Argan oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree, endemic to Morocco, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties.

Argan oil is exceptionally rich in natural tocopherols (vitamin E), rich in phenols and phenolic acid, rich in carotenes, rich in squalene, rich in essential fatty acids, 80% unsaturated fatty acids and depending on extraction method more resistant to oxidation than olive oil.

Argan oil is pretty new in America, but English and French tourists discovered it in Morocco years ago and it’s all over the markets of Provence, along with the lavender and olive oils. Now, due to the efforts of the Moroccan King Mohammed VI, who has been praised for his efforts to promote women’s rights, the oil is being promoted and exported worldwide.

It is Berber women who are solely responsible for harvesting the nuts and producing the oil, and they are doing so in fair trade working cooperatives. Outside groups, like the government of Monaco, are also financially backing a system whereby women can work half days (so they can still tend to their families) in exchange for fair wages and good working conditions. This has allowed an income for women and families where before there was little.

The cost of pure Argan oil isn’t cheap — not like olive oil, for example. But a little bit goes a long way — it is no more expensive than many high-end moisturizers, and it earns terrific marks in terms of sustainability and supporting women’s rights

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