia, Dom Guillaumea, Clément Denheza and Zoubida Charrouf (2010): Therapeutic Potential of Argan Oil: A Evaluation.
Go away us a remark
Shauna is a copywriter and content material creator with Method Botanica. Her love of magnificence started with Recent ’n Fancy – a make-your-own cosmetics equipment for teenagers. She is a former aesthetician and accomplished the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation in 2020. Right now, she is the perfumer, formulator and model proprietor of Ivy’s Poison.
fbq('init', '1441623626075657'); // Insert your pixel ID here.