Beauty Solutions: Liquid Gold of Morocco

by Sonja on December 17, 2008

From olive oil to grapeseed oil, plant oils are commonplace in skincare these days, especially with all the natural beauty products that are now available. But have you heard of argan oil? Moroccan women have beautified themselves with it for thousands of years. Now this coveted, precious oil from Morocco, known as liquid gold, has been finding its way into skincare around the world. And for good reason.

Some consider it miraculous, because it’s so beneficial and in so many ways. It’s known for hydrating dry skin, rejuvenating dull skin, helping clear acne, balancing oily skin, healing scars, helping protect from environmental damage with its high levels of anti-oxidants, improving circulation, soothing psoriasis and eczema, minimizing and preventing stretch marks, conditioning hair and nails, and making skin more elastic, soft, and luminous by accelerating cell oxygenation.

It is exceptionally rich in vitamin E, squalene, and essential fatty acids. It absorbs quickly without leaving skin feeling oily or greasy. It also helps the Berber community, the indigenous people of Morocco.

The Secret to Glowing Skin
To learn more, I asked Liz Earle of eco-friendly Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare, a Britain-based line that includes the immensely popular Superskin Concentrate, a powerful overnight treatment made with lots of argan oil. Liz discovered argan oil while on a trip to Morocco. She noticed that women there had the most radiant skin despite the intense, arid climate.

She learned that their secret was argan oil, which is harvested from the fruits of argan trees. Once she tried it for herself, she was adamant about having it be the foundation of her Superskin Concentrate. This potent blend of 100% pure plant oils nourishes, heals, soothes, and protects skin while you sleep. It absorbs quickly and moisturizes wonderfully. It also helps me get to sleep with its heavenly, calming natural fragrance that comes from essential oils of lavender, neroli, and chamomile. It can be used in facial massage to help clear toxins, reduce puffiness, boost circulation, encourage cell renewal, and aid lymphatic drainage.

Versatile Care

Argan oil is excellent for any type of skin — everything from oily to sensitive to dry and mature. Liz says that you shouldn’t steer clear of plant oils if you have oily skin, because these oils help balance skin and make oily skin more manageable by regulating sebum production. At the same time, plant oils are also ideal for sensitive, dehydrated skin, because they are protective and soothing.

You can buy pure argan oil on its own. I use it on my face, body, hands, and scalp. It has virtually no scent so it’s perfect for sensitive skin. It helped reduce inflammation that I caused when I messed with a pimple (I know. I know. I shouldn’t have done it, especially after just being told that this is so bad for your skin). I’m hoping it will prevent scarring. I like argan oil from the French companies Kaeline and Issahra. Both are 100% organic.

Wide Variety of Products

You can also envelope your entire beauty routine in argan oil. There’s a wide variety of argan-oil-based products — from cleansers and scrubs to face and hair masks to shampoos and conditioners. Argan Body and Xandra Renouvelle have very good selections of just about anything you could ever want made with argan oil. I especially like all-natural Isshara Cell Booster Night Care, an intensively rich cream that really takes care of dry, chapped skin (available from Argan Body).

Supporting Indigenous People
Argan oil comes from the only argan forest in the world. Extracting the oil is a labor-intensive process done by all-women cooperatives. Liz says the harvest and trade of argan oil is the main income for Berber women. These cooperatives provide much-needed jobs and educational opportunities. Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare, Xandra Renouvelle, and Argan Body all work directly with these cooperatives.

Beauty Bonus
Argan Body has a special just for Coveted readers. You can get 25% off any of their products by entering the coupon code “coveted” until January 15th, 2009.

Do Tell
Do you use argan oil or any other plant oils? How do you use them and have they helped your skin?

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vintage_mck December 17, 2008 at 8:08 am

I actually started using an aragan product for my hair - MOROCCANOIL™ - and I absolutely love it - I will have to try a facial product as I was not aware of what was in the MOROCCANOIL™ that I loved so much.

gail December 17, 2008 at 8:29 am

I have argan oil from Kiehls, which I use on my skin. It is light, absorbs quickly, and has a light and beautiful scent (which I think Kiehls adds). They say you can use it for your hair, but I think its too heavy for everything but the very tips of my hair. Thanks for whatever you did to get us the discount! The product here looks great, very pure - I am definitely going to try! (by the way, have you tried THE FACE SHOP products from Korea? I’d be curious to get your opinions on them)

Sara December 17, 2008 at 1:39 pm

I love love love Argan Body products! The oil is amazing for your face and hands, but they have a lot of other products that feel really luxurious as well. I especially love the hand cream from the aromatic Dead Sea collection!

Sonja December 17, 2008 at 5:49 pm

❤ Vintage_mck, that’s so funny that they trademarked it. I would imagine that it’s simply argan oil. Interesting.
❤ Gail, I didn’t know that Kiehls had anything with argan oil. Kiehls must add the scent, because the oil itself is practically fragrance free. I’m so glad you’re excited abut the discount. It’s a good one! Let me know what else you try. And thanks for the Face Shop tip. I’ll have to check it out. I’m half Korean so I’m extra curious to learn more. :)

gail December 17, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Hi Sonja - I checked the label and there are alot of other ingredients with the oil, including scent. Its called “Superbly Restorative Dry Oil” “Our multi-purpose restorative dry oil for the face, body and hair utilizes Moroccan Argan Oil and naturally-derived emollients”. So far I’ve tried one of the Face Shop’s masks, and I loved it! They have several different ones, so I’ll have fun trying them all.

Nicola December 17, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Argan Body has come through for me in a pinch- nice gift packages for the holidays, a little something to spoil myself. The products are nicely packaged and the contents are fantastic. I like everything I have tried. During these winter months I particularly like the facial moisturizers and hair cream.

Sonja December 29, 2008 at 7:54 pm

❤ Gail, it’s been interesting. Now that I’ve learned about argan oil, I’m starting to see that a few companies are using it here and there. I’ll let you know when I try Face Shop’s goodies. :)
❤ Thanks for the feedback, Sara and Nicola!

gail December 30, 2008 at 10:03 am

Hi Sonja,
I’ve now tried another mask and loved it (a strawberry yogurt one). I have so many that I got free to try - I just need to settle down and do it!

Amy February 23, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Hi argan oil lovers. I have been a huge fan of the Kaeline line of organic argan oil based skin care products. You can’t beat their night balm, Argabaume Nuit, as it has the argan oil, shea butter, and it is so rich and wonderful that it has enslaved me. lol You should also try their Hammam line which includes the legendary black soap, rhassoul clay, and an exfoliating glove that will smooth off that horrible winter itchy back that some of us in the Northern climates suffer from.

Sonja February 25, 2009 at 12:35 pm

❤ Amy, thanks for letting us know about the Kaeline line. I love the argan oil. Sounds like I need to try more of the line!

Noah S September 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I love argan oil, but prefer pure oil, which is natural and has nothing mixed to it.
I got great results with argan oil, but only once i switched to Jebel Pure Argan Oil, this brand is amazing, best quality found on the market. And the company is socially conscious, it helps Berber communities and pays higher wages to its women.
All my girls use it now and they are amazed with the results.
Check it out July 1, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Argan oil contains high percentage of essential fatty acids and phelnols and so it is more resistant to oxidation than olive oil. It also contains vitamin A, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids which provide more antioxidant benefits. Argan oil is very popular oil. It is very hard to extract this oil and so it is not generally cheap. Due to its high cost, it is sometimes found in products only in unpretentious amounts.

Alison @ Femita February 2, 2011 at 5:20 am

I use both 100% argan oil and olive oil in my skin and hair care routine and I must say argan is my favorite. I like the smell better and my skin feels just amazingly well-nourished after. Wouldn’t trade it for the world, probably my favorite beauty product.
Alison @ Femita´s last [type] ..Argan oil – How To Use Morocco’s Liquid Gold

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