Zoubida Charrouf and the Story Behind Morocco’s Argan Oil – CNN’s African Voices

CNN, African Voices, by Errol Barnett (March 10, 2014) — Zoubida Charrouf is a professor and research scientist in Morocco who wanted to save the argan tree forests, which are indigenous to Morocco and deeply rooted in the country’s culture and history, but were in danger of being squeezed out between the advances of rapid regional development and the encroachment of the vast Sahara desert.

With her research, Charrouf discovered that argan oil, with its unique cosmetic and culinary qualities, could be the key to both saving the argan tree and empowering rural Berber women who had little opportunity for employment or education. Until, that is, the passion of one professor unlocked the door to what is now a remarkable story of environmental success and women’s empowerment.

CNN’s Errol Barnett interviews Zoubida Charrouf, the mother of the argan oil revolution in Morocco, in a three-part series for African Voices:

 

Watch it here:

Part 1: Passion drives Moroccan professor

Part 2: Inside Morocco’s argan oil co-op

Part 3: The business of argan oil

5 ways to identify good quality argan oil

A little while ago I wrote a post about how to identify good quality argan oil. This is the follow up ….

1. It’s all in the argan nuts
in reality the argan nut is not a nut, its’ a fruit and the little thing that is pressed to extract the glorious oil is the kernel of the argan fruit.
Since the industry has gone rampant, some producers might use argan kernels that are old and mouldy.

2. These two lovely ladies.
You have probably seen this picture of these two lovely ladies working hard pressing argan oil. Many companies use this stock image and it appears like these two must be hand grinding and pressing argan oil for half of the world population!

Argane_oil_production

Companies want you to believe that the oil is hand pressed and that you are getting an exotic artisan product. The argan kernels might be cracked between two stones by hand, but pressing the oil is another ballgame. Back in the days,  the oil was extracted from the argan cake using water. Which was ok for life on the farm, as the oil only needed to be preserved for 3 months.

Adding water to argan oil makes it oxidise rapidly and deteriorate all the good components of the oil. It doesn’t sound as exotic, but once the argan kernels are cracked by hand, they are then pressed in special machines to extract the oil.

3. Deodorised
Watch out for this one! When argan oil is deodorised it goes through a steam and chemical treatment, which basically strips the argan oil of its wonderful qualities.

4. Light like a feather
Argan oil is the favourite product for the beauty industry as it can be included in skin and hair care products. It should be light as a feather and not leave a greasy residue.

5. Pure Argan oil
How do you know that what you are using is pure argan oil if it says it on the bottle? Well you don’t. You can only assume that it is. Unfortunately some oils on the market are mixed with inferior oils to maximise profit.

What makes Mira’s Hand argan oil different?
We are Moroccan ourselves and know the industry and the region very well. We work directly with our producers. Our argan oil is pressed for us every three months under a strict quality control system, is lab tested and packaged with the most care and flown out to Australia, not shipped, 3 days after pressing. We bring in only small batches of argan oil to secure the freshest and highest quality argan oil available on the international market.

FREE postage and handling!*

FREE-5

We changed our policy and are now offering FREE STANDARD POSTAGE AND HANDLING on all orders Australia wide!

Also, if your order is over $60, you will receive FREE EXPRESS POSTAGE AND HANDLING.

Order before 1pm and your order is posted out to you the same day.

Happy shopping!

*Australia only

Jamila

Moroccan beauty secrets unveiled

Ever wondered why everyone is talking about Moroccan women and their beauty secrets?

Fir centuries we have practiced the same body beauty regimen in the communal hammam bathhouses or in the privacy of our own bathroom.

You too can achieve healthy, glowing skin in 3 easy steps, 30 minutes, once a week.

To find out how, download your free booklet here.

What do you believe, hype or tradition?

I come from a country where women, rich and poor share the same beauty regime. Passed down from mother to daughter and in my case grandmother to daughter, recipes for beauty treatments consists mostly off natural and pure ingredients.

One essential ingredient is the versatile Argan Oil also known as Moroccan Oil or liquid gold because it only grows in the South Western region of Morocco, is very labour intensive to extract and the rarest of oils.

And so when I moved to beautiful Australia, I was surprised to see that none of these authentic, pure and natural ingredients were available. I quickly arranged for my family and friends to send them to me or stock up during my yearly travels to Morocco.

I am not surprised to see that there are an increasing number of products that attempt to harness the benefits of Argan Oil, given it’s wonderful and well established health benefits.

For those who seek out natural and authentic products to use on your skin, hair and nails, without nasty, unnecessary ingredients, it is worth paying attention and taking the time to read the ingredients on the label and understand what you are using before you put it on your skin, hair or nails.

Some commonly found ingredients in many products include Dimethicone & Cyclomethicone (silicone oils) and when Argan oil is added, it typically only makes up a very small amount (in volume) of the actual product.

On further investigation other ingredients you might find in some Argan based products include:

  • Cyclopentasiloxane – a binding agent for silicone oils
  • Dimethicone – derived from silica (a naturally occurring component of sand and quartz); emollient, water repellent, adds shine to skin and hair.
  • Cyclomethicone – a silicone oil used in hair and skin care products to impart shine and silkiness
  • Butylphenyl Methylpropional – a synthetic fragrance compound.

Argan Oil (Argania Spinosa) is often listed somewhere amongst this complex list of ingredients and in such small quantities one would have to the question that its benefits might be negligible.

If you want to experience the full benefits of Argan Oil in it’s pure form without exposing yourself to this cocktail of other chemicals or ingredients, then only use 100% Pure Argan Oil that Mira’s Hand offers.