Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In this Issue No. 15 - Argan Oil

The American people have a tendency to get bored easily with the tried-and-true, and as such, we are always eagerly scanning the horizon for the next big thing. With the advent of the era of technology, we are all privy to information that is available at our fingertips 24/7. For instance, if I am having trouble  falling asleep in the wee hours of the morning, then I am probably going to scroll through Twitter, check Instagram or browse through the Style.com, Huffington Post, Bleacher Report or WSJ apps on my phone to find out new happenings...wherever in the world they're happening. We are impatient for newness, seeking out the latest information as often as possible. We each like to be in-the-know before others,  and we pride ourselves on being curators of the cool and ambassadors of what's au courant. Then add in social media - which has made it all too easy for anyone and everyone to share individual photos, thoughts and preferences with a multitude of eager listeners - and things are becoming new, then old, at breakneck speeds. Therefore, the thrill of finding new products and ideas isn't going to wane anytime soon. It's a game, and it's fun to play. A rat race of sorts. And companies are hearing this message loud and clear, making sure to reinvent themselves and to consistently update their consumer offerings on the regular.

With the green movement came an surge of consumer interest in items created from mostly natural substances that work just as well as synthetically-developed products. Brands such as Ojon, Alterna, Aveda, Ren, Origins, Lush Cosmetics, Boscia, Weleda and more are formualated without many potentially harmful chemicals and ingredients such as sulfates, preservatives, synthetic dyes and parabens that are found in other non-organic fomulas. This lack of potentially dangerous ingredients has created a stalwart legion of devoted fans to some of these brands.

The hot beauty item that captured the public's attention a few years ago and that is still going strong is argan oil. Argan oil is harvested from a tree that is native to Morocco and that has moisturizing properties found to be helpful for skin and hair, though the oil can be used in food products as well.

The first time I'd heard of argan oil was when the line Moroccanoil came out to much acclaim. The brand touted a new, superingredient called argan oil which claimed to counteract ailments that exacerbated limp, lackluster hair. When Moroccanoil first emerged on the market, there were only a few products offered in its line - shampoo, conditioner, and the regular Moroccanoil treatment, which claimed to soothe hair, protect hair from heat styling and the elements and add shine and moisture. I became a fan after being recommended the shampoo and conditioner from a stylist and actually feeling the silky difference in my hair after a shower. Being a noted beauty skeptic, this was a big deal for me as the product did all that it claimed it would. Then a friend of mine who is known for her bouncy, looks-like-she-spent-hours-hot rolling-her-hair-but-really-its-natural curls told me to try the Moroccanoil treatment, saying I would love it.
Buuuut...I was hesitant. My hair, though curly, errs on the side of indecisive curl-waves, not sure if it wants to be curly or wavy, but instead falling somewhere in between. Nevertheless, I tried the product and was pretty happy with the results, as was my hair. Shiny? Check. Buoyant? Yep. Moisturized?
It certainly felt like it.
Yeah, I was pleased.
The brand has since extended its offerings, now including two different types of shampoos, a light version of its treatment, frizz control and scalp treatments serums, hairsprays, curl creams and more.

Recently however, more brands have jumped on the argan oil bandwagon. Redken released its version, called All Soft Argan-6 Oil, which promises to use the heady liquid to moisturize and revitalize hair. Whole Living magazine reported that Josie Maran devoted her natural skincare and cosmetics line to the argan oil when, on a modeling trip, she asked a beautiful, glowing older French woman what her secret was to looking so beautiful and vibrant, to which the lady responded that she used argan oil on her skin every single day. Supposedly, argan oil is lightweight and won't clog pores - unlike mineral oils - and helps to regulate sebum production for those with oily skin. Maran has expanded her line from just pure argan oil to include argan oil-infused moisturizers, argan hair care, bronzing argan oil and an entire  range of cosmetics from blush to eyeshadow to foundation.

Marie Claire's May issue featured a bottle of Josie Maran's argan oil (right side, midway down) which got me to thinking more about the substance as well as the products I'd purchased that included it in the ol' list of ingredients.


I have both the Redken Argan-6 Oil as well as the Josie Maran argan oil, and compared to one another, they don't have severe differences.

(My stash)

The differences:
I like the smell of Redken's product better because it has a coconut-banana-beachy scent reminiscent of tanning oil, whereas the Josie Maran oil doesn't have a discernible smell to it at all. Also, Redken gave my hair a more lustrous sheen than did Josie Maran's argan. However, I like the dropper bottle from Josie Maran, as it gives me some measure of control over how much product I actually want. Another plus for the latter is the fact that it can be used on hair, face, body...it's multifunctional.

All in all, these products seem like good investments for people looking to add a naturally-based boost to their skincare or haircare regimen.

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