What is argan oil

Argan Oil is an oil that is derived from the kernels of the Argan Tree. The tree can only be found in southwest Morocco. Argan Oil is traditionally used by the Berber women- for cooking, skin care, and medicinal uses. Its rich antioxidant properties make it an excellent treatment for skin conditions such as:
  • Dry Skin
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Wrinkles
  • Scarring
  • Stretch Marks

The Argan Tree

The Argan tree, Argania spinosa, grows exclusively in the semi-desert of southwest Morocco. It is also referred to as, the Moroccan Ironwood. Its native habitat is mainly that of the dry forests and valleys of Morocco. The tree is relatively small, and only grows to about 10 meters in length. Distinguishing characteristics of the Argan tree include its dark leaves, spread across its spear shaped branches. It gives life to small greenish yellow flowers that lighten the dark mangled trunk. The true gift the Argan tree gives, are the oblong berries that resemble olives. Inside, the hard pulp covers 3 small almond shaped kernels- the Argan seeds.
The land was barren before the implementation of the Biosphere Reserve Project in 1998. The Argan tree grows slowly but is able to flourish in the harsh desert land. Some of the original trees date back as far as 200+ years. Southwest Morocco houses at least 20 million Argan trees and counting. The tree thrives in the harsh desert climate by rooting itself deep in the earth. It helps nourish the soil, and requires no cultivation. While other plants have not survived the drought-ridden climate, the Argan tree has always prospered.

The Argan Seed

The most valued part of the Argan tree is the small almond shaped seed that grows on it. These are used for the production of Argan oil. The seeds resemble those of an olive tree, and have a soft pulp that covers the kernel. The traditional method calls for the removal of the soft pulp, which is saved to use as animal feed. The hard nut is cracked by hand, and the seeds are removed and roasted. They are then ground down to a fine paste, and the oil is squeezed out by hand. Although, very labor intensive this method has been used by the Berber Women for generations. The women’s co-op has allowed them to advance their technology to include machine operated methods of extraction. This allows them to work fewer hours, often only half days, so they can tend to their families.