Argan oil: Morocco’s best-kept beauty secret

In Philippine Star Column on March 18, 2011 at 4:25 am

You’ve got gold: Moroccan argan oil is oftentimes referred to as “liquid gold” and is coveted for its rejuvenating and healing properties.

Weekends always find me foraging through the now very popular “markets” around Makati and the Fort. One Sunday found me at Whitespace looking over food and flora offerings of Margarita Fores, the piña stylings of Rambie Lim, and a small booth, decorated with a lot of golden leaves, selling argan oil. Taking a look at the products, I dismissed them as just another beauty product with the ubiquitous “natural” seal of approval. Our world is flooded with all types of heal-all oils and balms but I did take some time out to listen to a bit of sales talk about the product and decided to try a bottle, adding it to my already-bare-as-bones beauty routine. So what are the reputed benefits of argan oil? It is supposed to decrease wrinkles and scars, soften skin and guard the skin’s elasticity. One can also apply it on the hair where it can reportedly restore shine, nurture the scalp to help with hair growth, and prevent split ends; on the hands, it helps in rejuvenating brittle nails, and on parts of the body to prevent stretch marks. It seemed like a wonder oil indeed, and its purest form contained tocopherols (vitamin E) which is great for anti-aging, schottenol and spinasterol which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help the arthritic, rheumatic and even those with excessively dry skin conditions. There were a bunch of other ingredients such as essential fatty acids (omega 6 and squalene) and high molecular weight proteins that are said to help in the firming effect on the skin. Sounded a little too good to be true to be honest, and since I have oily skin, I wasn’t too sure I wanted to add to that by adding more oil to my face. But the product in its original form, (in other words, not a diluted imitation) is 100-percent organic, hypoallergenic, non-comodogenic and fragrance free. So, wouldn’t hurt to give it a test run and see if all the claims were true.

There's gold....

I put it on my face that night right before going to bed. The oil went on instantly and spread fairly quickly and, to my amazement, didn’t feel sticky or, well, “oily” in the greasy sense. I have had far messier outcomes with commercially-pushed high-end night moisturizers. There was, I have to say, a slight odor, but it wasn’t unpleasant (I guess this was what “fragrance free” meant) and it didn’t leave my face smelling like a bed of roses — which normally is a sign that a lot of chemical components have been infused into the product. I started using the argan oil for the next several days, allowing the oil to settle in as I would any other moisturizer. Again, I was pleased that it didn’t weigh heavily on my face and I could still apply makeup after a couple of minutes. I told some friends I was using it, and one even commented that she was happy the product had come onto the market because she had been using it for years for her hair. Suffice to say I’ve never seen her have a bad hair day; she constantly blows out her hair yet it remains shiny and soft. I’ve also begun to apply the oil to my nail beds since I’m always using my hands and there is a visible difference, so I’ve continued to apply small drops to my feet, especially after a long day of walking in heels or a workout session. One evening after an especially grueling day, I decided to experiment and I rubbed some of the oil into my hands and massaged it into my calves. The effect was immediate: I felt a warming all over the muscles I had massaged and the aches diminished. It may have been psychosomatic on my part but it did feel good and the warmth on my legs was undeniable; I was quite happy that I had found another “use” for my weekend purchase.

Also comes in massage oil form

The production and sale of argan oil also goes to support the livelihood of the Moroccan women in cooperatives in the Essaouira region of Morocco. As a quick backgrounder, argan oil comes from the nuts of the argan tree which is grown exclusively in Essaouira. It can also be used as a salad oil or for food. But of course, most would rather use its oil for its restorative and age defying effects. I am now in the process of applying some oil to a little scar I have from an old sports injury; it has lightened somewhat so I am hopeful for more little beauty miracles that come from a little bottle.

* * * Moroccan Argan Oil is distributed by The Souq International. Call 0906-2441537 or visit: for more information.

Reposted from SOUL TRAIN By Katrina A. Holigores (The Philippine Star) Updated March 18, 2011 12:00 AM

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