Argan Oil, a luscious light weight oil grown from the Argania spinosa tree, found only in South West Morocco. This ecologically small area of native growth, is in part is what makes this vitamin rich oil so special, the arid climate happens to be the perfect growing environment for this splendid tree. And in turn, this tall tree provides much needed shade for the sunbaked area and the Berber people that inhabit this pocket of the world.
Known as the “Tree of Life, the Argan tree has sustained the Berber people and their lives stock for ever. It is a food source, cattle and goat feed, fire starter, and livelihood creator. This tree needs no cultivation, no tending to at all, and lives approximately 200 years. Each tree supplies and sustains many generations. Every season there is a plentitude of fruits that grow and are harvested in the early summer months. Usually between 100-180 kg of fruit per tree (220-400 lbs approximately) is available per tree, depending on climate and age of tree etc. This in turn creates many resources for these desert dwelling people.
A fascinating truth about the Argan fruit is, upwards of 50% of the fruits total weight is harvestable oil. However this does not mean that it is a simple process to retrieve this liquid gold. It takes a single Berber woman, 3 days to produce a liter of oil by hand. The fruit/seeds are collected and then dried in the open air. Once dry, the pulpy flesh is removed from around the seed pods. Next the nut is opened and roasted on a fire, then ground up into a paste and pressed. Many times over the years this process has been attempted to be modernized, always with less fruitful outcomes than the “old ways” produce.
Argan Oil has very high levels of Vitamin E and almost 80% of its total weight by volume is essential fatty acids. This alone sets it apart from most all other oils. One of the leading active substances in Argan Oil is called triterpenoids. This group of sterolins improve skin metabolism, reduce inflammation, and promote true moisture retention. Argan Oil is reported to help in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles by it's ability to restore the skin's hydro-lipid layer. Basically liquid gold, right?! Recherch’es Top 3 favorite uses for Argan Oil: *Facial Moisturizer:
Argan Oil is considered a dry oil, it absorbs quickly and will not be greasy or clog pores. Adding a couple of drops of pure Argan oil to your favorite facial moisturizer or using a direct application where fine lines and wrinkles appear. *Leave on Conditioner:
After showering, while hair is still wet, ad a few drops of pure Argan Oil to your hair, both ends and scalp to hydrate and moisturize. It is especially useful if you often dye your hair or daily use a blow dryer. *Cuticle Softener:
Apply a drop or two of pure Argan Oil to a cue tip or other such device and liberally apply to your cuticles at night.
A word about Fair Trade:
Since this is such a labor and time intensive oil and is a huge supporter of the communities of Southwestern Morocco, it is always best to by from reputable fair trade companies. These companies are not only insuring the pureness of product but also insuring the livelihoods of the people who harvest, dry, and render this precious oil.