With Argan Oil gaining in popularity, there are a lot of products popping up on the internet and even in stores claiming to be "Pure Argan Oil.” So here are a couple things to keep in mind when purchasing argan oil.
The only ingredient should be ARGANIA SPINOSA (ARGAN) KERNEL OIL.
2. The bottle
Argan Oil should only be kept in amber, colbalt blue, or any other dark glass bottle. Never plastic or clear glass bottles, both can make the oil deteriorate and naturally breaks down the oil's best properties.
Argan Oil is very difficult and time consuming to make. There are 2 factors that determine the production cost of Argan Oil.
It takes an individual tree 15-20 year to grow large enough to produce fruit. The best way to harvest is when the fruit is ripe, it will fall from the tree. The fruit can then be picked up off the ground for peeling, and the pits on the inside can be cracked to release the oil-producing kernels. This requires hours of manual labour that does not come free. To break it down even more it takes 30kg of argan fruit to produce 1 litre of argan oil. A healthy argan tree can produce anywhere from 10kg-150kg of fruit per year. This means for each tree, there is approximately 0.3 litres- 5 litres of Argan Oil produced per year.
-Processing and filtering
Before machines became a possibility, all Argan Oil was extracted by hand, through hours of grinding and pressing the kernels from the pit of the Argan fruit. This produced Argan Oil that was thicker, richer, and aromatic. However, it also took an average of 14 hours to produce 1 litre of oil. Not including the time it takes to harvest the fruit.
As technology advanced, so did Argan Oil production methods. Today, chemical solvents and machines have almost completely replaced traditional production methods. So what is the difference between using chemical solvents, machine pressing using heat, and cold-pressing the oil? The use of chemical solvents is very helpful to the manufacturer as an extraction method. It produces the highest yield (it recovers generally 99% of the oil from the kernels). However, the chemical used in extraction is hexane, which causes adverse health effects. Because of this, to rid the oil of hexane after extraction, extreme heat is used. The oil is then refined and deodorized at a temperature over 200 degrees C (392 degrees F). Due to this the oil will still contain undesirable solvent residue, while many main nutrients such as vitamin E (polyphenols) are greatly reduced.
The other method is machine pressing the kernels and then filtering the oil using heat. This results in clearer oil with little to no smell. The yield is high, recovering anywhere from 75%-85% of the oil from the seeds. This process heats the oil anywhere between 130 degrees C to 250 degrees C (194 - 482 degrees F). Which cause a decrease in key nutrients in the oil. Gamma Tocopherol, the most active antioxidant in Argan Oil will actually drop by more than 20% if the oil is even slightly heated.
Cold-pressed oil is extracted by hydraulic machines or by hand, although this produces some heat through friction, the temperature does not rise above 49 degrees C (120 F), which is the temperature for any oil to be considered cold-pressed. The oil is then put through a simple paper filtering system to remove sediment and impurities. Even though cold-pressing is more expensive and time consuming for the manufacture it ensures that the proteins, antioxidants, minerals, phosphatides, and vitamin E remain intact to the argan oil.
After reading this I hope you have a deeper understanding of the work that goes into making Argan Oil. There is just no such thing as cheap 100% Pure Argan Oil. $10 for 2 ounces/60 ml is a nice thought but is not realistic. Even though you can find argan oil for this price, it is guaranteed to be diluted, heavily processed, harvested inccorectly, and missing more than half of its nutrients. At Oliver Simon our Argan Oil is harvested correctly, Cold-pressed using hydraulics, and paper filtered. Ensuring that you get the best quality 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil.
Argan Oil should not have any fragrant smell, like perfume, body spray, or a floral scent. It should not smell so delicious you want to eat it. This is most likely Argan Oil intended for culinary use. The Argan kernels for this type of oil have been toasted first. Which means great things for your salad, but it won't give you the results you want on your skin and hair. If your agran oil smells like absolutely nothing. It could be entirely fake, or diluted. Many brands put their Argan Oil through damaging deodorization processes because consumers are not used to the natural smell.
Genuine, raw, cosmetic-grade Argan Oil can smell unique to the uninitiated nose. Most say it smells 'nutty'. Some people think it smells like popcorn others think it smells like rubber bands. The general scent should be a little nutty and odd. The scent might be the hardest thing to adapt to but after application the scent should go away within minutes. After a couple uses you become accustomed to smell. Using Oliver Simon Argan Oil for the past 2 years I have fallen in love with the smell. One thing to keep in mind is the scent of cold-pressed Argan Oil varies from batch to batch. Sometimes the scent is lighter and sometimes it is heavier. In my experience, the smell varies with the seasons.
5. The texture
Argan Oil should be smooth and silky. Disappearing into your skin. It should not feel slimy, sticky or watery. It should not sting. Even on sensitive skin, burns, and skin ailments 100% Pure Argan Oil will always cause a soothing effect, not a painful one.
6. The sediment and color
Authentic Argan Oil sometimes has a tiny bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. The highly refined or fake oil will not have this sediment and will look very clear with no color. However at Oliver Simon we do use a very simple paper filtering to remove as much sediment as possible. Some of our bottles may have a little if any sediment. Our oil is a light yellow in color.