Argan oil or as the locals anoint it “a precious nectar of the gods”, has been coveted for centuries by those in the know. This mystical elixir, extracted from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.), used to be a beauty secret for the Berber people of Morocco for numerous centuries. Its fame has now spread far and wide, particularly in the west, and for good reason.
Native to the arid and semi-arid lands of southwest Morocco, the argan tree grows where the soil is rocky and extremely rough. By developing deep roots to access scarce water resources, it has adapted gradually throughout history, making it a true survivor. While it works as a canopy for other vegetation to prosper under the shade, the argan tree’s fruit feeds settled wildlife. Ecologists label the argan tree not just as a source of oil but as a fundamental part of the ecosystem.
What Is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is driven from the kernels inside pure argan tree fruit. It naturally has a fleshy pulp, which is withdrawn by first drying the fruit in the sun, followed by crack-opening the fruit to unclothe the divine kernels inside.
The hand-extracted kernels are then roasted before pressing them to extract the prized oil. Traditionally, this age-old method of extraction is long and laborious, done by hand throughout. Just one liter of pure argan oil takes about 50 kilograms of fruit, this is why it’s considered to be an expensive commodity.
The composition of argan oil is that of vegetable oil, primarily used in cosmetics due to its extraordinary nourishing and antioxidant properties. Argan oil is also immensely affluent in vitamin E and fatty acids (omega 6 and 9) which makes it an immaculate ingredient for skin and hair care products.
Where Is Argan Oil From?
“The tree of life” is what the Berber people of southwestern Morocco call the argan tree. It comes from the tree family of Sapotaceae, primarily grown in arid regions of Morocco. As mentioned before, it has significantly deep roots drawing water as far as 30 meters underground, this makes it a very durable tree. The fruit is oval-shaped with a pulp inside almost the same size as a grape, through which a very hard-shelled stone is obtained containing 2-3 seeds.
The ancestral practice to harvest the fruit and extract the oil is simple but exhausting. Initially, the cores are crushed by hand to separate the kernels without impairing them. Next, a conventional mill is used to crush them further and then cold-pressed. To get an idea of how challenging it is to extract pure argan oil, it takes 12 hours of labor and 50 kg of fruit to yield only 1 liter of naturally crafted oil.
Argan Oil In The Modern World:
An international sensation exported mainly from Morocco, Argan oil is distributed around the globe by different companies in Europe and North America. Argan oil is classified in the famed “virgin oil” type, an esoteric non-refined vegetable oil.
As an influential forest species, the argan tree is strongly celebrated from both social and economic perspectives. It has brought a lot more income to the local inhabitants lately. It has a priceless environmental coalition too, living up to its reputation to fight the impeccable survival standards of the desert.
High-quality argan oil is acquired via evolved extraction technologies. These procedures have set parameters that help obtain the preferred stability, quality, and purity of the argan oil. Hundreds of women collegial have formed who use semi-industrial extraction processes. Quality control in the cosmetic industry is critical as well, such as sustaining oxidative resilience, and authenticity.
The Benefits Of Argan Oil
For Skin Care:
- Moisturization & Hydration - Argan oil has proven its versatility by being a perfect resource for skin hydration and moisturizing. It rejuvenates the skin’s natural barrier function and retains moisture.
- Antioxidant & Anti-Inflammatory Properties - Argan oil contains phenolic compounds which attribute to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Tocopherol is abundant in argan oil which is a fat-soluble vitamin responsible for protection against free radicals.
- Anti-aging Miracle - Cosmetic Argan oil is a “liquid gold” for reducing fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and skin blemishes. It has also been proven to elasticize the skin.
- Healing Wounds - Various studies have shown that Argan oil helps treat second-degree burns. This is purely due to the surplus of antioxidants.
- Treating Skin Conditions - Researchers and regular users have found that Argan oil helps with itchy, red, and irritated skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and atopic dermatitis.
For Hair Care:
- Promoting Hair Growth - Argan oil has a nutritional profile that stimulates some level of hair growth by nourishing hair follicles and preventing split ends and other forms of hair damage.
- Hair Moisturizer - The majority of argan oil’s fat composition is made up of oleic and linoleic acids that are integral nutrients for maintaining moisture and healthy hair.
- Hair Conditioner - To help soften and tame frizzy or naturally greasy hair, argan oil can be used as a leave-in conditioner perhaps.
- To Get Shiny Hair - Highly rich in fatty acids, argan oil helps add shine, glow, and a beautiful luster to dull hair.
Which Argan Oil Is The Best?
The downside of argan oil’s rise to international fame is that it has become a golden goose for corporate elites, especially in the cosmetic industry.The local Amazigh women dominate the country’s export of high-quality and pure argan oil. The argan forest, constitutes 18% of Morocco’s forests, playing a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance. The increased demand has led cosmetic brands to saturate the purity of argan oil itself and use it just as an ingredient labeled on the back of their products to boost prices. This leads to the argan oil losing some of its initial and natural healing properties.
Discover Argon Oil With Shea Terra
Our team at Shea Terra has spent day and night sourcing pure argan oil to craft the perfect solution for facial cleansing. The Argan & Rosemary cleansing oil is a cleanser that needs no following-up as it already doubles the miracle of skin enhancement. Moroccan argan oil is renowned for effectively drawing out dirt settled deep into the skin while also nourishing it resulting in a beautiful glow.
Pure Moroccan argan oil - rich in vitamins A and E - is incomparable when it comes to healing and moisturizing the skin whilst improving the texture, aging, and quality of the skin as well. Our Pure Moroccan Argan extra virgin oil is a prime example and a crowd-pleaser. Just lightly massage a few drops across the five facial points and see the miracle unfold!