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Argan Oil Morocco
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Tree of Life : The Beauty of Argan Oil

issue one : borrowed from before

I recently chatted to Dana Elemara, founder of Arganic and posed the idea about “borrowing from before.” Dana lets us in on her passion for the ancient traditions and the ongoing benefits of argan oil. Read her musings on the subject and get to know a little more about what drives her and her brand…

Inspired By The Past

“In an era where we are obsessed with innovation and, thanks to convenience think less for ourselves than we once had to, we need to go back…

When I think about nature and how the human body works, I am instantly humbled and always inspired. I fear that we are starting to forget where we came from and the value of what we can achieve without technology or props. Just because something was discovered or made a long time ago, it doesn’t mean that we can improve it, despite the information and tools we have access to today.

In fact, since we are living in an era where we are rushing into everything because we are able to ‘achieve’ so much in our life time, we are losing the thoroughness of the past. I trust older cook-books more than recent ones for example. This is why there is a need to go back and ‘borrow’ in order to progress. Even if we are just borrowing the methods of before.”

Argan Nut
Image credit © Rosa Frei


Argan oil is made from the fruit of the ancient Argan tree. It is known as the “tree of life” for the numerous gifts it gives the local people of Morocco.

The Argan tree is believed to date back to the Tertiary period. It is said that once upon a time, it covered much of North Africa, but due mainly to climate change and over-harvesting, it now exists only in South West Morocco.

Bare Essentials

My inspiration for Arganic stemmed from me being sick of seeing so many ‘products’ and things to ‘add’ to our lives that we really didn’t need, I linked that to greed and waste and kept thinking, gosh people are stepping too far ahead, why can’t we just get good quality, honest bare essentials that work?

This applied to fashion as well as beauty, and food. I couldn’t help but think that it’s because often business isn’t honest, and it’s much easier to hide things and cut corners when it’s all blended together or distracted by gimmicks. In this sense, I feel like selling ingredients is a sort of truth.

You can like argan oil or not, but you cannot argue the quality or relevance of the pure, nutrient dense, ancient raw material we are selling. 

Image by Rudolf Lehnert, 1904 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I cannot claim that I discovered this product, but I feel as though the only way I can represent it correctly is to understand where it came from and share that.

Using the gifts of nature in everyday beauty has always been a part of my life stemming from my Middle Eastern background.  Whether it is using lemon juice when at a picnic to clean hands (we eat lemon with everything) or using store cupboard essentials in beauty. It’s backwards yes, but it works.

I think that often the ancient things need to be tweaked a bit to suit today and how we have evolved. What we are aiming for with Arganic’s growth is ‘polishing’ classic gems. It’s important to give respect to where the inspiration came from and not undermine the people that have been using it for years. It helps when you live and breath what you are selling and relate to the values of those who have passed it on.”

A traditional processing plant

Traditionally, goats are allowed to climb argan trees and feed freely on the fruits. The kernels are then retrieved from the goat droppings. This makes it a considerably less labour-intensive solution for the extraction of the seeds.  Those Berbers have beauty and brains!

Jeremy Horner/Getty Images

Here are some of arganic’s favourite ways to use argan oil.

One simple, untainted ingredient… so many uses.

Hair: As a weekly hair mask (run a few drops of our oil through the ends of the hair 30 minutes before a shower, then shampoo and condition as usual). For extra dry hair, the oil can be left in.

Skin: Use as an anti-aging serum, for tighter and brighter skin, also can be used as an acne treatment.

Skin Conditions: Treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Body: Body moisturiser to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, scars and to heal new tattoos. Leaves the skin feeling soft and supple.

Sunshine: To prolong a sun tan or soothe sun burn.

Shaving: As a post hair removal treatment.

Beard Love: For men as a beard conditioning oil, post-shave oil or a hair gel.

Babies & Pregnancy: Gentle enough to be used on babies’ skin.

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UNTAINTED is a directional beauty platform, pushing the boundaries of clean, sustainable beauty. We are inspired and motivated by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi.

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