benefits of morroccan oil | beauty


Most of us wish for the ultimate secret to beautiful hair? Besides the supplements, shampoos, conditioners and anything else you have tried, the best kept secret you may have never tried might very well be argan oil.

This beneficial oil comes from the seeds of the argan fruit which takes 15 years to mature so that it can be harvested and hand pressed and bottled.

This tree is found mostly in southwestern Morocco, and is thorny and weather resistant. In the area of the Arganian Forest, this tree is known to live 150 to 200 years. The women of Morocco long have used this oil, knowing full well its benefits for the hair, skin and nails. You only need a quarter-sized amount in your palm, or drops on your comb or brush for luxurious hair that is healthy and shiny as the oil absorbs readily as a dry oil.

Argan oil is high in vitamin E, Omega 3 and Omega 9, five different unsaturated fatty acids and natural antioxidants. All of which hydrate the hair while promoting elasticity by penetrating the hair shaft. As a bonus, it also promotes hair growth so don’t be surprised if your hair seems to grow faster. Store shelves now have more of this precious oil in their products, talking about it in their commercials, and you can get it in many places on the Internet.

In Marrakesh, local Berber women work in fair-trade cooperatives where they hand-crack the argan nuts in between two stones, a technique they’ve used for centuries. Instead of being put through a machine, the raw argan kernels are hand-extracted from the hard shell, hand-ground in a stone grinder, hand-kneaded for hours and first cold-pressed into the oil. It takes one woman three days to make just one liter of oil. This is why argan oil is so valuable.

In 1998, the Argan forest in Morocco was designated a UNESCO protected biosphere so argan oil is sustainable.

If you want to de-clutter your cabinet and simplify your beauty routine, argan oil can become your go-to beauty elixir from head-to-toe. It’s chockfull of essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that promote your overall health by moisturizing, softening as well as protecting your face and hair from sun damage – without harmful toxins and Parabens.

Below are 10 ways to use organic argan oil in your daily life:

1. Face Moisturizer – After cleansing morning and/or night, massage a few drops of argan oil directly onto your face and neck. Since argan is considered a dry oil, it absorbs quickly and is not greasy. If you want to use it as a serum, apply your night cream after the oil absorbs into the skin.

2. Hydrating Toner – Add a few drops of argan oil to your favorite facial toner to hydrate and tone simultaneously. You can make your own toner by adding a few drops of argan oil to Rose or Orange Blossom water.

3. Rejuvenating & Brightening Face Mask – Add a few drops of argan oil to your store-bought mask. Alternatively, make your own mask by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 3 teaspoons of Greek-style yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey and 3 drops of argan oil in a bowl. Apply on a clean, dry face and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

4. Exfoliating Lip Scrub and Moisturizer – To smooth and moisturize your lips, add a few drops of argan oil and vanilla extract to fine brown sugar. Lightly massage into lips using circular motion and rinse off.

5. Face Glow – Add a drop or two of argan oil to your foundation, bronzer or tinted moisturizer for a dewy, luminous glow.

6. Leave-on Conditioner – After the shower, while your hair is still wet, add a few drops of argan oil to your hair, ends and scalp to hydrate and moisturize. It’s especially nourishing if your hair is dry from daily use of a blow dryer, straight-iron or curling iron.

7. Hair Styling Shine – When your hair is dry, use as a styling product by adding a few drops of argan oil to the palms of your hand. Rub your hands together and run your fingers through your hair to create shine and tame frizz. You only need a small amount. It lasts a long time.

8. Overnight Hair Treatment – Massage a generous amount of argan oil into your hair, ends and scalp. Wrap your hair and leave it on while you sleep. In the morning, wash your hair and you’ll have luminous, soft locks.

9. Cuticle and Heel Softener – Massage a few drops of argan oil into your cuticles to soften, moisturize and encourage nail growth. Use as an overnight treatment to nourish cracked heels by working a good amount into your feet and toes. Cover with socks and wake up to supple feet.

10. Body and Bath Oil – Add a few drops of argan oil directly onto your skin, into the bath or body lotion. It’s safe to use on a baby and to help minimize stretch marks on a pregnant belly too.

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the health & beauty benefits of rooibos tea

For generations Rooibos tea (Aspalathus Linearis) has been a staple in the homes of South African families as a comfort tea, tonic, remedy for colicky babies and even a cure for sleeplessness , but more recently it was discovered by the international arena as having beauty an array of beauty benefits. (Something SA women have been embracing for decades!)

Rooibos tea originally comes from Cedarberg Mountains in South Africa. The name rooibos means “red bush” in Afrikaans, owing to the rich red color of the tea. Being both high in antioxidants and free of caffeine, the health benefits of drinking rooibos are similar to green tea.

In addition to drinking it, there are many things you can do with rooibos tea to enhance both the natural beauty and health of your skin.  It gives you great skin, it cleanses your body and  it helps to control your appetite and therefor it can be beneficial in weight loss.  
Rooibos tea has long been used in traditional South African medicine, where it is claimed to treat all manner of skin problems. It has a soothing effect on the skin, it helps relieve itching and other related skin irritations such as acne, eczema, sunburns, itchy rashes, allergic reactions and general irritations.
Rooibos tea is high in antioxidants called flavonoids and flavonoids have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce allergic responses and histamine release. Next to it’s anti-inflammatory effects, the high amount of anti-oxidants in rooibos will also help delay the early signs of aging.
Rooibos tea is highly recommended for those suffering from insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns, headaches, mild depression, nervous tension. Since this tea does not contain any caffeine, it has soothing effects on the nervous system. 
Stomach problems, indigestion, stomach ulcers, constipation and other similar related problems get a relief from consuming this tea.  This tea is absolutely pure and natural, as it contains no additives, preservatives.

Rooibos Beauty  Tips:

– Rooibos tea works well to combat pimples. This tea leaf contains zinc and alpha hydroxyl acid. Boil the leaves in water and allow to cool. Use a cotton ball to apply the liquid on affected areas.
– Wash your face with cold or lukewarm Rooibos tea instead of water; it is a great alternative skin freshener.
– Rinse dark hair with strong Rooibos to give it a beautiful shine or use as a leave-in for lighter hair to provide a slight reddish tint to your colour.
– Treat tired and sensitive eyes to a rinse with lukewarm Rooibos or wipe out eyes gently with a face-cloth dipped in lukewarm Rooibos for instant relief from sore eyes of any kind. Alternatively, you can also hold cold Rooibos tea bags over your eyes to relieve your tired or red eyes.
– The following face-mask method has proven a saviour to many an acne sufferer: take half a cup of strong, plain Rooibos tea (fairly warm); add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar; add 2 teaspoons of oatmeal
( if you’re allergic to oatmeal, use a gluten-free flour); allow the mixture to cool until it’s lukewarm; apply it over your face and neck; lie down and relax for about 15 minutes; rinse off with lukewarm plain Rooibos tea, then press to dry.
– If you have itchy or burning skin, then after a cleansing bath, wipe off your affected skin with a face-cloth moistened in Rooibos tea; press gently to dry ( do not rub, as this will only make the itching/burning worse). Alternatively, you can also add a few Rooibos tea bags to your bath water to sooth your skin.
– If you suffer from eczema, bathing the affected skin areas in Rooibos tea or applying it with cotton wool can provide soothing relief.

Some other useful tips:

– To make a really good cup of rooibos, use freshly boiled water. This ensures you get the best infusion or extraction from the dried leaves. You need to allow time for the leaves to infuse and open, releasing their fragrance and flavour. If using loose-leaf tea, the rule of thumb is one to two teaspoons per cup for two to four minutes, depending on the strength you like. If you prefer tea bags, work on one per cup. A longer extraction time will result in stronger tea. Once it is poured, enjoy immediately.
– Six cups of Rooibos per day holds definite health benefits, and specifically helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body and lower the risk of heart disease. The six cups of Rooibos should be spaced throughout the day to deliver optimum health benefits.
– Rooibos complements fruit flavours well and is therefore a popular ingredient in iced teas. To make a simple, refreshing iced tea, sweeten a strong pot of rooibos with honey and stir until the honey is dissolved. Leave in the fridge overnight and then add a touch of lemon or your favourite fruit juice. Cold rooibos can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. It’s also a healthy way to add flavour to smoothies and fruit shakes. You can also use Rooibos as a meat marinade or simply add it to stews or soups instead of adding water. In some parts of South Africa you can now buy Rooibos-based yoghurts and drinking yoghurts.
– Pets with allergic skin conditions will definitely benefit from being rinsed with lukewarm Rooibos after a bath.

So in short, Rooibos can be used for achieving healthy skin, delaying the signs of aging, the treatment of acne, eczema, sunburn and tired eyes, offering shine for hair and even protecting your hair colour. And these are just some of the cosmetic benefits. Some of the rooibos health benefits are the prevention of life threatening diseases like cancer and heart disease, providing relief from stomach problems, assisting with detoxing and helping with anxiety or depression.

To me, rooibos will just always taste like home.


(compiled via sources annique, rooibos tea: health benefits explained by timoteous vincenti, face magazine)


the history of braids

Although mullets and beehives may come and go, braids have consistently remained au courant across centuries, continents, and genders. Even when historical styles are “quoted” in contemporary fashion shows by Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, braids — even when they’re not updated or modified — can look fiercely modern (or just plain fierce).

Braids have been used to symbolize wealth, marital status, age, and rank. They’re also functional, keeping their wearers cool and unencumbered so they can work without getting hair in their eyes.

See more on braids and their fashion history here:

Via refinery 29.