Argan oil is made from the nut of a tree native to Morocco and has made its way into popular skin and hair care products for its softening and smoothing qualities. You can also cook with argan oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
The oil used for beauty is different from one used for cooking, so be sure you know whether you’re buying a cosmetic or culinary argan oil. Cold-pressed oil is best for the skin or hair. For topical use, Cliganic Organic Argan Oil is the top choice.
Argan oil for cosmetic use is often labeled “cold-pressed” because the nuts are not roasted and pressed by a machine. Cold pressing extracts a light oil with a subtle scent, largely devoid of taste and flavor. It's not recommended for culinary uses.
Argan oil for cooking has a stronger scent. The nuts are roasted and then ground, yielding an oil with a deep, nutty flavor.
Argan oil is nutrient-rich, containing omega-6 fatty acids, also known as linoleic acids, and omega-9 fatty acids, also known as oleic acids. According to the National Institutes of Health, when consumed, the oil may have heart-protective properties and lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. It also contains a high level of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation.
Whether consumed orally or used topically, the antioxidant content of argan oil may help slow the signs of skin aging.
The fatty acids in argan oil make it a popular moisturizer for skin and hair. When applied directly to the face or body, the oil deeply hydrates the skin. It also works great as a heel softener or on other body parts prone to dryness or cracking. The oil can be applied directly to the scalp or used as a hair mask, and left on for hours or overnight. A few drops of oil can also be used on damp or dry hair to smooth hair and tame flyaways.
Argan oil can smell quite potent or be odorless. Cold-pressed oils for cosmetic use have a subtle smell that fades after application. Ones that undergo a double filtration process are odorless. Oils that are traditionally processed have a detectable smell.
Because of its photosensitivity, most argan oil comes in a dark-colored bottle. Argan oil can spoil if it’s overexposed to air or sunlight, so be sure to toss your oil if it smells rancid.
A high-quality cosmetic oil features a smooth, thick texture the skin absorbs easily. Argan oil can range in color from pale to golden yellow. The more refined an oil, the lighter it is.
Darker oils may also come with some sediment on the bottom of their bottles. This is because they're less processed. Ultra-refined oil is sediment-free but may also be stripped some of its nutrients.
Many argan oils come with an "organic" label, which means the argan trees were cultivated without the use of pesticides or any other agrochemicals. In addition to checking for organic certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, be sure your oil contains only argan oil and is not diluted with additives or other oils.
Argan oil is considered a luxury oil. The price for a 1- to 4-ounce bottle of cosmetic oil ranges between $10-$50. Culinary argan oil comes in larger bottles, 8 to 17 ounces, and is priced between $32-$65.
A. While both are heart-healthy, argan oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil. This means it can be used for cooking at a high temperature, while olive oil should not be exposed to much heat. Argan oil also contains more vitamin E than olive oil.
A. Despite its goopy texture, argan oil will not clog pores. Argan oil has the lowest comedogenic rating: 0 out of 10. It can even help treat acne, due to its anti-sebum properties and is ideal for oily skin.
What you need to know: This highly rated oil is lightweight and chemical-free, and it's perfect for your beauty needs.
What you’ll love: The oil absorbs into skin quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. A little goes a long way, and the bottle lasts a long time. It works well on dry ends. The oil is a miracle worker for acne-prone skin and clears up blemishes.
What you should consider: The consistency is a bit watery.
What you need to know: This lower-priced but high-quality organic argan oil is emollient and fast-absorbing.
What you’ll love: The formula doesn’t have any petrochemicals and is safe for the skin. It can be used on the face for a moisturizer and to smooth fine lines. It also works great on curly hair.
What you should consider: While most users find the smell nice and natural, a few can’t get beyond it.
What you need to know: For cooking and making salad dressing, this heart-healthy oil is organic and comes straight from the forests of Morocco.
What you’ll love: The rich, nutty flavor is unique and can be used in sweet or savory recipes. Cooks love to drizzle it on dishes or salad greens. It is keto-friendly and filled with antioxidants and other nutritious ingredients.
What you should consider: The 8-ounce bottle is pricey.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.