Cosmetic Argan oil: Liquid gold

The Argan tree (Argania Spinosa) grows exclusively in Morocco, in some of the harshest environments on earth, and can flourish up to 200 years. As a rare and endangered species, the argan forest was declared an International Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998.

Intrigued by this mysterious phenomenon, the ancient locals started investigating, and concluded that the secret of the tree’s survival lies in its fruit. A tree can produce up to 8 kg of fruit per year, i.e. an average of 128,000 tonnes per year for all the Moroccan argan trees.

Argan oil, cosmetic or culinary, is made from the kernel found inside the argan tree fruit, native to south-west Morocco, primarily a Berber region. Women crack open the argan nut between stones to extract the kernel, which is then cold pressed. It has been nicknamed ‘liquid gold’.

ARGATLAS offers two range of argan oil: Cosmetic Argan oil or Culinary Argan oil.

Extraction Process of Argan Oil:

The oil extraction is a 4 stage process:

  1. Selecting the fruit: Between June and August, the women harvest and gather the fruit by hand. This fruit is dried for several weeks in the sun by spreading the fruit on the rooves of mud-brick houses.
  2. Cracking the nuts: Crushing Argan nuts to obtain Argan kernels (seeds). The nuts are crushed between two stones BY HAND!
  3. Grinding the kernel: at ARGATLAS, we use our method of choice, through a process known as cold press, slowly extracting the oil from the kernel, to best preserve the oil’s natural medicinal properties.
  4. Filtration: this process is one of the most guarded secrets at ARGATLAS, and has been passed down from one generation to another.

The process of creating argan oil is resource, labor, and time intensive: in one working day, a woman can produce from 1 to 1.5 kg of seeds. 100 kg of ripe fruit will become 60 kg of dry fruit: 30 kg of dry pulp and 30 kg of nuts. Of the 30 kg of nuts, only 3 kg of seeds will be extracted. That 3 kg of seed will provide around 1 liter of oil after cold pressing.


Fatty composition of argan oil
Saturated fatty acids

Palmitic acid

Stearic acid

16–20 %



Moro unsaturated fatty acids

Oleic acid



Poly unsaturated fatty acids

Linoleic acid

Alpha linoleic acid