Argan Oil is an age-old ingredient used to enhance the skincare regimes of Moroccan women since the 1500’s. Now their secret is out, you too can benefit from the ancient healing properties of this lustrous, amber oil.
The Argan forest in Southern Morocco covers an area of 8,000 kilometres and is home to 20 million Argan trees. Under the protection of UNESCO since 1998, the forest and its harvest of pure, organic oil is managed by the Berber women of the region: a measure designed to protect the forest whilst providing livelihoods to rural communities.
The painstaking work of the women involves harvesting the fruit from the Argan trees under the hot sun followed by the laborious task of extracting the kernel, which is then pressed and ground. At the end of a typical day’s work in the cooperative, 1 kilogram of oil is extracted from 30 kilograms of fleshy fruit.
Healing properties of Argan Oil
This rare and highly prized oil, rich in antioxidants, provides a multitude of benefits when applied to the skin, hair and nails:
- it helps neutralise free radicals
- slows down signs of ageing
- minimises the appearance of fine lines and stretch marks
- is rich in vitamin E
Argan Oil not only nourishes the skin but helps to protect against skin cancer and dermatitis with its high proportion of squalane.
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SheKnows searched high and low to bring you some of best Argan Oil products on the market. Here’s what we found:
For the face
Jane Scrivner “Un” Condition Oil is a cold pressed organic Argan Oil treatment loaded with hydrating, essential fatty acids and scented with Frankincense. Designed primarily to treat specific skin ailments like acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, this 100 percent pure, unrefined oil brings your skin back to perfect condition. Use as a night-time oil treatment on perfectly cleansed skin or under your daily moisturiser.
For young and/or sensitive skin, try The Intensive Moisturiser from Elizabeth’s Daughter. Elizabeth Hallett created Elizabeth’s Daughter “to provide beautiful, simple and effective skincare for young girls.” This rescue therapy cream contains a delicious concoction of ingredients like Sacha Inchi Oil, Argan Oil, Tahitian Monoi and Australian Kakadu Plum (which has a high Vitamin C content to soothe inflamed skin). The cream also contains Mango Butter and Apricot Kernel Oil, all combining to make a skincare product which is 95 percent natural.
For the body
Applying a daily body moisturiser is essential if you desire soft, smooth skin. Nourishing Body Argan Oil by Essence of Morocco is available in a variety of uplifting fragrances: Pure, Moroccan Rose, Lemon Verbena, Lavender and Orange Blossom. The oil is particularly beneficial when applied to the soles of the feet just before bedtime. Alternatively, you might feel like indulging your inner goddess with a selection of delicious Argan Oil- based body products by Ancienne Ambiance. Bathe in Goddess Argan Hand & Body Wash formulated with a touch of coconut oil, vanilla and paprika then smooth on Goddess Argan Oiland reap the benefits of gorgeous, glowing skin.
For the hair
Moroccan women are known for their sleek, shiny hair and now their secret is out; it’s time to tap into a range of Argan Oil-based haircare products.
This Healing Oil Treatment by Macadamia Hair immediately restores health to the hair follicles while protecting them from damaging environmental factors. With Argan Oil and Macadamia Seed Oil as the primary ingredients, you’ll notice your hair is smooth and nourished from the roots to the tips. Apply a pea-sized amount to damp, towel-dried hair, then style as normal. Ref Argan Oil/550by Reference of Sweden is another fluid treatment for dry, brittle and flyaway hair. Rich in Vitamin E, polyunsaturated fats and sterols, the oil coats the hair follicles with a protective layer whilst working to strengthen and repair.