Argan Oil seedsContains 80% unsaturated fatty acids and is rich in essential fatty acids, but as importantly for skin care manufacturers and finally as you the consumer, is that it is more resistant to oxidation than olive oil. Now, this is particularly of interest to me as I strive to protect my large supply of precious oils and use a cold storage room to preserve them. However, our organic extra virgin olive oil is not placed in that room. We also use vacuum corks, like those used for fine wine, on our other oils, but our olive oil has a regular dispenser that most of would use for the olive oil we use for our foods and salads.


It appears from the research that I’ve done that the unroasted oil is traditionally used as a treatment for skin diseases and skin “challenges” such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and acne. The roasted oil is used for food preparation. I’d like to try that! Argan oil is actually sold in Morocco as a luxury item and it seems to be of increasing interest to cosmetic companies, which I guess is where I stumbled upon it. Argan oil is sometimes called “liquid gold”, and is believed to be one of the reasons Moroccan women maintain supple, radiant skin even as they live in the dry climate. These are a few of the reasons we've added this oil to our Skin Renewal Intensive Facial Cream, plus we will be offering it as a separate facial oil - soon.

The Argan tree is native to the region of southwest Morocco. In the early 2000’s there were only 6000 Argan trees in the world. The Argan forest became a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) nature preserve and an aggressive plan to grow the forest put into place. In recent years, the Argan forest has expanded to well over 12,000 mature trees and growing. The Argan forest is a wholly organic forest, with no artificial fertilization or pesticides permitted. The Argan seed is cold pressed to release the oil. The Argan tree blooms twice a year from which the Argan fruit is harvested and cold-pressed by hand. Argan oil used in our product comes from Morocco and is certified 100% organic according to USDA NOP Standards by Ecocert.

By law, Berber women are the only people permitted to extract Argan oil from the nuts of the trees as a means to promote the women’s financial and social independence. This is such an encouraging and refreshing proposition, as we see evidence everywhere in our own marketplace of “made in China” and we KNOW what that actually entails, but we still buy those products! The oil which is said to have restorative and age-defying effects, and has become one of the latest miracle ingredients in the beauty industry. As I see it, one of the true tests of an indigenous product, such as shea butter and tea tree oil as examples, is how that population has historically used the product in question. It is well known that the Moroccan population “slather” it on their skin, hair, nails and even their babies. They also eat it too, but this is usually from the roasted nuts.

Argan is not so new in Europe: English and French tourists have been bringing it back from Moroccan seaside vacations for years, and it’s all over the markets of Provence, lined up next to the lavender and olive oils. But now, thanks to the substantial efforts of the Moroccan King Mohammed VI (who has been praised for his efforts to promote women’s rights) and the local government, the oil is being exported worldwide. Because the extraction of argan oil is a labor-intensive task perfected by the Berber women native to the area (it takes a few days to produce one liter), the government has established a fund for the cooperatives. Outside groups, like the government of Monaco, have gotten involved as backers. Women from the villages nearby are invited to work half days (so they can still tend to their families) in exchange for fair wages and good working conditions. Eventually, the cooperatives should pay for themselves. Unesco has designated the 10,000-square-mile argan-growing region as a biosphere reserve.

Meanwhile, more Western cosmetic companies are starting to distribute this “liquid gold,” as it is often called. Liz Earle, who runs an organic skin-care line in England, uses argan oil that she buys from two of the cooperatives in Essaouira in her Superskin Concentrate (far more expensive, I might add, than ours and not nearly as good). “When I first found argan oil, I brought it back to the U.K. to have it analyzed,” says Earle, who forages the globe for raw ingredients (my dream some day!). “It was so remarkably high in vitamin E and had these very interesting phytosterols, which are good for scar tissue and so many other things” — including, she says, that hard-to-define problem of lackluster skin (now what exactly does that mean?)

But what Earle likes most about the oil is that the production passes the sustainability test and directly benefits the women who make it. “Culturally, what it does is good,” she says. “It provides income to a group that wouldn’t otherwise have it.” Okay – I like that too.

Made from the nuts of the argan tree, which grows almost exclusively in Morocco, the oil is said to have restorative and age-defying effects. It is high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it is believed to help all sorts of skin conditions: dry skin, acne, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles.

And I like this even better! The cooperatives have initiated an ecosystem reforestation project to help preserve the argan forest. The cooperatives are working in partnership with the Moroccan Water and Forests Authorities to allow optimal tree growth, plant argan nurseries, and create education programs. The community realizes the value of the argan tree and they are involved with its protection. In fact, Unesco has designated the 10,000-square-mile argan-growing region as a biosphere reserve.

To quote one journalist: “More recently I have tried pure argan oil from a company called Eden, and boy oh boy is it something else. I have always been a huge fan of using jojoba oil on my skin, and this is even better. It is lustrous and rich, but very quickly absorbed. Now I suppose I’ll have to try it for a few weeks before I notice a difference, but at this point an improvement feels inevitable.” She goes on to say: “Now here’s the rub–the cost of pure argan oil isn’t cheap–not like olive oil, for example. But a little bit goes a long way–it is no more expensive than many high-end moisturizers, and it earns terrific marks in terms of sustainability and supporting women’s rights. Only time will tell if it honestly does perform any miracles for my skin, but I know for sure it is doing a world of good for the numerous women who now have a livelihood from it. Miracle enough for me.”

So – let me know how this “miracle oil” has worked for you. We will be offering it as a separate oil, much like we do the Tamanu oil. I tend to believe in synergy, however, as found in nature.

Updated: July 16, 2010 - I recently came across a blog article about one lady's experience with organic Argan oil. We have no connection with this blog nor she with us. I'm just passing along her personal experiences with the oil, and, in fact, will start keeping a bottle of it by my sink and start using it as a stand-alone product to test it's wrinkle-reducing benefits. I'll let you know!