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Making Miracles: How Argan Oil Is Made

Making Miracles: How Argan Oil Is Made

by Luann Koerper, Founder of Foxbrim Naturals


Nestled within the arid landscapes of the Atlas Mountains in the heart of Morocco, an exceptional elixir is crafted with great care - Argan oil. This liquid gold is renowned for its amazing benefits for skin, hair, and overall health, making it a highly sought-after beauty and wellness secret. This article explores the intricate process of creating Argan oil, delving into both traditional and modern techniques that contribute to the production of this miraculous oil.

In this article


Photo by Foxbrim Naturals, 2023.


The Argan Tree

The Argan tree, scientifically known as Argania spinosa, is a native species to the southwestern regions of Morocco. It thrives in semi-arid conditions, where temperatures soar and rainfall is scarce. What sets this tree apart is its exceptional adaptability to the challenging environment. The Argan tree has evolved a deep root system, allowing it to tap into water sources deep underground. This adaptation not only helps the tree survive in arid climates but also prevents soil erosion, playing a pivotal role in maintaining the ecological balance of the region.

The Argan tree is an evergreen, reaching heights of up to 10 meters. Its gnarled branches sprawl wide, providing shade to the arid landscapes. The leaves are small, oval, and shimmering green, further showcasing the tree's ability to conserve water. The Argan tree's resilience against drought and its ability to thrive in challenging conditions make it a vital component of the unique Moroccan ecosystem.

Liquid Gold: The Precious Argan Oil

While the Argan tree is instrumental in preserving the environment, its true value extends to the liquid gold it produces – Argan oil. Extracted from the kernels found within the fruit of the Argan tree, Argan oil is renowned for its myriad of health and beauty benefits. The traditional method of harvesting involves collecting the fallen fruits from the ground, manually extracting the kernels, and cold-pressing them to obtain the precious oil.

Argan oil is rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, making it a sought-after ingredient in the cosmetic and culinary industries. In skincare, Argan oil is revered for its moisturizing properties, helping to nourish and rejuvenate the skin. It's also touted for its ability to tame frizz and add shine to hair. In the culinary world, the nutty and slightly sweet flavor of Argan oil makes it a popular choice for drizzling over salads, couscous, and other dishes.

The production of Argan oil has not only become a source of income for the local Berber communities but has also garnered international attention. The demand for this liquid gold has led to sustainable practices, ensuring the preservation of Argan forests and the well-being of the communities involved in its production.

The Argan tree stands as a symbol of resilience, adapting to the harsh conditions of the Moroccan landscape while providing essential ecological services and a source of livelihood for local communities. Its unique characteristics make it a crucial element in preserving biodiversity and preventing desertification. The production of Argan oil, often referred to as liquid gold, adds a valuable economic dimension to its significance.


Photo by Foxbrim Naturals, 2023.


Harvesting the Argan Fruits

The Argan tree, endemic to southwestern Morocco, has adapted to thrive in harsh conditions, enduring high temperatures and scarce water resources. Its small, green fruits, often mistaken for olives, are the epicenter of the Argan oil production process. These fruits, known as Argan fruits or nuts, house the precious kernels from which the oil is extracted.

The harvesting season for Argan fruits typically occurs during the late summer months, from June to August. This timing is crucial as it ensures that the fruits are at their peak ripeness, maximizing the oil content within the kernels. The entire harvesting process is a communal effort involving skilled local harvesters who possess generations of knowledge about the Argan tree and its fruits.

Photo by Foxbrim Naturals, 2023.


Extracting the Argan Kernels

The Argan fruit is a drupe, resembling a small olive, and its tough outer shell has proven to be a formidable challenge for those seeking to extract the precious kernels it guards.

Hand Harvesting - A Delicate Art

The heart of Argan oil production lies in the delicate art of hand-harvesting the fruits. Unlike many other oil-producing plants that can be mechanically harvested, the Argan tree requires a gentle touch to avoid damaging the kernels within the fruits. Each harvester meticulously plucks the fruits by hand, ensuring that the kernels remain intact and undamaged.

The hand-harvesting process is not only an art but also a labor-intensive task that requires precision and patience. Harvesters, often local women, climb the thorny branches of the Argan tree to reach the clusters of fruits. Using a special technique, they skillfully separate the fruits from the branches without causing harm to the precious cargo within.

The traditional harvesting techniques have been passed down through generations, creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly process. Harvesters have an intimate understanding of the Argan tree, knowing when to harvest for optimal oil quality and yield. The traditional methods also ensure the preservation of the Argan forest ecosystem, promoting biodiversity and preventing over-exploitation.

The process begins with the gathering of ripe Argan fruits. Berber women, often working in cooperative groups, carefully select the best fruits for extraction. The tough outer layer of the fruit is then cracked open using stones, revealing the hard shell encasing the kernels. This outer shell, resembling a hard nut, is also known as the Argan pit.

Once the Argan pits are exposed, the skilled hands of the Berber women deftly crack them open to unveil the small, almond-shaped Argan kernels nestled within. This process requires patience and a keen eye to avoid damaging the delicate kernels during extraction.

The extracted Argan kernels are then sun-dried to remove any residual moisture, preserving their quality and enhancing their shelf life. Once dried, the kernels are ready for further processing to extract the precious Argan oil.

Modern Extraction Techniques

While the traditional method continues to be valued for its authenticity and cultural significance, modern technology has introduced more efficient methods for extracting Argan kernels. Mechanical presses, hydraulic systems, and automated machinery have streamlined the process, allowing for larger-scale production without compromising the integrity of the kernels or the quality of the extracted oil.

Mechanical presses exert controlled pressure to crack open the Argan pits, separating the kernels from the hard outer shell. This method significantly reduces the manual labor involved in traditional extraction, making it more commercially viable.

Hydraulic systems, on the other hand, use hydraulic pressure to extract Argan oil directly from the kernels, eliminating the need for separate extraction steps. This method is faster and requires less manual intervention, making it a popular choice for industrial-scale Argan oil production.

Photo by Foxbrim Naturals, 2023.


Filtration: A Traditional Prelude

The initial step after the extraction of Argan oil involves filtration, a process aimed at removing residual particles and impurities that may have found their way into the oil during extraction. Traditional methods of filtration often entail the use of simple cloth or cheesecloth to strain the oil, separating it from any solid particles. This age-old technique has been passed down through generations in Moroccan communities, where the knowledge of Argan oil production has been a cherished tradition.

While traditional filtration methods can be effective in eliminating larger particles, the evolving landscape of global quality standards has led to the incorporation of more advanced techniques to ensure a product that meets the demands of international markets.

Photo by Foxbrim Naturals, 2023.


The Culmination: Pure Argan Oil

The end result of this meticulous process is pure, unadulterated Argan oil. Known for its rich golden color and nutty aroma, this oil is a potent source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. Its versatility makes it a popular ingredient in skincare, haircare, and culinary products.

One of the key factors that contribute to the purity of Argan oil is the cold-pressing method. This extraction process involves mechanically pressing the Argan nut paste without the use of heat or chemicals. Cold-pressing ensures that the oil retains its natural, unaltered properties, preserving the integrity of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins.


Photo by Foxbrim Naturals, 2023.


Benefits of Argan Oil on Skin

Extracted from the kernels of the argan tree native to Morocco, this versatile oil boasts a multitude of benefits for the skin. From hydration and moisture retention to anti-aging properties and acne treatment, argan oil has become a go-to solution for individuals seeking natural and effective skincare solutions.

Hydration and Moisture:

One of the standout benefits of argan oil is its exceptional moisturizing properties. The oil has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin, providing intense hydration and nourishment. Unlike some moisturizers that merely sit on the surface, argan oil helps maintain the skin's natural moisture barrier, preventing dryness and flakiness. Its high content of essential fatty acids, such as oleic and linoleic acid, ensures long-lasting hydration, leaving the skin feeling soft, supple, and rejuvenated.

Anti-Aging Properties:

Argan oil is a powerhouse of antioxidants, with vitamin E taking center stage. These antioxidants play a crucial role in combating free radicals, which are major contributors to premature aging. Regular application of argan oil can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promoting a more youthful and radiant complexion. The oil's ability to nourish and revitalize the skin makes it a valuable addition to any anti-aging skincare routine.

Acne Treatment:

Contrary to common misconceptions, applying oil to acne-prone skin can be beneficial, especially when it comes to argan oil. Remarkably, argan oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores. Its anti-inflammatory properties can soothe irritated skin, while its sebum-regulating effects may help control excess oil production. By maintaining a healthy balance, argan oil can contribute to reducing the occurrence of acne breakouts and promoting clearer, healthier skin.

Scar Healing:

The regenerative properties of argan oil make it a potent solution for minimizing the visibility of scars and stretch marks. Massaging argan oil onto affected areas can stimulate skin regeneration and improve overall skin texture. Whether dealing with surgical scars, acne scars, or stretch marks from pregnancy, the consistent use of argan oil can contribute to a smoother and more even skin tone.

Sun Damage Repair:

Exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays can lead to skin damage, including sunburn and premature aging. Argan oil comes to the rescue with its reparative qualities. The oil helps repair and regenerate skin cells damaged by sun exposure, making it an ideal remedy for sunburn. Its anti-inflammatory properties provide relief from the discomfort associated with sunburn, while antioxidants aid in neutralizing free radicals and preventing long-term damage.

Photo by Foxbrim Naturals, 2023.


Benefits of Argan Oil on Hair

This versatile oil has proven to be a game-changer in hair care routines. Below are the extensive advantages of incorporating argan oil into your hair care regimen.

Deep Conditioning:

One of the standout benefits of argan oil is its unparalleled ability to provide deep conditioning to the hair. The oil is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants that penetrate the hair shaft, delivering intense hydration to dry and damaged strands. Regular use of argan oil restores the natural shine and smoothness of hair, making it more manageable and less prone to frizz. Its deep conditioning properties make it an ideal treatment for those looking to revive their locks from the harsh effects of styling and environmental factors.

Split End Repair:

Argan oil is a savior for those plagued by split ends. Regular application of this oil helps seal split ends, preventing them from further splitting and causing more damage. The nourishing properties of argan oil work to strengthen the hair shaft, promoting overall hair health. By addressing split ends, argan oil contributes to maintaining the integrity of the hair, resulting in a smoother and more lustrous appearance.

Scalp Health:

A healthy scalp is the foundation for luxurious hair, and argan oil plays a vital role in achieving just that. Massaging argan oil into the scalp stimulates blood circulation, creating a conducive environment for optimal hair growth. The anti-inflammatory properties of argan oil can also alleviate common scalp issues such as dandruff and dryness. Regular scalp massages with argan oil not only promote a healthier scalp but also impart a sense of relaxation and indulgence.

Heat Protection:

In the age of styling tools and heat treatments, protecting hair from damage is paramount. Argan oil acts as a natural heat protectant by creating a protective barrier around the hair shaft. This barrier shields the hair from the detrimental effects of heat-styling tools like flat irons, curling wands, and blow dryers. Incorporating argan oil into your pre-styling routine can significantly reduce the risk of heat-induced damage, ensuring that your hair remains vibrant and resilient.

Enhanced Hair Elasticity:

The unique combination of essential fatty acids and vitamins found in argan oil contributes to improved hair elasticity. Enhanced elasticity means that the hair is more flexible and less prone to breakage. By strengthening the hair fibers, argan oil promotes overall hair strength and resilience. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with brittle or chemically treated hair, as it helps restore and maintain the natural elasticity of the hair strands.


Best Argan Oil in the Market

Foxbrim Naturals Extra Virgin Argan Oil

Foxbrim Naturals Extra Virgin Argan Oil

Photo by Foxbrim Naturals, 2022.

Foxbrim Naturals Extra Virgin Argan Oil is an exceptional product that is worth the investment for anyone looking to improve their hair and skin. This high-quality oil is produced using unroasted argan kernels from Morocco, making it extra virgin and packed with beneficial nutrients.

Unlike regular argan oil, Foxbrim Naturals Extra Virgin Argan Oil is lighter in color, texture, and scent. Its mild nutty scent makes it more pleasant to use, while its lighter texture allows it to absorb quickly into the skin and hair without leaving any greasy residue.

One of the most significant advantages of extra virgin argan oil is its higher nutrient content, which includes vitamin E, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. These nutrients work together to nourish and protect the skin and hair from environmental stressors, improve skin hydration, and reduce the signs of aging. Additionally, it is USDA-certified, which means that it meets strict standards for quality and safety.

This Argan oil is considered an all-rounder because it has numerous benefits for both the skin and hair due to its unique composition. The Foxbrim Naturals Extra Virgin Argan oil is rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E, which work together to moisturize, nourish, and protect the skin and hair.

Foxbrim Naturals Extra Virgin Argan Oil can be purchased on the website of Foxbrim Naturals, Shopify, and Amazon.


Final Note

From the sun-soaked landscapes of Morocco to the global beauty and wellness industry, Argan oil has transcended its humble origins to become a symbol of natural beauty and sustainable living. The careful cultivation, traditional extraction methods, and modern techniques all play a role in creating this miraculous oil. As consumers increasingly seek natural and ethically produced products, the art and science of making Argan oil continue to weave together tradition, innovation, and sustainability.


Photo by Foxbrim Naturals, 2023.



How exactly is Argan oil made from start to finish?

Argan oil production is a stepwise artisanal process. First, argan fruits are harvested and dried to remove the pulp. The hard nuts inside are then cracked manually to extract kernels. These kernels undergo cold-pressing without heat or chemicals, ensuring the oil's natural qualities are preserved. The final step is filtration, where the oil is purified, resulting in the golden-hued, nutrient-rich argan oil that is bottled for your use.

Can Argan oil be produced sustainably without harming the environment?

Yes, argan oil can be produced sustainably with careful practices that conserve the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve. By supporting environmentally responsible harvesting, promoting reforestation, and utilizing ethical labor practices, the industry helps preserve the argan forest and support the local ecology.

Luann Koerper

I'm the co-owner and founder of Foxbrim Naturals. Leaving the corporate world in 2015, I've been developing natural and organic products as a concerned mom ever since! I'm passionately sharing the power of natural and organic ingredients that are not only scientifically proven but are also Mother Nature's solutions to aging into grace and beauty.

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