Argan Oil For Skin Care

This week a question was asked from one of my Facebook Group members. It was a question about Argan oil for skin care. The member asked if I could make a product similar to Josie Maran’s Argan Oil.  I have used argan oil for skin care, I have included it in some of my serums but I was not familiar with this particular product. When I research a product the most important thing for me are the ingredients.

Let’s look at the ingredients for Josie Maran’s argan oil

100% pure argan oil, that is it, nothing else. I cannot make 100% argan oil and it would be unfair to suggest that I can replicate a pure product. I suggested that there was no need to make this product, just buy 100% argan oil which you can easily find on Amazon. The member mentioned she had tried Trader Joe’s argan oil but did not like it as much.

This brings us to an important question. Why are some “100% pure oils” different than others? Why do they feel different, smell different or absorb differently?

Let’s look at Argan oil in more detail

Argan oil comes from Morocco, it is a plant oil produced from the Argan Tree. Argan trees only grow in a few places in the world. Surprisingly, the argan tree grows in the Moroccan Dessert. It is a favorite fruit of the local goats who will climb trees to snack on this fruit. The local people, most notably the the Moroccan Berber Tribes used argan oil for many years in the kitchen to cook with. They also used it for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.

Why should we consider argan oil for skin care?

Argan oil is rich in Vitamin A and E, antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid.

Argan oil has a low comedogenic rating. When I create products I look at the comedogenic rating. The last thing I want is for my customers to experience breakouts from my products. Oils are listed from 0 to 5, Argan oil has a low potential for acne breakouts.

Argan oils as well as other oils can help moisturize the skin. Argan oil absorbs quickly into the skin so you are less likely to experience that greasy feel. When we are deciding on a moisturizing oil there are a few considerations. Will be you be using the oil in the morning or the evening. If you are placing an oil on your skin in the morning you would want it to be a fast absorbing oil. You would not want to be walking around with greasy skin all day. Argan is considered a fast absorbing oil.

Argan oil may help improve the skin’s appearance. One study suggested improvement in skin’s elasticity, “Our findings suggest that the daily consumption and/or topical application of argan oil have an anti-aging effect on the skin demonstrated by the improvement of skin elasticity”

Does argan oil for skin care come from the seed or the fruit?

As with most fruit oils you can have fruit oil or seed oil. Traditional argan oil is made from the seed.

argan oil for skin careHow is argan oil made?

The fruit must be peeled in order to retrieve the seed to make the  oil. The fruit can be peeled away which is a laborious process. Co-operatives  have been formed to protect the women workers. According to the Guardian, “These co-operatives provide the women with an income, as well as a social experience and improved status.”

Some seeds are collected after the goats have eaten the fleshy parts of fruit. Once the seeds have been collected the oil must be extracted.

Argan oil for skincare Traditional extraction methods

The argan nut is cracked, these kernels are then grounded up. This will form a paste like substance which is  left to settle. The oil is filtered once it has separated.

Argan oil used for cooking uses a different method, the kernels are roasted first.

There are newer methods of argan oil extraction,

  • A hydraulic oil press can be used.
  • Chemical extraction of Argan oil

argan oil for skin careAccording to Oleador,  ” For this kind of procedure, the almonds are first pulverized and then suspended in solvents. Afterwards, the chemicals are vaporized. What remains is an Argan oil still containing slight spurs of the used solvents. To avoid any oxidation of the fatty acid, antioxidants, especially tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate may also be added to the oil. Argan oil produced by chemical extraction can easily be recognized by its hay yellow color.”

Argan oil for skin care -Why are there differences?

Depending on the extraction method, there will be differences. Hand extraction methods appear to provide the highest quality of argan oil although this method does not provide the highest yield. As mentioned above, additives are used to stabilize the oil if chemical extraction is used.

To obtain a higher yield,  high pressing temperatures may be used. The higher heat may change the fatty acid structure.

Some manufactures may place seed shells as well as the fruit’s skin and pulp into the mix. This may give a bitter smell.

Lastly, argan oil may be “cut” with other types of cheaper oils.

Argan for skin care -social problems

There is a high demand for Argan oil. This leads to deforestation and usually poor treatment of the workers. There were concerns that deforestation would have implications on the environment. Unesco stepped in and declared some of the areas a biosphere reserve in 1988.

What is Fair Trade of argan oil?

According to the World Fair Trade Organization,

argan oil for skin careFair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.”

In addition,

  • “It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first.
  • It is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and economic crisis.”

According to Serious Eats the products “must be free of forced labor or poor working conditions for laborers. The crops are raised through sustainable methods, and no genetically modified crops are allowed to be certified Fair Trade. And perhaps most importantly, participating in a fair trade production chain can result in huge benefits for farmers.”

There are bottom prices as well, products cannot be sold under a certain price to help prevent larger farms from squeezing out the little farm

Look for 100% argan oil that is cold pressed and fair trade. Amazon sells Argan oil, this one has a good rating, is Ecocert and labeled as Fair Trade Moroccan Argan Oil, USDA Certified Organic, 100% Pure, Virgin, Cold Pressed by RejuveNaturals, 2oz ~ Natural Luxury Moisturizer for Face, Hair, Skin and Nails

What do you think about argan oil for skin care?

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