|Information brought to you by: Recherch'e Organics|
Moroccan Oil, have you heard the term fluttering around your salon, are your girlfriends reporting shining results due to it's use? More about that petroleum based product later, what I really want to delve into is the history, cultural influences, the whats and whys of Argan Oil and because of this oil, Moroccan Oils rise to fame.
The Argan Tree, which grows only in Southwestern Morocco, reaches heights of 8-10 meters tall and provides much desired shade in this arid part of the world. This tree is home to the fleshy green fruits that produce Argan Oil, a vitamin rich oil used both for nutritional and beauty purposes. Inside the green fruit casing there is an extremely hard shell protecting 2-3 almond shaped kernels filled with this Argan "liquid gold". These trees have supported the local Berber community since the dawn of time. Hailed as the "Tree of Life" the Argan tree's leaves and fruit have sustained the goats, camels and sheep of the Berber peoples for centuries. Cattle live off of the pressed nut cakes that remain after the Argan Oil has been extracted. The people of this region eat the oil and the nut shells are used as a source of fuel for their fires. Argan tree's need no cultivation and are perfectly suited to their dry and arid natural environments. Living any where from 125-450 years these trees are viable source of both food and income for generations to come.
Within this Argan fruit there lies in wait a glorious moisture enhancing oil. Upwards of 50% of this fruits total weight by volume is oil weight. It is a time intensive task however, for the local Berber women to retrieve this precious oil. It takes 3 days for a single woman to produce just one liter of oil. Traditionally the Berber women have collected the seeds, which are then dried in the open air. Once dried, the pulpy flesh is removed and often used for feed for livestock and animals.
|Sun Dried Argan|
|3 Phases of the Argan Kernels Life|
Argan Oil has extremely high levels of Vitamin E and upwards of 80% of the total volume is comprised of essential fatty acids. Making Argan a perfect natural serum for many skin aliments as well as protecting the skin cells from aging caused by oxidation. One of the leading active substances in Argan Oil is called triterpenoids. This group of sterolins improve skin metabolism, reduce inflammation, and promote true moisture retention. Argan Oil is reported to help in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles by it's ability to restore the skin's hydro-lipid layer. It has also been used effectively for treating skin aliments such as chicken pox, acne, psoriasis, eczema and stretch marks from rapid weight gain/loss.
MOROCCAN OIL vs. ARGAN OIL
So what is the difference you ask? Moroccan oil is a company that highlights the use of Argan oil. The only problem here is their formulas only contain approx 3% or less of natural Argan Oil. The rest of the "filler" ingredients are things like silicons, petroleum byproducts, and fragrance. To reap the true benefits of Argan Oil, one is much better off going strait to the source. Below are many different ways in which one can add Argan Oil to their daily beautification regiments.
*Facial Moisturizer: Argan Oil is considered a dry oil, it absorbs quickly and will not be greasy or clog pores. Adding a couple of drops of pure Argan oil to your favorite facial moisturizer or using a direct application where fine lines and wrinkles appear.
*Leave on Conditioner: After showering, while hair is still wet, ad a few drops of pure Argan Oil to your hair, both ends and scalp to hydrate and moisturize. It is especially useful if you often dye your hair or daily use a blow dryer.
*Cuticle Softener: Apply a drop or two of pure Argan Oil to a cue tip or other such device and liberally apply to your cuticles at night.
Since this is such a labor and time intensive oil and is a huge supporter of the communities of Southwestern Morocco, it is always best to by from reputable fair trade companies. These companies are not only insuring the pureness of product but also insuring the livelihoods of the people who harvest, dry, and render this precious oil.