From the tree (argania spinosa l.)
At NueBar we use a plethora of ethical, sustainably sourced ingredients in our products that have been chosen to do a job and do it well. As you will see, Argan Oil has an amazing story, not only is the oil super nourishing, the trees play an important role in preventing desertification and the production of the oil empowers local Moroccan women in business.
NueBar uses Certified Organic Argan Oil in our ‘Pink’ products – the Shampoo for Dry/Damaged hair and the Face Wash for Dry/Mature skin.
Historians have traced the production and trade of Argan Oil back to 1500BCE by the Phoenicians who used it both cosmetically and as food and medicine. The method for cultivating and producing Argan Oil has remained relatively unchanged throughout its recorded history, until only recently where oil collection has been mechanised.
Argan Oil comes from the nut of the Arganisa Spinosa tree and is an important part of the culture of the Amazigh people (Berbers) of Morocco, who use it for cooking, dipping and skincare.
The extraction of the oil from the nuts has always been considered ‘women’s work’ in the Berber culture.
This has led, with the help of UNESCO, to the Argan oil industry being owned and run by Berber Woman’s cooperatives, with all of the benefits flowing back to the local community via these women.
This single industry has been responsible for helping large numbers of Moroccan women gain financial independence, lifting them out of poverty and offering all
of the benefits that flow with self-empowerment.
A good news environment story
Argan trees are native to Morocco and this is the only place they grow endemically. They are slow-growing, spiny and can have a lifespan exceeding 200 years.
Their large canopy provides shade and deep root systems make them highly resistant to drought. These factors mean that Argan groves play a valuable role in providing protection against soil erosion and desertification.
However back in the eighties and nineties, the groves were at risk due to increased tourism, other land demands and the use of the trees as wood fuel. To counter this, in 1996 the Argan Oil industry was organised into Berber women’s cooperatives to ensure that the benefits of cultivation went back to the local community and the region was declared a 2,560,000-hectare bio reserve under UNESCO’s ‘Man and his Biosphere’ program (I know, ironic name right).
Research was also done into the phytochemical analysis of the oil and extraction was mechanised. All in all these measures meant that the region’s sustainability and the protection of the vital green band of Argan trees was assured.
A truly good news environment and economic story and one that we can learn a lot from as we look at new and better ways of managing the Earth’s environment.
Restoring hydration in the hair and skin
Argan Oil contains a blend of linoleic and oleic fatty acids, tocopherols (Vitamin E) and a plethora of organic plant compounds that can improve skin hydration by restoring barrier function and maintaining the water-holding capacity of the skin as well as protecting the skin and hair from the adverse effects of free radicals - the main cause of premature ageing.
‘The levels of tocopherols (Vitamin E) found in Argan Oil are four times higher than that found in Olive Oil.’ - American Journal of Food Technology 2 (2007)
Uv protection and anti-inflammatory properties
This golden oil also contains saponins – which provide skin softening, emollient and anti-inflammatory properties. Alongside saponins, Argan Oil contains ferulic acid. This plant compound helps to absorb UV light and therefore provides some protection against the sun. When working alongside the high Vitamin E and carotenoid content of the oil, the ferulic acid provides 8 times the level of sun protection than it would working alone.
Restoration of coloured and dyed hair
Argan Oil has also been shown to reduce the loss of protein in the hair after applying colouring and dyes. Hair dye and colouring chemicals open the cuticle of the hair so that colours are more easily absorbed into the cortex. As a result, the softness and brightness of hair can be reduced and the hair becomes more difficult to comb. Hair fibers are constituted mainly of protein and research has shown that Argan Oil lowers the amount of protein loss in the hair cuticle experienced after colouring, more so than other oils tested.
In addition to antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin E, Argan Oil also contains squalene, a lipid-soluble, nutrient-rich antioxidant oil that can anchor itself to cell membranes. Squalene is involved in cell growth and development and it penetrates more deeply than most other oils. It has been shown to positively affect mature and rosacea skin and is a natural bactericide, antioxidant, and healing agent.
For body and planet
The combination of powerful beneficial properties to the skin and hair and an environmentally and socially positive production story made Argan Oil a natural for inclusion in NueBar products, where we really try to live up to our motto – for Body and Planet.
- Charrouf, Z., & Guillaume, D. (2018, February 20). The Argan Oil project: going from utopia to reality in 20 years. Retrieved from https://www.ocl-journal.org/articles/ocl/full_html/2018/02/ocl170051/ocl170051.html
- Perry, W., Rappe, O., Boulhaoua, A., Loux, L. H., Elhouss, Y., Ahssain, H. A., … Hraïd, S. (2018). Argan oil and the question of empowerment in rural Morocco. The Journal of North African Studies, 24(5), 830–859. doi: 10.1080/13629387.2018.1542596
- Moroccan Argan Oil. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.alexanderroberts.com/blogs/blog/january-2017/moroccan-argan-oil.aspx
- Monfalouti, H. E., Guillaume, D., Denhez, C., & Charrouf, Z. (2010, November 4). Therapeutic potential of argan oil: a review. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.2042-7158.2010.01190.x
- Boucetta, K. Q., Charrouf, Z., Derouiche, A., Rahali, Y., & Bensouda, Y. (2014, October). Skin hydration in postmenopausal women: Argan Oil benefit with oral and/or topical use. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4520377/
- Markham, H. (2014). Dry Skin Care Solutions: 21 Completely Natural Remedies for Achieving Healthy and Radiant Skin. S.l.: Lulu.com.
- (PDF) Hair Protective Effect of Argan Oil ( Argania ... (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273687487_Hair_Protective_Effect_of_Argan_Oil_Argania_spinosa_Kernel_Oil_and_Cupuassu_Butter_Theobroma_grandiflorum_Seed_Butter_Post_Treatment_with_Hair_Dye
- Argan Oil: Miracle Ingredient? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.happi.com/issues/2012-06/view_features/argan-oil-miracle-ingredient/
- Chelsea. (2019, October 20). 3 Ways Argon Oil Makes an Impact. Retrieved from https://lwpb.net/argan-oil-environmental-social-impacts/