Argan oil – why is it everywhere now?

Hi Dr. Irwin, What's all the hype with Argan oil? I know it can be used on skin, hair and nails but I am using it for the face as a moisturizer. Is it really an effective moisturizer and are ALL argan oil equal? Why does the popular Josie Maran argan oil cost so much more than something I would buy at a vitamin shop?

Remember when shea butter products were everywhere, or the jojoba oil craze?  To some extent this is marketing hype.   Does argan oil really perform better than all others for all the uses it’s claiming.   I’ve yet to see a well done study.  If you have one, please send me the reference!

I love the idea of natural oils being used more in cosmetics and it’s trending that way.  But a lot more study is needed to do this well.  This is because all natural oils have a fatty acid profile  – think varying percentages of oleic, linoleic, palmitic, stearic, linolenic fatty acids and there are more.  They also contain varying percentages and types of antioxidants, and vitamins.  Link to organic products.

We need answers to questions like:

  • Are there some fatty acids or percentages that make acne worse and clog pores?
  • Which vitamins are stable after the oil is processed – they may have vitamins in the raw state but do they persist after processing?
  • Are the antioxidants still present after processing and how much of them?
  • Do these oils become rancid, possibly having negative effects?

I’m sure you see my point.   I’m hoping we will have more answers over the next few years.

Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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