Redheads with sensitive skin need tons of moisturizing products, especially in colder climates. Thankfully, Argan Oil has been incorporated in countless cosmetic products, giving visible and immediate results on skin, hair and even on finger nails.
Argan Oil, commonly known as “liquid gold”, is a rare natural oil that comes from the Argan Tree of Morocco. Natives have used it religiously for centuries because it has extremely beneficial, natural properties. Argan Oil is enriched with fatty acids and vitamin E which means it is best moisturizer any redhead can buy.
Having grown up on a steady diet of Seventeen and Sassy magazines, I remember all the beauty advice of yore distinctly leaning toward the goal of oil-free skin; much of it still does. How times have changed. Today, hair and skin care is decidedly oil-friendly, a trend that has been greased if you will by the insatiable desire for “natural,” organically derived beauty products.Argan oil, for instance, is the current star of the class. Derived from the nut of the argan tree, it’s the key ingredient in such trendy lines as “chic-ological” Josie Maran cosmetics and Morroccan Oil for hair.
Mama Mio, a celebrity fave that proffers Tummy Rub Oil for expectant mothers, consists of rosehip, borage and wheat germ oils. Other popular oils include jojoba, jasmine and olive. Still, the use of straight-up oils on skin and hair has developed slowly rather than ignited, perhaps because of resistance born of all those admonitions against greasy skin over the years. “We’ve been in business for over 10 years and, when we began, it was really hard to get people to use facial oils,” says Kristen Ma, author of Beauty: Pure + Simple and co-founder of Toronto’s Pure + Simple spa and skin care. Now, however, the tide has turned, Ma declares: Consumers are more than comfortable with the idea¸ as is the beauty industry, which is doing away with “traditional classifications of dry, oily and combination skin and [moving] toward a more gentle approach of supporting the skin.”
Argan oil is derived from the fruit of the Argania spinosa tree, which is native to the arid climate of southwestern Morocco, where the preponderance of research on the herb is conducted. Once prevalent in North Africa, the A. spinosa tree is presently grown only in Morocco, and although it is the second most common tree species there, it is considered endangered, so its oil, which is labor intensive to obtain, is becoming somewhat rare (J. Ethnopharmacol. 1999;67:7–14; SÖFW Journal 2005; 131:35–46).
Argan oil has been used for traditional purposes, including as a medicine, for several centuries (Pharmacol. Res. 2006;54:1–5). Dubbed “liquid gold,” the vitamin E-rich argan oil is highly sought after.
There is a paucity of research on this botanical compound, but the preponderance of recent investigations has focused on the cardiovascular benefits of virgin argan oil consumption. Specifically, antiatherogenic, cholesterol-lowering, antiproliferative, and antioxidant benefits have been observed (Ann. Nutr. Metab. 2005;49:196–201; Nutr. Metab. Cardiovasc. Dis. 2005;15:352–60; Evid. Based Complement. Alternat. Med. 2006;3:317–27; Cancer Invest. 2006;24:588–92; Cancer Detect. Prev. 2007;31:64–9).
Given argan oil’s abundant supply of fatty acids, phenolic constituents, squalene, sterols, and tocopherols, it is also thought to be an important factor in enhancing the anticancer effects of the Moroccan diet (Eur. J. Cancer Prev. 2003;12:67–75).
…“The real find, however, is argan oil, made from the nuts of the argan tree, which grows almost exclusively in this region. The oil, which is said to have restorative and age-defying effects, has become one of the latest miracle ingredients in the beauty industry. High in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it is believed to help all sorts of skin conditions: dry skin, acne, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles. Moroccans slather it on their skin, hair, nails and even their babies. They eat it, too — drizzling it over salads and couscous, or using it to make amlou, a tahinilike spread of the oil, almonds and honey.
Approaching Essaouira’s sandy-colored ramparts, passing the olive groves and grazing donkeys, you see signs announcing women-run argan cooperatives: Argan Co-Op, Women’s Argan Collective, Miracle Oil. And so on. If you pull over to a cooperative, the Berber women — and it is only women who make argan oil — will often invite you in to watch them work. In most of the cooperatives, the older village women sit in the courtyard and work as the younger bilingual girls walk you around, giving a tutorial about the process. (Pull over too many times, though, and be prepared to hear all about the process again. And again.)