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The Arabian A-Z Directory: “A” is for Argan Oil

Argan oil has been praised by the likes contemporary beauties such as Selena Gomez and Salma Hayek—both are known to use it generously as an integral part of their daily skin and haircare routines. The beauty benefits of argan oil are no secret to Arab women. Go to Morocco, and you’ll see the beauty elixir displayed end to end in the alleyways of souks and glistening in the windows of corner shops.

Extracted from nuts from argan trees that are endemic to Morocco, argan oil is a natural powerhouse when it comes to beauty. Dubbed “liquid gold,” due to its deep yellow color and wide-range of benefits, argan oil is a treasured ingredient in our region and the world. Its proven effects include anti-aging, hair boosting, and medicinal. The beauty elixir is loaded with Vitamin E, fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory properties that help treat scars, acne, and eczema. Deeply moisturizing, the cold-pressed oil absorbs fast into skin to help smooth out wrinkles and supercharge a dull complexion. It can also be slathered on as a nourishing hair mask to breath life back into lackluster locks. The multi-tasking ingredient can also prolong the lifespan of your coveted beauty products. “I apply a drop of argan oil to my gel eyeliners and eyebrow pots if the product gets too dried up,” revealed co-founder of cult Kuwaiti boutique Apotheca Beauty, Nora Al Ramadhan. “I always mix a drop of argan oil with my cream contour kits to allow for easier blending on the skin,” she added, citing the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Instant Miracle Mask as her favorite argan-infused product.

There are two ways in which the potent oil can be produced: The first includes cracking the nuts open using stones and then grounding the fruit into a thick paste from which the oil is extracted. The second method involves reducing them into a cooking oil by cold-press.

The benefits of argan oil go beyond beauty, too. Women’s cooperatives can be found across the Southwestern Sous Valley (where the argan trees grow). These coops have improved the welfare of Berber women by inviting them to provide for their families via the production of argan oil.

Here, the top argan-infused formulas to shop.

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