9 Amazing Benefits of Argan Oil for Skin, Hair & Health

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The most important health benefits of argan oil include its ability to speed up wound healing, moisturize the skin, slow aging, and lower cholesterol levels. It is also able to help prevent cancer, improve hair health, optimize digestion, reduce inflammation, protect the liver, strengthen the nails, and boost heart health.

What is Argan Oil?

Argan oil a plant oil that is extracted from the kernels of the fruit of the argan tree. It is used for culinary purposes, as well as cosmetic ones, and is often added into couscous, salads, and other sauces. Argan pulp can also be made into a paste to be spread on desserts and bread, similar to peanut butter. The oil can be directly applied to the skin for certain conditions, or mixed in with other creams, salves, or carrier oils. Many people also use the oil directly on the hair.

Given its use in food, argan oil is one of the more versatile natural oils, as it can be safely used internally and topically. The limited amount of this resource in Morocco has made the price a bit dear, but the government is planning to increase production in order to meet the increasing demand. [1]

There are a certain species of tree in Morocco, called the argan tree, which produces argan oil from its kernels. You can find the argan tree (Argania Spinosa [2]in a few other parts of the world, but it is endemic to that North African nation, and the oil wasn’t found too widely throughout the world until recently. In Morocco, argan oil is used to drizzle over food, almost like standard olive oil, but recent discoveries of other health benefits from this oil have led to its broader exportation. The oil is extracted from the 1-3 kernels found in the hard-shelled nut surrounded by the argan fruit’s pulp.

A bottle of argan oil and a bowl of argan nuts on a wooden table

Argan oil is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the Argan tree that is native to Morocco. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Argan Oil

Skin Care

The most well known and commonly relied on the function of argan oil is as a skin treatment. In fact, a study conducted in France found that the triterpenoids found in this powerful oil, in combination with other organic compounds found in the oil, are able to eliminate the appearance of age spots and scars, and can even affect the severity of acne and dermatitis. Furthermore, if you have any tumorous skin cells, the volatile compounds of argan oil can reduce them and keep you both feeling and be looking young. Premature aging is a serious problem for many people, but by maintaining skin elasticity, argan oil can prevent those typical symptoms of aging. [3]

Diabetes Management

According to an animal study published in the Cardiovascular & Hematological Agents in Medicinal Chemistry journal, the study demonstrates antihyperglycemic, lowered plasma cholesterol levels, and antioxidant effects of argan oil extract in the severe diabetic study. However, further investigations and studies are needed. [4] [5]

Boosts Heart Health

Using cooking oils is something that we all do, but choosing a healthier option like argan oil can help to rebalance your cholesterol levels. By lowering your levels of bad cholesterol, and increasing your HDL cholesterol levels, you can help to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, and other serious heart issues caused by cholesterol. [6]

Anticancer Potential

As per the research published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, argan oil is packed with antioxidants and triterpenoids, which can help reduce cancer cell growth throughout the body. [7]

The journal Cancer Detection and Prevention has published a study suggesting that virgin argan oil is able to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells with the help of antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic polyphenols and sterols. [8]

It is also rich in tocopherol that happens to exert an antiproliferative effect on various breast cancer and colon cancer cells. [9]

Improves Digestion

Many people eat right, but their bodies don’t properly take in the food they need, mainly through disorders of the stomach or a poorly functioning gastric system. According to a report in Fitoterapia, the organic compounds in argan oil can increase pepsin levels in the stomach, and also boost gastric juices, which results in more efficient digestion and higher nutrient intake. [10]

Hair Care

People are always looking for ways to improve their appearance, and this is particularly true for the hair. If you have split ends, adding argan oil directly to your hair can be a quick and effective remedy. In a report on hair cosmetics, Dr. Nita Madnani, a senior dermatologist from Hinduja hospital, India said that most new hair cosmetic products include argan oil in it. There is a high concentration of vitamin E in argan oil, which can rejuvenate the hair, protect the follicle beds, and improve the shine and overall appearance. [11]

Improves Nail Quality

Unhealthy nails are more than just unattractive; they are also a breeding ground for bacteria and fungal infections. Argan oil has natural antibacterial qualities that can protect your nail beds from a wide variety of infections and improve the appearance and color of your nails. [12]

Improves Liver Health

The liver is not only one of the most delicate organs in the body, but also one of the most important. Therefore, after a lifetime of flushing out toxins and handling all the terrible things we put inside our body, the liver can always use a boost. Fortunately, the hepatoprotective properties of argan oil mean that it can boost your liver health every time you add a bit of oil to one of your meals! [13]

Speeds Up Wound Healing

If you have a wound or other abrasion on your skin and want to not only speed its healing, but also prevent infections, apply some argan oil topically to the skin, or put it in a carrier oil. Internal consumption also helps with wound healing, but it’s much more effective when directly applied.

How to Use Argan Oil?

Argan oil can be used for many different purposes from skin and hair care to cooking. However, there are two types of oil available – one is for cooking and the other is for cosmetic use. So keep a check on the label while selecting the oil for yourself. Now, without further ado, let’s check out some of the simplest ways to use it.


  • Argan oil makes for a great option for dipping bread as it has a toasty, creamy flavor. It can also be drizzled on salads and vegetables. You can top your couscous with argan oil for a unique flavor.
  • You can also use argan oil in many baking dishes like biscuits and brownies.
  • Argan oil burns very easily so be sure to use it in dishes that require light or medium heat.
  • Make sure to check the label and buy argan oil that is available for cooking purposes only as there are many cosmetic variants on the market.

Skin and Hair Care

  • You can use Moroccan argan oil to massage your hair as it helps in strengthening the strands. Regular oil application also helps to get rid of frizzy hair.
  • Argan oil helps to moisturize your skin and protect it from UV damage. While the oil may or may not suit everyone, there are plenty of options available on the market like body lotions, face creams that have this oil as a primary ingredient. You can easily include these products in your skincare routine.

Word of Caution: There are no common side effects of using argan oil, but there have been limited reports of allergic reactions in the form of rashes, and in one extreme case – anaphylaxis. You should always speak to your medical professional before adding an herbal remedy to your health regimen and always purchase this oil from a reputable source, like a trained herbalist.

DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 3.9 out of 5.0 based on 123 user(s).