Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Argan Oil

My sister suggested to me a few months ago that I should write about argan oil. She is a world traveler and had learned about this liquid gold when she visited Morocco years ago. It's taken me this long to post because I wanted to do my research and actually experience the product before I write about it.

Argan tree grows exclusively in the southwestern part of Morocco. The oil is obtained from the argan nut. It is a labor-intensive process performed only by native Moroccan women.

After a couple months of googling, I narrowed it down to two companies: Shea Terra and Josie Maran. It's important to me that the oil is 100% pure, cold pressed, certified organic, and the company is socially responsible. I even read about the founders. Shea Terra creator Tammi Umbel's story and legacy moved me a little more but I really like Josie Maran's Giving Back program.  In the end it really came down to pricing. For a 4oz bottle, Josie Maran costs US$96 and Shea Terra costs US$42. Josie Maran, being an ex-model, has definitely done more advertising. She has been featured in various fashion magazines and on shopping sites.
With the huge price difference, I decided to contact both companies and see what they had to say. I received a response from Shea Terra right away. I was impressed by their quick response time but the message was short and impersonal. All it said was that they believe in fair pricing as much as fair trade and that if I'm paying more I'm being ripped off. It was signed by customer service. Eight hours later, I received an email from Iesha with Josie Maran. The message was short and sweet, but personal! She pointed out that Josie's Argan Oil is first cold-pressed to ensure all the nutrients and essential fatty acids are still there.  Now, it just complicates my research even a bit more. I wrote Shea Terra back to find out if her argan oil is first pressed. Customer service replied and said while their product is cold pressed they have never heard of first cold pressed. 

At this point, I just want my argan oil. Despite the first cold pressed issue, I decided on Shea Terra.

I received the Shea Terra oil in the mail pretty quickly. I used it once on my hair but for the most part it just sat in my bathroom cabinet. This changed a few of week ago when I had breakouts on my forehead, lower cheeks and chin. My face was so bumpy that I was afraid to apply any product. Then I remembered my argan oil. After my regular cleansing at night, I rubbed a few drops on my hands to warm it up and gently pressed it all over my face and neck.  I was a little wary at first to put a pure oil on my combination skin. To my surprise the oil was absorbed very quickly and left my face moisturized but not greasy. In the morning, I would splash my face with water and apply my Boots No 7 Protect and Perfect Day Cream with SPF 15. After about five days of this simple regiman, my face cleared up. Now, I'm not saying this oil is magical but it is my personal experience that it works!  It's been about three weeks now and I'm loving it

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Goodwill Hunting: Back-to-School

Happy September! The boys are finally back to school! We had a really long summer this year. One of the schools in our district had some major construction done over the summer which delayed our first day back to September 4th. That made our summer three whole months long. I'm really not complaining though. We did some extensive traveling to visit family and friends and had a wonderful visit from ye-ye and nano.

I'm very excited about this month's post because I found a few things I love and know we'll use.

At Savers, I found these PBteen (Pottery Barn) desk organizers for $3.99 and $6.99.

At The Shop, I saw this table globe for $10. I've wanted a table globe for years and similar ones are selling for hundreds! It's a perfect find for us. The boys will now understand better where the 12-hour plane ride took us. Much more than a flat map, a physical globe can be touched and manipulated in order to understand the Earth. It is much easier for children to learn that the reality we live in is different than how it may appear to us initially.  After all, the Earth is not flat.

Great finds this month! Let's check out what lili found in the beautiful midwest.

Next month: Happy Halloween.

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