Reader Melissa asks, “I use argan oil for my hair but I heard there are benefits for the skin as well. Specifically, can it help with dark spots caused by the sun?”
Cosmetics chemist, Louise Hidinger, answers.
Argan oil is a great oil for moisturizing, conditioning and softening hair and skin, but sadly, it won’t reverse sun damage.
Relative to other plant oils, argan oil contains a high concentration of antioxidants, sterols, polyphenols and vitamins (chiefly tocopherols, also referred to as Vitamin E), all of which provide protective effects to the body by inhibiting free radical damage at the cellular level. Argan oil also contains squalene, a naturally occurring lipid in human skin, and thus provides moisturizing benefits. However, argan oil does not contain any retinoids, and it does not contain any molecules that can reverse damage that has occurred.
Only retinoids like retinol can trigger the increase in cell turnover rate that results in what is visible as anti-ageing effects: the diminishing of wrinkles, evening out of skin tone, and an improvement in skin volume and texture. Vitamin C is an antioxidant as well as a necessary factor in certain biochemical processes, including collagen biosynthesis. Vitamin C on its own cannot reverse sun damage.
For more ingredients information, read Louise’s article “Skincare’s MVPs”.