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Argan Oil, Fairtrade, Organic: what is it?

I appreciate and support sustainable living, fairtrade production and a sense of community. Strangely enough, I found all three when researching the production of an oil that has become one of the most expensive carrier oils in the world, due to its great qualities: I am sure you have heard of organic argan oil!

Growing exclusively in a small region of Morocco, the argania spinosa tree, a species that was present even from the tertiary age (millions of years ago), has fruits with a kernel rich in vitamins (A, B, C, and E), minerals and proteins.

A formidable oil is extracted from the kernels, which is then used in nutrition, medicine, nailcare, haircare and skincare, and is widely known today for its nutritious and anti-aging properties. The Moroccan people have been using this oil extensively for centuries, but its qualities have gone unnoticed to the rest of the world until recently.

There are many versions of argan oil that are found on the market: organic or non-organic; cold pressed, machine pressed, or extracted with solvents; refined or not, diluted or pure; food grade or skin grade only. The final quality of the oil differs depending on the growth, extraction method and further manipulation of the final product. It is important to appreciate that price alone should not be the only factor when purchasing your argan oil.

I mentioned fairtrade production and a sense of community earlier and I would like to emphasize that this is not by chance. Organic argan oil is almost entirely produced by a self sustained cooperative of women who are part of the Berber tribe. They sustain their community, as we sustain our families, and make sure the precious argan trees are protected, as we do with our property. The fruits are grown organically and the women still crack open the kernels by hand, and cold press the oil using millstones, a process which takes 10 to 14 hours for each liter of oil. Unlike other extraction methods where the oil reaches high temperatures, cold pressing ensures that the oil retains its raw quality without losing its benefits. The Berber women are compensated for their work fairly and use their income to improve education and healthcare in their community, which is yet another reason to buy the right type of argan oil.

 

Argan oil is full of fatty acids, such as oleic, palmatic and linoleic, making it a great anti-aging ingredient, both in nutrition, haircare and skincare. It also provides a great amount of anti-oxidants to fight free radicals.

As a woman and a mother, I truly appreciate the women of the Berber tribe, who work hard to sustain their families and community. They continue their centuries old tradition and offer the world one the best oils that can be found in its purest form. I contribute to their effort by choosing organic cold pressed argan oil to benefit my skin and health.