When Morrocanoil launched to viral success in 2010, it introduced women on this side of the Atlantic to the wonders that argan oil—otherwise known as “liquid gold”—can work on hair. What you may not realize, though, is that using argan oil for face and skin can have just as many—if not more—benefits than argan oil for hair. Because: “liquid gold” is right.
As far as skin is concerned, this stuff does it all. “Argan oil is a light, non-comedogenic moisturizer which is rich with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says board-certified dermatologist Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD. All skin-types can benefit from using it, so whether you’re dealing with acne, dry skin, inflammation, or general signs of aging, it’s got you covered.
“Argan oil is powerful and because it’s just one pure ingredient, it can draw into skin and you can see an improvement in smoothness, hydration, and the appearance of wrinkles,” says Josie Maran, who uses the ingredient as the backbone of her namesake skin-care line. Below, the pros share exactly how to add argan oil for face and skin into your routine, because as Maran puts it, “if you have skin, you need argan oil.”
What are the benefits of argan oil for face and skin care?
Hydrating: Layering an oil on your face is a great way to lock in moisture, but argan oil takes things one step further. “Argan oil is loaded with vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which help to hydrate the skin and retain hydration,” says Cindy Kim, founder and CEO of Silver Mirror Facial Bar.
Anti-inflammatory: Argan oil is high in linoleic acid, which helps to reduce inflammation in the skin. According to Kim, this makes it a great go-to for people with inflammatory skin conditions, like rosacea and psoriasis.
Acne-fighting: If you’ve got oily skin, the thought of putting on more oil may sound scary. But actually, it can help. “Argan oil works wonders in controlling acne by balancing out the sebum production in the skin,” explains Kim. The result? “Fewer breakouts, reduced oiliness, and less irritation,” she says.
Anti-aging: All of those fatty acids we’ve been talking about? They’re also great for preventing fine lines and wrinkles, says Kim, because they strengthen the tissues in your skin. “Argan oil feeds our skin essential fatty acids like omega 3, 6, and 9—which our bodies don’t produce on their own,” adds Maran. Pro tip? Combine the oil with ceramides, which will up the ante on its anti-aging and hydrating benefits. Speaking of anti-aging, here’s a $2,000 facial that’s meant to leave skin supple and glowing:
Who should use argan oil for face and skin care?
“Almost everyone can benefit from incorporating argan oil into their skin-care routine,” says Kim. That includes people with oily skin, too, because argan oil is a zero on the comedogenicity scale and won’t break you out. The ingredient can be especially helpful during the fall and winter months, when skin tends to be dry, dehydrated, and flaky thanks to all of the cold air. And you don’t need a whole lot of the stuff to make it work—a little bit (as in, a few drops) can go a long way.
How should I use argan oil for face and skin care?
In addition to being a powerhouse on its own, argan oil for skin is great for combining with the rest of your routine, and can make other products work better than they would on their own. “Because it’s an oil, it can help fat soluble ingredients, like vitamins A and E, penetrate into the skin more effectively than they would otherwise,” says Dr. Mudgil. Layering it on with your retinol, for example, will give you even more bang for your usual vitamin A buck.
“Argan oil is abundant in oleic acid, which improves the skin’s permeability and therefore helps the oil as well as other ingredients and products more easily penetrate the skin,” adds Kim. Since argan oil is occlusive, apply all of your other steps first, and if your skin is feeling extra unhappy with dryness and inflammation, Maran recommends using only argan oil (the pure stuff, that is) for a week in order to give it a chance to rest and reset.
How can I choose the right argan oil for face and skin care?
All skin types can benefit from using argan oil, as long as you’re using the right product. “Look for products that are 100 percent pure argan oil, or if you’re buying an argan oil that is mixed with other ingredients, make sure that it’s listed very high on the ingredient list,” says Kim. As a general rule, steer clear of argan oil with fragrance in it, which may cause irritation. You can also find argan oil as a supplemental ingredient alongside other actives, which help cuts an entire step out of your routine. Shop some of our picks below:
The best thing about a pure argan oil—like this one, which you can get at the drugstore—is that you can use it for your face, body, and hair. And who doesn’t love a triple-duty product?
Instead of having to layer argan oil with your serums, this vitamin A and argan oil hybrid does the work for you. It stimulates cell turnover while also hydrating and nourishing skin at the same time.
A blend of powerhouse argan with Spanish apricot seed and sweet almond oils results in a facial oil that’s rich in fatty acids and will help strengthen the moisture barrier on your skin. Plus, an abundance of vitamins A and E will leave you looking like your face has literally been dipped in liquid gold.
There are twenty different oils in this actives-packed product. In addition to argan, there’s raspberry seed oil, tamanu oil, and evening primrose (among many, many others), a combo that helps diminish fine lines and wrinkles for a smooth, supple complexion.
Yup—you can even use argan oil in your cleanser. The oil dissolves dirt, grime, and makeup residue, all while nourishing your skin with the goodness in the process.
We asked pros to tell us once and for all: Should you be using an oil, a moisturizer, or both to properly hydrate your skin? Plus, the three most important things dermatologists want you to look for when it comes to choosing a serum.
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