One in 10 people will develop eczema and I, unfortunately, fall into that bracket. I’ve had the skin condition since I was a child and the flare-ups on my face, arms, and even behind my ears are most prevalent in the winter (when my skin is extra dry) and summer (when I’m profusely sweating). Although I use topical ointments, they inevitably give me side effects — one cream even turned my skin a different shade. Five years ago, I looked into gentler cream and oil alternatives and came across argan oil and its benefits, which include reducing inflammation and moisturizing your skin and hair. Since I have dry skin year-round, I figured I’d give this ingredient a try. After some research and consulting with friends, I bought Josie Maran’s Pure Argan Oil. The little 1.7-ounce bottle was (and is) pure magic.
After a week or two of using it, my face stopped exhibiting the dry, tight feeling it usually developed in midst of a flare-up and the eczema patches that popped up around my eyes and mouth were noticeably absent. I slathered on the oil everywhere after that — my arms, my neck, and even my legs. The product completely melts into your skin, leaving no sticky residue or stain marks on sheets and pillowcases. Again, magic. For those not familiar with argan oil, it’s extracted from the kernels of an argan tree, which is native to Morocco. The oil is rich in fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-9 and has high levels of vitamin E, which is essential for healthy skin, hair, and eyes. Argan oil has become trendy in the beauty world — often referred to as “liquid gold” — due to these touted health properties.
“Some immediate [benefits of argan oil] is it soothes irritated skin. It's one pure ingredient, so you don't have to worry about irritation,” says Josie Maran, founder of her namesake beauty line. “The oil, which is full of essential fatty acids, also creates the most perfect lipid barrier effect on your skin, like a seal to lock in moisture, so you don’t evaporate and dry out. Some long-term effects of using the oil, we've done clinical studies on this, are skin hydration, smoothness, firmness, elasticity, and no fine lines.”
I use argan oil almost every day, regardless of the season, before bed and when I wake up. If I see the tiniest eczema flare-up, I’ll apply a dab of oil on for a few days and the patch disappears. It has become my moisturizer, too, as I like to apply it before sunscreen or when I do my makeup. I’ve found that it sits well underneath my foundation (I use ILIA’s Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40) and gives me a little glow. I rarely take selfies, but as evidenced by the photos above, the natural ingredient has completely revitalized my skin.
Though argan oil works well on hydrating dry skin, Maran stresses it is suitable for all skin types. “I know it sounds strange, but if you have oily skin, [argan oil] works to help slow down the oil production,” she says. “Use just argan oil for a few weeks and [no other products] to recalibrate your skin. I've tried this on so many people and [on those with acne]. Your skin will literally say thank you and it will calm down.” You can use the “liquid gold” just about everywhere — on hair, nails, and skin — and even consume it, too. “In Morocco, we source only the purest argan oil, the highest grade you can get — I would drink it,” Maran shares.
If you’re ready to add some liquid gold into your skin care routine, browse the argan oil picks ahead.
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