Argan oil is produced from the nuts of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.). Argan trees are found only in the desert-like southwestern part of Morocco. These beautiful, flowering fruit trees can grow up to about 30 feet high, with water seeking roots that extend up to 9 times their height. They can live up to 200 years and produce fruit for most of their lifespan. Furthermore, argan trees have an important environmental impact on the habitat in which they grow by providing food, shelter, shade, and even protection from soil erosion through their firmly planted roots. Without them, the Sahara Desert would continue to encroach on the land and destroy the already struggling agriculture existing in the region. In fact, argan trees are so critical and their oils so valuable, that the Argan Forest is a protected Biosphere Reserve
The argan oil itself is produced by first picking the fruits and drying them in the sun. Then, the thick skin of the argan fruit is removed, as well as the pulp to reveal the nut in its center. This fantasticl nut is then cracked and pressed to extract beautiful, pure argan oil. The flesh of the fruit and the remainder of the ground seeds are used as animal feed, so there is very little waste. Though there are some large capacity facilities, often these processes are still performed by hand in Morocco using only basic tools, and often by women. I proudly support those women who perform these arduous tasks to better themselves and their families in a very male-dominated country. Even the large argan oil facilities are located in the production region and comprised of a mostly female workforce.
In Morocco, argan oil is used regularly as a dip for breads and salad dressings due to its nutty flavor and healthy fatty acid content. Much like olive oil, consumption of argan oil has been associated with combating obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer prevention.
Argan oil has so many wonderful benefits for skin and hair care. It has always been used by the indigenous Berbers of the region as a skin moisturizer and protectant from sun and wind damage. It is only recently that argan oil has come to the West and appreciated for its power to soothe and heal.
Here are some of the amazing elements of argan oil and ways to use it:
Argan oil’s high linoleic acid content reduces inflammation caused by acne, infections, rashes, and bug bites. People with acne-prone skin tend to have a low percentage of linoleic acid compared to their oleic acid level in their natural skin oil. Studies have shown that increasing the amount of linoleic acid in the skin will reduce acne, especially the small pimples known as micrcomedones. Additionally, linoleic acid can help reverse those dark sun-spots on the face.
High levels of vitamins A and E in argan oil rejuvenate and promote restoration. Tocopherol, found in vitamin E, increases cell production to create an “anti-aging” effect. Elasticity of the skin is improved, and when argan oil is used as a body moisturizer, you can avoid and reduce stretch marks. A day in the sun can destroy much of the skin’s natural vitamin E content, but an application of argan oil before and after will block the UV light from damaging your skin. Vitamin A is fantastic at reducing wrinkles and smoothing rough skin. However, strong sunlight can inactivate many forms of vitamin A, so make sure you apply before bedtime to maximize your benefits.
Use argan oil as a post shave balm for men or women on face and body to combat ingrown hairs.
Rub a drop of argan oil on nails and cuticles to heal and prevent hangnails. Moisturize the cracked skin on knuckles and heels overnight.
For hair, argan oil provides moisture, prevents breakage, and enhances shine and texture. Use it as a leave-in conditioner to keep frizz at bay and protect from the heat of blow dryers and curling irons. Or, apply even more before bed as a deep conditioning treatment and wake up to a hydrated scalp and restored shine.
Because of its many applications, relative scarcity, and, of course, its beautiful color, argan oil is aptly named “Liquid Gold”. When combined with other gifts from nature such as rose extracts, prickly pear, tea tree, and lavender, argan oil’s effects can be supercharged to become the perfect application for any skin ailment.
Argan Republic meticulously sources, balances, and combines the best ingredients on earth to create magical skin and hair products. There is no need for harsh man made chemicals with names no one can pronounce, when nature has provided such amazing, unaltered, sustainable cures that grow right alongside us.
Argan oil is a game-changer and will prove itself to be an indispensable part of your skincare routine.
Author: Whitney & John Horton - The Whitney Story