World-famous Moroccan Argan oil is known for its cosmetic and medical properties. Argan oil can be used to treat a number of skin and hair conditions such as slow hair growth, acne, dryness of scalp, dry skin, stretched skin as well as for pure cosmetic purposes. Because Argan tree is endemic to Morocco, Argan oil remains one of the rarest oils in the world.
To learn a little more about this amazing oil and get some useful tips on how to buy and use it we got in touch with Neil and Eylem, proud owners of Rana Argan Oil, a UK-based company specializing in organic and natural products from around the world. Here is what we talked about…
AWN: What’s the typical skincare routine of Moroccan women and what do they do differently in terms of beauty and self care?
RANA: Moroccan women take great care of their skin and hair. As you can imagine, Moroccan women have easy access to some of the most amazing beauty products on this earth. A typical daily routine for a Moroccan woman would usually consist of using beldi soap, a soft black paste, which they use whilst in a hammam, a type of bath. Once out of the hammam they would use a Kessa to exfoliate their skin, whilst using the Kessa they would rinse constantly to rid their skin of impurities.
Note from AWN: Kessa is a glove made out of coarse fabric. You can see an example of Kessa at Rana’s website
Once they finish that they would add a clay mask to their skin which makes their skin super soft and silky. Finally they would apply Argan oil to their skin in order to keep their skin moisturised throughout the day. Obviously we can’t account for all women in Morocco but this is what we have found out as a generalisation.
AWN: I know you are specializing in pure Argan oil. Can you please tell us a little more about it, its benefits and what makes it so special?
RANA: Well Argan oil has become massive in recent years and for good reason. The whole body can benefit from Argan oil, not just hair as some people still believe. The benefits of Argan oil are numerous and new benefits are always being discovered. The main benefits that people experience are:
- Hair gets revitalised and rehydrated, with added shine and strength.
- Skin is moisturised, silky, smooth and healthy looking.
- Skin is purified inside out, with impurities being brought to the surface.
- Dry skin conditions will be improved and on some occasions completely alleviated.
- Stretch marks and scars can be reduced in size.
- Skin is given back its elasticity and youthful feel.
- Nails are strengthened and given a beautiful shine.
- And much much more…
AWN: Prior to this interview, I’ve made some research and found out that most Argan oils available in the market are mixed with cheaper oils and, as a consequence, are not as beneficial as pure Argan oil. Do you think it’s a valid concern and if yes, could you offer any tips on how we can make sure we buy only 100 percent pure Argan oil?
RANA: It’s a massive concern, not only for the genuine companies like ourselves who sell the pure Argan oil, but also for the customers who could be putting anything on their hair skin and nails. There are chemicals out there that people could be allergic to and if these chemicals are mixed in with Argan oil and put on the skin then it can have serious health repercussions. Again, some Argan oil sellers mix Argan oil with other oils, like you mentioned, as these other oils, like olive oil, are cheaper to produce and fill up a bottle at a very cheap cost meaning that they can sell it cheaper to customers, giving the customer the impression that they are getting a bargain, when in fact they are mainly getting olive oil!
There are ways for everyone to make sure that the Argan Oil they are buying is real. Firstly, pure Argan oil is a very expensive and time consuming oil to produce. If you come across, for example, a bottle of Argan oil, 100 ml in size for anything less than £20 (approximately $32) then chances are its fake as the cost of getting the oil to the customer would mean very little profit for the seller and therefore would make it very suspicious.
Secondly, Pure Argan oil should have a light nutty smell to it which is its natural smell when being extracted from the nut. If your Argan oil smells of nothing its because it gone through a process which extracts the nutty smell making it odourless, this process also strips essential vitamins and minerals essential in making Argan oil the magical oil. If your Argan oil smells amazing, then again its gone through a process where artificial perfumes have been added to the Argan oil which again deteriorates the properties of Argan oil.
Other ways to tell if Argan oil is of the purest form is the colour of Argan oil, which should be a like a golden colour. The texture should, of course, be of an oil and not a watery substance. The ingredients should say one thing and one thing only, Argan oil or Argania Spinosa Kernal oil, we also list the minerals and vitamins found in Argan oil on our ingredients. This one doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a fake oil but its advised to not store Argan oil in plastic or glass bottles. The reason for this is because the heat from direct sunlight can destroy the properties of Argan oil and the heat will also produce toxins from the plastic bottle which will seep into the Argan oil. Aluminium bottles or bottles that are darkly coloured are ideal.
Note from AWN: Please check out Rana’s store for 100% pure Argan oil and other organic products
AWN: Any advice on how to use Argan Oil? Is there any special way to apply it to make most of it?
RANA: Pure Argan oil should last you a long time. This is because, as the saying goes, a little goes a long way, which is very apt for Argan oil as you should use it very sparingly. The oil should absorb within a minute or two meaning no greasy texture on your skin or hair. Simply put a drop or two to your hands and rub the oil between your hands and apply to the skin evenly. You may not think you are putting a lot on but it doesn’t take a lot of Argan oil to make a difference. With scars or stretch marks simply apply a drop directly to the area twice a day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
With your hair you can apply a few drops into your hand, rub it in and then evenly apply to your hair. How much you put into your hair depends on how dry or damaged it is. I would advise that you start with 2-3 drops to hair, all over the hair, on dry hair. If the hair is very dry then just let the hair absorb the oil, if your hair isn’t particularly dry then you can wash it out after having it in your hair for about 10 minutes. If you have issues with split ends then simply apply a couple of drops of Argan oil to your hands rub the oil evenly over your hands and then stroke the ends of your hair into your split ends.
The majority of time when using Argan oil, you unknowingly rub the Argan oil into the cuticles, therefore you don’t tend to need to rub any extra Argan oil into your cuticles. If you do want to rub Argan oil into cuticles then simply put a drop into your fingers and rub the oil into the cuticles.