Argan oil, otherwise known as “liquid gold”, is derived from the argan plant which is only grown in Morocco. Specifically, it is cultivated in Morocco's Essaouira and Agadir regions. The tree can withstand the country’s hot climate, with temperatures that rise to over 50 degrees celsius. The plant produces a fruit which is harvested in the spring and cold-pressed to extract the oil. It used to be largely produced by cooperatives of women who extract the oil by hand, which is a complex and arduous process. Now that the oil has grown in popularity, technological advancements have streamlined the production process. The tree grows slowly and the oil extraction process is difficult due to the hard shells of the argan kernel. The selling of argan oil can be traced to the early 1500s, however the product did not gain much popularity until the last 500 years. Now, argan oil is used around the globe for its health benefits, nutty flavor and wellness uses.
The argan tree is an important part of Moroccan culture, used in many wellness rituals, culinary staples and skin and hair care products. It was traditionally used in Morocco for its healing properties, such as treating dry skin, sunburns and eczema. Now, argan oil is a popular skin and haircare staple worldwide.
Argan oil can be referred to as a “jack of all trades” for its wide variety of benefits. It is rich in vitamin E, polyphenols and fatty acids each with their own benefits for the skin and hair. Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that make it a powerful tool to protect against environmental damage to the skin from UV rays and pollution. It does so by scavenging free radicals which damage cell function. For this reason, this essential vitamin has powerful anti-aging and skin softening properties that help give a youthful look to the skin. This powerful vitamin also provides a fatty layer to the scalp, helping prevent dryness while reducing frizziness and boosting hair shine. Polyphenols are another antioxidant like vitamin E which help fight damage from free radicals in the skin.