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When comparing coconut oil to argan oil, we need to consider the fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins that are present in each oil. This will help us determine what these oils can do for our skin and hair and which is best for which application.
In This Article We Will Discuss:
- What coconut oil is - its skin and hair benefits
- What argan oil is - its skin and hair benefits
- Coconut oil vs argan oil – what makes them unique & a comparison table.
- Conclusion - what oil is best?
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is derived from the flesh of a coconut. It is a popular oil nowadays with many people using it for everything from cooking to cleaning their teeth. I have read some funny memes that talk about how coconut oil can heal anything - even a cheating boyfriend – ha ha ha.
Coconut oil has been used in cooking and as a skin balm by Polynesian people for hundreds of years. It used to be a staple frying oil in western homes until everyone got freaked out about saturated fat’s causing heart disease (which we are now realizing, was not the whole story).
Coconut oil’s high saturated fat content (92%) makes it slow to turn rancid. Unlike other saturated fats, coconut oil is made up of 62% Medium Chain Fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are easily absorbed by the body and have antimicrobial properties, while aiding in the absorption and retention of calcium, magnesium and some amino acids. Human breast milk is another source of MCFA’s.
- Caprylic acid - 4.6 - 10%
- Capric acid - 5 - 8 %
- Lauric acid - 45.1 - 53.2%
- Myristic acid - 16.8 - 21%
- Palmitic acid - 7.5 - 10.2%
- Stearic acid - 2 - 4%
- Oleic acid - 5 - 10%
- Linoleic acid - 1 - 2.5%
Coconut Oil Skin Benefits
- Sinks deep into the skin, conditioning and moisturizing it.
- Moisture in our skin is retained. Fats eliminate moisture loss through the skin.
- Strengthens the skin’s underlying tissues.
- Naturally clears away grime, dirt, and dead skin cells that build up on the surface of the skin and in our pores. It makes an excellent natural makeup remover.
- Kills off harmful bacteria and can be applied to fungal or yeast infections.
- Helps the skin heal faster from rashes and wounds.
- Helps promote collagen production.
- Vitamin E content fights free radicals that lead to skin aging.
- Has an SPF of 8, giving it minor sun protection properties (source).
- Is high on the comedogenic scale, meaning it can clog pores.
Coconut Oil Hair Benefits
- Helps reduce protein loss in your hair.
- Lauric acid has a low molecular weight and can easily penetrate the hair shaft, providing nutrients to our hair from the inside.
- Helps with scalp issues such as dandruff or dry, itchy scalps.
- Cooling to hot scalps that sweat too much.
- Helps hair stay moisturized, thus reducing breakage and adding shine.
- Can be used as a leave-in conditioner or as an intensive treatment.
- Prevents damage done by brushing and combing by making your brush or comb slide easily through your hair.
- Anti-microbial properties. Fights infections and fungus.
- Nourishes your hair follicles. Hair growth can be accelerated when our follicles are healthy.
- Natural remedy for head lice. It’s hair penetrating properties make it hard for eggs to attach to the hair, the fatty acids suffocate the lice, and the oil makes it easier to comb through the hair to remove the lice.
Our Top Pick
Best Selling Organic Virgin Coconut Oil on Amazon. Renowned for its versatility in both culinary and body care uses.
What is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is extracted from the kernels of the argan tree. It is one of the rarest and most expensive oils in the world. The reason for it’s high price is that it is harvested and extracted by hand.
This beauty oil is becoming popular for skin and hair health and it’s demand has created jobs for many of the Moroccan women who extract and produce the oil.
Argan oil has been used for centuries by the people of Morocco as a skin and hair oil and also as a cooking oil.
Argan oil is composed of 80% unsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acids contained in argan oil include Oleic, Linoleic, Palmitic and Stearic acids. Argan oil is high in Vitamin E, phenols, saponins, sterols, carotenes, and squalene.
- Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that fights the signs of aging.
- Phenols have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-aging and antioxidant properties.
- Saponins are skin softening agents.
- Sterols reduce inflammation.
- Carotenes promote healthy tissues.
- Squalene is a potent fat-soluble antioxidant.
- Oleic - 42.8%
- Linoleic - 36.8%
- Palmitic - 12.0%
- Stearic - 6.0%
- Linolenic - <0.5%
Argan Oil Skin Benefits
- Fatty acids and high vitamin E content make it an excellent skin moisturizer and anti-aging treatment.
- Absorbs quickly and does not leave an oily residue.
- Restores skin elasticity.
- Ferulic acid’s antioxidant activity increases when exposed to light. Excellent at reversing damage done by the sun.
- Oleic acid can balance sebum production.
- Increases cell turnover and reduces clogged pores making it an excellent oil for those suffering from acne (learn more about argan oil and acne).
- Linoleic acid acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps heal damaged skin cells.
- Rich in proteins that help contract the skin and minimize wrinkles.
- Low on the comedogenic scale, meaning it wont clog your pores.
Argan Oil Hair Benefits
- Helps tame frizz.
- Adds softness and shine to dry ends.
- Conditions, protects and moisturizes the hair.
- Increases elasticity and reduces breakage.
- Moisturizes the scalp.
- Encourages the growth of strong, healthy hair, while repairing any damage that your hair may have.
- Excellent as a leave-in-conditioner. It makes your hair soft and sleek, without making it greasy.
- Absorbs deep into your hair into your hair's core, carrying nutrients and fatty acids with it.
Our Top Pick
100% pure certified organic product. Cosmetic grade with no solvents used during the extraction.
Coconut Oil Vs. Argan Oil
What Makes Coconut Oil Unique?
- Lauric Acid : medium-chain fatty acid, lauric acid is antimicrobial, meaning it kills viruses and bacteria. It is also absorbed very well by the skin and hair. Lauric acid is the main saturated fat contained in human breast milk, it is what gives breast milk it’s immune boosting properties.
What Makes Argan Oil Unique?
- Ferulic Acid : The most abundant phenolic compound in argan oil. It is a potent barrier against the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation because it’s antioxidant activity increases when it is exposed to UV light. Ferulic acid is a more potent antioxidant than Vitamin C and E in vitro (source).
- Carotenoids : Cannot be manufactured by the human body, these fat soluble compounds protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation and free radical damage.
- Plant Sterols : The combination of sterols in argan oil are rare among vegetable oils. Plant Sterols are very similar to human sterols, so they have a synergistic harmony with the skin. Sterols protect collagen, reduce inflammation, and improve skin metabolism and moisture retention. The unique plant sterols found in argan oil are:
- schottenol – exhibits anticarcinogenic potential
- spinasterol – likely to have anti-tumorgenic properties (source)
- D-7 Stigmasterol – very rare plant sterol that is powerful in treating skin conditions and healing wounds.
0.20 milligrams per 100 grams of gamma-tocopherol
130-230 mg per 100 grams with gamma-tocopherol being the highest at 80-90% (source)
7.78-29.18 mg GAE/100 g (source)
0.00607-0.15204 mg GAE/100 g (source)
1 – 2.5 %
5 – 10 %
Medium Chain Fatty Acids
62% Medium Chain Fatty Acids with Lauric acid being the most predominant (45 – 53%)
0.8 mg/g (source)
1.42 – 2.23 mg/g (source)
42% of the unsaponifiable fraction. The class of carotenoids found in argan oil is xanthophyll which functions as an antioxidant
The medium chain fatty acids contained in coconut oil are what make it unique. They give the oil anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. These fatty acids also give the oil moisturizing properties. Because of their small size, they penetrate the skin and hair very well. Coconut oil is not a significant source of Vitamin E but it contains more phenols than argan oil.
Argan oil contains an abundant source of Vitamin E as well as other antioxidants (including carotenoids) making it an excellent oil for reducing and preventing the signs of aging. Argan oil’s fatty acids (Oleic and Linoleic acids) are excellent at hydrating and nourishing the skin and hair.
Which is Better for What?
Both of these oils have benefits to skin and hair health. Each one of them shines at certain applications. Below I will share with you the best oil for different skin and hair conditions:
Coconut oil because it is more deeply hydrating than argan oil.
Argan oil because of it's high antioxidant content.
Coconut oil because it spreads well over the scalp and is more affordable.
Argan oil because it won't clog your pores like coconut oil will.
Coconut oil because it spreads easier and is less expensive (avoid if you have body acne).
Dry Hair Ends
Argan oil because it makes your hair soft and manageable without leaving it greasy.
Check out this awesome resource for using coconut oil on your hair 🙂
What do you think? Argan oil or Coconut oil?
Yours In Beauty,