A to Z of Natural Skincare: A

Melanin in 3

Photo by Eloise Ambursley

A is for Argan Oil

We care about your skin and its needs as much as you do at Shaju. We just finished conducting several listening interviews because we want to make sure that our products and the information that we share with you on this blog truly helps you achieve your skin care goals. It is indeed your largest organ and deserves nothing but the best! I am thrilled to invite you on an amazing educational journey with Shaju – The A to Z of Natural Skincare. In this blog series, I will be exploring and discovering simply natural and unique gifts from mother earth! Starting from A and ending with Z, I will be revealing skincare truths and unearthing age-old secrets about nature’s best that surround us every day. Let’s start with one of my favorites: Argan Oil.

Where does it come from?

Argan oil is an amber-colored liquid that is extracted from tArgan Oil Colorhe nuts of the Argan tree that is exclusive and native of Morocco (Africa). What you may not know is that there was a time when goats were used to produce Argan oil. Tree climbing goats would scramble up Argan trees to eat its fruits and leaves. Undigested seeds passed through their digestive system and out in the goat’s droppings. These were collected and processed into…you guessed correctly – Argan oil. Don’t worry, this traditional method is no longer being used to manufacture it. The production of Argan oil is now handmade by women cooperatives similar to the women collectives that Shaju works with to produce its Shea Butter. Women collect the nuts in the summer, dry them, and spend a couple of days cracking and extracting the fruit. The extracted fruit is ground, pressed, and filtered.

 

Why is it Called Liquid Gold?

This oil is quite rich in vitamin E (boosts cell production), beta-carotene (natural antioxidant), linoleic and oleic acids (fight acne), and squalene (natural anti-aging agent). It has many other natural nutrients that are effective in taking care of your skin by nourishing it and strengthening brittle nails. This oil is great for protecting your skin from external factors like free radicals that contribute to aging skin.

Top Four Uses of Argan Oil

Skin

Argan oil absorbs into your skin really quickly, it does not clog your pores and leaves no oily residue. You can use it to treat stretch marks because it speeds up the production of collagen which makes your skin snap back together quicker and with less scarring. It also treats skin infections and inflammations (bug bites, rashes, etc). A couple of drops do go a long way! Pair it with tea-tree oil for a natural toner if you have oily skin and treat yourself with a natural moisturized glow.

Healthy Hair

The Vitamin E in this oil stimulates rapid cell turnover and hair growth. It also protects your scalp from dryness and dandruff. For a natural gloss and soft hair, warm a few drops (5-6) of Argan oil in your hand and gently apply to clean hair (damp or dry). Put on a shower cap and go about your business. Your body’s natural heat will warm up the oil, open your pores, and allow the natural nourishing goodness from Argan oil to penetrate your hair. If you enjoy using amla or henna to color your hair, this oil helps your hair retain the color for much longer.

Photo  by Christine Hume

Cooking

Pure argan has a nutty scent and can be used as a finishing oil or as an oil substitute in quick fry recipes. It reduces LDL cholesterol which is the bad cholesterol that causes heart disease. It also improves digestion by increasing your body’s ability to produce more pepsin which helps your body digest food. Research is ongoing about using this oil to stop the growth of cancer cells.

New Mommies & Babies

Pregnancy and motherhood can be the most joy filled and scariest time. Everything you consume or put on your body has direct implications on the health of your developing baby. Argan oil is safe for total body moisturization during and after pregnancy. It also provides healing and comfort to sore nipples after baby is done eating. Newborns sometimes get cradle cap and Argan oil is great to soothe itchy scalp while preserving their soft hair. Use 1-2 drops, rub your hands to warm the oil with your body heat and gently massage it into the baby’s scalp. Let it soak, rinse with comfortable water, and gently brush/comb the hair.

 

Tips on Buying 100% Pure Argan Oil

How do you know whether your Argan oil is indeed 100% pure and whether you are getting the best quality? These are four easy steps that you can use to  identify true Argan oil before you make the financial commitment:

 

Container: Argan oil should come in a dark glass bottle. Why? Light spoils the quality of Argan oil very quickly.

Ingredient list: Only one ingredient should be listed: argania spinosa or argan oil. The oil has been diluted with fillers if there is anything else listed.

Cost: High quality oil will have a higher price tag, but you will only use a few drops at a time.

Appearance and Scent: Pure Argan oil should have an amber or gold color. It should also have a nutty smell that disappears within a couple minutes of applying it on your skin. The nutty smell is from the roasting of the kernel before extracting the oil. Pure Argan oil should not leave your skin greasy, sticky, or feeling coated with a layer of oil.

Argan oil is quite versatile and is always a great addition to your personal self-care recipes either alone or as a premium carrier oil. Let me know by commenting below if you found this useful or have any creative uses of Argan oil.

A plus tard!

About Shaju

Sharon is the owner of Shaju, a holistic, socially conscious and environmentally friendly beauty brand that uses unrefined shea butter and all natural ingredients to create exquisite skin and hair products.

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