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Do I sense a hot new ingredient? In the May 2008 issue of Elle, one of my favorite derms, Dr. Leslie Baumann, reports, “Unlike other exotic resources such as caviar and marine algae, argan oil offers the best of both worlds…It’s an antiager and it’s eco-friendly.” Dubbed ‘the gold of Morocco,’ argan oil contains essential fatty acids (linoleic and oleic acids) and antioxidant polyphenols. Argan oil is now available in Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Dry Oil with Organic Fairly Traded Argan Body Lotion ($35.00, Kiehls.com) Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Body Lotion with Organic Fairly Traded Argan Oil ($30.00, Kiehls.com), Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare Superbalm, and will soon be included in Aveda Green Science products. What does independent clinical research say about argan oil? Read on to find out. 🙂
An antioxidant that is good for the environment
There are few natural ingredients that have been tested to show the power of cosmeceutical ingredients – but argan oil is one of them. According to Elle, argan oil has three times the amount of antioxidant vitamin E found in olive oil. Further, Pat Peterson, the executive director of research and development for Aveda, tells the magazine, “The antioxidants and fatty acids work synergistically to stop inflammation.” According to Aveda’s in-house clinical tests, subjects showed a 38 percent improvement in lines after eight weeks of using their upcoming argan-rich firming face cream.
How exactly does argan oil benefit the environment? Through the Targanine Cooperative, 2000 Moroccan women work to preserve the Argan Forest by planting new trees and harvesting argan nuts. Because argan oil is exclusive to this land, it is “a source of dependable income and a means of improving their financial independence, access to healthcare, and education,” according to a Kiehl’s press release. Model Josie Maran adds in Elle, “Purchasing the oil from the women’s cooperatives supports their social and economic welfare.” All work in Morocco for Kiehl’s products is also fair-trade, fostering a healthy, safe, environmentally friendly work environment in which workers are fairly compensated for their labor.
What do linoleic and oleic fatty acids do for the skin?
An omega-6 unsaturated (i.e., contains double bonds) essential fatty acid, linoleic acid has been shown in several research studies (cited here) to be capable of reducing inflammation and acne and increasing skin’s moisturization levels. On the other hand, oleic acid is a omega-9 monounsaturated (i.e., contains only one double bond) nonessential fatty acid that makes up 55-60% of olive oil and 56% of açai berry. According to a Kiehl’s press release, linoleic and oleic fatty acids both help protect and maintain skin elasticity, smoothness, and radiance.
Product Review: Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Dry Oil with Organic Fairly Traded Argan Body Lotion and Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Body Lotion with Organic Fairly Traded Argan Oil
Ingredients-wise, both are fantastic, particularly for all-natural products. Both contain vitamin E, olive oil, and avocado oil, which are all excellent natural antioxidants and skin emollients.
Both drink into the skin quickly, and leave a strong herbal scent. I think the oil is fabulous for retaining skin’s moisture levels immediately post-shower, so long as you like the scent. The oil also makes your skin fabulously smooth and shiny-looking, so if you want to show off smooth, shimmery legs in a mini this summer, applying Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Body Lotion with Organic Fairly Traded Argan Oil is a fabulous way to do it!
Overall opinions of argan oil
If you demand your skin care is good for the environment, but want results too, then you don’t get much better than products that contain argan oil. The ingredient hydrates with essential fatty acids and protects with far more antioxidant vitamin E than olive oil. I love it personally, and am a new fan of Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Body Lotion with Organic Fairly Traded Argan Oil. If you love natural and want results, go for it!