Anti-aging Moroccan Argan Oil
Investigating Argan Oil
Argan oil is the big beauty fad - you are seeing it headlining beauty products, everywhere. And now argan oil gets added to almost anything benefiting hair and skin condition.
What are the beauty claims of these products? How is argan oil produced? What are some of the problems for a poor country like Morocco, which produces it? What are some of the fair-trade protections or concerns?
I've wondered about some of these from the time I started hearing about the miracle claims of Moroccan argan oil, especially after viewing an online video of how it is produced by the peasant women of Morocco. Follow with me while I look into it. You may or may not want to buy the products that are being produced ....seemingly everywhere... from this unique nut oil.
Argan Oil- what is the Big Deal?
Argan Oil Claims
I don't make any claims for Moroccan Argan Oil, these are simply those promoted by the products or articles about the use of argan oil. Any scientific research will be noted, if found.
Claims made for benefits:
Ingested, it is claimed to lower cholesterol levels, stimulate circulation and strengthen the immune responses.
Stops premature aging.
Helps prevent and diminish stretch marks, wrinkles & blemishes.
Aids in healing skin ailments.
Great as massage oil.
Argan Oil Production by Becka York
Argan nut oils as food
Culinary argan oil
Said to taste something like peanut butter (I don't know because I've never personally eaten any), Argan oil is described as being slightly darker than olive oil, with a reddish tinge.
It can be used for cooking, and gives a rich, nutty aroma.
"Uses for Argan Oil: Argan Oil is used only for seasoning and never for cooking. Very characteristic for its nutty taste and exotic flavor, it enchances the taste and scents of: * Vegetarian and oriental dishes. Vegetables (sweet pepper, tomato, green, salad, courgettes, sweet potato) * Cooked dishes: couscous, seafood (salmon, trout, shrimps, and lobster...) * Spaghetti, rice with veggies, and other pasta dishes. * Dry vegetable dishes: lentils, French bean or chickpea. * Scrambled eggs and other egg dishes * Bread and crepes. -Zamouri Spices"
The Argan Tree
What is Happening to this Plant Resource?
You would think that Moroccans would be trying to protect this important resource. but argan oil is a fairly recent, and booming, fad in the beauty industry. How is the country responding to the production and cultivation of this resource?
- Latin name is Argania spinosa
- Grows only in the south-west of Morocco - roughly between Essaouira and Agadir
- The tree resists domestication and remains extremely difficult to transplant or establish on any meaningful scale outside Morocco.
- The roots of the argan tree grow deep in search of water, helping to bind the soil and prevent erosion.
"Nearly half of the argan forest disappeared during the 20th century - and average density in the remaining half dropped from 100 to less than 30 trees per hectare. This historical pressure on the forest was driven by demand for high quality charcoal (especially important during the world wars) and, more recently, to conversion to agricultural production of export crops such as tomatoes...
Particularly important among these threats are local intensification of livestock browsing and grazing and encroaching suburban and rural settlements - driven in part by recent European demand for rural real estate near popular tourist destinations such as Essaouira" 
A Catch 22 seems to be in place
While the argan oil is raising the economic status of the local population involved in its production, their increased wealth makes it possible for them to buy more goats, an important wealth by-product for them, the goats destroy the argan trees (because the goats climb the trees to graze their leaves). This leads to a direct threat to the wealth benefit of argan oil to these families.
Better cultivation and techniques taught to the local populations
How Is Argan Oil Produced?
The production of argan oil is a long process. Each nut has to be cracked open to remove the kernels, mostly done by a painstaking, traditional method. It is estimated that producing one litre of oil takes approximately 20 hours work.
"It is Berber women who are solely responsible for harvesting the nuts and producing the oil, and they are doing so in fair trade working cooperatives...
The cooperatives have initiated an ecosystem reforestation project to help preserve the argan forest." -care2.com
Certainly there is a struggle going on to preserve both the natural resource, the fair trade rights, and the economic opportunity of argan oil production.
Documentary Report on the Argan Oil Industry
Why Buy this 'Liquid Gold' Beauty Oil?
- Moisturizes hair and adds shine
- Anti-aging skin conditioner
- Soothes skin and promotes healing
Articles I've Been Reading - Argan Oil -Problems and Benefits
- Strengthening fair trade argan oil production
Steps taken by one organization to protect the Argan tree industry in Morocco.
- Argan Oil Morocco - problems
Blogpost scanning over some problems that concern the writer. Dilution of the oil, traditional women producers being muscled out by exploiting males.
- Is Argan Oil Miraculous?
Every year a new crop of super miracle beauty ingredients pops up - recently, argan oil has been making the rounds. Generally I pay little attention ...
Do You Want To Use Argan Oil Products?
After reading this, do you want to continue to support the argan oil production business from Morocco?