Morocco – the land of intrigue and ancient traditions. And argan oil! I recently made a trip to Marrakesh to investigate the beauty rituals of Moroccan women and their use of argan oil.
Almost everyone has heard of argan oil but do you know exactly what it is good for? Argan oil has been used for years by Berber women to reduce wrinkles, treat acne and reduce scarring. It is commonly known for its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation (enemy number one!) and reduce sebum. It’s full of polyphenols (antioxidants) which fight free radical damage which makes this oil particularly effective in cities to fight again pollution.
You can buy pure, organic argan oil from the souk in Morocco for a very good price. I picked up mine for about just under 2 pounds! Yes, that’s really true!
The argan oil that I picked up, referred to by locals as ‘liquid gold’, has a rich, thick texture and it’s not like anything I have ever bought outside of Morocco. It has an interesting smell (something like peanuts) but it absorbs really easily and for this reason I really liked it because it didn’t leave me feeling greasy.
Moroccan women also use black soap, commonly used in the hammams, which are public steam rooms where cleansing rituals take place. The whole process includes cleansing, aromatherapy, detoxification and massage. This all does the things we think it would do: increase circulation and skin tone, smooth out skin, stimulate the immune system and release toxins. In other words, amazing!
Another quirky thing I picked up on my travels was this unique exfoliator (below). This is covered by a slightly course material that allows you to exfoliate your skin all over. Simply add shower gel and it acts as a loofah. The shape of it makes it very easy to hold and it cost me under a pound – a true beauty bargain! It can be used on the face or body – whichever you please.
What are your favourite beauty buys abroad?