I was in Marrakesh, Morocco with 5 other girls for 5 days in March, soaking up the culture, trying to smuggle vodka into our Riad, being scrubbed by a big scary woman while naked, the usual stuff.
In amongst the winding souks, with the most incredible leather handbags, spices and weird miniature tortoises in tiny cages eating lettuce we found a little stall run by a very kind lady called Habiba who let us poke around in all her bits and bobs.
She was selling Argan oil, bottles of the pure yellow liquid, for around £3. Argan oil hit the big time last year by being sold in salon favorite Morroccanoil, a silky hair tamer that promises to protect and beautify even the most ravaged of locks. These tiny little bottles found in the market, just plastic with a most basic pump spray, seemed like a good introduction. We all snapped up a couple of bottles each, and flew home with them, excited to try it out for ourselves.
Pure Argan oil is not for the squeamish. Before machine processing became widely available, goats would climb the mountains of North Africa to eat the fruit of the Argan tree, and Berbers collected the undigested Argan pits from the goat’s waste. (I’m calling it waste today because I’m feeling polite, I think it’s because I’ve got my Jubilee Commemoration biscuit tin in front of me and Queen Liz is giving me a sideways glance). So yeah, essentially the oil has been crapped out of goats. (Sorry, Liz).
This isn’t to say this is how it is widely processed now, I just have my suspicions that the cheapo bottles we bought were probably warm and fresh from the goat.
But don’t let this deter you! You don’t NEED to go for the 100% oil, which I have, and have incidentally loved. You also don’t have to fly all the way to Morocco to pick up this wonder product, because the number of personal-care products on the US market with Argan oil as an
ingredient increased from just two in 2007 to over one hundred by 2011.
One of the best known is Josie Maran's natural, eco-friendly product line. Listen up, because this is the GIVEAWAY PART. Three charming readers will win a Pure & Simple Argan Skincare Ritual Kit, which will be available for purchase for one day only (August 11th) on QVC. Included in the kit:
- Argan Cleansing Oil to moisturize and cleanse.
- Argan Daily Moisturizer Protect + Perfect Broad Spectrum SPF 40 Tinted Lotion to tint and protect from UVA/UVB radiation.
- Argan Color Stick to create a healthy flush on cheeks or lips.
- 100 % Pure Argan Oil
The pure oil can smell pretty strong, so I mix it into a scented moisturizer and slather it on after a shower or bath. It’s intensely moisturizing, and contains high levels of fatty acids and vitamin E to ward off signs of aging, and dehydration, and keeps the skin exceptionally supple. I also pump a few handfuls into my hands, run through dry hair, wrap in a warm towel and leave in while watching TV or doing something a bit more cultural like reading about whether Khloe Kardashian has Konceived yet. Wash out with a normal shampoo and condition as normal, and BAM. Silky smooth, Giselle-a-like tresses.
To win, simply leave a comment about, I don't know, if you've ever bought anything from television or would like to.
And if you do go to Morocco, have a tagine! And go to the Jardin Majorelles.
I’m over on Twitter talking about what I just ate and Michael Phelps' thighs. Join me! @Natalie_KateM