ABQ Journal Article
Rare argan oil sales beneficial to women in many ways
By Debra Dominguez-Lund
Anna Michelbach says her beauty regimen has become a lot richer since she became the proud owner of a bottle of “liquid gold” — argan oil.
“I’ve been using the oil for about five months, and I just love it,” says Michelbach, a 40-year-old Albuquerque insurance agent employee. “I use it on my hair and it’s really helped get rid of my split-ends, and I use it on my skin. It has anti-aging benefits and has helped reduce puffiness around my eyes.”
“I’ve tried other beauty products but (I) like that this is all-natural. I’m addicted.”
The exotic and rare organic oil is produced exclusively in southwestern Morocco and has traditionally been used as a natural beauty product by the women of the Berber tribe for centuries. Distributors say the oil is commonly used on the skin, but users of the product boast it also works wonders for hair and nails and is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamin E.
James Moore, owner of Albuquerque’s fairly traded goods specialty business Cultural Connections, LLC, says Albuquerqueans like Michelbach and others throughout the United States can now purchase the oil — marketed as “Eden Allure Argan Oil” — in its purest form from Amazon.
In its tradition of staying “green,” Moore says Cultural Connections only buys “Eco-Cert” or certified organic argan oil, which guarantees that the oil is produced in an ecologically beneficial way. He says the oil he sells is available in environmentally safe, recyclable packaging.
He added that Cultural Connections donates a portion of its argan oil proceeds to the Global Fund for Women, a charitable organization based in San Francisco that helps impoverished and abused women around the world.
The production of argan oil, Moore says, is controlled by women’s cooperatives in Morocco. He says that through fair trade, argan oil provides the Berber women with a dependable source of income, a means of improving their financial independence, and it opens better access to health care and education.
Unfortunately, Moore adds, the argan tree is a victim of its richness as well as urbanization.
“Its over-exploitation by European cosmetic companies has led to the near extinction of the tree that once spanned across North Africa,” he says. “In less than one century, more than half of the argan trees have disappeared. The importance of protecting the argan tree has become a key issue for local and international authorities.”
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has designated the 10,000-squaremile Argan-producing region in Morocco as a biosphere reserve. Moore says there are restrictions on how much fruit can be harvested at any given time from an argan tree.
Moore claims argan oil helps diminish fine lines and wrinkles, protects skin and hair from free radicals, and gives skin and hair a healthy, glowing appearance.
The company’s owner should know. After all, he says he uses argan oil everyday.
“I use it at night for my face, and twice a day I apply it to my body,” says Moore, who added his mother has family in Morocco that have been using argan oil for decades. “It gives my skin an amazing healthy glow.”
Buy Organic Argan Oil Here