Argan Oil – The Golden Oil

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Beauty products are often full of toxic chemicals, such as hormone disruptors, glycerin, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and mercury (which is the second most toxic substance known to man), yet for some reason, they are added to a very wide range of skin and hair care products.  It is increasingly difficult to find something safe that you can put on your skin – the largest human organ – in order to keep it healthy.

Skin problems are often a good indication of who may benefit from EFA supplementation. We know that fatty acid problems are very common and nearly everybody suffers from an imbalance in some way. Many clues to a deficit of EFAs often fall in the theme of skin dryness which manifests in different ways, for instance:

– Cracking fingertips or toes (worse in winter)
– Patchy dullness of the skin (especially on the face)
– Mixed oily and dry skin
– Chicken skin (rough bumps on the back of the arms A.K.A. phrynoderma or hyperkeratosis follicularis)
– Alligator skin (usually on the lower legs)
– Stiff, dry, unmanageable or brittle hair
– Seborrhea, cradle cap, dandruff, hair loss
– Soft or brittle fingernails that fray with horizontal splitting

At home, my family and I maintain a diet that is rich in fatty acids supplemented with organic fish oils. But, not content with just getting our EFAs internally, we went to our local bio-store here in southern France, in search of an organic moisturizer that was rich in beneficial oils to help keep our skin healthy and beautiful.

Scanning the shelves, we found a small, dark bottle labeled Huile Vierge d’Argan (Virgin Argan Oil), it was 100% pure and natural and its nutritional information showed that it contained: 46 grams of mono-unsaturated fats, and 24 grams of polyunsaturated fats per each 100 grams of oil. That’s 80% EFAs! The oil had a delicious smell of nuts (it is edible) and was reasonably priced, so, we decided to give it a shot.

It didn’t take long before we started to notice that our skin looked and felt better. So, we decided to look more closely at this argan oil, its background and benefits, and we were very pleased with what we found.

Made from the kernels of the Argan tree (Argania Spinosa), which grows almost exclusively in southwestern Morocco, the oil is said to have restorative and age defying effects and is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties.  It is remarkably high in vitamin E and other antioxidants and it has also phytosterols which help heal stretch marks, scar tissue, and burns. It also helps to treat and cure all sorts of skin conditions: dry skin, acne, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles, dandruff. This makes perfect sense as it is very rich in EFAs which we already know are capable of that kind of magic! In fact, healthy essential fatty acids are a natural anti-inflammatory that reduces pain, swelling and inflammation, while stimulating blood circulation. This is also why it is being used in massage therapy for arthritic joints and aching muscles.

Traditionally, the women of Morocco have utilized argan oil as the foundation of their beauty regimen, applying it to their skin, hair, and nails, but it is also used in the local recipes as well as in traditional medicine as a treatment for skin diseases such as acne and chickenpox (varicella).

The local women of the Berber tribe are solely responsible for harvesting the nuts and producing the oil with fair trade working cooperatives. These cooperatives have initiated an ecosystem reforestation project to help preserve the argan forest, as it is indeed a very rare tree.  Argan oil was discovered by English and French tourists many years ago, and although it is relatively new in America, it is now being promoted and exported worldwide. So, we hope that you can also benefit from its wonderful properties!

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