Argan Oil: Uses, Benefits, & More

Does research support its use for skin and heart health? Read on!

Argan oil

Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak

Argan oil is a natural oil extracted from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa), which is native to Morocco.

Rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, argan oil is used for cooking, as well as for skin conditions and cosmetic products.

Here's what you need to know about argan oil's potential uses, benefits, and precautions.

Dietary supplements are not regulated like drugs in the United States, meaning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve them for safety and effectiveness before products are marketed. When possible, choose a supplement tested by a trusted third party, such as USP, ConsumerLab, or However, even if supplements are third-party tested, that doesn't mean they are necessarily safe for all or effective in general. Therefore, talking to your healthcare provider about any supplements you plan to take and checking in about potential interactions with other supplements or medications is essential.

Supplement Facts

  • Active ingredients: Tocopherols (vitamin E), phytosterols, polyphenols, squalene, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids (including oleic and linoleic acid), melatonin, coenzyme Q10
  • Alternate names: Argan nut oil, argania spinosa kernel oil, argania sideroxylon oil, lyciodes candolleanum oil, lyciodes spinosum oil, sideroxylon argan oil
  • Legal status: Over-the-counter supplement in the U.S.
  • Suggested dose: 25 milliliters by mouth, or ten drops applied to the skin, once daily for eight weeks.
  • Safety considerations: Generally well-tolerated.

Uses of Argan Oil

Supplement use should be individualized and vetted by a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, pharmacist, or healthcare provider. No supplement is intended to treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Argan oil is marketed for many different cosmetic and therapeutic purposes.

It's also a polyunsaturated oil, popular for cooking and considered heart-healthy.

There needs to be more science to support most of argan oil's purported benefits.

However, some evidence exists for its use in skin care, high cholesterol, and knee osteoarthritis.

May Counter Effects of Aging in Skin

The high concentration of antioxidants in argan oil—including oleic acid and linoleic acid—suggests it may be able to fight aging by neutralizing free radicals that damage cells.

According to one study, argan oil taken by mouth or applied to the skin improved skin hydration in 60 postmenopausal women.

Another study showed that argan oil led to a significant increase in skin elasticity of people assigned female at birth who were also postmenopausal after 60 days.

In both trials, argan oil administered as either 25 milliliters (ml) a day by mouth or about ten drops a day on the skin had anti-aging effects.

While promising, note that these trials included only 60 people assigned female at birth, and conclusions were limited by the absence of a placebo control group.

Randomized controlled trials, the gold standard in scientific research, are needed to determine argan oil's effectiveness.

May Lower Cholesterol

A systematic review (a collection of studies) looked at the effects of argan oil given for at least two weeks on cholesterol.

Scientists concluded argan oil lowered total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL, or "bad" cholesterol), and triglycerides.

Supplementation with the oil also increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, or "good" cholesterol) levels.

Scientists noted that more large clinical trials are needed to determine if argan oil benefits overall heart health and outcomes.

May Improve Knee Osteoarthritis

One study included 100 predominantly people assigned female at birth, with osteoarthritis of the knee (KOA).

Those who consumed 30 milliliters of argan oil every morning for eight weeks improved pain and function as measured by several assessments.

The people who supplemented with argan oil also increased their walking distance.

Again, more research is needed before argan oil can be routinely recommended.

Additional Uses

In addition, argan oil has been studied for conditions including:

To date, few scientific studies support these uses. More data is needed before argan oil can be recommended for any of them.

Much of argan oil research is from animal models that may or may not translate into benefits for humans.

What Are the Side Effects of Argan Oil?

Your provider may recommend you use argan oil for skin health or for another reason.

However, using a natural oil like this one may have potential side effects.

These side effects may be common or severe.

Common Side Effects

Argan oil may cause contact dermatitis, a rash at the application site.

However, taking it by mouth or applying it topically is generally considered safe.

In studies of people assigned female at birth who were postmenopausal, no side effects were noted.

Severe Side Effects

There has been one report of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction associated with argan oil.

However, in general, severe side effects with argan oil are not expected.


The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that people with oily skin avoid oil-based skin products like argan oil.

Dosage: How Much Argan Oil Should I Use?

Always speak with a healthcare provider before taking a supplement to ensure that the supplement and dosage are appropriate for your individual needs.

There are no guidelines for the appropriate use of argan oil.

The following doses have been used in clinical trials:

  • Skin elasticity: 25 milliliters a day by mouth, or ten drops on the skin
  • Knee osteoarthritis: 30 milliliters a day by mouth for eight weeks

What Happens If I Use Too Much Argan Oil?

There is no data on argan oil toxicity.

Still, it's always best to follow the manufacturer's instructions after getting the green light from your healthcare provider.


Argan oil contains tocopherols, a form of vitamin E, which may slow blood clotting.

This could potentially cause an interaction with blood thinners like Jantoven (warfarin), leading to an increased bleeding risk.

It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included. Please review this supplement label with your healthcare provider to discuss any potential interactions with foods, other supplements, and medications.

How to Store Argan Oil

Argan oil should be stored in a dark bottle and kept in a cool room to help prevent deterioration of the oil that can occur with exposure to light.

Discard after one year or according to the manufacturer's directions.

Similar Supplements

Some other plant oils that may reverse signs of skin aging are:

Other supplements that may improve osteoarthritis symptoms include:

Please talk about using any of these supplements with your healthcare provider before taking them.

Just because products are natural does not mean they're safe for everyone or effective.

Sources of Argan Oil & What to Look For

Argan oil is sold as a cooking oil, a cosmetic ingredient, and dietary supplement.

Argan oil products can be found online and in many grocery stores, drugstores, and specialty beauty shops.

Food Sources of Argan Oil

Edible argan oil is a cold-pressed oil typically made from roasted argan kernels.

It has a golden color and sweet, nutty flavor, and is often eaten with bread or drizzled over fish or salads.

Because argan oil is expensive compared to other vegetable oils, it is at risk of being adulterated (contaminated) or mixed with other less expensive oils.

Argan Oil Supplements

Cosmetic-grade argan oil is made from raw argan kernels and sold as a pure oil ingredient in skin creams, lotions, serums, face masks, ointments, and shampoos.

When choosing a supplement, the NIH recommends one quality tested by a third party like USP, ConsumerLab, or These agencies verify that the ingredients listed on the label are accurate and that the product is likely not contaminated.

Remember, though, that these quality assurances do not mean that the product has been proven safe or effective.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does argan oil expire?

    Argan oil for cooking has a relatively long shelf life (up to two years), but the oil used in cosmetics is typically only stable for about a year.

    The quality of any argan oil can be affected by extreme heat and sunlight. To avoid this, store the oil in its original glass container in a cool room away from direct sunlight.

  • Is argan oil beneficial for hair?

    Probably not. A systematic review of 22 articles concluded that there's no strong evidence for using argan oil for hair growth, improving hair quality, or treating infestations. Castor oil and coconut oil have more evidence to support their use in hair care.

  • Does argan oil help with stretch marks?

    Probably not, though anecdotal reports abound. A preliminary study of 22 volunteers showed an argan oil product increased skin elasticity and could help prevent or treat early stretch marks. However, more research is needed.

19 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. doi:10.3390/ijms19010070

  2. Khallouki F, Eddouks M, Mourad A, Breuer A, Owen RW. Ethnobotanic, Ethnopharmacologic Aspects and New Phytochemical Insights into Moroccan Argan Fruits. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(11):2277. Published 2017 Oct 30. doi:10.3390/ijms18112277

  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Substance Record for SID 472397606, ARGAN OIL, Source: FDA Global Substance Registration System (GSRS).

  4. Boucetta KQ, Charrouf Z, Aguenaou H, Derouiche A, Bensouda Y. The effect of dietary and/or cosmetic argan oil on postmenopausal skin elasticity. Clin Interv Aging. 2015;10:339-349. doi:10.2147/CIA.S71684

  5. Vamecq J, Andreoletti P, El Kebbaj R, et al. Peroxisomal Acyl-CoA Oxidase Type 1: Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Aging Properties with a Special Emphasis on Studies with LPS and Argan Oil as a Model Transposable to Aging. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018;2018:6986984. doi:10.1155/2018/6986984

  6. Boucetta KQ, Charrouf Z, Derouiche A, Rahali Y, Bensouda Y. Skin hydration in postmenopausal women: argan oil benefit with oral and/or topical use. Prz Menopauzalny. 2014;13(5):280-288. doi:10.5114/pm.2014.46470

  7. Ursoniu S, Sahebkar A, Serban MC, Banach M; Lipid and Blood Pressure Meta-analysis Collaboration Group. The impact of argan oil on plasma lipids in humans: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Phytother Res. 2018;32(3):377-383. doi:10.1002/ptr.5959

  8. Essouiri J, Harzy T, Benaicha N, Errasfa M, Abourazzak FE. Effectiveness of Argan Oil Consumption on Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Curr Rheumatol Rev. 2017;13(3):231-235. doi:10.2174/1573397113666170710123031

  9. Berraaouan A, Abid S, Bnouham M. Antidiabetic oilsCurr Diabetes Rev. 2013;9(6):499-505. doi:10.2174/15733998113096660081

  10. Essouiri J, Abourazzak FE, Lazrak F, et al. Efficacy of Argane Oil on Metabolic Syndrome in a Moroccan Knee Osteoarthritis Population. Curr Rheumatol Rev. 2018;14(1):84-88. doi:10.2174/1573397112666161205103009

  11. Bourdel-Marchasson I, Ostan R, Regueme SC, et al. Quality of Life: Psychological Symptoms-Effects of a 2-Month Healthy Diet and Nutraceutical Intervention; A Randomized, Open-Label Intervention Trial (RISTOMED). Nutrients. 2020;12(3):800. Published 2020 Mar 18. doi:10.3390/nu12030800

  12. Er R, Aydın B, Şekeroğlu V, Atlı Şekeroğlu Z. Protective effect of Argan oil on mitochondrial function and oxidative stress against acrylamide-induced liver and kidney injury in ratsBiomarkers. 2020;25(6):458-467. doi:10.1080/1354750X.2020.1797877

  13. Monfalouti HE, Guillaume D, Denhez C, Charrouf Z. Therapeutic potential of argan oil: a review. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 2010;62(12):1669-1675. doi:10.1111/j.2042-7158.2010.01190.x

  14. Veraldi S, Mascagni P, Tosi D, Brena M. Allergic Contact Dermatitis Caused by Argan Oil. Dermatitis. 2016;27(6):391. doi:10.1097/DER.0000000000000228.

  15. American Academy of Dermatology. How to control oily skin.

  16. Gharby S, Charrouf Z. Argan Oil: Chemical Composition, Extraction Process, and Quality Control. Front Nutr. 2022;8:804587. doi:10.3389/fnut.2021.804587

  17. Mendonça CR, Noll M, Castro MCR, Silveira EA. Effects of Nutritional Interventions in the Control of Musculoskeletal Pain: An Integrative Review. Nutrients. 2020;12(10):3075. Published 2020 Oct 9. doi:10.3390/nu12103075

  18. Phong C, Lee V, Yale K, Sung C, Mesinkovska N. Coconut, Castor, and Argan Oil for Hair in Skin of Color Patients: A Systematic Review. J Drugs Dermatol. 2022;21(7):751-757. doi:10.36849/JDD.6972

  19. Bogdan C, Moldovan ML, Man IM, Crișan M. Preliminary study on the development of an antistretch marks water-in-oil cream: ultrasound assessment, texture analysis, and sensory analysis. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016;9:249-255. doi:10.2147/CCID.S107298

Additional Reading

By Megan Nunn, PharmD
Megan Nunn, PharmD, is a community pharmacist in Tennessee with over twelve years of experience in medication counseling and immunization.