As summer approaches, many of us are looking for ways to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. While sunscreen is a popular choice, some people are turning to natural alternatives like argan oil.
But does argan oil really protect skin from the sun?
In this article, we’ll explore the research behind argan oil and its potential as a natural sunscreen. We’ll also look at other benefits of argan oil for skin health and share tips on how to use it effectively.
So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of argan oil and sun protection.
Does Argan Oil Protect Skin From The Sun?
Research has shown that argan oil does indeed have natural sunscreen properties. It works by blocking the melanocyte (skin pigment cells) proliferation of the skin, which helps to protect from UV radiation. This is believed to be due to the high content of tocopherols, vitamin E, antioxidants, and omega oils found in argan oil.
In fact, a 2013 study found that the antioxidant activity in argan oil helped protect the skin against free radical damage caused by the sun. This prevented burns and hyperpigmentation as a result. Long term, this may even help prevent against the development of skin cancer, including melanoma.
Argan oil is also extremely rich in vitamin E, which has been proven to defend skin, hair, nails, and lips against damaging ultraviolet rays. Unlike many commercial sunscreens, argan oil’s UV protection is completely free of toxic chemicals that can do more harm than good.
While argan oil can provide some protection against harmful UV rays, it’s important to note that it may not be enough on its own. For extra protection, it’s best to find mineral sunscreens that are free from petrochemicals and parabens.
What Is Argan Oil And How Does It Work?
Argan oil is a rare plant oil that is produced from the kernels of the argan tree, which is exclusive to Morocco. It is high in both oleic (omega 9) and linoleic (omega 6) essential fatty acids, both of which aid acne-prone skin. Studies have shown that acne-prone skin is usually deficient in linoleic acid in the sebum. Depending on its sourcing, argan oil contains about 35-40% linoleic acid and 42-48% oleic acid.
Argan oil has been used by Moroccan women for centuries to protect their skin from sun damage. Research has shown that argan oil does have natural sunscreen properties due to its high content of tocopherols, vitamin E, antioxidants, and omega oils. It works by blocking the melanocyte (skin pigment cells) proliferation of the skin, which helps to protect from UV radiation.
In addition to its natural sunscreen properties, argan oil also contains vitamin A, antioxidants, and omega-6 fatty acids. When applied topically to the skin, it can ease inflammation while moisturizing the skin. The trocopherol from the vitamin E helps to boost cell production while promoting healthy skin and hair.
Argan oil’s UV protection is completely free of toxic chemicals that can do more harm than good. However, it may not be enough on its own to provide complete protection against harmful UV rays. For extra protection, it’s best to find mineral sunscreens that are free from petrochemicals and parabens.
The Science Behind Argan Oil As A Sunscreen
The scientific basis for argan oil’s ability to protect skin from the sun has been established through various studies. One study evaluated the melanogenesis regulatory effect of argan oil using B16 murine melanoma cells. The results showed that argan oil treatment causes MITF phosphorylation which subsequently inhibited the transcription of melanogenic enzymes, TYR and DCT. The inhibitory effect of argan oil on melanin biosynthesis may be attributed to tocopherols as well as the synergistic effect of its components.
Another study found that the high content of tocopherols, vitamin E, antioxidants, and omega oils in argan oil contribute to its natural sunscreen properties. These compounds work together to protect against UV radiation by blocking the proliferation of skin pigment cells.
Additionally, argan oil has been used by Moroccan women for centuries to protect their skin from sun damage. This traditional use has been supported by modern research, which found that the antioxidant activity in argan oil protected skin against free radical damage from the sun.
Other Benefits Of Argan Oil For Skin Health
Aside from its natural sunscreen properties, argan oil has many other benefits for skin health. It is rich in fatty acids, including oleic and linoleic acids, which provide moisture and nourishment to the skin. These fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties, making argan oil a great option for soothing irritated skin and managing conditions like acne and dermatitis.
Argan oil is also rich in antioxidants, such as polyphenols and vitamin E. These antioxidants help protect the skin against environmental damage and free radicals, which can cause premature aging and skin damage. Additionally, argan oil can help prevent transepidermal water loss, which occurs when moisture leaks from the skin and evaporates into the air. By healing and sealing the skin’s outer layer, argan oil can improve the appearance of the skin while preventing further drying and damage.
Regular use of argan oil can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, tighten and firm the skin texture, and reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Its natural anti-aging properties make it a great addition to any skincare routine.
How To Use Argan Oil For Sun Protection
Argan oil can be used for sun protection in two ways: before sun exposure and after sun exposure.
Before Sun Exposure:
1. Cleanse your skin with a mild body wash or soap.
2. Apply a couple of drops of argan oil on your skin and massage it gently.
3. Wait for a few minutes before applying your regular sunscreen. This will help the sunscreen to work better and provide extra protection.
After Sun Exposure:
1. Take a cold shower to cool down your skin.
2. Cleanse your skin with a mild body wash or soap.
3. Pat your skin dry with a towel.
4. Apply argan oil to the affected area and massage it gently.
5. Leave the oil on your skin without washing it off, as it will get absorbed by the skin without leaving any greasy residue.
6. Repeat the application just before going to bed.
It’s important to note that using argan oil alone may not provide enough protection against harmful UV rays. Therefore, it’s recommended to use mineral sunscreens that are free from petrochemicals and parabens for extra protection against sun damage.