In 2003 one of my Moroccan employees introduced me to a bottle of argan oil that his mother had someone make for him. It was roasted and some debris of the nuts sat at the bottom of the bottle. It smelled and tasted so good. I found the oil remarkable, not so much for putting on the skin but for eating. I soon began receiving container loads of pure argan oil along with my amazing ghassool and fragrant rose water. Although completely unheard of in the US, the French, frequent visitors in Morocco, had been enjoying the benefits for decades. I recall meeting a man in a trade show a few years later who displayed argan as one of his European company’s line ups. “Argan oil is such a nice oil. Too bad its name is so similar to argon the gas. I think no one will ever use it just because of its name,” I said. He agreed with me as we shook our heads thinking it was just too bad that argan was cursed with such a name. Little did I know that it would become a world-wide sensation in less than a decade later.

What is argan? The Latin name for argan is argania spinosa. The argan tree grows wild in south-western Morocco although some can be found in Algeria as well. The tree is believed to be a survivor dating all the way back to the Tertiary Period. It is often quite gnarled and has a similar appearance to the olive tree. The trees are found growing in the wild where humans and nature have been living together harmoniously for thousands of years. Often crops are planted around the trees to avoid cutting them down. If you are familiar with sandy, beach type biomes then you can probably imagine the growing conditions of the argan tree. The tree only grows in an area with a particular type of soil spanning from the shore side to a section of Atlas to an area where the barren Sahara sands begin to encroach. The area is under threat from humans and climate change. In 1998 UNESCO declared the biome protected.

Each spring the trees produce a crop of roughly 150 kg argan fruits. The fruits are similar in shape to olives. They start out green but soon become the color and fragrance of apricot. Eventually the fruits darken and fall from the trees where they are eventually collected from the ground. It takes a tree about 30 years to produce their first crop. And of the bulk of the non-edible fruit, only two small slivers of fruit will be used to produce argan oil.

How is argan oil produced? Today argan oil is often made by machines. Sadly these foreign investors have undermined the traditional role that Moroccan women have played in the traditional production of argan oil. The government has encouraged, however, the formation of women’s groups to ensure that the age-old art of argan oil extraction is not lost. The work is tedious and takes many hours to make a single liter. And I should know as I have made the oil several times myself. After the dried fruits are collected and stored for several months to allow time for the oil to peak, the fruits must then be decorted. This is done in stone-age fashion. The dried fruits are separated from the nuts by hitting them with a hand held rock up against a larger rock. 

The hard shelled nuts are then banged in a similar fashion to until they crack open and reveal the tiny slivers of “almonds” inside. If the oil is to be eaten the “almonds” are then roasted over an open fire. If used for cosmetic oil the “almonds” are not. The nuts are then put into a small stone mill which is hand turned to turn the “almonds’ into paste. 

Whew! Next the paste is mixed with a little boiling water and hand kneaded for a few hours until the oil starts to separate from the paste. The oil is then hand squeezed from the paste until as much oil can be wrung out as possible. The oil is then filtered and bottled. The remaining oil is cake is then fed to livestock.

What are the benefits of argan oil? Argan oil has many nutritional benefits which we will not cover here. Traditionally in Morocco it is this edible argan oil that is mostly sought after. It is expensive even in Morocco so it is a valued resource. What is now popular around the world is the unroasted oil used for beauty purposes. In comparison with most other oils that can be used on the skin, argan oil works in harmony with skin. It soaks into the skin well leaving the skin feeling dewy and fresh rather than oily. It is noncomedogenic and thus does not clog pores when used in moderation. It is a long lasting oil giving nearly a full day of protection against moisture loss. Berber women have long used argan oil to produce lustrous, long hair with little frizz and split ends. The oil nicely coats the hair protecting it from breakage without leaving it overly oily. Applied regularly to the scalp the oil is known to decrease the rate of falling hair.

How is argan oil used? Traditionally argan oil is used in the hammaam, an open steam room. After a deep cleansing argan oil is massaged into skin and scalp. In France and other European countries hammaam treatments have also long been popular. As argan oil has spread across the globe it is found in more and more skin and hair care products. The best way of utilizing argan oil, however, is it buy 100% pure argan oil from a respected source and massage it daily into face after washing and into the hair prior to washing. A little bit of argan oil can be applied to hair after washing to make the hair conditioned and shiny.

How eco-friendly is argan oil? Argan oil is one of the most eco-friendly products on the market today. The Argan Forest has now been protected. Inhabitants of the forest region are now seeing benefits of not allowing their animals, goats and camels, to graze on the argan fruits and leaves. The fruits grow in the wild, are hand collected once fallen, and many argan oil production areas are not far from where the fruits are collected. With the exception of chemical or machine extraction, the oil is produced by hand using Stone Age technology. The leftovers are not considered waste at all. The remaining cake etc. are used to feed livestock.

How do I know if I am purchasing a quality argan oil? The qualities of argan oil vary greatly in Morocco. Because the oil is so costly to produce it is often diluted with cheaper oils like olive, almond and sunflower. Some oil has a very strong, unpleasant aroma. This is due to poor manufacturing/ storage practices. A good quality argan oil will be mostly clear, golden yellow/ brown and have a slight nutty to soured aroma. The oil will not feel like a dry oil at all. When applied to skin it should absorb well without much of a greasy sheen. The oil should last on the skin for most of the day. Argan oil that is completely void of aroma could be deodorized argan oil or not argan oil at all. Always look for argan oil that has its distinct aroma so you can be assured that it is potentially genuine. Deodorizing of argan oil depletes its nutritional value. 

Diluted argan oil often feels lighter, greasier and doesn’t last as long. Sometimes trying a few brands is necessary to understand what a pure, high quality argan oil should feel like. Shea Terra Organics has over a decade long reputation for selling only the highest quality, pure argan oil at a reasonable price. We purchase our oil far from the salty shoreline to improve the quality of our oil. Our oil is flown directly from production for freshness.

Click here to purchase 100% pure Moroccan Argan Oil. 

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Fantastic product! My dry , scaly , itchy skin is greatly improved after one week of use. Will never be without this product. Thank you !

Is this coming back??

Is this coming back?? I love this aloe but it's been sold out for some time.

So far so good

I use the product daily and let it sit for 10 minutes. I like that it is thick. I like the lemongrass scent. I can tell that my skin is softer and smoother after only a few uses. I will keep buying this product.

Pretty good so far

I purchased the tamanu oil to be part of my skincare routine and i am really liking it so far. I want to incorporate it to my scalp routine to stimulate growth but i haven't used it as so yet.

Hated It

This body butter sucks!!! I thought body butter was supposed to be smooth and go on evenly. This crap was hard, cold and clumped on my skin. I will be gifting it to someone and hope that they don't hate me!!!!

Great moisturizer!

Absorbs into the skin leaving it soft without feeling heavy. Perfect for when I apply makeup during the day. Another great product.

Love it!

I'm hooked. Soft natural shea butter is nothing short of amazing. I use this shea on my face and neck everyday. Light smell and little little goes a long way.

Obsessed

Love this so much. I’ll never stop ordering!

Liver Spot WIN and Psoriasis Trial

I got this to try for a couple reasons — and I'm testing bit by bit. It's been 3 weeks of a daily drop rubbed into a "liver spot" on my hand, and I'm noticing that the skin has more even tone now (the spot seems to be slowly fading). YAY.

I've also used it on my skin where I get patches of dry skin and that has also certainly helped but I've been less consistent, so don't know whether it will heal or bring temporary change.

5 stars

I Love the castro oil it is all Natural I have sensitive skin. The castro oil has a smell that takes getting use to but in all I love it. I mix it with the the scented oils I also purchased from this company I trust their products are truly 100% all Natural ingredients

5 stars

This oil is Great!! I have sensitive skin so i am very particular about what i put on my Body.

Smells really nice

I've been using on my face during morning routine and also as a scalp spot treatment. I can notice my recently developing dark spot is fading and my skin is visibly more radiant! No more tight itchy spots on my scalp, either 😁

Wonderful lotion

I've been using on my legs daily and it's completely stopped any itching, my skin feels softer, and also helps prevent static cling especially during the cooler months 😀

Miracle Heal All

I love this Shea butter, I use it every day on my whole body. It's the perfect amount of moisture my skin needs to keep it from itching, I even use it on minor scrapes and minor skin burns to help soothe immediately 😊

Black Seed & Propolis Holistic Skin Care Bar

Egyptian Black Castor Oil

I got this as a sample and based on the results from using the oil on my scalp, I had to order my own bottle. Organically, Natural hair growth!

Amazing.....

My skin has never felt so soft!!

J
Hair Repair Herbal Butter
Joyce Maxwell-Chenault
Hair butter

I can't share a review because my package that had the hair butter in it was stolen out of my mailbox...UGH!

Love this Oil!

I've been using rose hips oil for over 10 years and hands down this is the best brand I've tried! The quality is amazing. It leaves my skin soft with a beautiful glow. I love it!

Love it, will definitely reorder

Love the texture and a very soft scent.
Goes on easily, absorbs nicely, skin feels soft in the morning.

Nice.....

I like the way my skin looks and feels!!

Very nice face wash

It’s taken me a few tries using the Rose Hips Black soap face wash to have it work best for me. The first few times I first applied the liquid soap to my very wet face & it didn’t “grab” my skin enough to wash it. I then applied a little to my dry facial skin, then massaged in with wet finger tips. That worked perfectly for me. My skin felt very clean & ready for the rest of my facial routine. Would most definitely buy again.

Lovely lotion!

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Best Shea Butter Ever

So smooth and creamy. Pure organic shea butter that absorbs quickly. Will never buy another brand.

Dark circles getting lighter

I have permanent under eye dark circles from long cram nights when I was at Unoversity. No matter how much I sleep now its like my face will never recover. But with this serum I've noticed an improvement. Also, we all need a little something something for the crinkles that begin to pop up in your 40's. Sad but true. And no product can reverse time. But I have noticed that this softens them so unless I have an ear to ear smile you can't see the crinkles anymore. It keeps the area nicely moisterized. I really like it!