ARGAN OIL--TURNING HEADS

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argan oil are turning heads at beauty fashion industry

Argan oil

Argan oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree, endemic to Morocco, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties. The tree, a relict species from the Tertiary age, is extremely well adapted to drought and other environmentally difficult conditions of southwestern Morocco. The species Argania once covered North Africa and is now endangered and under protection of UNESCO. The Argan tree grows wild in semi-desert soil, its deep root system helping to protect against soil erosion and the northern advance of the Sahara. This biosphere reserve, the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve, covers a vast intramontane plain of more than 2,560,000 hectares, bordered by the High Atlas and Little Atlas Mountains and open to the Atlantic in the west. Argan oil remains one of the rarest oils in the world due to the small and very specific growing areas.

 

Properties

Argan oil contains tocopherols (vitamin E), phenols, carotenes, squalene, and fatty acids, (80% unsaturated fatty acids). The main natural phenols in argan oil are caffeic acid, oleuropein, vanillic acid, tyrosol, catechol, resorcinol, (-)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin.Depending on the extraction method, argan oil may be more resistant to oxidation than olive oil.

 

Argan oil cosmetic

Cosmetic uses unroasted argan oil is traditionally used as a treatment for skin diseases and as a cosmetic oil for skin and hair:

"In cosmetics, argan oil is advocated as moisturizing oil, against juvenile acne and flaking of the skin as well as for nourishing the hair. This oil has also medicinal uses against rheumatism and the healing of burns. Externally, argan oil is used for hair as brilliantine, to fortify and in the treatment of wrinkled or scaly dry skin".

Argan oil has become increasingly popular for cosmetic use. The number of personal-care products on the US market with argan oil as an ingredient increased from just two in 2007 to over one hundred by 2011.

It is sometimes mixed with pomegranate seed oil due to its antioxidizing benefits, with vendors promoting this blend as an all-in-one serum both for skin and hair. Argan oil is also sold without additives as a natural skincare and hair care product.

Argan oil, which comes from a tree native to Morocco, benefits the body in many ways. The oil is becoming increasingly popular in the cosmetic industry for its unique ability to beautify the skin and hair. Moroccans have been using the oil for beauty and health reasons for centuries.

In the cosmetic world, argan oil is known for its anti-aging benefits. The oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, which makes it an ideal beauty product. The oil has the unique ability to correct age related deficiencies in the skin. The effects of the oil on aging skin, acne, and dry skin have given the oil the nicknames of "Liquid Gold" and "Gold of Morocco." Argan oil benefits skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and even the chicken pox.


The oil’s anti-inflammation properties are useful in treating several conditions. For example, the oil can provide relief from arthritis or rheumatism pain. Argan oil is also rich in carotenoids, unsaturated fatty acids, and essential fatty acids.


In addition to its use for the skin, argan oil benefits the hair. The oil is said to eliminate frizz and restore hair damaged by chemicals and environmental free radicals. The oil can increase the elasticity of hair, which reduces hair breakage.


When purchasing argan oil, individuals should be sure to look for oil that is natural and certified organic. Natural organic argan oil is likely to have the potency necessary to deliver the oil’s numerous benefits. Potency is also affected based on how the oil is processed. The most potent argan oil is processed using a cold press, but argan oil benefits the body when processed in other ways as well.


The argan tree is endangered. Over time, overgrazing of the tree by goats and human interference has caused the number of argan trees to significantly decrease. Environmental organizations have made efforts to protect the argan tree, but it is still considered rare. As an endangered tree, argan oil is rare. Its rarity makes it an expensive oil to obtain. Although argan oil is more expensive than most oils, a little bit goes a long way and argan oil benefits the entire body.

Argan oil culinary

An edible oil obtained from the nuts grown on argan trees that is used for cooking and seasoning. Native to southwestern Morocco, the argan tree is not common in any other area of the world, although efforts are underway to grow this variety of tree in other countries. Twisted and gnarled in appearance, this tree has thorny branches that yield a green fruit containing a hard-shelled interior that covers several almond-like nuts. Eaten raw, the nuts have a bitter flavor. When processed into oil, the slower traditional methods of production generally require 20 to 30 hours of work to produce one liter of oil, which results in a product with a high price. After processing, the remaining by-product is a deep brown, thick paste referred to as "amlou", which is similar to tahini or peanut butter and is most often used as a dip or spread that is served over bread, toast, or crackers.

Argan oil is used for dipping bread, on couscous, salads and similar uses. "Amlou" a thick brown paste with a consistency similar to peanut butter is produced by stone grinding roasted almond and Argan oil is considered a favorite local bread dip.


Argan oil has a golden yellow color with a slight reddish tint and a pleasing nutty aroma. It provides a smooth, roasted nut flavor somewhat similar to hazelnuts, but with a somewhat sharp overtone. It is commonly used as a cooking oil, as a salad dressing when mixed with lemon juice, or as a condiment.

 

The Benefits of Argan Oil

Known by the Moroccan Berber community as the "Tree of Life", the Argan tree (Argania spinosa) has supported the people of these arid regions and their livestock for centuries. The leaves and fruit sustain goats, camels and sheep. Cattle live off the press-cake that remains after the oil has been extracted; humans eat the oil and the nut shells are used for fuel. Argan oil is produced from the kernels of the tree and is one of the rarest and most expensive oils in the world. Berber women have used Argan oil for centuries to protect and nourish their skin, hair and nails from the harsh conditions in which they live. Now Argan oil is gaining popularity as a "miracle ingredient" in the Western beauty product industry. It has extremely high levels of Vitamin E and 80% fatty acids which make it perfect for healing many skin ailments as well as protecting against premature aging caused by oxidation.

Healing and Protecting

The active substances called triterpenoids that occur in Argan Oil offer amazing skin protection benefits. These include tissue healing (scars), anti-inflammatory, sun-protective and disinfectant properties.
The oil contains 80% unsaturated fatty acids and is more resistant to oxidation than olive oil. Argan oil also contains 0.8% unsaponifiables (a large group of compounds also known as plant sterols or sterolins). Sterolins improve skin metabolism, reduce inflammation and promote excellent moisture retention.

Anti-aging

Argan oil is considered an effective anti-aging oil due to properties such as the high levels of vitamin E /tocopherols (anti-oxidants help neutralise free radical damage, which is important for skin exposed to polluted Western environments) and saponins (skin-softening agents). Besides cooling and soothing inflammation, it is also reputed to help reduce wrinkles by restoring the skin's hydro-lipid layer.

Medicinal Properties

  • Argan oil contains rare plant sterols (schottenol and spinasterol), not found in other oils. It is believed that these phytosterols are unique in their combination and that there are no other vegetable oils with a comparable phytosterol composition. In general phytosterols reduce inflammation and help block cholesterol absorption from the intestines. They also show anti-cancer properties.
  • Argan oil facilitates digestion by increasing the concentration of pepsin in the gastric juice. It contains flavonoids that act as a natural anti-inflammatory both internally and externally.
  • The oil is considered highly beneficial for arthritis and rheumatic conditions.
  • It is helpful for lowering cholesterol levels, stimulating circulation and strengthening the body`s natural immunity.
  • It is used to soothe skin ailments like chickenpox, acne, psoriasis, and dry eczema. It is also used to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
  • Traditionally Argan oil is also reputed to have aphrodisiac and tonic properties.

Berber Women

There is a lengthy, labor-intensive process that occurs between harvest of the raw argan fruit and the pressed virgin argan oil. Moroccan women, who are members of cooperatives, perform the most difficult task. The cooperatives are women owned and run businesses, which serve to provide education, healthcare and income to the women and their families.


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