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Anti-aging Moroccan Argan Oil

Updated on July 1, 2016
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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.

Conditions hair.

Pure Argan Oil

Slice Of Nature Argan Oil Pure Virgin Cold Pressed Argan Oil for Hair, Face, Body 100 ml
Slice Of Nature Argan Oil Pure Virgin Cold Pressed Argan Oil for Hair, Face, Body 100 ml

Slice Of Nature Argan oil is virgin and raw wild crafted from the Argan tree nuts that grows wildly in Morocco. 100% pure, cold pressed first milling only, no deodorization, toasting, alteration or additives. Packaged in an attractive green glass bottle that also protects against degradation.

 

Argan Oil Production by Becka York

Argan Oil Production by Becka York
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 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?

Tree Facts:

  1. Latin name is Argania spinosa
  2. Grows only in the south-west of Morocco - roughly between Essaouira and Agadir
  3. The tree resists domestication and remains extremely difficult to transplant or establish on any meaningful scale outside Morocco.
  4. 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" [1]

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.

Solution needed:

Better cultivation and techniques taught to the local populations

Facial Argan Oil

Pangea Organics Facial Cream | Moroccan Argan w/ Willow & Rosemary | Best Moisturizer for Oily & Combination Skin | 1 & 2 Oz. Anti-Aging Face Lotion for Blemishes | Gluten-Free & Vegan | Non-GMO
Pangea Organics Facial Cream | Moroccan Argan w/ Willow & Rosemary | Best Moisturizer for Oily & Combination Skin | 1 & 2 Oz. Anti-Aging Face Lotion for Blemishes | Gluten-Free & Vegan | Non-GMO

Formulated for oily to blemish-prone skin, this stimulating yet calming balm keeps all the elements of oil-rich to blemish-prone skin in check. This is a great multi-purpose facial cream.

 

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.

Reportedly:

"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

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?

I will buy argan oil products because I think it supports the needy women in Morocco, and provides user health benefits

I will buy argan oil products because I think it supports the needy women in Morocco, and provides user health benefits

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    I won't buy these products because I doubt that they can be produced ethically and with environmental responsibility

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