Maybe you have noticed Argan oil is now the latest rage in hair care products and in some skin care products that are in our salons. What is this mysterious oil and what are it’s properties?
Argan oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree, endemic to Morocco, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties. The species Argania once covered North Africa and is now endangered and under protection. Argan oil remains one of the rarest oils in the world due to the small and very specific growing areas.
All Argan sold today is produced by a Women’s Cooperative that shares the profits among the local women of the Berber tribe (also known as the Amazighs). The cooperative has established an ecosystem reforestation project so that the supply of Argan oil will not run out and the income that is currently supporting the women will not disappear. The money is providing health care and education to the local women and supporting the entire community as a whole and provides income for 3 million people in the southern part of that kingdom.
Although Argan oil is traditionally used in Morocco for dipping bread, drizzling on couscous, salads and similar uses, the unroasted oil is also traditionally used as a treatment for skin diseases, and has found favour with the cosmetics industry in many countries.
Why we are seeing it in our products:
Argan oil naturally contains the following compounds:
- Tocepherols, including vitamin E rich in phenols: helps to neutralize free radicals on the skin and scalp.
- Omega 6: helps to prevent hair breakage.
- Saponins and essential fatty acids: naturally softens the hair and skin.
- Rejuvenates the skin and hair.
- Rich in anti-oxidants.
- Easily absorbed into the skin and hair.
- Protects against free radical damage.
- For dry skin and hair.
- For ultra hydration.
- For softening the hair and skin.
- For reducing appearance of scars and wrinkles.
So, in a nutshell (no pun intended ) there are many shampoos, conditioners, masques and body lotions that now contain Argon oil. My favorite is Kitoko Oil. It is intended as a finishing product for your hair to provide shine and moisture. I like to add a few drops of this oil to my face moisturizer, body lotions, use it on my cuticles and diffuse it in my home for a beautiful fragrance. Some of my clients even put it on as a cologne. It smells FANTASTIC!
Read a the following reviews:
^ “Biosphere Reserve Information”. UNESCO. http://www.unesco.org/mabdb/br/brdir/directory/biores.asp?mode=all&code=MOR+01. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
^ Morocco: Argan trees
^ “Argan Oil Ailment Treatment“. DietOBio. http://www.dietobio.com/aliments/en/argan.html. Retrieved 2006-10-09.
^ “Is Argan oil miraculous?”. Care2. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/is-argan-oil-miraculous.html. Retrieved 2009-07-17.