Organic argan oil is a type of oil that is extracted from nuts of the argan tree. This tree is very rare and is primarily exclusive to a region of Morocco called Essaouira. Organic argan oil is believed to have anti-aging properties, and can be taken internally or used as a topical treatment. It has a long history of use in Morocco, and in recent years has gained worldwide popularity in both the health and beauty industries.
There is some basis for all the hype surrounding organic argan oil. It is rich in many nutrients, such as vitamin E and fatty acids, both of which are believed to help cell regeneration. Organic argan oil may prove beneficial to people who want to minimize facial redness or improve the appearance of scar tissue.
Most of the time, argan oil is used as a topical treatment, and users simply rub it into the skin. Some people, however, choose to eat the oil. Organic argan oil can be used in cooking or frying, or it can be mixed with herbs to make a salad dressing. Generally, anything that can be done with regular vegetable oil can also be done with organic argan oil.
Argan nuts are somewhat similar to walnuts, and have a thick, tough skin. After gathering the nuts, they are either roasted of left raw. The nuts chosen to be roasted are typically intended to be used as food products, as the roasting process is believed to enhance the flavor of the oil.
The increased popularity of organic argan oil has brought a measure of prosperity to an otherwise underdeveloped region. The rarity of the argan tree means that many people in the Essaouira area now have jobs. The process used to produce organic argan oil is long and tedious, and most commonly performed by the women who live in the village.
Nuts set aside to be used for beauty treatments are first cracked and shelled, and then the women grind the nuts into a thick paste. Most of the paste is shipped away to factories, which have modern presses to extract the oil from the paste. Some of the paste is kept within the village of Essaouira, and hand worked by the village women. The oil is bottled and sold to tourists visiting the nearby beaches.