Tags: argan nuts
, argan oil
, berber women co-ops
, kahina giving beauty
The latest beauty craze is argan oil. It can be found in just about everything from shampoo to skin care and makeup. Only recently have I heard of argan oil and, like you, wonder what makes this such a sought after ingredient in so many products.
Here’s the scoop.
Argan trees are found in Morocco and produce nuts that the oil is extracted from. At one time the Argania spinosa species grew all over North Africa, but most of them were chopped down to be used for firewood. The tree is now on the endangered species list and protected by UNESCO. Nuts are not harvested, but rather those that fall naturally are gathered to produce the oil.
The oil known for its ability to hydrate dry hair and skin has been used for centuries by Moroccan women. It is high in vitamin e and is great at taming free radicals. The high fatty acid content helps skin stay soft and supple. “It’s also anti-inflammatory and can help relieve symptoms of eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions,” said Katharine L’Heureux, owner and founder of Kahina Giving Beauty.
The oil is produced by Berber women working co-operatives. By law they are the only ones allowed to collect the fallen nuts. This practice creates a high quality product as so few people are involved in production. It cold pressed, organic and extra virgin making it ideal for cosmetics. It can also be purchased in dark bottles to keep light from damaging it.
People with frizzy hair or dry parched skin will benefit from using the oil. It is considered safe for all skin types but if you have sensitivities do a patch test to be sure you won’t react badly to it.
This is a good beauty buy. The Moroccan co-ops teach literacy and pay fair wages to the women. Kahina Giving Beauty also donates 25% of its profits back to the co-ops to further woman’s rights programs. The product is also considered a “green” since there are no SLS, fragrances, parabens or petrochemicals.