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April 15, 2014

The power of Argan oil

Highly valued by Berber women for centuries, Argan oil delivers a host of benefits to skin, hair and nails. The precious oil is available in a pure form or as an active ingredient in a variety of products.

The tree of life

Argan oil is derived from the oil-rich kernels found in the seeds of the fruit produced by Argan trees. This thorny tree grows almost exclusively in the southwest of Morocco and is now endangered due to desertification. It is nicknamed the tree of life. An elixir with multiple virtues, Argan oil is produced using a traditional, labour-intensive process, which is now being industrialized.

A precious oil

Since it takes almost 40 kg of fruit and hours of labour to make 1 litre of Argan oil, it is precious indeed…and expensive! If you are thinking of buying Argan oil, beware of imitations. The Argan oil used for cosmetic purposes is clear and practically odourless, while its culinary counterpart is slightly darker and releases a nutty aroma due to roasting.

Rich in essential omega-9 and omega-6 fatty acids, it also contains vitamin E, squalene, sterols and polyphenols. It is brimming with moisturizing, nourishing, antioxidant and regenerative properties.

In addition to its cosmetic benefits, Argan oil is thought to provide valuable health benefits, as well. For instance it may help stabilize cholesterol levels and protect against cancer and heart disease.

Liquid gold for skin, hair and nails

Let’s now focus on its long list of cosmetic virtues that may make you want to try it for yourself!

• It protects skin from dryness and aging by rebuilding the hydrolipidic barrier and nourishing cell tissues.
• It promote skin elasticity (face and body) and may help prevent stretch marks.
• It plays a role in cell rejuvenation.
• It provides relief for skin conditions (e.g. acne, chickenpox, eczema), promotes healing and reduces scars that may develop.
• It takes only minutes to be absorbed into skin.
• It fortifies hair and leaves it shiny and soft, in addition to protecting it from sun, chlorine and salt water.
• It strengthens nails.

Should I use it pure or as an active ingredient?

There are more and more products with Argan oil formulated for skin (face and body), hair and nails. Since they all contain a certain percentage of the oil, they deliver its multiple benefits for you to experience. As a result, they are a good option.

But if you want to enjoy everything this multi-tasker has to offer, your best bet is 100% pure Argan oil. Here are just some of its many uses.

For skin

• Apply directly to dry areas of the body and massage into skin with a circular motion to facilitate penetration of the oil. 
• For use on the face, start with cleansed skin and massage with a small quantity of oil using your fingers to make small circles. Wait 15 minutes. Remove excess with a cotton pad. It is best to do this before going to bed. Argan oil is suitable for all skin types: dry, oily, combination and even acne-prone.

Quick Tip!

You can also use Argan oil as a makeup remover. It does a great job removing waterproof mascara. Plus, for all-over softness and perfectly moisturized skin, just add a few drops to your bath water.

For hair

• To fortify weakened hair , distribute the oil throughout the lengths and leave in for 20 to 30 minutes. If you want to speed things up, wrap your hair in a warm towel. Then, shampoo as usual and rinse well. 
• To protect hair from summer damage, place a few drops in your palms and work it into your locks. You can also add a bit to your shampoo before washing your hair.
• For vibrant colour and healthy tresses, add a little to your hair colouring product.

For nails

• Soak your nails (clean and polish-free) in Argan oil mixed with an equal part of lemon juice. Do this for 15 to 20 minutes once a week.

Pharmacy services

Would you like to learn more about Argan oil? Visit your Uniprix beauty consultant. She’ll be happy to answer your questions.