It was once the beauty secret of Berber women, who used it to protect their skin from the wind and desert sun. Today, Argan oil is a beauty elixir known all over the world for its emollient, moisturizing and antioxidant properties. In short, a real one “Gold of the desert”, whose preciousness depends on the production concentrated exclusively in the south-western area of Morocco. Here, where expanses of trees of Thorny argan, women are gathered in cooperatives that represent a model of sustainable development on a social, economic and environmental level.
Not surprisingly, the production of Argan oil, strictly manual, local and traditional, has been declared Intangible cultural heritage of humanity by Unesco and, for the first year, it is celebrated with a World day dedicated to her. Just today, May 10in fact, the UN has fixed the celebration by accepting the request of the Moroccan government.
Ma where does this product come from and how is it obtained? The process to obtain the precious oil, used in dermatology, cosmetics and nutrition, is long and tiring. It begins with the harvesting of fruit from the trees Thorny argan, which grow in the belt between the Atlantic coast, from Essaouira to Agadir, and, towards the interior, up to the slopes of the Atlas. The plant, similar to an olive tree, has long roots that allow it to survive in arid climates, reaching deep water, and counteracting the advance of the desert. The stone is manually extracted from the harvested fruits, which is broken with stones, obtaining the seeds inside. These are ground and pressed until a mixture is obtained from which the oil is filtered. The amount? To obtain a liter of pure Argan oil it takes about 100 kg of kernels! This explains the high price for a bottle of pure oil.
Precious for the reduced production, therefore, but not only. Argan oil is a good for skin, hair and nails because of its rich composition of essential fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6, which perform a regenerating action, e antioxidants which counteract the action of free radicals responsible for aging. It also contains polyphenols, which stimulate the production of collagen, giving elasticity to the skin. A few drops on the skin they are therefore an effective anti-aging, preventing the formation of wrinkles; in addition, they deeply hydrate and create a barrier that protects against atmospheric agents and smog.
Not just the face, Argan also acts on the body as an effective prevention in the formation of stretch marks. Its emollient action then makes it ideal for relieving irritations, sunburn e insect bites. Also indicated for the treatment of acne and cuperose redness, Argan oil is a sebum-normalizing. And its formulation is recommended even on the most sensitive skins such as those of children and subjects with psoriasis.
And on the hair? A few drops applied after shampooing over the entire length make the hair shiny, soft and silky, untangling the knots and acting against the frizz effect. In summer it is an excellent lotion for hair attacked by the sun and salt and in the pool it protects from chlorine. In the case of dermatitis and dandruff, a few drops of oil should be applied to the skin, massaging it gently. But it doesn’t stop there! Its strengthening and polishing action also acts on the nails, which appear stronger and shinier.
In short, Argan oil could become your precious “friend for the skin”. In the gallery here are some products to use it alone, or in different formulations, on the face, hair, body and hands.