Argan oil is produced from the kernels of the argan tree that is grows in south eastern Morocco. What started as a traditional staple food for Indigenous Amazigh of the Souss has exploded in popularity worldwide mainly for cosmetics applications.
By 2020, argan oil production has increased exponentially, especially after studies had suggested health benefits. Almost all of the oil is sourced in Morocco, where production has quadrupled since 2014 reaching 19,623 US tons and US$1.79 billion. Today the main uses are.
In Morocco, argan oil is used largely as a food for dipping bread, or on couscous, and some medicinal use.
Locally one main use is for making a bread dip, Amlou, a thick brown paste with a consistency similar to peanut butter. Amlou is prepared by grinding roasted almond and argan oil and then mixing the argan oil and almonds in honey or syrup.
Various claims about the beneficial effects on health due to the consumption of argan oil have been made. A research article published in 2010 found that argan oil possesses strong chemo preventive and anti-inflammatory properties (Wikipedia).
As of 2020, the biggest growth in demand is in the cosmetics industry, where it is being used for face creams and as an ingredient in lip gloss, shampoo, moisturizers and soaps.
Since its lunch in 2003 in the USA, argan oil has become increasingly popular in cosmetic and hair care preparations.