Tips For Buying Pure Argan Oil in Morocco


Everything You Need to Know About Argan Oil

There is a good chance at least a bottle of Argan oil will end up in your suitcase on the way back home from Morocco. Mine backpack certainly  was loaded with Argan oil mini stock and ever since I got hooked on it. Since the oil is not cheap here are some tips for spotting pure Argan oil!

From Argan Tree to Liquid Gold – Interesting Facts About Argan Oil

moroccan argan oil ecocert argania spinosa

  •  Known for centuries by the Berber tribes for its gastronomic and cosmetic properties, Argan oil is produced by female-owned cooperatives in the Agadir region.
  • Argania  (Argania Spinosa) is endemic tree to south west Morocco.
  • Argan trees can live from 150 to 200 years.
  • Argan forests cover about 800.000 hectares in Morocco hosting approximately 21 million trees.
  • In 2014, Argan trees were given UNESCO protection as a “biosphere reserve”.

On average each Argan tree produces 140 kilos of fruit per year. Amounts may vary and are highly dependable on rain fall. Seventy kilos of fruit will yield around five kilos of kernel. Five kilos of kernel will result in only two litres of  Argan oil.To sum up, each tree will produce an average of four litres of Argan oil annually.

The Difference Between Culinary Argan Oil and Argan Oil for Cosmetic Use

argan oil shopping morocco tips

Although culinary and cosmetic Argan oil both come from Argan kernels, the process of production is slightly different.  Virgin organic culinary oil is cold pressed from roasted argan nuts while cosmetic oil is cold pressed from non roasted nuts in semi-mechanical cold-pressing machine.

You can’t use the edible kind of Argan oil for your face and hair or vice versa. Culinary grade Argan Oil has pleasant mild  nutty smell and taste. Cosmetic Argan Oil has very subtle smell almost non detectable.

Where to Buy Argan Oil In Morocco

There are many options. From Souqs to cosmetic shops or supermarkets.  Best advice I can get  you is  – buy from the source. Quality certified organic argan oil should be traced from the tree to the bottle.


Personally I would avoid buying any kind of Argan oil on souqs or from herboriste  or berber pharmacy. There is high chance of impropriate storage conditions as well as possibility the Argan oil sold is adultered with other oils.

Go, find a store that is speciliesed in Argan Oil only, has a Ecocert certificate and staff allows you to test the oil on skin or taste the edible oil.  Other option are local Argan Cooperatives, you can visit.

Along  the route to Essauira and Agadir there are literally dozens of small coops that are easily accessible with car. On site it is possible to taste / test the products, even see  the manufacturing process and check out certification documents. Once you have an idea of good organic Argan oil, trust your nose and taste.

Health Benefits of Culinary Argan Oil

Due to high phytosterol content, Argan oil has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and lowering the level of bad cholesterol. Regular use of oil also has a good effect on digestion and protects our cardiovascular system.

Do not use culinary Argan oil for cooking on high temperatures. Edible oil is a great addition to dishes, both for health (reduces bad cholesterol levels) and gastronomic reasons. Many  Moroccans dip bread into Argan oil   for breakfast, it is  good in salads, smoothies.


Benefits of Using Cosmetic Argan Oil

When it comes to use of Argan oil on skin there are numerous benefits. On general due to chemical composition, Argan oil has  anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial properties.  Below is just short list of benefits on skin. Officially Argan oil is great for mature, dry skin but being so gentle basically goes well on all types of skin.

  • Anti aging properties  and great for  fighting Age Spots and Pigmentation issues  – with regular use (and personally can confirm) reduces age spots, fine wrinkles and lines, improves skin elasticity
  • great for  curing acne, scars, bruises
  • helps to treat dermatitis and psoriasis
  • Prevents stretch marks
  • Great for insect bites – reduces swelling
  • Rich in omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids  great for hair treatment. As a leave in conditioner repars splitted hair ends  and adds natural shine to hair
  • Great as massage oil for Arthritic and Rheumatic Conditions  and sore muscles
  • With regular  use skin is soft and radient
  • Non comedogenic which simply means Argan oil doesn’t clog the pores
  • Natural emollient

Simple Ways to Tell if Your Argan Oil is Impure

Below are some simple ways to tell if Argan Oil is impure and other things to keep in mind on the hunt for pure Argan oil in Morocco.

Look for  Argan Oil Sold in Dark Glass Bottles

Argan oil (both types)  should be packed in dark glass bottles. Sunlight can destroy the amazing properties Argan oil is known for by breaking down its particles. Stay away from plastic see through bottles, stay away from oils that are exposed to strong lighting in the shops or even exposed in the sunlight outside. My experience, it is hard to find Argan oil in dark bottles.

Check for The Colour and Texture of Argan Oil

Cosmetic Argan oil should be smooth and silky, non-sticky, and not over-watery. It also shouldn’t leave an obvious oily cast on your skin after a few minutes as it absorbs in the skin completely. If  the oil you are about to buy is acting differently (oil feels too sticky and feels heavy on the skin, or feels almost like water) it certainly isn’t pure.

Color wise, cosmetic Argan oil is golden yellow in color while culinary oil shades from orange-ish,  golden brown or brandy alike color and can have a little bit of sediment at the bottom. A lot depends on roasting procedure.

Labels – Take Time to Read Ingredients on The Bottle of Argan Oil

Pure organic Argan oil should only have one and only ingredient: Argania Spinosa. Nothing else! Other ingredients listed are chemical composition of oil itself like linoleic acid, oleic  acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, squalene, vitamin E and so forth.

argan oil ecocert Morocco

Also look for batch number and expiration date. Certified oils have also certificate name and number printed on the label. Shelf life of argan oil is up to two years when stored in cool, dark and dry place.

Why is reading ingredients on labels important when buying pure Argan Oil online or in shop?

If you are on the hunt for pure Argan oil online, it is good to know that many cosmetic products that only  contain a fraction  of argan oil  and might have many other ingredients, many times olive oil, perfume etc market products with Argan oil.

This list of ingredients is an example I found online,  which I  personally find misleading. So, here it is, so called beauty Argan oil written on the label of product found online.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride , Coco-Caprylate/Caprate , Olea Europaea Fruit Oil/Olea Europaea  Fruit Oil , Undecane , Tridecane , Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Skin Conditioning Agent – Emollient), Parfum/Fragrance (Fragrance), Tocopherol , Coumarin (Fragrance Ingredient), Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil .

This is example of not pure Argan oil. Since ingredients are always listed from the most used ingredient to the least,  you can get an idea how much Argan oil contains a product in this example. Argan oil (Argania Spinosa Kernel oil) is on 7th place. So, read the labels! In this case first ingredient are  combination of plant sugars and fatty acids derived from palm and coconut oils, then olive oil, etc…  It is an ok product, but not for someone looking for pure Argan oil.


Check Certification of Quality – Look for EcoCert  Ceritifcate

You should know there are many marketing labels that  you can find on cosmetic products, like Pure Argan Oil, Made in Morocco, Product of Morocco, Bio Eko but none of them doesn’t guarantee you the  actual quality  and purity of Argan oil. Serious manufacturers in Morocco have ECO CERT certificate and this is the thing you should always check.

EcoCert  is one of the world’s most respected international certifications of organic products. Think of it as an additional guarantee from an unbiased third party that the Argan Oil you have is a top quality, environmentally-friendly organic product produced in controlled clean environment.

They have very strict standards and close supervision of the entire production of the organic product as well as regular quality control checks. EcoCert certified Argan Oil guarantees that the oil is organic and pure and that it was created from Argan trees using environmental-friendly cultivation and harvesting techniques.

morocco ecocert argan oil buying tips

Argan Oil that  meets the EcoCert  standards and requirements for Organic cosmetics, means that it has:

• A minimum of 95% vegetable and natural ingredients, out of which at least 10% ingredients are organic.

• Only 5% maximum of synthetic ingredients which are not included in the negative list.

Argan Oil  with EcoCert certification does NOT contain the blacklisted dangerous substances like silicone, mineral oil, parabens, Fatty alcohols or acids, Propylene Glycol etc..

Get Close and Personal with Argan Oil – Smell it!

Culinary grade Argan oil has delicious nutty aroma and taste!  Be wary of Argan oil that smells like absolutely nothing.No need to mention that  awful or rancid smell is a red alarm. Cosmetic Argan oil has very subtle smell, personally I find it a mix between light note of nuts and  popcorn, while some other people compare it to rubber band.

Prices of  Pure Argan Oil

There is no such thing as cheap pure Argan oil! To produce 1 liter of  oil,  40kg of kernels and 16 hours of work are needed. This pretty much explains the prices along with all the health and beauty benefits of Argan oil.

 Argan oil used for cooking is typically produced in larger quantities and priced more affordably than cosmetic oil. If buying on Moroccan souqs, there is no fixed price and haggling will be necessary.

Culinary Oil is packed in bottles of 100 ml, 250 ml, 500 ml or liter.  100 ml of culinary virgin Argan oil costs 10 EUR.  Liter of culinary Argan oil can vary anywhere from (approximate prices) 30 EUR to 50 EUR.

Cosmetic Argain oil is most commonly available in smaller quantities, ranging in bottles from 50 ml, 60 ml, 100 ml, 150 ml. When I was shopping in Essaouira  I found  prices of 100 ml organic eco certified Argan oil ranging from 80 MAD to 180 MAD (approx.. 8 Eur to 16 EUR).

 Still a bargain if comparing to sellers out of Morocco charging for liter of Argan oil between 80 to 100 or more Euros.I didn’t shop for Argan Oil in other cities in Morocco, but expect to pay more in cities like Fez or Casablanca, Marrakech, which are out of Argan region production.

You need to make sure that you are buying the real deal to ensure that you will reap the benefits. With the mentioned warning signs and tips of knowing whether the Argan oil is 100% pure, you will be able to get the genuine product. Happy shopping!



By |2018-11-16T00:27:14+00:00September 22nd, 2017|Categories: Morocco|61 Comments

About the Author:

In last five years she extensively travelled Morocco, Sudan East Africa, Zambia and South Africa. Nina also lived in Tanzania for a while where she worked with safari company and knows safari business inside out. For Nina, people are the essence of travel and she makes sure she makes local friends everywhere she goes.© Safari Junkie. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published without permission, rewritten or redistributed.


  1. Jeff Albom 09/23/2017 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Thanks for all this information. I found Argan oil (and saw the goats in trees) when driving from Essaouira through Taroudant on the way to Merzouga. I did not know all the nuances regarding the oil but spotted several of the co-ops and saw a lot of vendors by the roadside selling the oil in re-used bottles. I’ve tried it at breakfast in a riad in Taroudant and thought it was ok (the rest of the family didn’t care for it).

    • Safari Junkie 09/23/2017 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Hi Jeff, thanks for reading! Argan oil is billion dollar business and rotten apples are everywhere seeking for shortcuts, thats why for consumer is important to know what they get. Adulteration is the least harmful thing, with Ecocert consumer is sure the kernels used for production are not coming from goat poop, trucks used for transport must also be certified to have not been used to haul pesticides or other chemicals, production facilities have to meet hygienic standards, etc… I certainly wouldn’t want to use or consume oil with pesticides in it…

  2. Kelly 10/07/2017 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    There is so much more to argan oil than I had known, this was super informative! I’ll be on the lookout when I go to Morroco next!

    • Safari Junkie 10/07/2017 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      Argan is the King:) I definitely recommend buying some if you like natural cosmetics.

  3. Soraya 10/09/2017 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    How very interesting! I had no idea that the argan oil that you use for comestic use vs cooking are processed differently which means you can’t eat argan oil used for cosmetics. I can’t believe that it takes 40kg of argan kernels to produce 1 L of oil! How amazing!

    • Safari Junkie 10/10/2017 at 7:08 am - Reply

      It takes a lot of effort to make one litre of argan oil.Thats the reason the price is higher if compared to other cosmetic oils.

  4. Candy 10/09/2017 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    The first time I heard about argan oil was when I purchased Josie Maran’s argan oil products from Sephora. I didn’t know it had anti-aging properties 🙂 I also didn’t realize there was argan cooking oil. I thought the oils were just for cosmetic purposes.

    • Safari Junkie 10/10/2017 at 7:04 am - Reply

      The cooking argan oil has stronger smell, very nice but on skin would be too much:)

  5. Anne Slater-Brooks 10/09/2017 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    I had never heard of argan oil before. I don’t remembers seeing it in Morocco either but then I am not a massive fan of shopping when travelling. This is a very informative post and if it is anti-aging, I am in!

    • Safari Junkie 10/10/2017 at 7:02 am - Reply

      Thats strange, I saw Argan oil shops everywhere:)

  6. Gem of Travels with a Hobo 10/10/2017 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Great read!! I use argan oil for my hair but I only buy it at the mall here in my country. I’d definitely add buying legit argan oil when I get a chance to go to Morocco hopefully soon!

    • Safari Junkie 10/10/2017 at 7:03 am - Reply

      Argan oil is great for hair, I use it all the time, my hair ends improved drastically!

  7. Claire 10/10/2017 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    I didn’t know that there was culinary argan oil too, I’d just heard of the cosmetic kind. It can be hard to know what you’re buying with things like this so these are great tips! I would love to visit Morocco just for the goats in the trees! 😀

  8. Aswini Sharma 02/01/2018 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    That was a great piece of info. Do you know anyone who can sell cosmetic argan oil online or courier it to India.

    • Safari Junkie 02/01/2018 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      I found a ecocert company from Agadir, they ship with courier. If you want info, let me know.

      • Argan shopper 02/10/2018 at 6:08 pm - Reply

        Safari Junkie, can you please pass me the info on the ecocert company from Agadir? Do they ship to the United States?

        • Safari Junkie 02/10/2018 at 6:16 pm - Reply

          I sent you the contact, i believe they ship to USA too.

          • Carmen 03/18/2018 at 12:32 am

            Hello, can you please send me the info as well as how to order Argan Oil that ships to the U.S. please. I’ve been searching for the real deal for a while now but I haven’t had any luck until stumbling on this website.

      • Zelifa 03/07/2018 at 12:31 am - Reply

        Please send me the information too.

      • Antonia 04/26/2018 at 5:12 pm - Reply

        Hi, I would very much like the information as I have a makeup business and would like to sell it here in the UK. Many thanks!, Antonia

      • Alisha Rae Gates 05/08/2018 at 7:14 pm - Reply

        I have been searching for a legitimate argan oil for a while now. Would you please send me the information? Thank you my dear!

      • susan s. kopecki 06/29/2018 at 2:34 pm - Reply

        Can you send me info on shipping Argan Oil from Agadir? Great article by the way!

        • Safari Junkie 06/29/2018 at 2:50 pm - Reply

          You have answer in you inbox. Happy shopping!

      • Krisna 09/30/2018 at 8:49 pm - Reply


        This is very informative! Can you please tell me how I can get in touch with that store in Agadir who can ship Argan oil to other countries?

  9. Renju Sunish 02/12/2018 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Thanx a lot for this post on Argan oil. Was searching for pure argan oil available in India & got confused with many!!! Now I understand those are all fake products & the pure ones are too expensive!

    • ahmed 02/19/2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      hello Renju, you have to mistrust those companies who pretend selling pure argan oil, I am actually from Morocco and I think the only way to get the pure argan oil is coming here so you can get it.

      • Isnailkey 03/31/2018 at 10:52 am - Reply

        Please let me get your contacts or Facebook accounts

  10. Laura 02/21/2018 at 12:07 am - Reply

    I would love more info on how to safely order pure argan oil from here in the US. Also do you know of any US based companies that you would recommend buying it from? Thank you for this post. I really want to order some pure genuine argan oil.

  11. Raj 03/02/2018 at 3:13 am - Reply

    I am from malaysia and looking to buy pure argan oil. I saw many online website from morocco offering 1liter for USD29. Is that the correct price. Please advice where to buy.

    • Safari Junkie 03/02/2018 at 9:13 am - Reply

      Hi, i deleted the links but some of the companies claim they have ecocert. Ecocert also has somewhere on their website list of ecocert holders and you can also check there if the company is really entitled to use ecocert certificate. Write them and demand a proof as well as ms/ds sheet. They will know what it is.

  12. raj 03/03/2018 at 3:35 am - Reply

    thank you very much for your reply. could you advice if 1liter for USD29 for pure organic argan oil non deodorised is the norm.

    • Safari Junkie 03/03/2018 at 11:21 am - Reply

      prices vary, but this range you mention falls more for 100 ml, even in Morocco, for 1 liter you can pay around 40 euros. online retailers have their pricing and cant coment on that.

  13. raj 03/03/2018 at 3:37 am - Reply

    Could you advice any link where i can order pure argan oil non deodorised in 500ml for personal use.

    • Safari Junkie 03/03/2018 at 11:23 am - Reply

      Will send you email with what i think is good option.

    • Nataša 12/31/2018 at 3:47 pm - Reply

      Dear Safari Junkie, thank you for great post. I love argan oil for years, buying it in stores. Could i kindly ask you for contact, which is sending argan oil in Europe. I can imagine 1l of argan oil in my bathroom 😀

  14. Redge 03/22/2018 at 4:29 am - Reply

    Hi. Canyou recommend where i can buy pure argan oil? Thinking of introducing pure argan oil in my country. I love its benefits.

  15. Sue Ellen Kovack 03/25/2018 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    I am just finishing the last of my 100% skin oil.
    I would like to know where I can buy more safely
    Could I please get your contact?
    Great article, thank you!

    • Safari Junkie 03/26/2018 at 6:07 am - Reply

      Hey Sue, are you ordering within Europe or USA? Thanks for reading the article!

  16. Kristina 04/01/2018 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    I would like to buy the real deal but, of course I dont know where can you tell me some places or websites. I live in the USA.

    • Safari Junkie 04/01/2018 at 10:39 pm - Reply

      As i checked, due to high costs of shipping it doesn’t pay off to order from Morocco (hundreds of euros fro shipping unfortunately).

      • Bernadette 12/25/2018 at 8:57 pm - Reply

        I will be visiting Marrakech in February, can you tell me of a reputable place to buy both the culinary argan oil and the cosmetic

        • Safari Junkie 12/29/2018 at 11:23 pm - Reply

          I dont know any places, there are many shops selling different brands. You will find something for sure.

  17. Victoria Glaze 04/16/2018 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Please send me information on how to get the real argan oil in the USA

  18. Priti 04/18/2018 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Hi i read your article and it is super informative. Can u guide an ecocert place to buy argan oil in rabat. I am here for couple more days, earmarked for shopping.

  19. Khazani 07/07/2018 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Hello, This article is very much informative to knowing how to get the real deal. I am from Malaysia and would like to know the best source to get the real deal of Argan Oil. Florihana should be a good start. May I have another suggestions on other websites to try?

  20. Laura Teresa Soadea 08/22/2018 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Hello could you come lease post me name and dares in Fes where I can find pure Argan Oil? Also I would like to know what f I can buy commercial Argan Oil in supermarkets in Marocco and if so if you can tell me which makes to look for. Thank you.

    • Safari Junkie 08/22/2018 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      Sorry,I dont understand quite full question. In the post you have all information, how to test oil and what to look for in oil.Hope that helps.

      • Miriam 09/02/2018 at 2:19 am - Reply

        Hi Safari Junkie. I would also be interested to find our if you can order the “real deal” and have it shipped to New Zealand?? Can you please advise. Many thanks

        • Safari Junkie 09/02/2018 at 9:22 am - Reply

          Hi Miriam, we are working on it, as soon as we find someone who will be able to ship worldwide they will be posted in this post.

  21. Smart 09/01/2018 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Could you please suggest some good online sites that provides delivery service to India

    • Safari Junkie 09/02/2018 at 9:24 am - Reply

      Hi Smart, we are working on it, but shipping on India seems quite a challenge for sellers. Once we find a company that ships quality Argan oil with all certification we will be posting in the post.

  22. Renz 09/04/2018 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Hi Nina (Safari Junkie). Can you kindly send me the details of the company in Agadir where I can order argan oil. I have been searching online but I can barely find products that are EC marked. Many thanks.

  23. Diane 09/13/2018 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Hello Safari.I left comment but didnt go through ,so am trying again.Could you please send me some links and advice on where I can purchase true Argan oil.Im in the US and have been searching for the real deal Argan oil for weeks.Thank you so much.

  24. SANDRA EVANS 09/30/2018 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Great article. Going to Morocco this week. Will use your tips to make my purchases. Thank you!. The company link in Agadir will be most appreciated.

    • Safari Junkie 10/01/2018 at 6:50 am - Reply

      If you are going to Morocco, there are numerous places you can get great argan oil. Just test it on skin before you buy it.

  25. Ana nunes 10/19/2018 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    I live in the uk, can you and me a link where I can get the real deal argon oil for hair.

  26. Jasmine 10/24/2018 at 3:22 am - Reply

    Great article! Thanks so much for sharing all this great knowledge and making it easy to access, and raising the conversation about Argan oil.

    Definitely agree about the importance of finding a high-quality oil, especially one that has been freshly cold pressed and retains all its nutrients.

  27. Juno 10/28/2018 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Hello, thanks for the very informative info, appreciate it. Do you happen to have a quality seller for cosmetic use that ships to the USA? Would appreciate the info, cheers!

  28. Queen 12/17/2018 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Hello, Please can you send me the link to the store in Agadir that sells the real argan oil. Also can they ship to Nigeria? Many thanks for this information.

  29. Sandra higman 01/05/2019 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Thank you for all your info. I am from the US but have been searching without success – first in NZ and now in Malaysia. I guess I would like to add my name for the links of how to order from Morocco to ship to Malaysia or USA
    Thank you again.
    Warm regards

  30. Jennie 01/07/2019 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Hi. Wonderful article! Can you please send me the link that I can order argan oil for skin care? thanks!

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