Two weeks ago my younger brother came to visit and I immediately noticed his skin was clear and glowing, which is a complete 180 from his usual scalely pimply mess. He tells me it’s because he’s been using argan oil from an organic cosmetic company called Melvita.
Having struggled with my skin the last 3 years and spent hundreds of dollars getting no where I was eager to test this argan oil. My skin has a very thin top layer that dries out and flakes easily but is oily under the surface, which when stressed creates deep painful pimples. So eager for a cure I drove downtown to the Melvita shop in Union Square. I fought the ridiculous traffic and circled for an hour until I found parking.
Yes, it was all worth it. The moment I applied it my skin felt hydrated, rich and glowing. Of course it’s just the first few days so it’s too early to say for sure, but so far so awesome!
The oil is good for both hair and skin. Argan oil is rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E and protein. For skin it is nourishing as a moisturizer but it also aids in reducing scars, hypo-pigmentation, and fine lines. It absorbs quickly into your skin so isn’t heavy. I was told by the sales clerk at Melvita that because argan oil is plant based it won’t clog your pours like mineral oils can.
For hair, argan oil is used to control dryness and to boost shine. You can use it as a once a week mask or you can apply argan oil to your hair before blow drying or flat ironing. It takes all the frizz away leaving the hair healthy and shiny without any heaviness or residue.
The best part about Argan Oil is you are automatically supporting a good cause just by purchasing it. Argan oil is exclusively produced by Berber women who have formed a fair trade collective around the harvesting of this oil. Apparently the plant only grows in Morocco and they’ve been harvesting and selling the oil since before the Phoenicians. The income from this co-op funds health care, education and child care for these women.
Argan oil is pretty new in America, but English and French tourists discovered it in Morocco years ago and it’s all over the markets of Provence, along with the lavender and olive oils. Now, due to the efforts of the Moroccan King Mohammed VI, who has been praised for his efforts to promote women’s rights, the oil is being promoted and exported worldwide. What does women’s rights have to do with argan oil? Well, that’s one of the reasons I am so intrigued by it.
It is Berber women who are solely responsible for harvesting the nuts and producing the oil, and they are doing so in fair trade working cooperatives. Outside groups, like the government of Monaco, are also financially backing a system whereby women can work half days (so they can still tend to their families) in exchange for fair wages and good working conditions. This has allowed an income for women and families where before there was little.
The cooperatives have initiated an ecosystem reforestation project to help preserve the argan forest. The cooperatives are working in partnership with the Moroccan Water and Forests Authorities to allow optimal tree growth, plant argan nurseries, and create education programs. The community realizes the value of the argan tree and they are involved with its protection. In fact, Unesco has designated the 10,000-square-mile argan-growing region as a biosphere reserve.
Because of the recent hype, argan oil is popping up everywhere. To test the effects more directly get 100% pure argan oil with no synthetic additives.