I wish I were writing this from Marrakech, Morocco, but alas, here I am in bomb-cyclone New York City. Only a few weeks ago, I was basking in the Moroccan sun, wandering the market, and posing in colorful riads.
I want to share some glimpses of this experience because it ties into the theme for this week’s newsletter -- understanding global beauty trends.
After speaking with locals, guides, and doing research, I learned that there’s a very potent skincare ingredient that has its history rooted here in Morocco, and it’s one that we should explore.
Introducing … Argan oil.
I was always familiar with the term “argan oil,” but I couldn't differentiate it from other oils. One morning, I was out walking through the market with our guide, Hatim, and I asked him about where locals purchase beauty products. He suggested a couple of stores and stalls and then widened his eyes and asked -- have you tried our argan oil? I had tried it with bread at the previous night's dinner, but not on my face!I asked him to take us straight to an argan oil shop.
While at the argan oil shop, I learned more about argan oil’s rich history in Morocco. Here are a few bulleted takeaways:
- Argan oil is derived from the fruit of the argan tree (this is the tree that goats stand-in).
- People, like the Phoenicians, have been using argan oil since at least 600 BCE for healing and beauty practices.
- Then the Berber community began to use the oils. The nuts from this tree are notoriously hard to crack, and interestingly, Berber women would fetch the seeds from goats droppings so that they would have to do less work in breaking the semi-already-processed nut.
- In the 20th century, Europeans tried to plow down these argan trees to replace them with other crop-producing plants. These efforts led UNESCO to place the biosphere the tree calls home under protection in 1998.
- Moroccan scientists then proved the antioxidant-rich properties of the oil, which pioneered methods for increasing quality and global production.
Here's where to find argan oil:
- Josie Maran, 100 percent Pure Argan Oil
- 100% Pure Moroccan Argan Oil
- Kiehl's, Superbly Restorative Argan Body Lotion
How and When to Use an Oil
Most facial oils can be used twice daily, both morning and night. We have an image guide below for you to figure out how much treatment oil you should be using each day, depending on your unique skin type.