The amazing argan oil
- Next1 of 8Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti Spring 2013; Imaxtree
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Striking Oil!1 of 8
By Kelly Mickle
Shea butter, pomegranate and acai berries have all had their moment in the "wonder ingredient" spotlight. Today, the natural-beauty buzz is all about argan oil. In 2007, there were just two argan-oil beauty products on the market, now there are more than a hundred. So what is this miracle ingredient? Glo gets the scoop on the coveted oil Moroccans call "liquid gold"—plus, our top argan-oil product picks.
The Giving Tree2 of 8
Argan oil 101: The sought-after oil comes from the nuts inside the fruit of an argan tree, native to Morocco for millions of years. They look similar to olive trees and thrive in the harsh desert environment. Women have long used the oil as a beauty potion for hair, skin and nails.
Top pick: Josie Maran's moisturizer with SPF 40 is infused with argan oil to protect skin from sun damage while evening out tone.
SHOP NOW: Josie Maran daily moisturizer, $32
Quality Control3 of 8
Argan oil 101: The more diluted the oil is with other ingredients, the fewer benefits you'll receive. If you want the real thing, stick with 100 percent pure argan oil—which can be used on hair, lips, skin and nails. It can be used to keep you glowing from head to toe.
Top pick: Massage one to three drops of Kahina 100 percent pure organic argan oil into nails, skin and hair to treat dryness and restore shine.
SHOP NOW: Kahina 100 percent pure organic argan oil, from $36
Buff Body4 of 8
Argan oil 101: The oil found in the nut of the argan tree contains a high concentration of vitamin E and essential fatty acids. These nutrients have been shown to help with a range of beauty woes, from dry skin to frizzy hair to wrinkles.
Top pick: The pioneer of argan haircare, MoroccanOil, is making a foray into skincare with this exfoliating scrub that uses orange peel to polish away dead skin cells while the argan oil rehydrates.
SHOP NOW: MoroccanOil body buff, $42
Refined Oil5 of 8
Argan oil 101: To obtain argan oil, the tree's nuts are cracked open and kernels are ground into a brown paste that's not unlike peanut butter. The paste is then kneaded by hand to extract the oil, which is bottled. Cosmetic-grade argan oil is silky and golden in color.
Top pick: A spritz of this oil detangles and de-frizzes even the most unruly strands.
SHOP NOW: Bumble and Bumble hairdresser's oil, $38
Girl Power6 of 8
Argan oil 101: The argan oil industry is now predominately run and staffed by native Moroccan women working in cooperatives. These groups enable women to earn their own income and gain access to training and education—all of which help to reduce poverty and inequality for women and children in what has long been a male-dominated society.
Top pick: This beautifully packaged set of argan-oil-infused soaps directly benefits Moroccan women.
SHOP NOW: Amal Oils cedarwood artisanal soap sampler, $70
Color Guard7 of 8
Argan oil 101: While it may be best known for smoothing and strengthening hair, the ultra-nourishing oil is an excellent moisturizer for your skin, lips and nails. Packed with antioxidants, essential fatty acids and vitamin E, the oil helps lock in moisture to repair damage and protect against dryness.
Top pick: This lipstick is spiked with argan oil; it softens dry lips and comes in a whopping 104 shades.
SHOP NOW: L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour, $9
Skin Savvy8 of 8
Argan oil 101: Antioxidants in the oil may help stimulate the body's natural production of collagen—which improves skin's elasticity and can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, fine lines and wrinkles.
Top pick: This argan-oil-infused lotion hydrates the skin with essential fatty acids and antioxidants to protect against free-radical damage.
SHOP NOW: Kiehl's Superbly Restorative Argan Body Lotion, $38
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