Do you know about argan oil? It’s an ancient beauty “secret” from Morocco that’s starting to gain popularity in the US, and a bunch of my friends tell me it is the best thing ever.

Harvested from the pits of the argan plant, this stuff is great for both hair and skin, and is the basis of many Moroccan spa treatments. They used to extract it from goat poop, but modern technology has made it so that the goats are left out of the equation now. It can be used as a natural alternative to moisturizer, helping to prevent wrinkles. It can also prevent acne, if your skin isn’t ultra-sensitive to oil. My friend Claudia says she puts a few drops in her shampoo if her hair is feeling dry, and Claudia has the nicest hair of anyone I know, so that’s a real vote of confidence.

There is also evidence that argan oil has health benefits when it is consumed in food, which is sort of a dream come true for anyone who wishes they were allowed to eat more of their beauty products. The stuff has been catching on in the west to the point where it’s being sold by Sephora now, but it’s cheaper if you buy it from hippies.

Unlike some products, the increased export of argan oil has been good for local economies in the arid regions where the plant grows; rather than decimating the already endangered plant, it’s helped protect it from being cut down. Perhaps best of all, most argan oil is produced by women’s cooperatives and has helped women earn a living wage and support their families.

So go on, try a little bit of this stuff out on your skin or your hair. You can do it with a clear conscience.


Photo: Sephora