The argan tree – one of the oldest trees on earth
Argan oil is obtained from the fruits of the argan tree, which used to be widespread in Africa and Southern Europe. Due to climate change, however, it is primarily found today in the south-west of Morocco. The region is also known as Arganeraie and it was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1998. Opinions vary on how long the argan tree has been around on our planet, but some experts say that it could have been growing in Morocco as far back as 80 million years ago.
The lifespan of the argan tree ranges from 150 years to an impressive 400 years. It can grow to a height of up to 1300 metres. Due to its extremely hard wood, the argan tree is also known as the “ironwood tree”.
Careful harvesting and traditional production of argan oil
The hand pressing of argan oil is an important tradition in Morocco. The fruits ripen and start to dry while still on the tree. Since argan trees are thorny with a dense branch system, the fruits are not beaten off the trees and instead are gathered off the ground as soon as they fall. The pulp is then removed and the solid kernels are cracked between two hard stones. The seeds found inside the kernels are lightly roasted and ground into a paste. Hot water is then added to create a pulpy mixture which is continuously kneaded in order to bring the precious oil to the surface.
The oil is a reddish to golden-yellow colour at first and takes on a light yellowish appearance after filtering. As a beauty oil, it is valued above all for its skin calming and regenerative abilities.
The statements about properties, effects and effectiveness made here refer exclusively to the plant and its components/products.