Monday, December 6, 2010

Argan Oil and Why I am Going to Throw Out All My Shampoos

No doubt my recent trip to Morocco changed my thinking. I think every word of every post I put up last week suggested that. I have gone to far lengths to make sure that my food is clean, and pesticide and chemical free as I can, all while supporting local purveyors. Yet so much of what I slather onto my body or clean my house with has not fallen under the same watchful eye. I have changed my cleaning products to Seventh Generation products. Mostly because Diapers.com will deliver these items to me overnight FOR FREE!!

Let my diverge for one moment. I LOVE Diapers.com. If you have never ordered from the site and you have young children, you need to know about this. If you live in New York City and have a doorman, then even more reason why you need to know about this site. Diapers.com is located in NJ, and I believe they ship from Pennsylvania (forgive me if that is wrong). They ship every diaper (regular and cloth), wipe, cream, ointment, etc under the sun. But they also ship formula, baby food, sippy cups, bottles, breast pumps and all pump accessories, pacifiers, clothes, vitamins, toys, books and other various baby gear. You name it these guys have it! Recently they opened a sister site Soap.com that sells the same vast variety, but of soap items. From them I have gotten all my Seventh Generation dish soaps, dishwasher gels, laundry detergents, etc. But the BEST thing about them is that they offer free shipping on any purchase over $75, maybe even over $50 now. And when you are buying diapers, your orders are all more than $50. But it gets better-the free shipping always gets to me the very next day. So if I get close to running out of diapers, I can always count on Diapers.com to get me what I need before I am running to the pharmacy down the street with sleepy children in hand just to get some before the damn place closes. (Those of you who know me personally have heard my proclaim my love for this website. But for those of you who haven't, this is completely truthful, unsolicited, unpaid, etc. No one has given me any incentive to say any of this, though I am not opposed to Thank You presents....my contact info is right there on the right hand side bar *winkwink*). Yes, you might get a slightly better price on some items by shopping at Costco. But when I factor in the $10 worth of tolls, plus gas and membership fees, I am not saving a dime. Besides, I don't have to go anywhere to get these all important baby items from Diapers.com. I even do my Christmas shopping with them every year....sigh...True Love.

Anyway, back to my regularly scheduled post. I began to realize that my shampoo and facial moisturizers, the soap I use on my skin and the soaps I was using on the kids are all conventional and contain a bazillion ingredients-many of them I cannot pronounce. And they are expensive. What's up with that?

When I was in Morocco, my dear friend MS introduced me to Argan Oil. Perhaps you have heard of it? Or perhaps you have heard of the high end Moroccanoil products? Moroccanoil is a specific company that produces salon products that contain Argan Oil (among more conventional ingredients). Argan Oil is the oil that is extracted from the kernels of the Argan Tree. The Argan Tree grows in Morocco mainly and perhaps only a few other places in the world. The kernels contain a pit that when pressed, release an oil that is very high in good Fatty Acids. In Morocco, people have been cooking with the oil for hundreds of years. They also use a more refined version of the oil for use in soaps and hair treatments, and even directly on the skin itself. See the breakdown of the Fatty Acids by percentage (taken from Wikipedia)

Fatty acid
Percentage
Palmitic
12.0%
Stearic
6.0%
Oleic
42.8%
Linoleic
36.8%
Linolenic
<0.5%

I did pick up some Argan Oil while I was in Morocco (wouldn't you?). The stuff here in the States can go for as high as $25 an ounce, or more. So of course it was a coup to be able to get fresh Argan Oil for a fraction of that price. Since I returned, I have been using a drop of it on my face every morning and evening in place of facial moisturizer. My skins looks great. I also mixed some Argan Oil with Coconut Oil (probably one part Argan oil to 3 parts coconut oil) and poured that mix over some dried rosebuds that I also got on my trip (see picture above). That mix of oils smells coconutty and rosey, it is really lovely. I have been using that mix on the dry skin on me legs and well as directly on my hair before I go to bed.

I have really really curly hair. My curls did not manifest until I was about 13, before that my hair was just wavy and would get easily tangled. I had noticed that my hair was very frizzy and unkempt when I was about 11 or 12, but I never though anything of it. I thought I just had lousy hair. I did not know that one's hair could simply...change. But change it had. I realized when I was a freshman in high school that if I did not blow dry my hair but rather let it air dry, it would curl. But it took years to refine the process of washing and applying product until my hair was not a frizzy mess. Now my hair is much healthier. I am using sulfate free shampoos, conditioners and products. Curly hair is usually very dry. My hair is rarely ever shiny because it is so dry. The sulfate free shampoos (and only washing once a week) have helped, but I have mostly just accepted that my hair would be dry. But now it is all different! In using the oil in my hair, I will just dip my fingers into the jar and massage the oil into my locks. Not too much, I don't want greasy hair. But just that little bit at night before I wet and style my hair the next morning has helped immensely. In the span of one week, my hair has truly never looked healthier. It has never been so tame, and my curls have never been shinier. I have a ways to go. But I really recommend this. If you can't find Argan Oil, Coconut Oil by itself would work just fine.

But, that bring me back to my first thought...If I can use Argan Oil on my face, why do I need expensive facial moisturizers. And if I don't need expensive facial moisturizers, what about body lotion? And if my shampoo is full of chemicals and drying agents....maybe I don't need that either? Wow, I just saved myself over $100 a year by cutting all that junk out.

Tomorrow, I will expound on the soap issue. I found Castille Soap, and I believe it will change me even further....

7 comments:

  1. I'm fortunate that my farmer's market/CSA has a soapmaker. She sells online if you're interested- all natural products and great for your skin. indigosoaps.com I'm partial to the oatmeal,milk and honey for my shower soap and cucumber for my face, but I like getting yummy smells for a change too. If you keep them from getting dripped on in the shower, they last a long time.

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  2. Pure, Organic argan oil and the stuff that Moroccan Oil sells are not the same thing at all. Organic Argan Oil such as Amal Oils or Josie Maran products are a pure, organic product that has no additives, unlike Moroccan Oil that contains plenty of silicones and fragrances. You may want to do some research into this and perhaps put a correction of your blog so that you don't misinform your readers. G'luck!

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  3. I'll have to try argan oil

    I use coconut oil on my kids chapped cheeks and it works great as a lip balm too.

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  4. Thanks Sarah, I have made the changes. I meant mostly that they were similar, because Moroccan Oil should at least have SOME Argan Oil in it. I have found however that few people have heard of Argan Oil, while most have heard of Moroccan Oil. Sorry for the confusion!

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  5. sorry--meant to say most people have NOT heard of argan oil. Sheesh! what a night!

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  6. hi i'm moroccan man and here in our countryside we have a lot of argann trees

    so if any one need some argan oil please contact me on:
    hakim66_2005@hotmail.com

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  7. I also use the moroccan argan oil from pro naturals! I love it! My hair looks amazing! :)

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