Tag Archives: moroccan oil

Is All Argan Oil the Same?

Take a look at any commercial today about hair and you’ll see the words “Moroccan Oil” or Argan Oil plastered on your screen. You’ve heard from us about the benefits of Argan Oil. You’ve also heard the commercials but is there really a difference between what you find in the stores and what you’ll find naturally from those strange, goat-filled trees in the deserts of Morocco?

Grown naturally from the Argania Spinosa tree in Morocco, Argan Oil is incredibly beneficial for your hair and skin (known to repair damaged hair and skin), has an unique and exotic feel about it and is the “latest craze” in skin care. This means a lot of oil is being imported from these small local farmers in Morocco. What you’re also seeing is the dilution of the actual Argan oils once they make it in the products you adore.

Major companies and over the counter hair products are throwing in a few drops of the oil and calling it a “Miracle Moroccan Oil” treatment for your hair. This is absurd!

What’s even more absurd is the quality of the oil they are using. Let’s not touch on the low quality of oil they throw in from other sources and just focus on Argan Oil. The Argan Oil being “thrown” in is sub-par at best.

Argan oil is unstable and needs a cool environment where the oil can maintain freshness. For major companies that means the oil is thrown into a vat of chemicals during the production process to maintain this “freshness”. From there they will sit on shelves for months and years at a time before use.

The price and quality of Argan Oil is important. The more affordable versions (often used in culinary) won’t work on the skin as well as the slightly more expensive versions. Most companies try and throw in the cheapest possible oil they can get away with to preserve their margins. When you’re just using a few drops, who’s going to notice the difference?

Our Argan Oil
We’re proud to be working with some great partners directly from Morocco for the best Argan Oil there is. This means we pay a slightly higher price for a better overall product. Not only is the oil better but it’s fresh so you won’t be putting a stale, unstable oil right on your skin. Oh, and there’s more Argan Oil in some of our products (like the Conditioner) than probably any product out there in the world. Win win!

An Oasis in the Desert: Morocco’s Argan Oil

When Moroccans think of liquid gold they aren’t thinking about petroleum oil. In the small region of Morocco, the thorny Argania Spinosa tree produces a fruit bearing one of the most lucrative oils in the world – Argan oil. This oil has been known to treat everything from discolored skin to improved elasticity and suppleness in skin.

A Berber village typically depends on this rare oil – FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Argan oil contains Vitamin E, Carotenes, Squalene and essentially fatty acids. These components heal scar tissue (especially acne scars), treat psoriasis, eczema and even helps undo UV damage to the skin. This oil is even used to improve conditioning in the hair.

As this recent article spotlights, the number of cosmetics that advertise the use of Argan oil has skyrocketed. Two in 2007 to 111 in 2011. The reason why I bold that? The amount this rare, exotic oil is used is usually nil. What’s more appealing than claiming to use a rare, expensive oil from an exotic location? Especially when they only need to (technically) put a few drops in. This is unlikely to demonstrate any of the real benefits of that Argan oil provides.

If a few drops are unlikely to do the trick pure Argan oil must be best, right? Wrong. The oils need a carrier to penetrate deep in the skin. That is what a proper moisturizer does (a silicone-based moisturizer will block most absorption). Choosing between a pure oil and a moisturizer with only a tiny amount is choosing between the lesser of evils. Carley’s Tamanu Cream uses about 5% Argan Oil. And we don’t even advertise the oil!

I first heard about Argan oil from a Mroccan friend that happened to import this oil. It took nothing but a quick pitch for me to have product ideas swirling through my head. Moroccans have used the oil for centuries to treat in particular damaged skin – How about a discoloration cream? An acne scarring cream? Maybe a hair product in the future?

In it’s purest form, the oil is semi-solid while refrigerated. Many oil importers dilute it with cheaper oils. We don’t touch these cheap variations. The Argania Spinosa tree is extracted by native Moroccan women by hand. By peeling the outer layer of the fruit and pounding the the center with a rock, the oil can be extracted from kernels. This is a major source of income for the Berber tribe in Southern Morocco where the income is redistributed – mostly among women. It is estimated that over three million people receive income from Argan oil extraction!

One of the most interesting things about this wonder oil is the tree that bears it’s fruit. Grown in the desert, goats are known to “climb” these trees to reach the precious fruit it bears. Don’t worry about the environmental footprint of this tree. This tree is farmed locally by villages and constantly regrown. No goats were harmed in the making of this post!