By now everyone’s got the idea: Argan oil is a miracle ingredient. You can reap its bountiful benefits by using shampoos, body oils, self tanners, and even flatirons infused with the stuff. So when I found a straight-from-the-source, 100 percent unadulterated version at Woodstock General Supply during a recent getaway, it gave me an idea: Why not try creating my own amazing potions from the myriad products already stashed in my beauty armoire? (Everyone has one, right?)
You can get the pure oil elsewhere. But you may never be separated by so few degrees from the Berber women who produce the elixir (by squeezing the fruit’s seeds into a paste and draining the oil). Kaitlin Goggins of WGS tells InStyle that owner Nabile Taslimant’s mom oversees the process to make sure the small batches she sends back to the store a few times a year from the family’s village in Morocco aren’t diluted with other, less expensive oils.
Check out three simple ways I turbo-charge my tried-and-true beauty mainstays with this oil.
1. Deepen Your Conditioner
Its small molecular structure allows argan oil to penetrate and smooth the cuticle on strands, which reduces flyaways and imparts shine. And it’s a natural detangler. Though my method is to dump tons of it directly into the bottle, I sought out some expert advice. “Put several drops into the palm of your hand and add conditioner,” says Marla Malcolm Beck, founder and CEO of Bluemercury spas. “This way, you don't run the risk of overdoing it in the bottle. Apply the mix from root to tip, and if you need a little more, add a few more drops. Then expect frizz-free hair.”
2. Improve Perfumed Body Lotion
There’s something so luxe about wearing the corresponding perfumed lotion under your favorite fragrance. Unfortunately, it's usually not the most hydrating or nourishing of skin treatments. Argan oil contains the antioxidants vitamin E and the much-lauded squalene, inflammation reducing linoleic acid, and free-radical fighting polyphenols, which amazingly offer low-level UV protection (extremely low, but still). Combine the oil and the lotion for the best of both worlds.
Beck says she has “definitely played chemist when applying and layering products.” She recommends mixing the oil and lotion in your hand so as not to impart the light, nutty aroma of the oil to your signature scent. I personally like to add 10 to 20 drops directly to my jar of Thierry Mugler Angel perfuming body cream. I don’t notice a scent difference, but then, Mugler truly delivers a bold bouquet!
3. Offset the Acetone
Let's cut to the pro's take: “Adding argan oil to your nail-polish remover is a fantastic way to combat the awful smell of acetone and to add hydration to a product that’s extremely dehydrating to the skin,” Beck says. “What I’ve done in the past is to empty about 1/5 of a bottle of the nail-polish remover and replace it with argan oil; however, it’s very important to vigorously shake the mixture each time before applying it to a cotton swab. This ensures the oil is mixed well into the remover and will maximize hydration on the skin.” Fair enough!
Adding argan oil to your preferred go-tos is the next best thing to sliced bread—and, well, this kind you can actually use on bread. Feeling a bit lazy but still want more? Here are a few ready-made argan-oil items: For hair and skin, Beck suggests favorites including Oribe Gold Lust Repair and Restore conditioner, Kiehls Superbly Restorative Argan body lotion, and Darphin Age-Defying lip balm; for nails, I like Josie Maran Bear Naked nail wipes.