16 Warning Signs to Watch Out for When Buying or Storing Argan Oil
In recent years, argan oil has emerged as a highly priced oil due its numerous benefits for the skin, face, hair and overall health. It has been referred to as the world’s “liquid gold” because it is considered valuable. Argan oil is rare since it is essentially produced in just one part of the world; however, due to its growing popularity, argan oil is one of the most highly demanded fruit oils today.
Yes, argan oil comes from a fruit. More specifically, the stones or seeds from the argan fruit. The argan tree is almost exclusively found in southwest Morocco. However, Cropwatch reports that this tree can also be found in southeast Algeria to some extent.
A sole member of the Sapotaceae family of plants, the argan tree is not inter-tropical. It also goes by the name argania spinosa and is said to be a slow-growing tree that is capable of reaching up to 250 years of age and can grow as high as 10 meters. Meanwhile, its deep roots allow the argan tree to retain water in order to withstand extremely high temperatures in the dessert. Moreover, it has also been effective against soil erosion.
The argan tree is so precious that in 1998, UNICEF decided to declare the argan forest in Morocco as a Biosphere Reserve. This covers about 8,280 square kilometers of land. Here, rural women maintain the traditional methods of tree cultivation, fruit harvesting and trying, oil extraction and the age-old preparation of recipes, as well as selling the derived products. Young daughters learn about the argan tradition at a young age.
In this part of the world, argan oil is given as a gift during weddings. Not only that, the oil is a prominent part of a host of festive dishes prepared here. Every day, families who live in the area of the argan Biosphere Reserve enjoy dipping their bread in a bit of argan oil for breakfast.
Sometimes, it is also used to make amlou, a rich Moroccan dip made of argan oil, toasted almonds and honey. At the same time, they also typically drizzle some argan oil on their couscous and pasta.
The extraction of precious oil from the argan fruit is mainly done by local cooperatives composed mostly of women. According to Alternative Medicine Review’sDom Guillaume and Zoubida Charrouf, argan oil is a significant source of revenue, especially in one of the poorest parts of Morocco. This is why Amazigh women or argan forest native women work to ensure they harvest the oil responsibly and sustainably.
In the past, the process of harvesting oil from the argan fruit seed has been rather tedious. It was a multi-step process that started with fruit drying, followed by hand malaxing, a process that only extracted a yield of up to 35 percent. Later on, this extraction method was discontinued and replaced with electric screw presses, which are capable of producing a yield of up to 60 percent.
More importantly, the modern methods of extracting argan oil allowed for a large scale production of it without having to degrade the quality of virgin argan oil. This is especially important as the quality of the oil affects its cosmetic and nutritional properties.
Argan oil is celebrated by many people all around the world because it is a natural wonder for the health, hair, nails and skin. Its benefits are practically endless. Many individuals swear by its ability to keep you feeling good and looking young.
On the skin, argan oil is considered a topical miracle. It is an oil that is effective against a number of skin problems, including acne, wrinkles, eczema, dry skin, joint pain and skin inflammation. Moreover, Dr. Josh Axe says argan oil also helps make stretch marks, razor bumps and razor burns disappear. At the same time, you can use the oil as a skin exfoliator or skin toner.
On the face, argan oil has been shown to be effective in treating oily facial skin, because it regulates sebum activity. This was proven in arecent study involving 20 volunteers from 17 to 50 who had oily skin. They were asked to apply a facial cream with argan oil to their faces twice a day for four weeks. After the treatment period, they found that the participants had a reduction in the greasiness of their faces, as well as a smoother appearance.
On the hair, argan oil is amazing against dandruff, split ends, frizz, fly-aways and dryness. It is also effective against hair fall and even promotes hair growth on your scalp. For best results, beauty experts recommend using argan oil as an overnight deep conditioning treatment twice a week.
On the nails, argan oil is also effective against cuticles. Just massage them onto each nail bed and leave it on for a while before rinsing it off thoroughly. Meanwhile, you can also soothe cracked heels and dry feet by rubbing argan oil all over them. For best results, cover your feet with socks and leave them on overnight, or for at least 20 minutes. This will reduce the cracks and fully moisturize your feet.
On the other hand, argan oil is not just for your skin. Another type of argan oil is culinary argan oil. This type of oil is different from the type you use on your skin because they toast the argan nuts before producing it. With a slightly nutty flavor, it can be quite the culinary wonder. Argan oil has a hazelnut taste that is not strong. Not only that, but making it part of your daily diet means you’re making your body a whole lot healthier too.
Argan oil is known to be naturally effective in stabilizing your blood sugar and insulin levels, reducing your chances of developing diabetes. Moreover, it promotes good digestion by increasing pepsin in your body. At the same time, argan oil is said to help stimulate your nervous system; therefore, it improves brain capacity. It is also a natural calmer that can reduce hypertensive tendencies.
For the elderly, argan oil is able to reduce joint and rheumatism pain. Moreover, it also helps keep your cholesterol level in check by increasing your HDL or the good cholesterol, while lowering your body’s harmful triglyceride levels.
At the same time, argan oil has also been shown to be effective against cancer. Since this oil has remarkable antioxidant properties, it can effectively repair any cellular damage in your body, preventing cancer cells from growing. Furthermore, studies have also found that argan oil can reduce the rate of cell division of prostate cancer.
Argan oil has so many benefits that consumers nowadays simply want to be able to stock some of it in their homes. What they often don’t know, however, is that proper precaution must be taken when buying and storing this kind of oil. Here’s a look at what to watch out for when it comes to argan oil:
1. Know the right type of argan oil that you need.
Before you start buying argan oil, make sure you are choosing the right kind. What you need largely depends on whether you intend to put the oil in your food or apply it on your skin and hair.
Generally, there are said to be three types of argan oil:
- Edible Virgin Argan Oil: There’s the edible virgin argan oil that is extracted from slightly roasted kernels. This kind of argan oil presents the familiar slight hazelnut taste this oil is known for. The edible form or virgin argan oil can be kept at a temperature of 25°C for two years.
- Beauty Virgin Argan Oil: Meanwhile, the beauty virgin argan oil is prepared from unroasted kernels and is therefore flavorless. Unlike the edible type, this kind of argan oil only keeps for three to four months.
- Cosmetic Argan Oil: On the other hand, there is also what is referred to as a cosmetic argan oil. This typically industrially prepared in Europe. This kind of argan oil is extracted through a solvent extraction process involving imported kernels. Cosmetic argan oil is mainly supplied for use in shampoos, moisturizers and a number of other cosmetic products.
2. Pay careful attention to oil color.
Color is one of the best ways to determine the type of argan oil you have and its pureness. The three types are as follows:
- Edible Argan Oil: Copper in color.
- Beauty Virgin Argan Oil: More golden in appearance.
- Cosmetic Argan Oil: Tends to appear yellowish in color.
A bottle of argan oil that looks different from its typical color and appearance means that it has been mixed with other oils. This might not be safe, especially if you are looking to add drops of argan oil into a dish. At the same time, using an argan oil mixed with others oil in your skin might result in allergies and other harmful skin reactions.
3. Do a scent test.
When buying argan oil for cooking or treating your skin, you have to remember that only the culinary grade of argan oil has an aroma. This is distinctively nutty, not rancid or overly sweet.
Meanwhile, beauty grade argan oil should hardly have any smell. If you end up encountering a bottle of argan oil for the skin that is quite fragrant, you might want to skip it. Chances are, that argan oil is not pure. Moreover, chemicals may have already been added to it, robbing the oil of its natural benefits.
4. Look closely at the color of the bottle.
The bottle has a lot to do with making sure your argan oil stays fresh for use before it expires. Believe it or not, you can decide whether to buy a bottle of this highly priced oil buy studying the color of its bottle carefully.
The best way to store argan oil is to keep it in a dark spot. When it comes to bottles for this kind of oil, the main rule is the darker the better. This is because exposure to light will end up breaking down nutritional and skin properties present in the oil.
When you go shopping for argan oil, make sure to buy the type that comes in a dark colored glass bottle, such as cobalt blue or amber. This way, sunlight cannot hit the precious oil directly, allowing it to last longer and keep better.
5. Take note of how the oil has been packaged.
As much as the color of the bottle is important, you should also pay special attention to the way the argan oil has been packaged. It is especially not a good idea to have argan oil stored in plastic.
According to T?ne Pure, plastic has a tendency to deteriorate the natural benefits present in the oil. This is why it is more preferred to store argan oil in dark bottles and kept away from the light.
6. Study the ingredient list.
Whenever you’re buying argan oil for kitchen or skin care use, make sure to pay special attention to the ingredients list. Ideally, you only want to see one ingredient on the label and that is either 100 percent argan oil or 100 percent argania spinosa kernel Oil.
Argan oil bottles with other ingredients on the label may mean there is actually less of the oil you are trying to get benefits from and more of other ingredients that are just serving as product fillers. Moreover, having other ingredients present may mean that the nutritional and health benefits of that particular bottle of argan oil is already degraded.
7. Test the oil for skin feel.
When you’re buying argan oil for your skin, it is highly recommended that you pay special attention to the oil’s texture. True argan oil feels smooth and silky. Moreover, it would also disappear into your skin as it is absorbed.
Argan oil should not feel sticky, watery or slimy. If it does, it could indicate that this particular oil was extracted using solvent and high heat. Unfortunately, the solvent can no longer be removed from the oil.
Another possibility is that the oil was extracted from a batch of damaged, inferior or aged kernels. Either way, the health and skin benefits from a bad bottle of argan oil may already be compromised, as well.
Furthermore, applying argan oil on your skin should not feel stingy in any way. This oil has been regarded as highly safe for use by all individuals. So far, the only side effect reported regarding argan oil is a single case of anaphylaxis due to a severe allergic reaction. Nonetheless, consult with a doctor to find out if you have sensitivity to argan oil.
8. Look for sediment in the oil.
When it comes to pure, authentic argan oil, the appearance of sediments is a good thing. It means the oil that you have is full of benefits and not at all fake. According to Saadia Organics, argan oil that has some sediments in them is completely safe. Moreover, it also normal for this kind of oil to have a bit of a cloudy appearance.
On the other hand, a bottle of argan oil without a single trace of sediment in it is a cause for concern. This may mean that the oil has already been refined too much. If this is the case, there is a good chance that the benefits of this oil have become degraded, too. On the other hand, it can also indicate that the argan oil in the bottle is fake.
9. Consider the price.
You have to remember that argan oil is not easy to harvest and readily available. At the same time, it is also quite laborious to extract. In this case, you cannot expect to be able to buy a two-ounce or 60 ml bottle of argan oil for a mere $10.
When looking for real argan oil, the price of the bottle is a good indication that you have a genuine product in your hands. In other words, be prepared to splurge a little. Argan oil never comes with a low price tag.
10. Study the source.
Remember, argan oil can only be extracted from the argan trees of Morocco or Algeria. If the bottle reveals a completely different place of origin, it’s more than likely that the bottle of oil you’re holding is not the real deal.
11. Look closely at the label for quality and product certification.
Argan oil is a precious commodity and a company called Ecocert has taken steps to ensure that customers can be assured of a premium quality oil in every bottle. In fact, an Ecocert certification ensures that the bottle of argan oil you have is organic and therefore, very safe for use.
This is because Ecocert is an environmentally conscious organization that specialize in issuing certifications for natural and organic products and manufacturing processes. These include organic farming; natural and organic cosmetics; natural and organic textiles, as well as natural detergents and natural detergents made with organic.
At the same time, the company also has a consulting group of engineers and technicians that teach and encourage quality and sustainable development practices for every single industry.
On the other hand, it’s also a good idea to always look for the words, “100 Percent Pure” and “Made in Morocco” when buying argan oil.
12. Don’t buy argan oil in large bottles.
When you are just getting started with using argan oil for your skin and meals, it’s best to opt for smaller bottles at first. After all, there is no need to invest in big bottles of cold pressed argan oil until you have a good idea how long it will take you to consume a small bottle.
Using up a bottle of argan oil between six to eight months allows you to get the most health and skin benefits from this precious liquid gold. If a big bottle will end up staying in your storage for far longer than that, you may end up not be getting optimal benefits from argan oil anymore.
When it comes to argan oil, it is more advisable to buy it in small bottles, so you don’t end up wasting a single drop of it. After all, this oil does not come inexpensively. It’s better to buy small and buy often than to store and not know your bottle of argan oil is no longer good for use.
13. Remember, argan oil doesn’t like the light.
Like a good bottle of wine, argan oil simply doesn’t do well in the light. Keep your bottles out of direct sunshine, so that the oil’s integrity and benefits will not deteriorate. When you are not using the oil, make sure to seal the bottle tightly, too.
14. Take note of the expiration date.
Like everything else, argan oil also has a shelf life and since it is an organic product, it has a relatively short one. Make sure to only buy enough argan oil that you can readily consume before the product expires. Otherwise, it would just be a waste of liquid gold.
15. Avoid deodorized argan oil.
Deodorized argan oil is pretty much synonymous to adulterated argan oil. This is because deodorizing the oil means putting the argan oil through heating and deodorization process that damages its natural properties. In fact, heating argan oil at a high temperature of 375 to 400 degrees will break down its best properties.
At the same time, it is also possible that chemical solvents have been used to extract the oil from Argan kernels. Hence, deodorized argan oil is quite unnatural and unbeneficial. At the same time, it also removes the oil’s unique scent.
16. Beware of argan oil fakes.
Look closely at the label on the bottle before you decide to buy your argan oil. Some companies may try to come up with a product name with the word “argan” in it just to give customers the impression that there is argan oil in the bottle. Oftentimes, however, it is just a mere marketing ploy.
Stay clear of schemes like this. Study the bottle, especially its ingredient list. Remember, a good bottle of argan oil will list argan oil as its sole ingredient.
Argan oil is exceptionally beneficial for your skin, face and overall health. However, good argan oil is sometimes hard to find due to over processing and poor storage. Make sure you take note of these tips to make sure you get the best argan oil your money can buy.