Incorporating Oils into your Routine: Argan Oil vs. Jojoba Oil for the Skin

With so many brands on the marketplace, some proclaiming jojoba, for example, as the only oil to use, others raise argan oil on a pedestal, why do we choose to use both in our skin creams? Today we will examine two of the most popular oils, jojoba oil and argan oil, and the properties of each oil for the skin. Many natural skin care lines use these individual oils as their star performers; in fact, they have entire companies named after them! So, what important qualities do they bring to our skin, and should you be using both in your skin care routine individually, or in your moisturizing creams?

Jojoba vs. Argan Oil

Argan oil is ancient oil, harvested by Berber women in North Africa (specifically Morocco) since about 600 BC. It comes from the nut kernel of the argan tree, and is best used organic and naturally processed. Argan oil is a natural antioxidant, containing vitamin E to help combat damage from free radicals. It is rich in fatty acids like oleic acid, at a whopping 34.6%. Linoleic acid acid helps sooth the skin and helps reduce inflammation. Oleic acid helps restore elasticity to the skin, so it is a good choice for mature skin as it helps soften and keeps hydration from evaporating from the surface of the skin. Even though it can also be used for acne prone skin because it does not clog the pores and is non-greasy, we choose to use it in our Pure Moisture day cream and Restore night cream because of its omega 6,9, vitamin A, E and elasticity boosting for aging skin.

Jojoba oil, on the other hand, is not really oil at all. Rather, it is a plant wax ester, from the jojoba tree, which is native to Arizona, California and Mexico. Jojoba is very unique, because it has a chemical makeup that is very close to the natural sebum that our skin makes. It very naturally works with our natural skin barrier, forming a protective layer, and can help balance the natural oils in the skin. In fact, although you would never depend upon oil or wax as your daily sunscreen, jojoba in its natural form does have an SPF of 4. It has strong antibacterial and anti inflammatory characteristics, making it suitable for acne, sensitive, dry and aging skin types. It is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, and contains vitamins A and D as well.

Both oils have one interesting thing in common: they are both very good penetration enhancers. When we are formulating skin care, we always want certain properties of the moisturizer to penetrate a little deeper if possible, to deliver the vitamins, nutrients, and hydration to a deeper level of the skin. In traditional skin care, this may be created by using petrochemical ingredients, but in the natural skin care world, we rely on oils such as these, and other water soluble ingredients such as plant propandiol, to help bring our ingredients a little further into the skin surface. In addition to helping other ingredients penetrate, both of these oils help form a soft, protective barrier against the environment. This quality of helping avoid moisture evaporating from the skin is called trans-epidermal water loss, or TEWL. It is one of the main reasons that thicker waxes, butters and oils are used in skin care creams. It is interesting to note, that most of the oils that are good at creating a strong barrier come from very hot climates. Ayr Skin Care sells  Pure Virgin Marula Oil, for example, which comes from our fair trade initiative in South Africa. It is one of the best single oils available, and it is from one of the hottest places imaginable. There are theories that the harsh conditions and heat that these trees grow under, allow them to create the properties that make the oil to protective for our skin.

Which oil is right for your skin?

Both of these oils are good for many age ranges and various skin types, but the combination of both of them together really make a wonderful list of properties. They both work to soften the texture of our skin, which becomes rougher as we age. When we create a new cream in our lab, what we look at is what each oil (or ingredient) brings to the table. Since we are a line that specializes in dry, sensitive and mature skin, we are always looking to bring properties that will come together and help hydrate, protect and moisturize the skin. So, although we love the properties of both argan and jojoba, we choose to use jojoba in greater quantities in both our  Pure Moisture and Restore creams. Why is that?

When looking to create creams for mature skin, we want to choose fatty acids that will keep the skin supple. When we are younger, our skin snaps back, but over time we lose elasticity and begin to form wrinkles. Collagen is an essential protein in our skin that helps our skin bounce back when we make facial expressions; it gives the skin that plump youthful radiance. Jojoba increases the elasticity of the skin over 35% after 30 minutes of application. It also stimulates the production of collagen and strengthens the skin, due to its sterol compounds, so that future wrinkle formation is less likely to happen. This factor alone makes Jojoba a worthwhile choice for maximum quantities in both our day and night cream.

How to use single oils and creams in your skincare routine

Although oils can be used individually to moisturize, we also recognize that some skins, especially more mature ones, really need some of the active ingredients that are only in creams that contain both oils and water soluble ingredients like probiotics, glycerin, saccharides for moisture and many others. When we combine argan, jojoba, marula, and other oils, with their wonderful fatty acid profiles, with our active ingredients like a 72 hour moisture well, and vitamins and probiotics, we can offer much more than just the qualities of oil. However, we realize that all skin types are different. For example, even on a given day, a woman’s skin may appear drier or more irritated. By incorporating single oil you can supplement and customize your routine. Some days it may be enough to just use the day cream and night cream alone, and other days a drop or two of added oil may help with extra conditioning and thicker protection.

If your skin is not quite as dry or mature, single oils like argan or jojoba, may be just what your skin needs.

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