Argan oil is extracted from the kernels inside the fruit of the argan tree, which is found in southern Morocco. It has been relatively unused in skincare until fairly recently, and it can be quite expensive due to the laborious process of extraction and the small yield of the seeds. Traditionally, argan oil was made by the Berber women of Morocco, who gathered the seeds by hand after the fruit had been eaten by goats and the seeds had passed through their digestive system, making them softer and easier to process. Although oil is still made this way locally, the process has been refined and much of the oil exported is now pressed mechanically by cooperatives set up by the Moroccan government. These programmes are dedicated to responsible harvesting and reforestation as well as providing the women of rural Morocco with a fair wage, education, and good working conditions.

As this oil is to be used around the eye area, only a small amount is needed. It is best stored in a small bottle with a pipette; you will need to use only one drop. Drip one drop from the pipette onto the ball of your middle finger, touch together with the finger on the other hand and gently pat around the eye area;

you will be able to feel your orbital bone. It is important not to apply oils, creams, or lotions any closer to your eyes than this bone as they can be too rich and irritate the eye itself. Never put this or any other product directly into the eye, and avoid using any products containing essential oils around the eye area.

These recipes were adapted from The Little Pocket Book of Natural Beauty: 35 Step-By-Step Projects for Homemade Beauty by Karen Gilbert, published by Cico Books at £9.99.

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