ARGAN OIL: OIL FROM A NUTSHELL

Isn’t it ironic that from the heart of the almost barren desert of Morocco grows in abundance the Argan tree? This tree nurtures a wonder in its nutshells – Argan oil.

ORIGIN AND HISTORY

The Argan tree, scientifically known as the Argania spinosa, grows only in one part of the world – Southwestern Morocco. In fact, it is very common in the Essaouira and Agadir regions of this country. Moreover, it is hardy vegetation that thrives even in extremely hot temperatures and can exist for up to 200 years!

As a matter of fact, it is the oil produced from the tree’s kernels that piques our curiosity and not the tree. Historically, the Phoenicians and Berbers used Argan oil for millions of years. Today, Moroccans have made it a great part of their culture especially, their cuisine. For instance, most Moroccans use it to make a rich nut butter called amlou. It is also a part of the hair and skincare routine of most Moroccan women, especially the Berbers. Moreover, in a very male-dominated culture, most women have made a livelihood from producing Argan oil.

HOW ARGAN OIL IS EXTRACTED

The tale of Argan oil is one from tree to fruit to nut to seed to oil. Between the months of May and July, the Argan tree sheds its fruits. Sometimes, as part of the ecosystem, goats climb into the branches of these scraggly trees and eat up the fruits. They digest the nuts and pass them out through their dung.

In the past, women in the community collected these nuts which are already processed (thanks to the goats!) and ready for crushing. However, today, those who produce this oil, carry out this process much more wholesomely. Hence, first, they allow the trees to drop their fruits in season, gather them and have them dried in the open to rot and shed off their covering to expose the nut. Then, they crush the nuts to get to the seeds. Finally, they finely grind the seeds using a hand-operated stone mill to extract the oil. In fact, this is painstaking since it takes up to 45 minutes to get just a few ounces of this amber-coloured rarity.

BENEFITS

Argan oil offers many benefits to the human body. It helps to control diabetes, fights off cancer, reduces cholesterol levels and maintains healthy skin, nails and hair.

With regards to our skin, it appears this potent oil is an awesome beauty remedy. Here are the reasons why:

1. It is a great moisturiser

Argan oil is very rich in Vitamin F (an omega-6 fatty acid) and Vitamin E which is a fat-soluble antioxidant. In fact, these two vitamins help the skin to retain water. Hence, most makers of cosmetics use it as an ingredient in their products because it works well as a moisturiser. One can use Argan oil topically or take it as a capsule to give your skin that supple look and feel.

2. It cures many skin diseases

Thanks again to Vitamin E and many phenolic compounds Argan oil contains, it possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties. Consequently, these properties enable it to heal a number of skin conditions and infections namely rosacea, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

3. It clears acne

Truly, there’s nothing as harrowing for a woman as having a breakout when your hormones are raging. Every woman fusses over hormonal acne and this nightmare is caused by one’s hormones making the skin secrete too much sebum. Argan oil has the cure – it helps to control the secretion of excessive amounts of sebum on the skin which helps clear acne.

4. It helps to reduce the appearance of scars

The powerful antioxidants in Argan oil particularly Vitamin E make scars less visible when used over time. Indeed, the Berbers can attest to this.

5. It is anti-ageing

Indeed, this nutrient-rich oil is full of Vitamin E and other compounds such as CoQ10, melatonin and plant sterols. As a result, these nutrients make it a powerful antioxidant that reduces the damaging effects of free radicals which cause premature ageing.

6. It prevents sun damage

Sun damage is the main reason why Berber women use this oil to protect their skin. Additionally, Argan oil’s antioxidant property is at work here, of course, this time, working to stop the free radical damage caused by the sun. This helps to prevent hyperpigmentation, sunburns and the development of skin cancer or melanoma.

7. It prevents stretch marks

The skin naturally has the ability to ‘snap back’ after stretching during conditions such as pregnancy, but when it’s unable to do this because it has lost its elasticity it shows up as stretch marks. If you use a water-in-oil cream which is infused with Argan oil this improves your skin’s elasticity and hence, stretch marks are reduced or prevented.

In conclusion, Argan oil has become a sensation in the beauty industry. Indeed, it’s making waves and a lot of dermatologists, skincare therapists and beauticians are hailing it as a wonder oil. Consequently, the use of Argan oil has become a trend that will be around for as long as Argan trees continue to exist.

Join celebrities like Madonna, Angelina Jolie and Taylor Swift who have made Argan oil a part of their skincare ritual. Buy the Bibah Glow Face Elixir which contains Argan oil.

Tags: Nature

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