Argan

Handpicked from Nature

The name argan means oil in the Berber language. From time immemorial Argan has been used by women as an elixir of beauty. During the main harvesting time – between July and September- the area where argan trees grow is closed to grazing. The families that have the usufruct right to the plants can collect the ripe fruits that have naturally fallen on the ground, and afterwards they sun dry and store them. Oil is extracted from small yellow seeds inside hard nuts as big as plums that are collected once they have fallen to the ground because the tree protects itself with sharp thorns. The traditional technique for oil extraction is labour intensive, a long procedure exclusively by hand and carried out by Berber women. The soft pulp is removed and the hard nuts are cracked by hand between two stones. The seeds are then dried, roasted, and ground to paste, with a little warm water, in typical rotary querns. The paste is then kneaded and squeezed by hand to extract the valuable oil. The oil without water is very stable due to a high tocopherol and polyphenol content, and is more resistant to oxidation than olive oil.

Excellent for your skin

Emollient, nourishing and soothing. High content of vitamin E, well-known for its efficient antioxidant properties, and unsaturated fatty acids (mainly oleic acid and omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids). The special composition of argan oil has a deep regenerating action on skin, protecting it against external aggressions and mitigating the marks left by time. This non-greasy oil is easily absorbed, useful to provide nourishment and softness and to restore the skin’s hydro-lipid balance. Argan oil is a valuable ally to treat dry, dehydrated and mature skin.

Where on Earth does it come from?

The argan tree is the only tree of the Sapotaceae species that grows north of the Sahara, in south-western Morocco, and that has a very important environmental function. This tree used to cover large areas of Southern Europe and North Africa; today it survives in south-western Morocco, in the Souss-Massa-Drâa region. UNESCO has therefore designated this region as a ‘Biosphere Reserve’. Argan trees are property of the state, and the Berbers have usufruct rights to the plants but cannot shake or cut them down. Argan grows to 8–10 m high and lives up to 200 years. The crown is wide and round, bright green, with thorny branches and gnarled trunks. The roots of this plant play a key role in the ecosystem of the place since they prevent soil erosion and slow down desertification.

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