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Our Argan Story & The Women of Al Amal Cooperative

Our Argan Story & The Women of Al Amal Cooperative

Complex, divine, radiant — Argan Oil is a dream ingredient to nourish and support all skin and all ages. Our certified organic argan is harvested, pressed, and traditionally handcrafted by the women of the Al Amal Co-operative in Morocco.


“Argan is amazing for all skin types, and it is right in line with what my skin care goals are: plumping, softening, adding dewiness and luminosity to my skin, overall brightening and helping with some hyperpigmentation. I can have every serum lined up and this is the one I’ll grab the most. I love the way it smells and its silky texture. I honestly think that everyone should have this in their arsenal.”

- Jennifer Bertrand, evanhealy Esthetician


Argan + The Skin

 

  • Cultivates skin that is smooth, dewy, luminous, strong and clear.

  • An exceptional moisturizer - plumps, softens, smoothes, calms and nourishes the skin.

  • Minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

     

    Argan

     

    Among the many constituents contained within argan oil, the following are found in great abundance:

     

    Vitamin E

    Argan contains various forms of tocopherol (vitamin E), and is highest in gamma-tocopherol. This fat-soluble vitamin is a powerful antioxidant, smoothing, softening, toning and beautifying skin.

     

    Sterols

    Phytosterols support the skin’s protective barrier and help maintain healthy elasticity.

     

    Squalene

    This compound is deeply softening, a sublime skin moisturizer and antioxidant.

     

    Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

    Argan is especially high in Linoleic (omega 6) and Oleic (omega 9) fatty acids - both essential for proper skin hydration and ideal for supporting the natural barrier function of the skin.


    From Seed to Skin.
    The Many Benefits of Argan Oil.

     

    Traditionally handcrafting argan oil is an incredibly labor-intensive process, but the difference in quality is worth every moment and every step it takes to create it.

     

     

    Argan fruit halved with the kernel inside

    The argan fruit is not fully ripe until it shrivels up and falls to the ground. The kernels inside are plump and juicy with oil.

     

    women collecting the fruit into baskets

    The women of Al Amal Co-operative collect each fallen fruit by hand. The flesh of the fruit is then removed and the seed inside is hand cracked with stone to reveal the small kernel within.

     

    grounding process

    The kernels are then slowly ground by stone then pressed, and filtered to remove all sediment and fiber.

     

    oil being pour into a bottle

    What remains is clear, glowing golden oil, smelling sweet and nutty. It takes each argan tree one year to produce just one liter of oil. Argan fruit is typically harvested between June and September. To ensure optimal freshness, the women at Al Amal store dried argan fruit and only make oil as needed throughout the year, rather than making one big batch.


    evanhealy Amazigh Argan Oil
    Amazigh - The Story of a People

    The hardy and resilient argan tree cannot be grown outside of its native habitat in the Atlas Mountains of North Africa. This praised golden oil is a traditional oil of the Amazigh, or Berber people, indigenous to the region.

    The name ‘Berber,’ meaning ‘foreigners’ was assigned to the Amazigh people by the Greeks and Arabs and is still used throughout Moroccan cities, but they self-identify as Amazigh (pronounced ah-mah-zeer), meaning ‘Free People.’ Morocco currently has the highest population of Amazigh in all of North Africa.

    In the modern era, Argan has become the main source of income for many Amazigh families, but it has actually been an integral part of Amazigh life for thousands of years. Before argan rose to fame in the western world, before it was mass produced, it was always hand-made by women. For their families, for their communities, for themselves. The Amazigh have used Argan as their primary dietary fat, and to protect their skin from the blazing North African sun. Now, it is also their economic deliverer.


    Protecting a Timeless Treasure

    Argan is a timeless treasure, now cherished on a global level.

    Over the last century, because of rapid population growth combined with a greater need for firewood and excessive grazing from goats, Argan tree population greatly dwindled, and thus the health of the Moroccan wilderness suffered.

    It is widely acknowledged just how important a role argan plays in retaining the health of the soil, supporting the rhythmic life and fertility of the ecosystem, and preventing desertification. Fortunately in recent years the world has slowly grown more aware of this threat and of Argan’s outstanding attributes. Today Morocco’s Argan forest is a UNESCO protected biosphere, meaning trees can no longer be cut without permission.

    Still, the world’s demand for argan is high, and there is no sign of slowing down. Like many therapeutic plant allies that rise to a certain level of popularity (extra virgin olive oil & lavender essential oil, for example), the Argan industry is subject to unethical working conditions, low wages, and quality-diminishing mass production. Much of this commodified Argan Oil is produced from open, oxidized seeds, or seeds eaten, digested and excreted by goats before being collected and pressed into oil. The seeds then have to be deodorized through extreme heat and refined to eliminate the odor — an intensive process that removes much of the nutrients and benefits, diminishes the integrity of the oil, and significantly reduces shelf life.


    Our Argan Oil Source:
    The Women of the Al Amal Co-operative

     

    We source all of our certified organic Argan Oil from the women of Al Amal Women’s Co-operative located in Ighrem, a small rural village at the foot of the Anti-Atlas mountains in the Tiznit province of Southwestern Morocco.

    Al Amal is made up of about 60 indigenous Amazigh, or Berber, women who hand harvest, press and traditionally craft the fruit of the Argan tree into the nourishing oil we use in many of our products.

    The co-operative was founded with the goal of guaranteeing fair and equal wages for all of its members while creating a co-operative community. Success of the co-operative has allowed for economic growth and access to educational and literacy opportunities for the women.

    Argan unites the power of women supporting women and creating beauty in the world.

    We are from different places, cultures and climates but still connected,” - Fatima, President of Al Amal Women’s Co-operative

    We are woven together with the golden thread of argan oil and a shared desire to empower and uplift.

     

    Products that Contain Argan Oil

     

    Argan products


    A ritual of grounding, self care and touch

     

    Illustration of HydroSoul and Serum

    After cleansing, apply several sprays of a HydroSoul of your choice. (We love pairing Argan Intensive Serum with Rose Geranium or Frankincense HydroSoul).

    Illustration of dropping the serum

    Next add 2 pumps of Argan Intensive Serum in your palm and add 5-7 sprays of HydroSoul.

    Illustration of pressing into your face

    Breathe in, press gently into your face, neck, around your ears, and even into your wrists to capture some of the beautiful Argan smell.

    Illustration of spraying of HydroSoul.

    Finish with several more sprays of HydroSoul.