Moroccan argan oil is produced by Berber women in the Agadir region of Morocco. The women are part of cooperatives, women run and owned businesses. These cooperatives serve to protect the rights of the women by controlling wages, working hours and working conditions, as well as provide the women with education and healthcare. Argan Oil Morocco comes from southwest Morocco from the nut of the argan tree (argania spinosa). Argan trees grow in semi-arid, dessert like environments and live for over 200 years. They are endangered species and only grow in Morocco. The women in the cooperatives pick the argan fruit, let it dry in the sun, and then remove the argan nut. Once they have removed the argan nut, they crack the outer shell and remove the small kernal that is inside. This small kernal is what provides the Moroccan argan oil.
Argan oil can be cold pressed by machine or by hand. Machine pressed is preferable because there is less argan kernal waste, there are no added ingredients during the process, and the Moroccan argan oil is purer. When argan oil is pressed by hand, it is mixed with local, non-purified water. The water is necessary when pressed by hand because it stimulates the oil to release from the argan nuts. Most hand pressed argan oil smell very pungent because they expire very quickly. (three months maximum). You want to stay away from argan oil products that contain pungent smells and fell greasy. A strong smelling or greasy feeling argan oil indicates that it is expired, not pure, or has been pressed by hand.