Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Argan Oil

Wow, I haven't written much about makeup here yet.  (Don't worry, I'll remedy that when I get a day off where I can swatch my stash.  God, that sounds dirty.)  Anyway!  Today's post is about Argan Oil, which is apparently for us Westerners, the ingredient of the moment.  It's seriously all the heck over - you know something's really trendy (or damn near played out) when it's all over your local Walgreens.  Their hair care aisle isn't really cutting edge.

 Now, you may wonder - what the heck is argan oil?  According to our always right and never ever wrong friend Wikipedia, "Argan oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree, endemic to Morocco, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties".  So, that much makes sense.  It's apparently mostly processed by hand by certain women from communities over there, in a process that seems like it would be fun for about ten minutes (what, I'm a pansy who works in a cubicle).

See?  That would be fun for twenty minutes, tops.

The person who is ostensibly to blame for the argan oil craze is Josie Maran.  She's gorgeous and glowing and doesn't have a lot of wrinkles, and a lot of people (including myself) remember fapping to her while she was a Guess? girl (and also in the video for "Backstreet's Back".  Look it up if you don't believe me, she was Howie's lady.).  She started her own proprietary line of argan oil based things, including just the oil by itself, in the bottle. 

This stuff you can only get at Sephora, or from Josie Maran Cosmetics.  Now, you may be asking "that's great, I could figure out how to get it myself, Sarah, I do indeed have the internet".  To which I would reply, "well, fine, go do a whole blog yourself, douche".  But I won't.  Let's get to the nitty gritty - why use argan oil at all?
The reason I picked up a bottle of the Josie Maran oil was the fact that I live in Houston.  That may not mean a lot to you, but Houston is basically a swamp.  Now, you'd think that would mean we'd all have dewy, well-moisturized skin, but it actually ends up pretty much the opposite.  Because Houston is hot and swampy - Satan's Taint in geographical form - we all crank the AC.  Constantly.  Which means that our skin gets dry and leathery and gross.  Even in the two weeks where it is vaguely chilly, wherein the natives don toques and gloves and stockpile canned goods, the heat gets jacked up so high you'd think we were in Anchorage.  Still not helping the skin.  With all of this central air/heat action going on, after living here for a decade, my elbows had literally turned grey.  They looked like they belonged to a pterodactyl, not to a person with my skin tone.  They were mottled and grey, and when my roommate touched them, she actually shrieked.  It was time to do something.

So, I picked up the teeny baby bottle of the Josie Maran oil and started using it every night before bed.  My cuticles were also a general plague area, so I rubbed the oil onto them, then my elbows.  The first thing I noticed was that it absorbed like a dream.  I hate having Lotion Hands - that period of time between the lotion application and the time where you can actually do things again.  I tend to sit on my bed with my hands flopping limply, uselessly, like a T-Rex.  That five minutes feels like agony, and oils had always taken longer for me.  But the argan oil?  Two minutes, tops.

I also noticed that it didn't irritate my skin.  My elbows were so dry that most perfumed items hurt when they absorbed in.  Moisture shouldn't be painful.  It was part of the reason why I wasn't moisturizing - who wants to sit there in pain for five minutes?  But the Argan Oil just did the job.  It applied easily, it absorbed quickly, and within twenty-four hours, I could notice a difference.  One day, you guys.  My cuticles looked plumper, and my elbows felt softer.

I used my tiny 0.5 ounce bottle within a week.  My regimen was one drop per finger for cuticles, five per hand, and six per elbow. After doing some reading up on this stuff, I found out that it helps inhibit sebum production.  I know, right?  So after doing my slathering, I'd wait until the oil was a smidge absorbed into my hands before rubbing it on my clean face.  Bam!  Fewer breakouts!  I suffer from frizzies and flyaways.  One drop rubbed into my palms?  Bam!  No more flyaways!  I'm pretty sure that if it could have, this oil would wash my car for me.  It's that considerate.

But, with al amazing things, there is a downside. Here comes the bad news about the Josie Argan oil: it is expensive as shit.  That 0.5 ounce, one week supply, cost me 14.00 USD from Sephora.  I could always get a four ounce bottle - for a mere 96.00 USD.  Don't get me wrong, this is a really great product.  And if I ever marry a rich wo/man, I will absolutely start bathing in Josie Maran product.  But I don't.  I work at a cubicle, making cubicle salary.  So, what's a thrifty girl to do?  She's to get onto Google and see what her options are!

When you Google "argan oil", you get a lot of options.  And a picture of goats in an argan tree that is cute as fuck.

These are goats.  They're in an argan tree.  How did you get up there, goats?
But that doesn't help out my elbows.  So, I got onto ye olde trustie site, Amazon, and lo and behold, I found my thrifty grail.  It is Golden Argan Oil.  I don't even know if it has a brand name, that's pretty much all it says on the bottle.  I figured it wouldn't work as well when I got it, but lo and behold, it works just as well to my untrained eye.  It's 9.39 for an ounce, which makes it cheaper than the Josie Maran.  I don't know if goats like to hang out in its trees, though. 

Now, it should be noted, this review is just of pure argan oil.  I don't know if the shampoo you can get at pretty much every store is as amazing, or whatnot.  I'm getting some of the Josie Maran cosmetics for Christmas (my mom basically makes we kids do our own shopping, has for years), so I'll swatch/review them later on.

To Summarize:
1) Argan oil is awesome.  You can basically use it for any moisturizing/defrizzing needs for you or your sprogs.
2) Josie Maran is good shit, but y so expensive, woman?
3) If you shop around, you can get similar argan oils that will basically do the same thing for your skin.  It may not have some of the same kickbacks to Moroccan people that Josie's does, but in terms of sheer product, it's not bad at all.
4) Argan oil would sound cooler if it was spelled Argon oil.  Don't lie.  It would be.

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