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The indigenous Berber women of Morocco have used argan oil in their beauty rituals for centuries to protect their skin from the harsh desert conditions. This multipurpose oil from the nut of the argan tree contains powerful antioxidants and high concentrations of nutrients and essential fatty acids that are the building blocks of healthy skin. All Kahina products are made with high concentrations of the highest quality certified organic argan oil and other antioxidant-rich byproducts of the argan tree in combination with the highest quality natural ingredients nature has to offer from around the world. The argan nuts are cracked by hand using centuries-old techniques by Berber women in Morocco’s argan region. The oil is then cold-pressed using modern equipment to preserve the integrity of the oil. Not all argan oil is created equally. There are varying qualities of cosmetic argan oil on the market, as evidenced by the wildly differing prices of oil currently for sale. Why is this so? The most important factor in determining argan oil quality is the “goat factor”. The argan nut is a hard almond-like seed, encased in an external shell and a fruity outside pulp. The nuts that are gathered for oil must have the exterior pulp intact. If there is no pulp, it means that the nut has been eaten and digested by a goat (goats love to eat the nuts) imparting a foul smell to the oil. Often, these “goat nuts” will be sold at a low price and then the oil will be deodorized, a process that destroys the essential nutrients in the oil. This is typically the case of the lower priced oils on the market. Other important factors include location and harvesting methods. It is essential to recognize that it is most often the women who do the hard work of extracting the argan oil who are undercut in the market for low-priced argan oil. It is crucial that these women receive a fair wage for their labor in order to make the money they need to survive. Kahina Giving Beauty CEO Katharine L'Heureux personally and regularly visits every cooperative that supplies our oil. This ensures top quality oil from top quality nuts and also the fair treatment and compensation of the women workers. Raw argan oil is composed of a high percentage of vitamin E (more than twice as much as olive oil). The remainder of the oil is made up of 80% fatty acids, including hard to obtain Omega 6 and Omega 9 acids. These are key to promoting optimal skin health. Here's the breakdown: palmitic - 12.0%; stearic - 6.0%; oleic - 42.8% (omega 9); linoleic - 36.8% (omega 6). Other components include phenolic oils, squalene and phytosterol compounds.