“It has found a use as a skin and hair moisturizer because it is rich in oleic and linoleic acids, both helpful ingredients to maintain a healthy skin barrier because they feed our skin essential fatty acids like omega-3, 6, and 9, which our bodies do not produce,” says Corey L. Hartman, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Chimento concurs, adding that those fatty acids may even help reduce wrinkles and boost collagen production.
But wait — there’s more. “The vitamin E in argan oil helps maintain skin’s youthfulness and scavenge free radicals,” says Dr. Chimento. “Argan oil also heals the skin’s outer layer by stopping transepidermal water loss.” As for hair, she says it preserves melanin while preventing damage to the exterior cuticle of the hair shaft.
Furthermore, Dr. Hartman says argan oil also plays a role in treating inflammation because it contains CoQ10 and melatonin. “Argan oil has been linked to the maintenance and repair of healthy skin through its impact on elasticity and hydration, particularly after menopause.”
Although it’s an ingredient rich in other beneficial ingredients, it’s not rich in the textural sense. In fact, it’s a rather lightweight, not to mention friendly for acne-prone skin. “Argan oil is among the least comedogenic oils and therefore is useful in skin-care products when an emollient is desired,” Dr. Hartman tells Allure. “Since it is a smaller molecule and doesn’t clog pores, it is an ideal oil for incorporating into skin-care products that include other active ingredients.”
What other ingredients does argan oil mix well with?
Argan oil is fantastic on its own — you may recall Dr. Chimento praising it for its effects on psoriasis, and a number of beauty brands sell it as a stand-alone product — but it also cooperates really well with other ingredients. For example, Koestline points to a recent study that study shows argan oil applied in combination with other topical agents like allantoin has a softening and relaxing effect on the skin.
Hartman appreciates when argan oil is combined with ceramides. “It significantly improves the skin barrier and contributes to skin that is more hydrated, firmer, and less saggy,” he says, adding that it’s also a good friend to vitamins. “Because it’s an oil, it can help fat-soluble ingredients like vitamins A, D, E, and K be absorbed into the skin more effectively and even help retinol to be more easily tolerated.”