For thousands of years, several oils have been used as magic potions for beauty and health. The market is flooded with these miraculous oils, and some of them are made artificially by adding synthetic compounds. But, nothing is better than the effects of pure oil that is not altered by processing and addition of various artificial or chemical-based compounds. Let’s discuss one such oil, argan oil. Also known as “liquid gold,” it is a perfect product provided by the nature for skin, nails, hair, health, and what not (1)? This is ancient Moroccan oil which is extracted from the kernel of argan tree and used to treat many ailments of the body, apart from several culinary preparations (2). Many researches have been conducted to know the benefits of argan oil, and the results have ignited the spark among all. It has numerous health and beauty benefits that are worth mentioning. Let’s look at what all this wonderful oil can offer.
Health Benefits of Argan Oil
1. Reduces the Bad Cholesterol
It is one of the best argan oil benefits. Low-density lipoprotein or LDL can clog arteries and reduce their flexibility. It can also lead to several heart diseases including heart-strokes. On the other hand, HDL or high-density lipoprotein helps remove the LDL from the body and prevents the damage of blood vessels. But, the effect of HDL on LDL is limited, and many other factors contribute to the levels of cholesterol. It is, thus, essential to maintain these levels. Argan oil is an unsaturated fatty acid which reduces the level of LDL, lowers the platelet aggression, and in turn prevents several heart diseases or cardiovascular risks that are caused due to irregular levels of bad cholesterol (3, 4).
2. Provides Cancer Prevention
Several studies have been conducted to find out the panacea and treatment for various types of cancer. There is evidence showing that the sterol found in certain plants can be used for cancer prevention (5). Argan oil has a good amount of sterol and thus, it can be quite effective against cancer cells causing prostate cancer (6). The oil is also enriched with a high amount of squalene that is proven to fight against skin cancer (7).
3. Heals Burns and Wounds
Burns and wounds are caused by a number of reasons, and sometimes they are very irritating as they may cause pain and burning sensation on the affected area. Studies have proved that application of argan oil on the affected portion can be very helpful to cure them (8).
4. Strengthens Muscles and Joints
Muscles and joints form the basic structure of the body. With age, the joints become stiff, less flexible and are subject to many diseases. The oil of argan has shown a positive result in managing the joint and muscle pain (9).
5. Maintains Blood Sugar Level
Blood sugar level in our body is important for the normal functioning of the body. If the level is not correct, it may be harmful and result in diabetes (10). Many studies have been conducted to know the effect of argan oil on sugar levels, and it is found that the oil can substantially maintain them and thus, prevent diabetes (11).
6. Cures Skin Disorders
Argan oil is beneficial for many skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, inflammation, and much more (12). These infections cause red patches, itching, burning, etc. (13, 14). The richness of vitamin E and several anti-inflammatory compounds in the oil aids in eliminating these skin related problems.
7. Keeps Brain Healthy
Not many are aware of this benefit of argan oil. Mental health is the most important for an overall health of the body. Argan oil has many components that have shown positive results in mental health and prevent related disorders (15).
Beauty Benefits of Argan Oil
8. Prevents Wrinkles and Aging
Wrinkles make skin look dull and are one of the main reasons behind aging. There may be numerous factors that contribute to wrinkles, like stress. It mostly affects the facial skin first and makes it look older. Argan oil is a proven anti-aging agent due to the presence of vitamin E, an essential nutrient for a beautiful, toned skin (16). The oil reduces the wrinkles with time and increases the elasticity of the skin, as well (17).
9. Acts as a Natural Moisturizer
This is the benefit that needs no introduction since the oil has been traditionally used as a skin moisturizer. It comprises of compounds like carotene, tocopherol, phenolic, squalene, etc. Owing to the presence of so many components, this oil works as a wonderful moisturizer and hydrates the skin from deep within (18).
10. Treats Pimples
Acne or pimples are the serious problems faced by people these days. Due to changing lifestyle and eating habit, people are getting more and more prone to acne. Though oils are not generally used for the treatment, argan oil is one such oil that can reduce acne and pimples from roots. It has also been used traditionally for the cure (19).
11. Removes Chicken Pox Scars
Chickenpox is a highly infectious disease and spreads easily, even by touching it (20). It often leaves several scars, which are tough to remove. Argan oil is a proven remedy for effective removal of these scars and marks (21). Just apply the oil every day on the affected area until the marks are vanished completely.
12. Fades Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are the visible lines, mainly seen on the abdomen, which are primarily caused due to pregnancy. The oil enhances the flexibility of the skin and eventually, the stretch marks fade away (22).
13. Protects from UV- Rays
UV rays are very harmful to our skin and too much exposure to sunlight can cause some serious diseases of the eye, immune system, premature aging, sunburn, etc. (23). Argan oil can work wonders and protect skin from these harmful UV rays as shown by several studies conducted to know the effects of the oil (24, 25).
14. Promotes Hair Growth
Argan oil is enriched with many compounds like omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids, vitamin E, etc., that are vital for hair. It is important to lock moisture to aid hair growth and prevent damage. Argan oil, due to the presence of mentioned compounds, does all this and is a perfect oil for your hair (26).
15. Beneficial for Nails
Nails are the most neglected part of our body. They are rarely given proper care, which results in brittle, dull nails, and cuticles. Brittleness of nails refers to a medical condition in which they become weak and cracked, and are prone to split or break easily. The application of argan oil resolves the problem and makes nails stronger and shinier (27).
16. Treats Dry Scalp and Dandruff
17. Restores Split Ends
Another problem related to hair is split ends, and argan oil has been used for decades to resolve this problem (29). It is rich in vitamin E that is essential for the hair health. Therefore, there are many benefits of argan oil for hair (30).
18. Whitens Skin
Argan oil is a rich source of tocopherol and many such compounds that help whiten the skin and prevent damage. The hyper-pigmentation caused due to formulation or accumulation of melanin, exposure to sunlight, etc. can be visibly reduced with the use of this oil. Thus, it contributes in lightening the skin tone. It is a natural de-pigmentation agent that can be used to manage hyper-pigmentation as several studies suggest (31).