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Top 12 Argan Oil Benefits for Skin & Hair

Argan oil - Dr. Axe

Imagine a fruit so nutritious that goats will climb trees just to eat them! Inside that little fruit, is the little nut that gives us argan oil. (1)

For generations, natives of the argan woodlands in Morocco have pressed the nut to extract this precious oil, to use argan oil benefits as a dietary supplement; for wound treatment and rash relief; and to nourish skin and hair. These slow-growing trees are so revered that in 1998 the argan forest was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. (2a)

What is argan oil? It’s a rare oil that is high in both oleic (omega 9 monounsaturated nonessential) and linoleic (omega 6 unsaturated) fatty acids, both of which aid acne-prone skin (which is usually deficient in linoleic acid in the subum). (2b) Depending on its sourcing, argan oil contains about 35–40 percent linoleic acid and 42–48 percent oleic acid. While linoleic acid will reduce inflammation and acne and increase skin moisturization levels, oleic acid can improve the skin’s permeability and assist other ingredients penetrate the skin more easily. (2c)

In addition, when judged by how much it clogs pores (comedogenic rating), argan oil rates out as a zero, as in it does not clog pores. (2d) These are just some of the reasons why argan oil has become a popular carrier oil for acne sufferers and others.


Argan Oil Benefits Throughout History

Produced from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.), this plant oil is exclusive to Morocco but historically argan oil use was not. People throughout the world have taken advantage of the many argan oil benefits to help treat skin infections, bug bites and skin rashes. And now it is used by men and women all over the world seeking an effective, all-natural moisturizer for skin and hair. (3)

One of the main reasons that argan oil is so therapeutic is because it’s rich with vitamin A and vitamin E. However, Moroccan argan oil is also packed with antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid. Research shows that when applied to skin, argan oil benefits include easing inflammation while moisturizing the skin. (4)

When applied externally, trocopherol from the vitamin E helps to boost cell production while promoting healthy skin and hair. This is why cosmetic companies are including it in their high-end anti-aging, hair and skin care products.

The good news is that to get argan oil benefits you don’t have to purchase luxury hair and skin care products. You can purchase just the oil, making it a versatile addition to your beauty routine. Although 100 percent argan oil can be expensive, just a drop or two will nourish hair and skin throughout the day.


Top 12 Argan Oil Benefits

Here are 12 ways that you can incorporate this all-natural oil into your daily beauty regimen.

1. Nighttime Moisturizer

Argan oil absorbs quickly and does not leave an oily residue. After cleansing your skin with an all-natural cleanser, pour a single drop into your palm to warm. Apply in a circular motion to your face and neck.

In the winter months, or in dryer climates, you may need a second drop but remember to use sparingly. This oil is gentle and safe to use around your eyes.

Apply one drop to your face, using a tapping motion, from the bridge of your nose to your temple and back again. Then apply a drop beneath your eyes with the same gentle tapping. The vitamin A and vitamin E can help to reduce fine wrinkles and keep this delicate area moisturized. Plus, a 2015 study shows argan oil benefits also include anti-aging effects. (5)

2. Skin Toner

Skin toning is an important step in your skin care routine. For an all-over glow, add 2–4 drops to 8 ounces of your favorite toner, or better yet, make your own chemical-free, all-natural toner at home.

Simply pour 1 cup of boiling water over a green tea bag and let steep for 7–10 minutes. Remove the tea bag and allow to come to room temperature. Add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil (orange, lemon or tea tree are great) and 2–4 drops of argan oil and seal in a jar. Use morning and night after cleansing and before moisturizing.

3. Exfoliant

Do-it-yourself exfoliators are not difficult to make and are significantly less expensive than what you can purchase in the store.

To experience the argan oil benefits while exfoliating, just mix 1 tablespoon of brown sugar with a couple of drops of argan oil in your hand. Rub into your face in a circular motion for two to four minutes; pay special attention to acne-prone areas and areas that are dry. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Regular exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while giving you a younger, fresher complexion. With the aid of the brown sugar, the argan oil’s nutrients are more readily absorbed into your skin.

Use this exfoliator for more than just your face. If you have dry elbows or heels (or during an at-home pedicure), mix up a bit more to massage the dry and dead skin away.

4. Acne Remedy

Great news for anyone who is suffering from acne — argan oil has been proven to reduce sebum levels in individuals with oily skin. (6) Women who have never had acne before are finding in that in their 30s and 40s this pesky condition arises, and it is often difficult to treat.

Chemical creams can be expensive and, in the long run, truly do more harm than good. Argan oil’s high linoleic acid content helps to reduce inflammation caused by acne (not to mention rashes, infections and bug bites) while helping to soothe damaged skin cells.

If you are using argan oil as your moisturizer, but are still fighting acne, consider adding argan oil to your list of home remedies for acne. Place a drop in the palm of your hand and lightly dab a bit extra into problem areas. To fight stubborn or persistent white heads, be sure to make the toner above, using a couple of drops of tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil complements the argan oil benefits beautifully with its rich antioxidant content and inherent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. (7) Together, they can help fight stubborn acne while reducing the inflammation and scarring.

 

Argan oil benefits for skin - Dr. Axe

5. Stretch Mark Remedy

Argan oil can help prevent stretch marks by improving the elasticity of the skin. (8) Warm 2–3 drops of pure argan oil in the palms of your hands and gently rub into your stomach, hips, thighs or any other potential problem areas.

The vitamin A and vitamin E will help to rejuvenate the skin while moisturizing, making stretch marks less likely to form. If you already have stretch marks, start by massaging argan oil and brown sugar into the affected areas before your next bath. Rinse well and apply the oil to the affected areas prior to dressing.

6. Razor Bumps and Burn Treatment

Razor bumps and razor burn are uncomfortable and unsightly. Argan oil is an effective treatment to soothe the skin after shaving, both for men after shaving their beards and for women after shaving their legs.

Warm a drop or two of the oil in your hands and lightly massage into the affected area.

7. Whole-Body Moisturizer

You can also use argan oil as your whole-body moisturizer. Hopefully, you are already using an all-natural moisturizer (like coconut oil) on your body and avoiding the harsh hidden chemicals that are found in most lotions and moisturizers.

Add just a couple of drops of argan oil to your food-grade carrier oil of choice (coconut, olive, jojoba, sweet almond or sesame) to immediately reap all the benefits of this therapeutic natural oil. If you have dry patches on your heels, elbows or other areas, massage an extra drop into those areas for relief.

8. Leave-In Conditioner 

Argan oil is not only beneficial to skin — it’s also great for hair. This non-greasy oil makes for the perfect leave-in conditioner that makes your hair easier to style while repairing those pesky split ends. Argan oil helps to tame frizz and fly-aways and protect against the heat of hair dryers, curlers and flat irons, all the while promoting body and a healthy shine.

There is some research that indicates argan oil can even promote hair growth, so be sure to rub it into your scalp too. Depending on the thickness, texture, condition and length of your hair, you may need anywhere from 1 drop to 3 drops.

Getting the right amount may take some practice. Start with a drop (or for short hair a ½ drop may do) and warm in your palms before raking your fingers through your hair, paying special attention to your ends. Once complete, add a ½ drop to your fingertips and massage into your scalp. Rub any excess into your face, neck or hands.

 

Argan oil benefits for hair - Dr. Axe

9. Overnight Deep Conditioning Treatment

If you have dry, brittle hair, once a week do an overnight deep conditioning treatment with argan oil. Warm 4–10 drops in your hands before massaging into your scalp. Continue applying all the way to the ends, twist and place a shower cap on top. Your natural body heat retained in the shower cap will help the oil to penetrate, while keeping your pillowcase free of oil. In the morning, wash your hair, rinsing until all residue is gone.

If you have dandruff or dry scalp, do an overnight treatment twice per week until the dandruff is gone. Continue with weekly treatments or as needed.

10. Lip Conditioner

Argan oil benefits more than just your skin and hair; it makes for a wonderful lip treatment or lip balm substitute! Rub in 1–2 drops and wipe away any excess.

This will not only relieve any cracked lips, but also keep your lips soft, smooth and conditioned. Keep argan oil handy during the winter to prevent chapped lips.

11. Nail & Cuticle Treatment

Now, let’s talk about how this can help your nails! Argan oil’s non-greasy moisture is an ideal treatment for cuticles and nails. Remove all polish from fingernails and toenails and rinse thoroughly.

Dot a fraction of a drop directly onto each nail, one at a time, and rub into the nail bed and cuticle. Leave on until all nails have been treated.

Wash and rinse thoroughly and then apply polish as desired. The oil will not only help to condition your nails, but it will also help keep your cuticles moisturized so you don’t develop painful hangnails.

12. Foot Treatment

If you have dry, cracking skin on your feet or heels, rub 2 drops into your feet, paying special attention to the problem areas. Depending on how dry your skin is, you may need to apply a couple of more drops to fully moisturize the area.

Cover with a pair of cozy socks to give the oil a chance to soak in. Leave the socks on for at least 20 minutes, and preferably overnight. Use a warm washcloth to remove the residual oil from the soles of your feet.

 

Argan oil benefits for nails - Dr. Axe

Buying & Storing Argan Oil

As you can see, argan oil is easy to incorporate into your morning and evening beauty routine. To enjoy all the argan oil benefits, use it daily to treat dry skin and scalp, as a styling product, to keep wrinkles at bay, and to treat acne. It increases the hydration of your skin and hair, resulting in a more rejuvenated and healthy appearance. (9)

It’s important to buy high-quality oil. A low-quality oil will not give you the same argan oil benefits as it will not have the same concentration of nutrients. When selecting the oil, look for 100 percent pure, organic, cold-pressed, unfiltered and non-deodorized argan oil.

A good, pure argan oil will be more expensive, but when you look at the number of products (eye creams, moisturizers, lotions, hair styling products, etc.) you can replace it with, it’s worth every penny.

Keep bottles out of direct sunlight and sealed tight. It is recommended to use the oil within six months of opening for optimal benefit. Start with a small bottle and keep track of how long it lasts as the quality can degrade over time.


Argan Oil Side Effects

Be mindful when using argan oil if you have any nut allergies. While not technically a tree nut, it is a stone fruit and the oils come from the nut. You can always test the oil on the inside of your arm first to make sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction.

Read Next: 15 Carrier Oils for Essential Oils

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Top 12 Argan Oil Benefits for Skin & Hair

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63 Comments

  1. Sharon Turow on

    Thank you for this information and all of the info you share. I have two questions? Can we buy the fruit and can we grow the trees? Thank you again, Sharon

    Reply
    • kylie on

      The Josie Moran at QVC is so expensive. Have you checked out mountainroseherbs.com They carry quality oils, teas, herbs/spices pretty much everything you can imagine & based out of Eugene OR. I’m sure Josie’s oil is good but it’s all about marketing & brand, you’re paying for her name & at that price it better come with Saffron too.

      Reply
    • Carolyn on

      I have the Josie Maran Argan Oil but will certainly check out the source recommended by Dr. Axe since it is much less expensive, and I trust his recommendations. I saw a recent evaluation of a new day time moisturizer with sun screen by Josie Maran that was rated very highly. Have not tried it. I like the recommended uses that Dr. Axe has provided and will try the toner made from green tea with a couple of drops of argan oil.

      Reply
    • Chris Perrine on

      Yes, the is a company called L’BRI Pure n’ Natural with an excellent line of all natural, aloe vera based skin care that is anti aging and works fantastic. And it is very affordable.

      Reply
  2. Teresa Sundberg on

    I’m amazed at all the incredible benefits of this oil! I’ll definitely be incorporating it into my daily beauty/moisturizing routine. I’m curious though, would this help at all with Psoriasis?

    Reply
  3. Friederike on

    I love argan oil, i use it from head to toe and in everything. i make my own creams n hair products and have a large collection of different oils, and argan oil has and will always be my fav and best oil :) it help cleare up my acne when it was bad so i love the stuff for it.

    Reply
  4. Amanda on

    Hi, very helpful blog! I use Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan oil on my hair wet and dry. It absorbs instantly and doesn’t leave my hair oily looking like so many other hair oils.

    Reply
  5. Drew Todd on

    Hi Josh

    Seasons greetings to you and yours!

    How do you get one drop to spread on your entire face, I need about 5 drops to spread on my face?? What am I dong wrong?

    Thanks.

    Drew

    Reply
  6. Michel on

    Argan oil is way worth it – I use an argan oil that has no harmful chemicals, and can be used on hair & skin – its the Somaluxe Argan Oil – I love this product it leaves my hair smooth, silky, and shiny! I couldn’t keep my hands out of my hair because it was so soft and it’s light or at least for my thick straight hair! I just hate that it’s only one size but will definitely repurchase. I never do reviews on products but it’s so good that I had to tell someone!!

    Reply
  7. Robyn on

    For months I suffered from facial rashes that went as far as my chest and behind my ears. Doctors couldn’t figure it out. Hives, rosacea, psoriasis, or food allergy? My skin was cracking and peeling. Basically I was a mess. It turns out that it was all a reaction to stress! One week after leaving my job, the rash disappeared. With my health insurance ending, I had to cancel the dermatology appointment for which I waited weeks! My physician recommended Argan Oil. It wasn’t easy to find in our area, but Target carried a nice brand. My skin is already reaping the benefits and I have had no reactions, especially by my eyes.

    Reply
  8. said slo on

    Hello and thank you for this amazing tips,

    I’m from the south of Morocco and our areas of this famous oil and I have saved you the real quality of the oil argan.

    form agadir Morocco

    Reply
  9. MJA on

    My Wheaten terrier has 8cm tumor.the path report is not conclusive.may be sarcoma. I am interested in your thoughts about adding oils….frankencense, or what would you suggest?
    For myself I am interested in any skin care for sun damage spots….I grew up when we slathered baby oil !

    Reply
  10. Dima Al Mahsiri on

    I love argan oil!
    I like to use it as a leave-on-conditioner. It help treat my frizzy hair and protect it when styling.
    Thanks for sharing these tips, I would love to use this oil for exfoliating my skin.

    Reply
  11. Jason on

    I love the SOmaluxe Argan oil also – my girl friend uses it for her nails – but i use it as a face moisturizer and it works so well…doesnt leave me greasy at all

    Reply
  12. Jennifer on

    I love Argan oil! I have been using it for about 5 months and it has improved my hair and skin. I buy Beta Naturals brand. Have you heard of it or know anything about the company?

    Reply
  13. Peggy on

    I love Argan oil & I have been using it for almost 2 years now. The best 100% organic, pure Argan Oil from Morocco. I have chronic dry eyes and since my
    eye lids are so dry. I rub it gently into my eyelids & it hydrates my eyelids & relieves some of the problem with the dry eye, Also it does not get into my eyes.
    My Ophthalmologist supports me 100% & tells me to keep using the Argan oil on my eyelids.

    Reply
  14. cristina morrow on

    Hi Dr. Axe
    Thank you for this post, very helpful.
    Would i have to use argan oil everyday in order for stretch marks to reduce? Right now its more every third day.
    Would you recommend children (toddlers/babies) using argan oil for skin, hair, and even diaper rashes?

    Thank you again for your insight

    Reply
    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I would use it daily on the stretch marks along with essential oils. I’m not able to give recommendations regarding using it with a child, sorry! I would consult with your physician

      Reply
  15. Patty Meza on

    I started having all these dark brown spots on my face. At first it was just a small spot now it’s all over my forehead. I started using argon oil on my forehead and I swear the dark spots are actually not as dark anymore. Been about 2 weeks now. I’m so happy. Bc having that on your face really doesn’t make you feel so pretty. I’m loving the fact that it’s dininishing!!! I’m hoping they all go away ? If not at least not be as dark.

    Reply
  16. Harriet k on

    I did not like Jose Marin Argan’s oil – its was too oily ! The Somaluxe Argan Oil has improved the appearance of my thick coarse hair and has made it feel really soft and tamed my wavy/curly hair. What I like most about it is that it does not leave my hair with a greasy residue the way Jose Marin Argan Oil does.

    Reply
    • paul on

      No mention of the two grades of cosmetic Argan Oil for sale!
      One is better for skin problems the other for face and hair.

      One is single filtered and has an argan nut scent the other is scent free.

      There is only one company that sells coth that I could find.
      there is enough affiliate ads on this page already so i wont post a link/name.
      Do your own research!

      Reply
  17. Jamie Shafer on

    I discovered this wonderful oil through a friend who was living in Provence where it is popular. I used the oil on my 84 year old face for about 6 months and realized it was clearing up the senior acne on my face. And then started with oil on hair, both conditioner and shampoo, and now use it on my body with coconut oil. Use on hands and nails are stronger! Going to try on my lower legs which are ver dry. In short everywhere. I just hope we don’t run out – so shhhhh!

    We must stop the use of all products that cause cancer! So start with he argan – an amazing product from the land of the Berbers.

    Reply
  18. Gabriela on

    I use it on my hair, but today i ran out of moisturizer and was wondering if this oil was any good on my skin… Turns out it is amazong for hair, skin, nails and so much more! I really enjoyed your blog Dr. Axe. Really helpful!

    Reply
  19. Vanessa on

    I have been using Jose Moran argon oil for about 1 year now, I will never go back to creams or anything like it, this is all I need, it has been my skin saver, I have mild roceasa, and very very dry skin, my nose was so patchy and red I just couldn’t find a way out, I went to the oil and within a month I could not believe the DIFFERANCE, it’s healing it’s great under makeup, my skin is alive again I am 63 and have basic good genes, but life was catching up, I was using all the wrong things, can’t say enough, just the best product ever, please give it a try, use a month you won’t go back to anything else.

    Reply
  20. Jacky on

    I have for the past 8 months been using a mixture of Argan oil and Shea butter to combat adult acne and keep my skin supple and wrinkle free; both of which have been effective thus far. I have however, for the last month, noticed a change in the effect of these substances on my skin. Although the acne is moderately controlled, my skin is drier and getting wrinkles, at the age of 36 years. I wonder whether it is due to the change in environment; having moved from England to Toronto??

    Reply
    • Trudy Ray on

      Jacky, the dryness in the air around the Great Lakes in winter are most certainly a factor. I visited my family in Chicago for a week in February, and noticed dramatic differences in my skin and nails. Enjoy your new home, and I predict that once spring arrives and the weather changes, you’ll find yourself able to “forget about” the dry skin issues.

      Reply
  21. Sania on

    Hi,

    I am really pleased to read the review of this product and want to give it a try for the below problems;

    I am 46yrs unmarried women. After I got my waxing done I got black spots all over my hands and legs and I feel very embarrassed, Also I got black elbows and knees and inner area of the thighs. Will Argan oil help me in dealing with this problem?

    I got grey hair from very early age earlier I used to apply henna but it did not suit me so I shifted to hair color but in vain none of the brands did wonders and I have to used color every 3 to 4 days. Do you have a solution or suggestion for this problem of mine please help me.

    How do I buy this product in India?

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    Regards,

    Reply
  22. Honor Wearing on

    I tried Argan oil for two weeks – just a couple of drops on my face & neck. It gave me six large blackheads so I can’t understand why people are touting its topical benefits. i believe it is a healthy oil to consume , however.

    Reply
  23. Trudy Ray on

    I’ve just recently discovered Argan oil, and love it. I’m in my late 60’s, and have been using it on my face and neck for about 3 weeks. The changes to the texture of my skin is most noticeable. Wrinkles are less pronounced, and my skin is soft and glowing.

    Reply
  24. Hypnogal on

    CORRECTION!!! OMG – I HAVE to correct this. Argan Oil is NOT high in LINOLEUM ACID!!!

    lol ——> Linoleum, also called Lino, is a floor covering made from materials such as solidified linseed oil (linoxyn), pine rosin, ground cork dust, wood flour, and mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate, most commonly on a burlap or canvas backing; pigments are often added to the materials.
    ==================================================================================
    CORRECTION

    Argan Oil is high in LINOLEIC acid.<—————————-

    Argan oil – 42-48% oleic, 30-38% linoleic
    Oleic acid – very moisturizing, absorbs well, regenerative, anti-inflammatory
    Linoleic acid – improves skin’s barrier function, soothes itchy, dry skin, retains moisture, anti-inflammatory

    ALWAYS PROOFREAD BEFORE POSTING!!! WOW did I laugh my head off!

    Reply
  25. Bosslady on

    This says chemical free toner?!?! Then proceeds to tell you to use essential oils. Ummm. What is NOT a chemical in your descriptions?! Really!? I’m so tired of people thinking they’ve gone “chemical free.” News flash: everything is a chemical including water. Essential oils are miltiple chemicals that make up the one oil. Try again! Try to educate people that they are still using chemicals but perhaps safer ones. And yes it does matter! How many people use these things and think they are safe no matter how used because they “aren’t chemicals”…

    Reply
  26. Deborah on

    I’m trying to get away from harmful chemicals. (Going as natural as possible). My dermatologist told me to put petroleum jelly on a place where a skin cancer had been take off. I don’t use petroleum products. Not allergic, just don’t want petroleum on or in my body. Do you have a good non-petroleum jelly recipe? I do know about the olive oil and beeswax. Is there another one as oil ice oil goes rancid too quickly.

    Reply
  27. Kevin on

    I use good argan and love it on my face. However, when trying to treat my extremely dry hands (perhaps exema?) my hands become inflamed and itchy with oils which are supposed to be moisturizing and soothing. What am I doing wrong?

    Reply
  28. Charlene on

    Can Argan oil help my eyebrows grow faster . I just dunt have thick eyebrows .I went to threading my eyebrows and the lady Did it so thin … I dunt know way to do to make them grow fast and thicker … Please help .. Thank you so much .

    Reply
  29. Ann on

    I’d like to print part of your article for personal use and cannot find a way to do so. Tried to scroll to make selection and it won’ t let me. Also tried to remove pictures to print more efficiently. Please advise

    Reply
    • Virginia Zerdelian on

      Another issue: I am trying to forward your articles via email but the selection is missing. Can you enable your customers to share the information via email, as well. Thank you.

      Reply
  30. Amy on

    Does the toner have to be stored in the refrigerator or can it be stored in my bathroom cabinet at room temperature?

    Reply
  31. Lorraine on

    Wow! Thanks for this article. I recently bought some pure oil in Abu Dhabi & was wondering how to use it for my hair & now I’ve learnt this and more! Will def be trying this for my skin too.

    Reply

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