Argan Oil: From East to West, the secret of beauty has always fascinated the different peoples of the planet. Men, like women, had their customs and their “magic potions” for their appearance and rituals for both their well-being and prolonged youth. Tired of two centuries of domination from petrochemicals and related allergies, man now feels the need to return to “mother nature”. Thus, more and more people are seeking natural beauty products which are environmentally friendly, and without chemical additives. Argan oil is one such product. But before buying this oil for the first time, here are good things to read about in this review!
What is Argan Oil?
This is one of the rarest oils in the world. Argan oil comes from the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.), a tree that dates back 25 million years. The argan tree is native to south-west of Morocco and it grows in the wild. In 2005, argan trees have been discovered in another part of Morocco, towards the north, in the Rif Mountains. There are many argan trees in Mexico and Florida, but they are sterile.
Argan Oil, a “Green Gold”?
The cosmetic and therapeutic virtues of argan oil have been scientifically documented since the thirteenth century by the Egyptian physician Ibn al Baytar.
The Moroccan population has used this oil for centuries. For the kitchen, in addition to its nutty taste, it has exceptional dietary properties, with 16 grams (one tablespoon) of argan oil providing all the daily requirements of essential fatty acids that the body cannot synthesize on its own. There is also the traditional “amlou” – a very energetic mixture of argan oil, honey, walnuts and almonds. One tablespoon is enough to give an energy boost in the morning.
It is also seen as a panacea for good health as it reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improves liver function, relieves rheumatism, and is also antiseptic, healing, etc. This oil has anti-aging properties par excellence!
Over the past decade or so, the greatest European perfumers, cosmetic companies and laboratories have rediscovered the power of this oil. In fact, argan oil is the only vegetable oil to provide two simultaneous essential cosmetic actions:
It is a unique antioxidant due to its very high content of vitamin E, twice that of olive oil!
It has a power of restructuring, thanks to the presence of unsaponifiables, equivalent to that of avocado oil! Argan oil thus contains in itself the properties of olive, avocado, grape seed and peanut oils!
Organic Argan Oil Features
This craze for people wanting to buy argan oil has several reasons. It’s effect on the skin are fast, powerful and durable. Argan oil rebalances the skin, slows and prevents premature aging of the skin, reduces or eliminates wrinkles, enhances elasticity, maintains hydration and nourishes and tones the skin. Moreover, it is hemostatic, healing (injury, acne), emollient, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It protects against external aggressions (cold, solvents, detergents, chemicals, UV rays, etc.) and gives a silky and glowing skin.
In addition it nourishes the hair and strengthens nails.
The active ingredients of argan oil:
- Vitamin E (tocopherols): antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, anti-wrinkle.
- Vitamin F (linoleic acid, omega-6): anti-drying, anti-aging, encourages cellular fluidity.
- Vitamin A (retinol): promotes skin elasticity, collagen synthesis, regeneration of exceptionally aged and tired skin.
- Triterpenes (unsaponifiables): anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and restructurizers.
- Phenolic compounds: boosts immunity, activates the circulatory system.
The extraction of oil requires an ancestral know-how. The traditional method of extraction is long and difficult. Berber women of the Middle Atlas have transmitted these ancestral methods from generation to generation.
The fruits are picked and pulped. The cores are dried in the sun and “beheaded” one by one to extract the almond which is then roasted (or not) and ground. The ground material obtained is cold pressed without chemical solvents in a millstone which trickles the precious oil which is 100% natural and organic. The remaining meal also has multiple uses in cosmetics and household goods.
Depending on whether the almond is roasted or not, we get two colored oils which have different uses. When roasted, it gives a colored oil with a nutty aroma. It is subtle and serves dietary, culinary, therapeutic and cosmetic uses. Oil that does not come from roasted almonds is not used in cooking, but is highly sought for other uses.
The risks of popularity
The argan tree is endemic, which plays a role in the fight against desertification in the Moroccan region. It is classified as a world heritage by UNESCO since 1999. But the enthusiasm aroused by this oil threatens the natural lifecycle of the argan tree and its effect against the desertification of the area. Socioeconomically, the creation of cooperatives involving mainly women helped the economic development in the region. However, the skyrocketing price of argan makes it inaccessible to the local population. It is why, before buying argan oil, it is better to stay cautious.
To strengthen nails, once or twice a week, soak your hands in a bowl of hot water with half a squeezed lemon and a crushed clove of garlic. After 20 minutes, dry hands and massage with 5 to 10 drops of argan oil (not burned), in slow circular movements over the nails, cuticles, knuckles, palm and back of the hand. Do this daily over a month. Then repeat once or twice a month for maintenance.
For soft and smooth feet, dip your feet in a bucket of warm water containing a cup of coarse sea salt or Epsom salt. If there are many rough areas under the foot, take a file (pumice or metal) placed on a soap and rub gently to soften these calluses (never dry with lime). Rinse and dry. Massage the length of the whole foot in circular motions with argan oil, or with protective Arganati cream (Argan, beeswax, royal jelly).
Did you know?
- It takes nearly two days of labor to produce one liter of argan oil!
- The goat is an important player in the proliferation of the argan tree. Indeed, the goats climb argan trees, clinging to the branches to eat the fruit. The sight of the goats who think they are squirrels is truly enchanting! Thanks to the outstanding antics of these “four legged gatherers” that scientists became interested in the properties of the argan tree.