Moroccan Argan Oil

What is Argan Oil?

World-famous Moroccan argan oil is known for its nutritive, medical, and cosmetic properties. Argan oil users assure that it’s beneficial for a number of skin and hair conditions, such as acne, dry skin, stretched skin, dryness of scalp, slow hair growth, and many other conditions.

Real Moroccan argan oil can be quite costly, because it is one of the rarest oils in the world. This oil is extracted from the nuts of argan tree. Long ago argan trees literally covered entire North African region, but now it’s considered an endangered tree which is under the protection of UNESCO.

Most argan oils sold in Moroccan markets are mixed with cheaper oils and, as a consequence, are not as beneficial as pure argan oil. Pure Moroccan argan oil, be that for cosmetic purposes or for edible purposes, becomes semi-solid when refrigerated. If it was mixed with other cheaper kinds of oil it will stay liquid but cloudy.

The Origin of Moroccan Argan Oil

Argan trees grow wild in southwestern Morocco. Tamanar, a small Moroccan town, is known to be the best place to buy argan oil as it originates from here. Tamanar is surrounded by small forests of argan tree, which are classified as UNESCO biosphere reserves.

argan tree forest in Morocco

Argan tree forest.
This image is the courtesy of Luc Viatour

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Argan tree is endemic to this region and is well adapted to the drought and other environmental factors of southwestern Morocco. Extracting this oil is a time-consuming and complicated process that has changed little since the days of Romans and Phoenicians.