Is Argan Oil The Next Beauty Industry Scam? An Expert Tells All…

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/22/22 •  6 min read
 - Chafia Farare, female founder and CEO of Farar, an argan oil brand based in Berlin, gives us an insider’s perspective on the industry. What does she know about argan? A lot. Her hometown happens to be the argan capital of the world…
Chafia Farare, female founder and CEO of Farar, an argan oil brand based in Berlin, gives us an insider’s perspective on the industry. What does she know about argan? A lot. Her hometown happens to be the argan capital of the world…

For hair, face and skin, oh my!
Argan oil seems like a miracle product.
But is the liquid gold too good to be true? Which argan oil is best?

At 20 million years old, the argan tree is even older than mankind. -
At 20 million years old, the argan tree is even older than mankind.

ALL ARGAN TREES are located in just one place on Earth: Morocco. And not just anywhere in Morocco but a mere southwest corner of the country. Chafia Farare, an Amazigh native from Agadir, knows a thing or two about the special resource that has followed her throughout life from Northern Africa to her current Berlin home where she operates her business. A family affair, she first began the profession by helping her mother and grandmother make and sell argan oil at the ripe age of 12.

A trick of the trade is to mix harsh additives into argan oil formulas to increase quantity since mass production equals lower costs per unit. Consumers ultimately pay the price, and their lack of argan knowledge leads to purchasing poor quality products. Big beauty businesses are taking full advantage of the argan oil beauty craze.

The additives also make the tainted argan oil products last longer, perhaps around 5 years opposed to a natural 2 year shelf life. It’s all about cutting costs and saving money. With additives the product essentially becomes cheaper and lasts longer but consumers ultimately don’t want this kind of product -it’s toxic and impure.

Here’s a breakdown of the 3 ways argan kernels are used:

  1. Edible, kernels can be roasted and eaten. (Unless you’ve traveled to Morocco, it’s unlikely you’ve had the tasting pleasure)
  2. Cosmetic, made from 100% cold pressed, unroasted kernels. (The good stuff)
  3. Industrial Cosmetic Also unroasted kernels, yet the process involves solvents, distillation, extraction, dilution and discoloration. (This is the bad version and unfortunately all too common)

It’s worth paying extra to have something of high quality that is natural, chemically unaltered and most importantly effective. When you mix in these kinds of additives simply put, it’s a waste of precious argan.

Argan oil production is painstaking.

It takes 30 kilos of shelled argan kernels just to produce 1 liter of pure argan oil! That’s a little over 34 pounds of kernels to make 1 cup of oil! -
It takes 30 kilos of shelled argan kernels just to produce 1 liter of pure argan oil! That’s a little over 34 pounds of kernels to make 1 cup of oil!

“Each argan pit is cracked individually by hand between two rocks due to the sheer toughness of the shell. Precision is a must, as the workers are careful not to mash bits of the shell into the kernel.”

Chafia describes the dedication of the argan working women who have been practicing the ritual for centuries.

What makes Farar different from other argan oil brands is their enthusiasm for the people of the argan region, specifically women and children. They work with cooperatives that address social issues like fare wages, education and women’s rights. Their argan is used in sustainable ways that protect the trees and land to keep the precious resource a naturally thriving one.

Argan oil benefits for face, skin and hair. -
Argan oil benefits for face, skin and hair.

What can argan oil do for you? Here are some of the many argan oil benefits and argan oil uses:

Argan oil benefits hair and skin in numerous ways.

SAY NO TO: Additives, sulfates, parabens, mineral oil mixes, petroleum, microplastics. Stay away from brands that can’t verify whether animal testing was conducted.

SAY YES TO: Additive free, sulfate free, paraben free, mineral oil free, petroleum free, microplastic free. Cruelty free (no animal testing), vegan, native, cold-pressed from unroasted argan kernels.

Farar’s website explains the importance of product packaging. Amber glass protects nutrients from UV light. It doesn’t let oxygen through. In contrast to plastic containers, the glass does not release any individual substances into the contents. Amber glass is fully recyclable and reusable.

Which argan oil is best? -
Which argan oil is best?

Good ( ✓ ) and No-No ( X ) brands that sell argan oil:

See the vegan, cruelty free, location status and more useful beauty brand info by using this Cruelty Free Brands List

Argan is not a nut, but a fruit. Shelled kernels inside argan fruits are used to make argan oil. -
Argan is not a nut, but a fruit. Shelled kernels inside argan fruits are used to make argan oil.

FINAL NOTE: The beauty industry is monetarily massive. While good brands do exist there are too many that place importance on profit above all else. Support ethical brands like Farar who may be small and growing but with high standards and strong ethics are far purer than the industry norm.

You can read more about FARAR and Chafia’s dedication to her brand here.

I’m Adriane, author of this article and new fan of ethical brand Farar. I love small businesses like Chafia’s that are just about as perfect as it gets for animals, people and the planet. If you’re also ethical brand obsessed, you should check out my app HEALabel. Together we can improve our impact for health + environment + animals + laborers.

Sources include: Argan oil and other argan products: Use in dermocosmetology, Farar Nature website, Berliner Zeitung: How a new Berliner wants to empower the indigenous women of Morocco, Femotion: Cosmetics start-up from Berlin – founder supports girls’ education in Morocco with products made from argan oil

Adriane Marie

As an educator, author and conscious consumer advocate, I study and organize ethical info for you to quickly see how our purchases impact animals, people and the planet. I hope you find this HEALabel knowledge useful and can apply it to your life for personal and societal improvement and empowerment.

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