Oils have a bad reputation, and adjectives like “oily” are a negative when it comes to skin. But one nutritionist aims to prove that oils are actually good for the skin.
Marlene Watson-Tara spoke with Wewomen.com on the benefits of several different types of oil, including Moroccan argan oil, which is known for its health and beauty advantages.
Oils such as argan oil, walnut oil, avocado oil and coconut oil, said Watson-Tara, are known as good fats that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and contain essential fatty acids. These types of fats differ from the bad fats, she explained, which are from trans, saturated and interesterified fats.
These good oil could help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and prevent inflammatory diseases when they are consumed.
One of the most advantageous of these oils, she said, is argan oil, a “‘cure-all’ pantry staple.”
It’s not just good for the gut, said Watson-Tara, but there are plenty of hair and skin uses for Moroccan argan oil, too.
Watson-Tara explained that argan oil contains active substances known as triterpenoids, which help scar tissue heal and can protect skin from the sun. This type of oil also has disinfectant properties and can prevent inflammation in the skin.
Moroccan argan oil also contains high levels of vitamin E and consists of 80% fatty acids, so it has anti-aging properties, too. It contains high levels of tocopherois, which are anti-oxidants, and saponins, which are skin-softening agents.
Watson-Tara recommended applying a couple of drops of the pure oil to the face and neck before bed to soften and hydrate skin. The oil can also benefit other areas of the body.
“To help restore the strength and luster of brittle nails, you can soak them in argan oil or apply a small amount to the hands and massage into the nail bed,” says Richard MumaFounder of Ultimate Argan Oil. “The oil will help restore protein to the nail, helping it to thicken and prevent peeling and breaking, allowing you to ditch the cuticle oil, hand cream, strengthening base coat and hardening top coat. The oil can also have an anti-aging effect on the hands as well.”
Of argan oil’s appeal, Watson-Tara commented that it is “produced from the kernels of the tree and is one of the rarest and most expensive oils in the world.” It is produced by Morocco’s Berber women, who also use it to protect and nourish their skin, hair and nails.
But enhancing skin isn’t the only thing it’s good for. It also has nutritional benefits.
Argan oil aids digestion, acts as an anti-inflammatory substance internally (and externally), and is also good for those who have arthritis or other rheumatic conditions. Watson-Tara pointed out that it can be beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels, aiding blood circulation and improving immunity.
The best way to eat argan oil is as an enhancement for sweet and/or savory foods: over salad, in a dip, or as a finisher.