Bottled Beauty

Argan oil is being added as a token ingredient to EVERYTHING these days. It's this year's Goji berry it seems - the trendy catchword du jour. So even though we're all probably a bit sick of hearing about it, there is actually more to the oil than just a flash-in-the-pan trend.

For the last couple of weeks I've been using Josie Maran's Pure Argan Oil as a multitasking extraordinaire - it's a tiny little glass bottle with dropper, very pretty and completely environmentally friendly in its production. I wasn't sure what to really use it as to start, but now I'm never going without it in my makeup bag - it's a quick smooth for split ends, intensive conditioning treatment for hair, softens cuticles, fades scars, and is fine enough to use as a serum under moisturizer. I used it for a week around my eyes to try and soothe a bad reaction to an eye cream I tested, and it was immediately healing and calming. I rub a bit on my lips to immediately smooth any dryness and heal cracks. I even like to dab a bit on my cheekbones to finish makeup, it leaves a light, dewy shine that's more natural than any highlighter. I also love that it's completely unscented, completely 100% Argan oil, when so many products use fillers.

Argan oil has been used in Morocco for hundreds of years as a diet and beauty staple - it's incredibly high in Vitamin E, fatty acids, and all sorts of lovely, nourishing things, so it packs a real punch when used for skincare. It's also a very smooth, refined oil, so lends itself well to facial uses - it soaks right in and feels light and hydrating.
The Argan tree only grows in one area of Morocco, and as such is extremely susceptible to overgrazing and environmental damage - it's considered an endangered species, and is now protected in it's own biosphere by UNESCO. The program allows the Argan nut to be sustainably harvested by a women's cooperative, providing the local Berber community an independent income, and the trees protection and care. The local goats famously scramble about the trees to reach the best fruit in the harsh environs, looking precarious in the small, scrubby trees.

Now being that all Argan oil is coming from basically the same place, you can probably find it quite a bit cheaper if you look around - but the small bottle from Josie Maran is $14, and will probably last me about 6 mos or more, and I really like the company - I think it's a smart line, with pretty packaging, good offerings, a great ethos, and excellent customer care - so frankly, I can't be bothered sourcing it somewhere else. I'm happy with this one, and now it's a staunchly entrenched item in my beauty arsenal. I can't say the same for any Goji berry products I may have tried.

Check out the rest of the lovely Josie Maran Cosmetics line on her website. I have my eye on the Daily Sun Protection and the Bear Naked cleansing wipes - though the makeup in the line is really tempting me as well...

(My bottle was a PR sample from the company.)

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