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Produced from the seeds of the argan tree, argan oil is a naturally occurring plant oil which is primarily found in Morocco – where it is notoriously used as an addendum for bread, or pasta. However, outside of its culinary prowess, the oil is finding ground as a health product, the world over.
What does it do?
Argan oil is dense with essential components, such as fatty acids and antioxidants. One of the primary health based uses for the oil is treatment of skin irritations, such as acne, eczema and various infections – owing to its success with skin, it has also become known for its ‘anti-ageing’ powers.
The process of refining the oil of the plant is a tiring one – locals work in fair-trade environments, where they physically crack open every nut by hand and then grind the kernels in a stone grinder. From here, the workers will work the ingredients by hand and cold press them into the oil, sidestepping any big, adulterating mass production techniques and keeping things natural.
Because it is structured in such a clean, natural way – aside from skincare, the oil is predominantly used in a plethora of other health and regeneration fashions. It lends itself well to taking care of dry, split hair and an array of scalp issues (such as dandruff or dry or itchy scalp conditions).
It can also be used to great effect as a replenishing bath oil or shower wash – simply mix some of the oil in with your regular bath lotion to moisturise and add a glow to your skin, as part of your daily routine. The oil is safe to use on infants and has been shown to minimise the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy.
What should I know about argan oil before purchasing some?
The first thing to note about argan oil is that is colloquially referred to as ‘liquid gold’ – this is, in part, due to its golden, yellow hue, but also because it can reach some pretty high prices on store shelves.
There is a good reason for the price tag, however. As it increased in popularity, the Moroccan Government began extensive promotions of the supplement on the world stage in order to show support for the female fronted co-operative businesses which create the oil; an initiative which allows thousands of women across the country to earn their own crust.
Naturally, the product was picked up by some big name celebrities – citing the oil as a beauty secret – and the government is now faced with a staggering global demand, which is an issue for the endangered tree itself.
Make sure to buy pure argan oil
With so many variations on the oil now readily available on the marketplace, it’s important that you buy products labelled pure, and not simply infused with the argan seed, or the argan extract. Otherwise, you will not be receiving the full benefit of the plant.
Don’t be tempted by cheaper knock offs
It can be difficult to avoid a cheaper product in favour of a slightly higher price tag, but in the case of argan products – it’s advisable that you buy from reputable locations, and try to stay away from cheaper, knock-off products which claim to have elements of the argan plant in their ingredients list.
By following these simple rules, and taking in the history of argan oil products, you will be better informed when it comes to picking out the right product for you. Coming from an all-natural, ethical environment, there’s no reason not to give ‘liquid gold’ a try for yourself.