Argan is a plant oil that hails from Morocco. Although peeps there drizzle argan oil on their food, argan-auts elsewhere use the oil for its purported cosmetic benefits. You can find argan oil in face and lip creams, moisturizers, and a vast range of hair products. So with all of those uses, is it a good eczema remedy?
It’s a bit of a head-scratcher because the evidence is somewhat lacking. Some say yay, and others say nay.
Extracting the oil from the nuts of the argan tree is a pricey business, which is why some circles even refer to it as “liquid gold.”
It’s a complex process that takes around 40 kilograms of dried fruit to extract just 1 liter of oil. That’s a massive amount of nutting! This means that argan products on the store shelves are likely to cost more than their counterparts.
So why choose argan oil if your wallet’s going to suffer? In short, argan oil *might* have some skin-loving benefits. It may protect your skin cells from damage by nasty free radicals, which are the precursors to all sorts of skin problems, from acne to signs of aging.
For eczema though? Well, let’s see.
The jury’s out on this one. Solid scientific evidence that confirms argan oil as a safe, effective eczema remedy is decidedly lacking.
Saying that, because argan oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, some people find that applying the oil to the affected areas can help soothe their symptoms.
Suppose your skin’s cracked, damaged, and infected (thanks eczema!). A few drops of argan oil *might* help. A 2016 study on rats with second-degree burns suggested the ones who received an argan oil treatment healed quicker than those who received silver sulfadiazine, a standard treatment for burns.
As this was a study that used animals, it doesn’t mean that argan oil will necessarily have the same effect on humans.
If your eczema is driving you up the wall, it may be worth giving argan oil a whirl. If you’ve got the budget, there’s nothing to lose, and some folks swear by it.
It may be argan oil’s vitamin E content rather than the oil itself.
Out of the 50 people who took vitamin E supplements, 23 showed significant improvement, and there was almost complete remission in 7 participants.
If you’re considering using argan oil for eczema, you could, instead, try upping your dietary vitamin E intake. Great sources include:
Even if you don’t reckon that argan oil will help with your eczema, it might provide some other skin benefits.
A 2014 study using argan oil in postmenopausal women found that eating or applying the oil to the skin significantly decreased water loss from the skin. There’s no reason to assume the findings would be different in any gender or age.
The moisturizing properties of argan oil can work on both your hair and skin, and you can apply it directly onto the surface or take it as a supplement.
It could help in the management of skin conditions
It protects against sun damage
Argan oil is a traditional sun protectant in Morocco. Researchers in a 2013 cell culture study provided the scientific basis behind these effects.
Their work found that the tocopherols and fatty acids in argan oil protected skin cells against sun damage, burns, and hyperpigmentation. Over time, this could protect people from developing skin cancers like melanoma.
It can heal wounds and skin infections
It could hold back the hands of time
If you’re concerned about visible signs of aging, then perhaps consider the *possible* skin-rejuvenating effects of argan oil.
Research in a 2015 study of 60 women during postmenopause showed that a combo of topical and oral argan oil helped improve skin elasticity.
If you’d rather choose a safer bet for eczema relief than argan oil, here are some proven natural remedies that could help you out.
- Coconut oil. This naturally reduces potentially harmful bacteria that live on the skin, meaning that any eczema patches are less likely to develop an infection. Choose virgin or cold-pressed coconut oils that don’t contain irritating chemicals.
- Sunflower oil. If you’re looking to boost your skin barrier function to help it retain moisture, sunflower oil is a splendid choice. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe your skin.
- Topical vitamin B12. There’s not much information out there, but in one small 2009 study on kids with eczema, vitamin B-12 cream significantly improved their symptoms.
If you have an allergy to tree nuts, you may want to think twice before using argan oil. But for most people, there are no risks in eating argan oil or slathering it on your skin.
Some people could develop contact dermatitis where they apply the oil if they’re allergic. Although it’s very unusual, this allergy can cause itching, oozing, and general unpleasantness. If you’ve got any doubts, test argan oil on a small area of skin to see if it irritates you.
If you take anticoagulant medication like warfarin, you should check with your doctor before using argan oil. Why? Because argan oil contains a type of vitamin E called tocopherol. This could potentially affect your meds and the way your blood clots.
Does argan oil work for eczema? Research hasn’t supported this effect, although some peeps find it helps to reduce itchiness and inflammation.
Argan oil boasts a range of health benefits, although no large clinical trials back up any of the findings in smaller studies. The studies out there put argan oil’s skin-health-boosting effects down to argan oil’s abundant vitamin E content.
Whether you apply argan oil to your skin or douse your food in it, it’s safe for most people. You may want to give it a try unless you take blood-clotting meds.
If argan oil isn’t working for you and your eczema isn’t showing signs of improvement, talk with your doctor to see what other treatment options could help.