We had an interesting question from one of our Facebook friends (thank you!) recently on Argan Oil.
Argan oil has been used for centuries by the Berbers in Morocco as a natural treatment for skin and hair. This discovery by some major cosmetics brands has led to its recent popularisation in a number of skin care products.
Argan Oil does have some great attributes, for example high levels of phytosterols, Vitamin E and Omega 6. However it has a couple of drawbacks in that it is high in polyunsaturates and thus is prone to instability. In other words it can quite quickly (i.e. within 6 months) go rancid which from production of the oil to end-use in skin care is just too short a space of time. On the skin rancid oils can encourage free radical generation which accelerates the ageing process.
Argan Oil is also it is a ‘tree-nut’ oil, so like almond oil, we avoid it in our skin care for the benefit of our many allergy-prone clients. Our choice of organic virgin cold-pressed oils (like olive, avocado and jojoba) are also high in key phytosterols and vitamins, but are more stable and have a longer ‘shelf-life’. These are included in most of our products, including our Timeless Rose Moisturiser and our Avocado Replenishing Cream.
For these reasons we don't currently have any plans to use argan oil in Essential Care products, but we certainly wouldn’t hesitate to try some if we happened to come across a nice fresh organic source on a Moroccan holiday...
It's a culinary oil too, but like all cold-pressed polunsaturated oils can be damaged by high heat so probably best enjoyed in salad and pasta dressings etc., and generally recommended to be kept in the fridge and used up fairly quickly.