Argan oil: Everything you want to know

This article provides interesting information about Argan oil, like, what it is, where it comes from, how it's harvested, how it's produced, how it's used, how it should be stored, and things to consider before buying a bottle.

The information in this article comes from my own knowledge and several well-known sources.

What is Argan oil?

Argan oil is a plant oil extracted from the nuts of the Argan tree (Argania spinosa) [1].

Where does Argan oil come from?

Argan oil comes from Morocco (a North African country).

The oil is extracted from the nuts of the Argan tree (Argania spinosa).

Argan trees grow in the semidesert of southwestern Morocco and Algeria [2].

The tree is also grown in the deserts of Tunisia, Israel, South Africa, and a few other parts of the world [3].


Argan oil is only produced in Morocco.

How is Argan oil harvested?

There are two traditional ways in which Argan fruit (nuts) are harvested:

  1. The farmers collect the Argan fruit (nuts) after it falls from the tree. And in some cases they use stones to throw the rest of the fruit of the tree.
  2. Goats climb in the Argan trees, eat the fruit and then spit or poop out the nuts (seeds). These nuts will then be collected by farmers.

Don't worry, because the Argan nuts are properly cleaned before they are processed.

How is Argan oil produced?

Traditionally, Argan oil is manually produced by Moroccan berber women.

Producing just a small batch of Argan oil requires many hours.

It is an time-consuming, labor-intensive, low-tech process.

  1. After the fruit is harvested from the Argan trees, the flesh of the fruit is removed to reveal the Argan nut.
  2. The nuts are opened using stones in order to remove the seeds.
  3. The seeds are put into a stone mill and crushed into a brown paste.
  4. The paste is hand mixed until it thickens and pressed by hand to extract the oil.

The extracted oil is cold-pressed leaving all the beneficial nutrients intact.

How is Argan oil used?

Here are 12 ways you can use Argan oil [4]:

How should Argan oil be stored?

Argan oil should be stored in a dark colored glass bottle, because light breaks down Argan oil's best properties. The darker the bottle color, the better.

You should keep the bottle(s) out of direct sunlight and sealed tight.

5 things to consider before buying a bottle of Argan oil

Here are five things to consider before buying a bottle of Argan oil of a particular brand:

  1. The Ingredients: When you look at the label of the bottle it should only say “100% argan oil” or “100% argania spinosa kernel oil”. If anything else is listed then it's not pure and has mostly been over processed in some form.
  2. The Price: It takes a significant numbers of hours to produce just a small batch of Argan oil, and therefore you should expect to pay a minimum of $25 for a 100 milliliter bottle. It's an extremely labor-intensive low-tech process, so there is no such thing as cheap Argan oil.
  3. The Smell: Moroccan produced cold-pressed organic Argan oil has a mild nutty scent. You should avoid anything with a strong smell and be equally suspicious of odorless oils, since these have almost certainly been heated during the production process.
  4. The Results: 100% pure Argan oil should be smooth and silky and should be quickly absorbed into your skin and hair in just a few minutes, it should not sting and it also should not leave any greasy or sticky residue. With real pure Argan oil you should start to feel the benefits for your skin and hair in a matter of days.

Maybe you're also interested in:

Argan oil reviews for hair and skin (videos)

Argan oil benefits for hair

Top 12 Argan oil benefits and uses for skin, hair and nails

The difference between cosmetic and culinary Argan oil

Frequently asked questions about Argan oil

Why men should use Argan oil


Wikipedia: Argan oil

Wikipedia: Argania

Nih: Ethnobotanic, Ethnopharmacologic Aspects and New Phytochemical Insights into Moroccan Argan Fruits

DrDraxe: Top 12 Argan Oil Benefits for Skin & Hair