Argan oil is a hot commodity in the beauty industry these days due to the wonderful benefits it offers. The oil comes from the fruits of the argan tree and is ground to extract the oil kept in it. The number of fruits the argan tree produces depends on the quality of the tree and the extraction method utilized in order to get the oil.
Argan fruits come in an oval shape and are often gathered at end of July and early August. This oil is also popularly known as Moroccan oil due to the fact that it has been produced in Morocco for centuries. It is commonly used in skin and hair care treatments by Berber women and now can be bought all over the world.
How is argan oil made exactly?
The argan tree still thrives to this day due to its ability to tolerate extended droughts and a hot, tough climate. This is why it is one of the most common trees in Morocco. The chief use of this tree is the oil that comes from it. The oil is used for skin and hair care while the remains of the fruits are mainly used for food.
In the early days of argan oil production, venture capitalists created factories in Moroccan cities like Casablanca, a good distance away from the argan forests. These factories made use of advanced cold-pressing equipment that allowed them to generate lots of oil from the nuts of the argan tree.
These machines were used to speed up the manufacturing procedure and churn out a bigger amount of oil with minimal water content. Less water content means the oil will have an extended shelf life and can be bought at a lower price.
Berber women used to extract argan oil manually. The nuts were cracked by hand and finished through a series of steps until the oil was extracted. However, since machines became available, these women were relegated to being suppliers of raw kernels from the argan fruits. However, with the organization of cooperatives and fair trade practices, more and more local individuals are now handling those tasks again.
Argan tree fruits mature from June to July. A ripe fruit measures 2 cm. long and displays a bright, green hue. People are needed to finish the hard job of acquiring the fruits from the trees by means of sticks and gathering the fruits from the earth.
As soon as all the fruits are harvested, they are left to dry until the fruits develop a dark brown husk all over the nut. The husks are kept in big sacks until they are collected for the extraction.
For the extraction process, the husks are removed exposing the brown nut. The nuts are tough and it can be a challenge to break them. This procedure is accomplished by groups of Berber women who break the nuts with the use of their hands.
Inside the nuts are 2-3 kernels which are pale yellow in color and have a bitter taste. Over 2 kg. of these kernels are cold-pressed to squeeze out a liter of pure, concentrated argan oil.
Following this procedure, the oil is strained to produce oil with a golden color and an argan nut fragrance. The oil can be filtered again to squeeze out remaining deposits and produce a product that does not have the nut smell. Argan oil used for cooking undergoes a different procedure. To create oil that can be consumed, the yellow nut kernels of the argan fruit are toasted prior to undergoing the cold-pressing process.
Argan oil is praised by lots of health and beauty experts since it is a rich source of antioxidants and substances that provide lots of moisture. Plenty of celebrities all over the world make use of argan oil and products derived from it to nourish their hair and skin.
The oil can be used in its purest, most concentrated form without irritation. You can use it on its own and a little goes a long way, as it is quite a potent product.
The way argan oil is made is crucial to your buying decision, as it determines the quality of the product. Now that you are familiar with how argan oil is made, you will appreciate its advantages more.