Why is Argan Oil so Expensive?

by Ilana Strauss

If you’ve ever seen Moroccan argan oil on cosmetic store shelves, you may have wondered how anyone could charge $50 for a tiny bottle of organic oil. Or perhaps you never thought of it. Honestly, I never did, until I went to Morocco and witnessed argan oil production first-hand.

Locals have been making argan oil there for a long time. After asking around for weeks, I finally got a woman named Fatimah to let me watch her do it. Only then did I understand why that stuff is so expensive.

Why is Argan Oil so Expensive?

How Argan Oil is Produced

Here’s the deal: to start, you have to pick fruit from argan trees, a spiky desert tree that grows almost exclusively in Morocco. This fruit resembles an olive. It’s hard, so people often need a little help getting the nut out: they have goats eat the fruit and poop the nuts out.

They toast the nuts, then they crack open the nuts between two pieces of rock. Once the nuts are cracked in half, they pull out the seeds.

That’s when the process really gets difficult. They grind up the seeds, mix the ground seeds with water, and mash it all with their hands until they end up with a Play-Doh-like paste. They squeeze oil out of the paste with their bare hands. It’s really tough on the hands (my hands were screaming in pain after I tried it for a couple minutes). Women generally do this, and their hands get crazy strong.

So that’s how argan oil is made and why it costs so much. I will never complain about argan oil prices.

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Images via Getty

41 comments

Maria P
Martha P3 months ago

tyfs

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Val P
Val P4 months ago

fascinating

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Angela K
Angela K4 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Lesa D
Past Member 4 months ago

thank you Ilana...

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Mely L
Mely Lu4 months ago

Tyfs

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson4 months ago

Thank you.

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Dennis Hall
Dennis H5 months ago

I combine 1 part, each, of COCONUT, OLIVE and AVOCADO oil -- the combination provides a wide range of nutrients, anti-oxidants and more and is comparable to argan oil, and one can use it for all-over skin care as well as for hair care since it costs a fraction of the price.

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heather g
heather g5 months ago

Gosh, so goats don't really get the benefit....

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Ann B
Ann B5 months ago

never heard of it never seen it--would NOT buy it

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Rose B
Rose Becke5 months ago

Thanks

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