Argan oil is a beauty multitasker of the highest order: Whether on its own or formulated with other actives, the popular oil is great for hair, nails, and skin. Users love it because it's lightweight, sinks in effortlessly, is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and helps lock in moisture like you won't believe. Ahead, find 10 ways you can use argan oil to optimize your beauty routine:
Since argan oil is super nutrient-dense without being heavy and clogging pores, consider using this as your go-to facial oil. In a study published by the International Journal of Molecular Science, it states that argan oil can have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin1, which help repair the skin's barrier and improve wound healing. And according to board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., argan oil is full of fatty acids and vitamin E that help to boost moisture levels in the skin, which also helps improve texture. "And since argan oil is noncomedogenic, it is not problematic for acne-prone areas," Hadley says. (We'll get to more about its benefits for acne-prone skin later.)
Oil cleansing is a favorite cleansing method for natural beauty lovers: It hydrates the skin, effectively removes impurities, and keeps things balanced by maintaining natural oil levels in your skin while absorbing excess sebum. "The best way I've found to cleanse, in all my years as an esthetician, is oil cleansing," says holistic esthetician and mindbodygreen Collective member Britta Plug (watch how to do it here). "It breaks down dirt, excess oil, makeup, and sunblock and even helps to dissolve blackheads in the skin over time. With a thorough oil cleanse, you get all the stuff you want off without disrupting any of the good stuff on your skin microbiome."
King says argan oil is a great option for oil cleansing since it doesn't clog pores. For sensitive or dry skin types, King recommends an oil-based cleanse followed by a water rinse. For oily, acne-prone skin or if you wear makeup, she recommends a double-cleanse with an oil-based cleanser first and a water-based cleanser second.
Whether you're a gal that wouldn't dare miss a routine manicure or you simply want to improve your nails, taking care of your cuticles is an important step we often overlook when it comes to healthy nails. Healthy, clean, and hydrated cuticles help to prevent dryness and cracking that can lead to infection. An easy solution is regularly hydrating your cuticles, yet another way to use that trusty bottle of argan oil.
Just as the fatty acids and vitamin E in argan oil hydrate our skin, it does the same moisturizing wonders for our cuticles. It's lightweight and absorbs easily so you won't have that lingering greasy look hours after applying. Simply apply the oil directly to your cuticles and massage it in until absorbed—seriously, it just takes one minute a day to do this.
Oh, the joys of at-home pampering. Argan oil is also a great addition to your at-home spa session. Board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., suggests adding a few drops to your bathwater and letting the oil do all the work while you soak. You'll rinse to soft, supple, hydrated skin like never before. Trust us, it's a total game-changer.
Split end mender
Argan oil has many benefits for hair. "It's great for many conditions, especially dry, damaged hair because its trove of fatty acids lock moisture into the hair follicle," says Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., an American Board Family Medicine physician and mbg Collective member. Even though it's not actually possible to reverse split ends, there are some solutions that can help improve the appearance of them. According to hairstylist Lucia Casazza, using argan oil can help transform the appearance when used as a mask. "When hair is severely overprocessed, where ends appear fragile and gummy when wet, I would use argan oil as a mask under a cap," Casazza suggests. "There are also times when I simply apply it as a leave-in treatment before and after a blowout for a clean, polished look with silky, smooth ends."
Overnight hair treatment
If you're looking for an overnight conditioning treatment, Casazza also suggests applying argan oil as a hair mask while you sleep. "For an overnight mask, argan oil should be applied starting from the scalp all the way to the ends of the hair," she says. Simply apply to the hair, wrap it in a microfiber towel or wrap so you don't soak your pillow, and catch your zzz's—allowing the liquid gold to work its magic while you rest. Come morning, simply wash and style hair as usual.
Pair it with your gua sha stone.
Gua sha is a natural therapy from ancient Chinese bodywork that uses a scraping tool (the stone) to promote circulation and lymphatic drainage. As you might know, it's become very popular for facial massage, beloved by holistic beauty gurus. You need an oil to pair with the stone as you "scrape" along the skin. Argan oil is a great natural pick as it provides slip while keeping some of the much-needed tension vital in gua sha practices.
Argan oil can also double as a natural luminizer. Instead of using heavy shimmer cosmetic formulas, dab this hydrating oil atop your cheekbones for the ultimate lit-from-within glow. If you prefer an allover sheen, add a few drops of argan oil to your favorite foundation or facial moisturizer for a dreamy, dewy finish. Since it's such a light oil, it won't weigh down your other makeup, either.
Acne and acne scar healer.
Since argan oil is noncomedogenic, meaning it doesn't clog pores, it's a great oil option for acne-prone skin. According to Zeichner, argan oil helps soothe inflammation2 and may help modulate oil production in the skin, too. So not only are you limiting blocked pores, but you're easing some of the triggers of acne altogether.
Finally: It may come in handy for acne scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Research shows it aids in wound healing, which acne scars would fall under the category of, as well as inhibiting the production of the pigments3 that create dark spots and acne marks.
Trying to find all-natural ways to reduce signs of aging can be a full-time job. One study showed that argan oil can help lock moisture into skin, specifically, mature skin4. It was conducted with postmenopausal women and found that with daily application, it resulted in a higher water content within the skin. Other research has shown that argan oil can help your skin repair itself1, which is a vital function for skin to keep looking youthful for longer.
Heal Your Skin.
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Andrea Jordan is a beauty and lifestyle freelance writer covering topics from hair and skincare to family and home. She received her bachelor's in Magazine Journalism from Temple University and you can find her work at top publications like InStyle, PopSugar, StyleCaster, Business Insider, PureWow and OprahMag. When she's not writing, you can find Andrea tackling new recipes in the kitchen or babysitting one of her many nieces and nephews. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and cat, Silas.