Do You Know Your Argan Oil?
Argan oil is a staple in most beauty products that are based on natural ingredients. It is used for a myriad of reasons and has many benefits. But, not all argan oil is produced the same. Some argan oil harvesting can harm the ecosystem and it can also have ethical concerns. In this article, we’ll look at the importance of argan oil in a natural beauty routine and how to choose the right argan oil that is sustainable and ethical!
Argan Oil Benefits
This beautiful oil is the product of Morocco and has been a dietary staple for hundreds of years. Word has spread and now it is being used around the world for health and beauty purposes.
It is full of healthy fatty acids, similar to that of olive oil, and is also rich in Vitamin E, an antioxidant compound that is essential for the health of your hair, skin, and nails.
In addition to its antioxidant qualities, it also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent when consumed or applied to the skin. Signs of inflammation on your skin can be easily remedied with high-quality argan oil.
It has anti-aging effects when consumed or applied to the skin by reducing oxidative stress, which is a leading factor in the appearance of ageing. Skin elasticity and hydration are improved drastically with the application of argan oil.
That hydration effect on your skin carries over to your hair as well, which is why you find argan oil in many hair products for moisturisation.
It has also been used as a natural remedy for common skin conditions like acne and stretch marks. Simply put, this naturally occurring compound is amazing and should be a staple in your beauty and wellness routine.
With the amazing qualities of this oil, it’s easy to search online and find the cheapest available oil to use. But, you should be wary of purchasing lower quality argan oil, as it can be harmful to your health, the environment, and the workers who harvest the argan itself!
Argan Oil Ecosystem
We all know the importance of choosing organic and naturally-occurring compounds whenever possible. Inorganic farms spray pesticides and fungicides to increase their yields.
Commercial industrialisation of argan has led to an increased chance of deforestation and the degradation of the ecosystem in the Moroccan hills where argan naturally thrives. Inorganic compounds leach into the soil and stay there for years. Those same harmful compounds make their way into cheap beauty products in concentrated amounts.
Remember, argan oil is the concentrated version of the naturally occurring oils in the argan tree. Through the concentration process, anything else present in the argan is also concentrated, like pesticides and fungicides. That’s why only purchasing organic argan oil is so important!
It’s imperative to only use argan oil that is sustainable and produced by those who don’t damage the trees when extracting the argan oil. After all, it can be extracted from fallen fruit, leaving the tree undamaged!
That doesn’t mean that all argan is produced this way, however. Unsustainable farming practices have led to cutting down hundreds of trees in the name of producing more oil to fill the rising demand at a cheaper cost.
If this pattern continues and consumers don’t buy sustainable argan oil, deforestation will be rampant and there won’t be much argan oil left to harvest at all!
Ethical Argan Oil
Many small farm operations are popping up all over Morocco to sell harvested argan oil. A lot of these are teams of women, but not all of them are paid fairly or use sustainable farming practices.
The best argan oil comes from companies who work with the local women and develop training programs to build sustainability in return for paying them fair wages that can support their households.
Here at KNature Care, that’s exactly how we started our business. After sourcing a community-led farm in the Moroccan hills, we knew we had to deliver this wholesome and ethical beauty product to the world!
There are plenty of other examples of women-led businesses supporting women-led farming of argan as well. These are the most ethical brands of argan to use, and most of them are small businesses that help build local economies instead of supporting worldwide conglomerates.
Larger corporations are known for trying to sway the locals into producing more argan oil at a lower quality to fill their rising demands. But these companies don’t care about the treatment of those farmers, your health, or the ecosystem that surrounds argan trees. They only care about the bottom line and increasing their profit margins!
How To Choose The Right Argan Oil
Don’t just pick the cheapest one on the shelf. Examine the companies that are selling the argan oil and ensure that the oil is organic. Settling for inorganic argan oil sacrifices your health and contributes to unsustainable farming practices.
Next, find out the backstory of the company and see how they source their argan oil. If they aren’t upfront with it, like we are here at KNature Care, chances are that their sources are unethical and unsustainable!
Argan oil will continue to grow in popularity due to its many uses and the possibility of being ethical and sustainable. Making the right choice may cost you a few more dollars, but you are contributing more to the environment, your own health, and the ethical treatment of women-led farming operations that harvest argan oil!