Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Moroccan Oil
Last Updated: February 19th, 2018
Argan oil, better known as Moroccan Oil, is the latest and greatest beauty craze for hair care, skin, and maintaining gorgeous nails. But what exactly is it? Where does it come from? Why is it so good for your beauty routine? And how did it become one of the most highly desirable ingredients in the cosmetic industry today? This conclusive report will answer all of those questions and more.
Moroccan Oil - A Brief History
Moroccan oil is a nutrient-rich oil harvested from the seeds of the argan tree, which is native to the harsh climate of Southwest Morocco; hence the reason people often refer to it as "Moroccan Oil". The tree which grows these seeds cannot be found anywhere else in the world. This limited availability is a large part of why pure, organic argan oil is so rare (and often so expensive). It may also help explain why, until now, only those indigenous to the region were aware of this miraculous oil's vast health and beauty benefits.
Moroccan oil was originally harvested by hand using rocks to crack open the tough pits of the argan fruit. Once exposed, the seed kernels within were ground up into a paste for both cosmetic use and for cooking. Today, the popularity and profitability of argan oil has forced local growers to modernize their operations and increase production using the "press-extraction" method. Instead of mixing the kernels into a paste, they are directly fed into a pressing machine which extracts more oil per kernel and the end product keeps much longer (12-18 months).
However, cracking the pits open still requires a woman's touch, employing local villagers who have become experts in the process over several generations. All-female farming co-ops are springing up all over the country thanks to argan oil production, subsequently improving the social, economic and educational status of females in the region.
Moroccan Oil - A Detailed Explanation
So what exactly is argan oil, and what does it do? The complex makeup of Moroccan oil is an interesting balance of essential nutrients and fatty acids which are not only good for building strong, luminous strands of hair; they can also help you achieve youthful looking skin and grow long, beautiful nails.
Over 80% of the oil is made of up fatty acids, which includes large quantities of Oleic and Linoleic acid. The unique chemical properties of Oleic acid make it an excellent conditioner, especially for the hair and nails. Linoleic acid, on the other hand, is fantastic for your skin. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, helps to reduce the appearance of acne blemishes and hydrates the skin without irritation. The other 20% of argan oil is a combination of Vitamin E, carotene and various plant phenols.
Plant phenols are one of the latest discoveries in the health and cosmetic industry. These powerful organic compounds are taking the scientific community by storm with all of the ways they can detoxify the human body and protect against cellular aging. Their antioxidant properties help defend skin cells against harmful UVA and UVB damage which is often caused by too much sun exposure. Phenols have also been found to penetrate below the surface to help fortify and repair the collagen structure, which makes skin appear firm and youthful.
Good Moroccan Oil vs. Counterfeit Oil
As with any new beauty fad, not all forms of Moroccan oil are created equal. It is almost too easy for manufacturers to get cheap, ineffective or outright counterfeit argan oil and use it in their formulas, promising all the benefits of the real thing but falling short of delivering on those results. To protect yourself from scam products and make sure you are buying authentic, organic argan oil, you can follow these handy tips:
- Make sure you are paying the right price. The old saying "you get what you pay for "is especially relevant when trying to find a good formula; if the price seems too cheap to be true, it's probably fake.
- Make sure you have the right smell. Real Moroccan oil won't smell sour or spoiled. At the same time, it isn't odorless, either. Authentic argan oil should have a light, fragrant, often nutty scent.
- Make sure it's organic. Argan oil products which use the best ingredients will often say "Organic Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil " right there on the label in black and white. If it just says "argan oil" or "Moroccan oil", followed by a list of ingredients you have no idea how to pronounce, be wary.
The Moroccan Oil Explosion
Moroccan oil is such an effective beauty treatment that within the last seven years, the number of products which include argan oil in their formula have exploded from a mere 2 all the way up to 150+. Even the popular grocery chain Whole Foods sells Moroccan oil beauty products these days! This luxurious beauty oil will only continue to grow in popularity as more and more people discover its health and anti-aging benefits. The official government of Morocco is making huge investments in Moroccan oil production, because even they recognize the true potential of this fabulous extract.
The overwhelming demand for this African oil may also be attributed to its versatility. Most women scramble to buy separate products for their hair, skin and nails. But argan oil takes care of all three at a fraction of the price and streamlines your beauty regimen so that you have time for more the important things in life.
With all of these benefits, it's easy to see why Moroccan oil has become such an essential beauty staple for most people today. If you haven't tried it yet...what are you waiting for?