Time for an Oil Change
By now many of you have heard of argan oil, which has, in recent years, become a popular ingredient in skin and hair care products. Indigenous to a small region in southwestern Morocco, argan oil has been traditionally harvested and extracted by Berber women. Its rarity makes it one the most expensive oils in the world; it is called “liquid gold” by the Berbers, who prize its cosmetic and culinary properties.
Argan oil comes from the nut of the argan tree, which takes 15 years to mature. The oil contains high concentrations of Vitamin E, carotenes (Vitamin A precursor), essential fatty acids and antioxidants, all of which are extremely beneficial to skin and hair health. Nutrient-rich argan oil has been used for centuries in its native land, where it is renowned for its skin-smoothing and hair-softening qualities. Because of its high cost, argan oil is often diluted when sold as a skin/hair care product. It is important to choose 100 percent pure argan oil for best results.
Recently a Canadian company, Arganio sent me their products to review: 100 percent pure argan oil and argan oil soft skin lotion scented with lavender. The oil is light and easily absorbed. I’ve learned that it’s non-comedogenic and is effective in treating acne blemishes and reduces scarring. It actually balances sebum production in oily/combination skin and controls the anaerobic bacteria that cause acne. And although I generally avoid putting leave-in oil on my fine, flyaway hair, I’ve been applying a few drops to the dry ends. I’ve found that it’s a lot lighter than most oils I’ve used on my hair, and as long as you don’t use more than a few drops, it won’t weigh your hair down and give you lank, greasy locks.
I’ve been using the argan oil lotion as a moisturizer and makeup primer. The lotion is light in texture and contains a blend of apricot, jojoba and, of course, argan oil. It’s scented with lavender essential oil, which smells wonderful. In aromatherapy, lavender is used to promote relaxation and enhance sleep, making this lotion an excellent night cream.
I recommend applying a few drops of the 100 percent pure argan oil followed by the argan oil soft skin lotion over your face and neck. Be sure to concentrate on the under-eye area and any dry/sensitive areas. This versatile oil can be used as anti-aging serum all over the face. The products are packaged in attractive blue glass bottles, which keep the contents fresh and protected from sunlight.
Some other ways to incorporate argan oil into your beauty routine:
- Hand/nail care: mix equal parts lemon juice and argan oil and soak your nails for 10 minutes to strengthen your nails. Argan oil also makes an excellent cuticle conditioner.
- Skin care: blend one tablespoon lemon juice, three teaspoons of yogurt, one tablespoon of honey and three drops of argan oil in a bowl. Apply on a clean, dry face and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
- Eye makeup remover: argan oil is gentle and not as greasy feeling as other natural oils. It also conditions your eyelashes nicely.
Arganio products are reasonably priced: $14.99 for two ounces of argan oil lotion soft-skin and $21.99 for one ounce of the 100 percent pure argan oil.