The greatest chefs love argan oil, as do cosmetics companies. But the argan tree, endemic to the southwest of the country, grows only in Morocco. The "golden triangle" of argan oil extends from the north of Essaouira to the south of Tiznit, to the region east of Taroudant. Here are a few things to know about this rare, miraculous oil.
Why does it cost so much?
Producing argan oil is far from simple: first of all, the fruit of the argan tree must be collected and dried, then the pulp and the kernel must be separated from the nut, before being crushed with a stone grinder. The paste obtained is then kneaded, then pressed to extract the oil, which will then be filtered.
In the case of edible oil, the kernel is roasted, which is not the case for cosmetic oil. This long and arduous work is traditionally reserved for Berber women.
To produce 1 liter of oil manually, it takes nearly 20 hours of work and 35 kg of dried fruit. This explains why argan oil is much more expensive than olive oil, for example.
How to recognize high-quality argan oil?
Argan oil, the beauty secret of oriental cosmetics, preserves its properties better when it is organically grown and harvested using traditional techniques. It is even better if the brand employs local Moroccan artisans to promote a fair, ethical and ecological market!
Actually, it is quite complicated for the naked eye to know if argan oil is of quality or not. You will have to use several of your senses to analyze the composition and the mentions on the packaging. In fact, unrefined and non-scented argan oil will often be of better quality because it will have undergone less treatment that can affect its levels of vitamins and antioxidants.
We recommend always reading the INCI listing of your argan oil. It must only indicate pure argan oil, which means there needs to be written precisely:
“INGREDIENT: ARGANIA SPINOSA KERNEL OIL”
In addition to the INCI list, the color and smell of argan oil should also help you determine if it is a good quality oil. Pure argan oil is naturally light yellow to yellow and smells slightly like nuts. If it doesn’t smell like anything, then it’s very likely that the oil has been diluted and isn’t 100% pure.
Benefits of argan oil for the skin
Thanks to its high content of fatty acids (omega 6 and 9) and vitamin E, argan oil is full of moisturizing properties. It’s an active ingredient that’s popular with all skin types, especially dry, flaky, and dull skin. Very nourishing, argan oil helps to fight the signs of aging by activating cell regeneration and restoring the skin's protective barrier. Ideal to improve the elasticity and the firmness of the skin, it can also help prevent stretch marks in pregnant women if applied early in their pregnancy.
In traditional medicine, argan oil is often used to soothe skin problems such as psoriasis, burns, and chickenpox. It is also a great source of comfort for sensitive and irritated skin.
How to use argan oil as a facial treatment
Pour 2 drops of argan oil into your hands and rub them together to warm the oil a bit. Then, apply it in circular motions to your face, neck, and décolleté, working from the inside to the outside. You can also mix argan oil with your favorite moisturizer for an extra hydration boost.