Pure Moroccan oils, you would think that particularly in Morocco itself they would be everywhere wouldn't you? Wrong! It is widely known by the Moroccan people that the 'real thing' can be difficult to find. How so? you may ask... Well many suppliers of these oils have been cheating. By cheating we mean that what is claimed to be for instance, pure argan or prickly pear seed oil may indeed be nothing more than a mix of other oils such as sunflower or olive oil. This practice has caused distrust within Morocco since people are unsure of what they are buying and may not be able to tell the difference. For this reason, I have put together a small guide on how to detect fake oils.
1.The first thing you should notice is the colour of the bottle. Both prickly pear and argan oils should be presented in dark coloured bottles. The reason for this is that it protects the contents from light deterioration. They should also be stored away from windows and direct sunlight.
2. Second there should be an ingredients list. It should not have any other contents printed other than the oil you are buying. If you should see any other additives such as perfumes or preservatives, know that your oil is not pure.
3. Smell - Although argan oil can vary slightly in strength of smell, it should have a natural scent. If your oil smells of perfume or indeed nothing at all, it would definitely throw up a red flag. Some companies do either deodorise or spice up the smell of these oils. As we all know, industry standards these days do favour nice smells to go along with their hair and skin products, afterall, it does add to the attractiveness. On the other hand, some companies try to completely remove any smell, subjecting the oil high temperatures to deodorise but this process also removes some of the beneficial nutrients.
4. How does the oil look? Argan and prickly pear seed oil is often a little cloudy or at least when settled, it is possible to see a small amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Your oil should not look perfectly clear, complete transparency could be an indication of the use of heat processing during filtering. Prickly pear seed oil although this can vary a little, often appears a greenish/yellow colour. Argan oil is a light yellow naturally.
Some manufacturers favour the heat processing methods since not only does it deodorise and help to filter sediment better but it is widely known that heat pressing yields more oil, thus creating more profit. Unfortunately though, this destroys a lot of the goodness.
5. How does the oil feel? In the case of the argan and prickly pear seed oils, they are both light dry oils. They should glide over your skin and be absorbed easily. They should not be overly greasy or tacky.
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