The beauty tree

Argan oil, the oil extracted from the nut of the argan tree, is sometimes referred to as liquid gold and has been touted by many as the magical elixir of the new millennium. It’s not surprising that cosmetic giants are getting on board and infusing argan oil into moisturisers, cuticle creams, hair serums, bath products and even makeup. You can now buy argan oil-infused lipstick to plump up your lips and give them extra shine.

Out of Africa

Half a world away, in the vibrant cultural melting pot of Morocco, is where the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.) grows. It survives for up to 200 years in the harsh conditions, its deep roots protecting the arid landscape from the march of the desert.

It’s the nut that contains the oil but much of the tree is put to use. The discarded kernels are used for fuel to cook and farmed goats are fed the leaves; you’ll often find native goats clinging happily to the branches and nibbling on the fruits of the tree.

The tree grows in the Essaouira and Souss-Massa-Drâa regions, in the southwest of Morocco, where Berber women

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