The earliest records of argan oil used in Morocco date back to 600BC. From its botanical name Argania Spinosa, the Argan tree is still growing and harvested in its native regions of Essaouira and Agadir. Indeed, the Argan has been a staple of Moroccan beauty, care, and cuisine for centuries and in the recent years, it became a prized ingredient for its cosmetic benefits globally.
THE HISTORY OF ARGAN OIL
In south-western Morocco, Argan tree plantations span an area of 800,000 hectares and provide a significant source of income for local women cooperatives and farmers. The Amazigh women have been producing argan oil by hand for hundreds of years, and this is an integral part of their tradition and family economy.
Argan oil is made from the oleaginous kernel of the argan tree. In Its small, hard yellow plum is harvested by dozens of women cooperatives throughout the summer. Extracting these kernels is no easy task, and can only be done by hand. To obtain these precious kernels first, the women separate the dry pulp. Then they manually crush the nut with two stones. Afterward, they use cold-pressed machines to retain high levels of vitamin E. In the production of argan oil, 30 kilos of nuts are necessary to extract 1 liter of oil.
DISCLAIMER: Although we love goats, our process doesn’t involve them, as they hurt the trees and do not ensure the best oil quality.
THE MOROCCAN ARGAN TREE IS COMPLEX
The Argan is a slow-growing, thorny tree that highly depends on agro-ecological conditions. Notably, the southwest of Morocco is a region impacted by desertification and low precipitation rates. In other words, the Argan tree forest is part of a unique ecosystem under significant pressures related to increased soil erosion and several years of repeated droughts.
The government declared the lands a constitutive part of the Amazigh community's identity to reinforce the forest's preservation. They also valorized local biodiversity and allowed progressive integration of local knowledge and know-how in designing projects related to sustainable development. In other words, local knowledge of both the natural and cultural heritage is key to Moroccan biodiversity conservation and transmission. This double integration of ecological priorities with the development of livelihoods of local populations exemplifies the Argan preservation approach.
Azaran wants to contribute to a positive environmental impact. Through the Plant Trees Program, we donate monthly to our argan tree farmer, Houssine. Planting argan trees requires know-how, and the maintenance requires a lot of care for the first two years; this is why Houssine will be accompanied by argan tree experts.
In recent decades, Argan oil production was aimed to boost and stimulate the integration of women cooperatives. This is mainly due to the long-term efforts of the Moroccan government in cooperation with private entities and non governmental organizations. Since the 90’s, the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) has continued to fund programs supporting both gender parity and the alleviation of rural poverty. The contribution of Argan oil.
Azaran's partnership with GIE Targanine aligns with a fair-trade initiative that contributes annually to a shared Fund. The cooperative then reinvests in schools, wells, and other local necessities.
NOURISHES THE SKIN
Argan oil is naturally rich in antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds. Combined with top levels of vitamin E, A, and fatty acids (omega-6 and 9), it makes it particularly suitable for skin and hair hydration. Its exceptional moisturizing properties make it the perfect vegetable oil for optimal penetration of aromatic active ingredients.
Powerful but gentle, it nourishes without clogging pores and can be used by all skin types, whether acne-prone or super-dry. A truly versatile oil that is ideal for head-to-toe use.
Essential for skin membrane health, fatty acids help stimulate cell regeneration and keep our complexions looking youthful and vibrant. Here are the details on the major ones in argan oil:
- Linoleic acid - A powerful omega-6 —linoleic acid strengthens the skin's barrier, which protects us from sun damage and pollution. Moisturizing, healing, and soothing, this fatty acid can even help alleviate acne. Sometimes referred to as vitamin F, linoleic acid also softens the skin.
- Oleic acid - this rich fatty acid seals in moisture.
- Palmitic acid – Found naturally in our skin, our palmitic acid reserves diminish with age, but we can still reap its benefits with topical application. It has anti-aging properties, but it's also been found to offer relief from
dermatitis and eczema.
Argan oil contains 771 mg of vitamin E per 1 kg of oil. Vitamin E is packed with antioxidants, which act as free radical scavengers and prevent signs of aging. A powerful moisturizer, vitamin E also improves the skin's water-binding ability, allowing it to retain moisture and remain hydrated.
Provide UV protection, but they also have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and free-radical fighting properties, promoting
repair and healing. Like vitamin E, they can also help repair the effects of sun damage.
Whether ingested or applied topically, triterpene alcohols reduce inflammation.
Stop the slow-down of collagen production caused by sun damage and encourage new collagen production.
Acts as an antioxidant and an emollient, softening skin and preventing and diminishing wrinkles and fine lines. Easily absorbed, squalene locks in moisture while promoting cell growth, the key to maintaining a youthful, radiant glow. Like polyphenols, it also prevents UV damage.