Used for centuries to heal wounds, treat skin infections, moisturize skin, and keep hair healthy, argan oil, also known as “liquid gold,” packs a powerful punch combating acne, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and even cancer. Loaded with Vitamin E, Vitamin A, oleic acids, linoleic acids, and squalene, argan oil is not only beneficial when applied topically but the advantages to consuming it (the edible kind only!) are priceless. The antioxidants in virgin argan oil are higher than in any other plant oil.
Where does Argan oil come from?
Argan oil derives from argan trees in Morocco. The center or “nut” of the argan fruit is removed and cracked open. Inside are the kernels or seeds. The seeds are pressed to extract the oil. This time-consuming, laborious task generates employment and much-needed revenue for Morocco. Women make up the main job sector, and they have formed government-backed cooperatives to keep up with the high demand.
Two kinds of Argan oil: edible and cosmetic
Two types of argan oil are made: an edible version and one strictly for external, cosmetic use. Each type is produced differently. For edible argan oil, the kernels are roasted before pressing. This argan oil will have a nutty taste and can be added raw to salads and vegetables. It can also be used for cooking although it is not good for prolonged frying.
The cosmetic version of argan oil is used topically as moisturizer on skin and conditioner on hair. It is often added to commercial lotions and moisturizers. During the production of cosmetic argan oil, the kernels are pressed in their raw form and not roasted.
What are the benefits of using argan oil?
1. Treats acne and other skin disorders
Argan oil reduces skin inflammations such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.  Use of the oil rejuvenates and oxygenates skin cells.
2. Improves liver health
Studies  show that consumption of argan oil protects against liver disease. During tests inducing liver dysfunction, argan oil preserved insulin production even under distress to the liver.
3. Prevents cancer
Loaded with antioxidants, argan oil helps reduce tumors and other cancerous growths. The squalene in argan oil protects against skin cancer. 
4. Heals wounds and burns
Argan oil speeds up the healing process and prevents infection in wounds. A study done on second-degree burns  showed that burns treated with argan oil healed more quickly.
5. Rejuvenates skin
Exposure to UV rays can accelerate skin damage. Use of argan oil promotes regeneration of skin cells and eliminates the appearance of age spots and scars. Argan oil stimulates cell oxygenation and replenishes and renews skin cells, making the skin more elastic and smooth.
6. Promotes cardiovascular health
The fatty linoleic and oleic acids aid in reducing the LDL (bad) cholesterol while leaving the HDL (good) cholesterol levels intact, helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes and reducing heart disease. 
How can you incorporate Argan oil into your daily routine?
1. Moisturizer for skin
Famous for its nourishing properties, argan oil is used as a moisturizer for the skin and even overnight on the face. Put a drop in your hand and smooth over legs, arms, neck, and face. Work into rough areas like elbows and knees. Use sparingly as a little goes a long way.
2. Conditioner for hair
Argan oil is used as an intensive conditioner for dry and brittle hair. Depending on hair length, use only a drop or two and massage through hair beginning at scalp, or rub some on split ends to add moisture.
3. Sauce for foods (edible oil only!)
Used in place of other oils, the edible variety of argan oil can be used on salads as a dressing, in sauces, and even as a dipping sauce for bread. Sprinkle or spray over salads, add to stir-fry vegetables, and use in place of butter, olive oil, or ghee.
Are there any side effects from using Argan oil?
Argan oil comes from a nut, so if you suffer from peanut, nut, or even sesame allergies, be careful about using this oil. Always do an allergy test on a small patch of skin (usually inside arm) before using even an all-natural product for the first time.
Where can you get Argan oil and how much does it cost?
Argan oil comes only from Morocco — the Argan Forest, bordering the Sahara Desert. The forest has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve , where the trees, adapted to drought conditions, provide a buffer against desertification.
Argan oil doesn’t come cheap. The labor-intensive oil production comes with a price tag to match its liquid gold reputation, at about $40 for 1.6 ounces (50ml) for the cosmetic variety and $130 per half gallon for the edible variety. 
You could spend money on comparable beauty products to achieve similar results, but these manufactured products are loaded with unpronounceable chemicals (which build up in the body) and put into pretty packaging to catch your eye. Would you rather eat an apple or a 3-D printed sphere that looks like an apple and tastes like an apple, but which lacks the nutrients and health benefits of a real apple? Be a smart consumer.
Make sure it’s REAL Argan oil, but how?
True Argan oil is expensive and undiluted. If it’s cheap, it’s not real argan oil. Look at the packaging. It should be 100% argan oil and should feel silky and smooth to the touch — not greasy. It is common to see cloudy residue in the bottom of the bottle. There are many products made with argan oil: moisturizers, conditioners, and shampoos, but these are products diluted by the manufacturers.
How to store Argan oil?
True argan oil has a short shelf life: 24 months for the cosmetic use variety, and only 12 months for the edible kind. It is best stored in a glass container out of direct sunlight at around 77°F. If your oil smells rancid, it’s gone bad.
Argan oil versus tea tree oil, which one should you pick?
Another powerful anti-inflammatory oil is tea tree oil, derived from the leaves of the Tea Tree. It works as a great acne-fighter and wound healer. While the cost of tea tree oil is less than argan oil, the intensity of tea tree oil and pungent aroma is difficult to handle for many. Tea tree oil should be diluted with a carrier oil when applied to the skin, unlike argan oil which can be applied directly, undiluted. Also tea tree oil should only be used topically — never ingested. Tea tree oil can cause side effects such as irritation and swelling, skin dryness, itching, and stinging.
Argan oil is healthy for you inside and out. The benefits to you are immeasurable. Are you ready for a healthy change? Go for the natural choice. Try argan oil.
|||^||US National Library of Medicine. PubMed: Activation of MIFT by Argan Oil Leads to the Inhibition of the Tyrosinase and Dopachrome Tautomerase Expressions in B16 Murine Melanoma Cells|
|||^||ScienceDirect.com: Argan oil and Liver Health|
|||^||European Journal of Cancer Prevention: Consumption of argan oil (Morocco)|
|||^||Ostomy Wound Management. O-WM.com: The Effects of Argan Oil in Second Degree Burn Wound Healing in Rats|
|||^||onlinelibrary.wiley.com:Argan oil and other argan products: Use in dermocosmetology|
|||^||US National Library of Medicine.Pubmed.gov:Argan Oil: Which Benefits on Cardiovascular Disease?|
|||^||UNESCO.org: UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve Directory|
|||^||ArganFarm.com: Argan Farms and What Do They Have to Do with Argan Oil?|