Over the last few years, Argan Oil from Morocco has emerged as one of the best natural beauty secrets. A New York Times article called the oil made from the nuts of the argan tree “liquid gold” and went on to say that it “has become one of the latest miracle ingredients in the beauty industry. High in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it is believed to help all sorts of skin conditions: dry skin, acne, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles.”
At first, argan oil was hard to find since Argan trees are indigenous to Morocco however recently it has exploded into the marketplace and you’ll see brands, big and small, use it in their formulations.
Many companies name their products “argan oil” but how much actual argan oil is in the product? Is it enough quality and quantity to reap the benefits?
The best quality argan oil is 100% pure, organic, raw, cold-pressed and preserved in a dark bottle. When heat is used to press the oil, the essential fatty acids, nutrients and vitamins in argan oil are compromised and you don’t reap all the benefits. Read labels carefully.
When shopping online and in stores, use these seven tips to help you find the best quality argan oil for your beauty needs.
1) Is it 100% Pure Argan Oil? You want your argan oil to be pure. There are sellers that cut it by adding cheaper oils into what they call “argan oil.” It must be from a reliable source and be 100% pure and fresh. Larger companies that order huge amounts of argan oil ship by sea and may take months to arrive in the US. Smaller artisanal companies have the ability to ship by air so the argan oil is fresh.
2) Look at the placement of Argan Oil on the ingredient list. After reading the front of the label, go to the Ingredient List to see where Argan Oil is placed. If you want 100% Pure Argan Oil, it should be listed first as Argania Spinosa. On labels, ingredients are listed in order of highest concentration to lowest so the first one to three ingredients will be the bulk of the formulation. If argan oil is listed as the fourth, fifth or sixth ingredient, you’re getting very little of the actual oil.
If the first ingredients are water, alcohol, or toxic silicones and preservatives that is the majority of what you’re putting on your body.
3) Does it have a USDA or ECOCERT organic certification? Since the beauty industry isn’t regulated on the wording of “organic” and “natural,” it’s easy for the company to misrepresent the terms. It’s only organic if the label has the certifying agency’s seal and the argan oil is bought from a certified organic supplier. Morocco uses a French organic certifying agency and it will be labeled “ECOCERT.”
4) Is it Cold-Pressed? If the oil is not cold-pressed, much of the nutrients are destroyed in the heating process. Large companies adding argan oil to their formulations (selling millions of products) might not be cold-pressing the oil. Using heat will produce more oil but at the expense of the nutrients.
5) Look to see if it’s deodorized. Argan oil has a natural nutty scent. Some companies deodorize their argan oil to eliminate the aroma. Again, this process destroys some of the vital nutrients in the oil. Buy oil that is raw, virgin and unprocessed.
6) Is the oil made in fair-trade women’s cooperatives? In 2002, the Moroccan government helped the local Berber women, who’ve been making argan oil in the traditional way for centuries (see them in this CNN video), to organize cooperatives. It’s important for these women to earn a fare wage and be treated well. Find companies that source their oil from fair-trade co-ops where the women reap the benefits from their arduous labor.
7) Does it come in a dark bottle? Oil can go bad quickly when it’s stored in a clear bottle and even Amber bottles don’t preserve the oil in the best way. The shelf life of your oil depends on the bottle so buy argan oil that comes in a dark bottle. These bottles don’t allow ultra-violet rays to penetrate the oil and allow it go rancid. Glass is always better and it’s recyclable.
Argan oil is a luxurious, multi-use oil that absorbs quickly into your skin. It hydrates, protects and rejuvenates the face, body, hair, nails and much more. If you buy it wisely, you’ll reap loads of benefits.
Click here to discover ten simple ways to use it in your daily beauty regime.
Click here to buy 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil directly from a Berber women’s co-op in Morocco.