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Natural Moroccan Hair and Body Products

Published by Karen in Pure Organic Moroccan Oils · 3/10/2015 13:09:00
Tags: OrganicSkincarearganoilpricklypearoilMoroccanperfumecosmetics
 

The North African country of Morocco is a great place to find a wide range of organic skincare products from perfumed oils to cosmetics and skin treatments. Visitors to the country will be intrigued by the many unusual products and exotic smells that are derived naturally from mother earth and sometimes still handmade. Listed below are some of Morocco's most popular beauty products that have been used for centuries.

  

Argan Oil
Native to Morocco is the world renowned Argan oil that is used not only in skincare but also for hair. In its purest form, argan oil has been the number one organic product that has been used for generations by the Moroccan people to moisturise, nourish and protect their skin from the extreme desert like conditions, especially during the summer months. Argan oil is packed full of nutritious natural elements including a high level of vitamin E that is commonly used in many beauty products because of its skin benefits.

  

Prickly Pear Oil
Prickly pear seed oil is a relatively new product on the market to the western world but the Moroccan people have also been using this for generations. It is set to rival even argan oil due to its greater potency of beneficial fatty acids and high level of vitamin E. Prickly pear oil is already big in the United States and France, so we can probably be sure that it won't be long before we see this and beauty products that contain it filling our shelves in the near future.

  

Rose Oil and Rose Water
Rose petals from the Moroccan Rose are used widely in fragrances and other hair and skin care products. Rose oil is considered an essential oil that is highly moisturising and packed full of vitamins and minerals. This lightly fragranced oil also contains antioxidant properties.

Rose water is often used in face mists, cleaners and toners as well as hair products. It is produced by steaming the rose petals. The extracted liquid obtained contains small particles of essential oil as well as other beneficial ingredients.
One of the best places to buy rose products is in the village of Kelaat M’gouna in Morocco which means valley of roses. It is homeland to the largest rose production manufacturers in the country, and shops and sellers can be found everywhere. A rose festival is held late springtime each year during harvest time.

                                      

Perfume Bars
Something very interesting you can find in Morocco is solid perfume, a bit like a bar of soap to look at. These highly fragranced blocks are designed to be rubbed directly on the skin. They are an all natural alternative to traditional perfumes and the block will last for ages.

Khol
Natural khol is a black powder for the eyes that has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes as well as a cosmetic. It is believed to nourish the eyes and protect from UV rays and in the past was used by the ancient Egyptians to soothe eye infections. As a cosmetic, it is used as an eyeliner and eyeshadow not just by Moroccan people but also in many eastern countries. The product is applied to the eyes using a small stick called a mirwed.

Ghassoul
Ghassoul (pronounced rassoul) is an organic clay powder that contains calcium, potassium and magnesium. It is harvested from the beds of the Atlas mountains and used on the skin to absorb excess grease and impurities (a bit like a mud mask) It is mixed with floral water to form the clay mask. Ghassoul is also used on wet hair mixed with water to form a thick paste to help with greasy hair.

Black Soap (Savon Noir)
Black soap or savon noir as it is often labelled, is very popular in Morocco as well as other parts of North Africa. It has been traditionally used in hammams and has moisturising and exfoliating properties. Savon Noir is used to rid the body of dead skin and toxins to leave the skin thoroughly cleansed and moisturised since it is also packed with vitamin E.






Marrakech Market Place (Morocco)

Published by Karen in Pure Organic Moroccan Oils · 12/9/2015 12:29:00
Tags: MoroccanOilsOrganicSkincarePricklyPearOil
      

One place you simply cannot miss when visiting Morocco is the bustling market place in Marrakech where you will find a truly unique shopping experience. There is so much going on and so much to see. A carnival of vibrant colours and textures are everywhere you turn your head. The whole place can seem very overwhelming and chaotic, given the crowds of people, motorbikes zooming past, horse drawn carriages, and street vendors that will randomly wrap a snake around your shoulders for a photo souvenir. Visitors to the Marrakech market will find that almost anything can be bought here; perfume, Moroccan oils, spices for food, bags, scarves, shoes, arts & crafts, lanterns and rugs to name but a few, everyone has something to sell.

 

Though the market will seem quite busy during the daytime, at night people seem to flock from everywhere and the place gets ever more crowded as even more sellers appear, many just laying their wares to sell on the ground. Lights illuminate all around with so many pretty Moroccan lanterns, children's toys that glow in the dark and of course, all the shops and street lighting. Different kinds of Moroccan music can be heard all around, and the smell of exotic foods make the whole place so exciting. In addition to this, you will also find a labyrinth of small alley ways where there are even more shops and stalls. Through here it can be easy to get lost as you wander from alley way to alley way if you are unfamiliar with the area.

  

The market in Marrakech also known as souk (which translates to market in Arabic) is truly a delight to the senses with all of its colourful sights, sounds and exotic smells. It is located at a place known as Jemaa El Fna.

Organic Moroccan Skincare Products
At some point while wandering the Market of Marrakech, you will no doubt come across stalls that sell some amazing natural organic skincare products, there are so many soaps, balms, and oils that you won't know what to go for, everything looks so good and you just want it all! From black soap and sulphur soap to olive oil soap and soaps that incorporate argan and prickly pear oil, the choices are immense. You can find a range of organic Moroccan oils for the hair and body, and balms that are great all natural moisturisers. Concentrated perfumed oils can also be found that are very popular in Morocco and the Arab world. The Moroccan people truly know their stuff when it comes to body care products, after all, they do have to deal with the harshest of dry weather conditions.

 

Argan oil, which is one of the rarest oils is the world can be bought for cooking purposes and cosmetic use. You will find all types of hair and body products that incorporate argan oil as it is highly prized for its cosmetic virtues. It is produced only in Morocco due to the specific growing conditions that the argan tree thrives in.

Prickly pear oil can also be found on the souks although finding a genuine product may prove difficult since it has frequently been found to be mixed with other oils making it a less effective product. The oil that is obtained from the tiny seeds of the prickly pear fruit is set to be the new jewel of the cosmetics industry, being even more potent than argan oil with its incredible skincare benefits. The Opuntia Company sell only genuine prickly pear seed oil. We have all the relative product certifications with our oils so you can be sure that if it says '100% prickly pear seed oil' on the bottle, then that is what you get in the bottle, no cheap mixes or imitations.

When to Visit
The market at Jemaa El Fna in Marrakech is a great place to visit all year round. Temperatures are still pleasantly warm during the daytime even in winter, around 18C - 23C, but the nights can get a bit chilly dipping down to about 6C - 10C, so best to pack a good jacket! July - August in contrast, are the hottest months and can get unbearably hot during the day with temperatures soaring to around 40C-45C. If visiting Marrakech in the summertime, the markets, shops and restaurants stay open until late in the evening so you can still enjoy some shopping after sundown when temperatures are a little more comfortable.

Marrakech in Morocco is situated in North Africa between the Atlas Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. There is a strong Arab tradition blended with European sophistication. Spoken languages include Moroccan Arabic, Berber, French and Spanish with English becoming more popular especially in the major cities. Also, most people in Morocco speak at least two different languages.




Moroccan Oils For Retaining Skin Moisture

Published by Karen in Pure Organic Moroccan Oils · 1/9/2015 17:22:00
Tags: Moroccanoilspricklypearseedoilarganoilorganicskincare
   

Both prickly pear oil and argan are a great way to preserve the water content in our skin. Not only will they help to seal in moisture but they will also infuse the skin with precious vitamin E as well as essential fatty acids. Both of these Moroccan oils contain the same valuable elements that provide great benefit not only to the skin but to hair also. Our body loses moisture in a number of different ways and this water loss can cause skin to look and feel dull and dried out.

Water Content In Skin
The skin consists of approximately 64% water, depending on age and gender. It is the largest organ of the body and is made up of varied skin cell layers. Water is important in the skin for many reasons as it is an essential nutrient for the survival of every cell and behaves first as a building material aiding the repair, maintenance and replacement of cells. As we age, the normal functions within the skin become less efficient and water content decreases leaving our skin cells more dull, dry and wrinkled.

Glycosaminoglycans
Glycosaminoglycans are a group of carbohydrates found naturally in the body. These glycosaminoglycans are responsible for preserving and supporting collagen and elastin in the skin, helping also with maintaining moisture. These carbohydrates help to plump up and fill skin cells when they combine with water and are reliant on liquid taken in through the body whether consumed or otherwise. Also, as we age, they become less efficient and don't absorb water so well. The gradual decline in water within the cells results in skin that not only becomes more dull and dry, but also it starts to form fine lines and wrinkles over time. This situation is added to by the fact that the glands that secrete oil to the surface of the skin, shrink, leaving it without a protective film of oil that would otherwise seal in moisture.

Apart from the gradual decline of moisture with aging, there are many other reasons by which water can be lost through the skin, such as sweating, sun exposure and alcohol intake but we can help to preserve it to keep our skin looking its best.

Help Is At Hand!
Opuntia Moroccan Oils are considered to be dry oils and are a fantastic way to keep skin looking and feeling soft and supple without leaving it greasy. The fruits from which they are derived are 100% organic and cold pressed which means they haven't been subject to harsh chemical fertilizers during the growth period nor stripped of valuable nutrients during extraction. No perfumes or additives are contained in our oils so you can expect a completely natural product.

To find out more about Organic Moroccan Oils from The Opuntia Company, follow the links below.

Moroccan prickly pear seed oil - Contains a high amount of linoleic acid that is great for skin softening as well as a high level of vitamin E (895mg per Kg)

Moroccan argan oil - World renowned beauty oil, rich in fatty acids and vitamin E (620mg per Kg)




The Importance of Vitamin E For The Skin

Published by Karen in Pure Organic Moroccan Oils · 19/8/2015 09:17:00
Tags: VitaminEPricklyPearOilUKOrganicSkincare
It is well known that vitamin E is highly beneficial for the hair and body for many reasons with even doctors prescribing diet supplements to their patients. It has the capacity to help with heart related problems, skin disorders, scars and wounds. Vitamin E in the cosmetics industry these days is like the kingpin of skincare ingredients, as when applied topically, it moisturises, protects and repairs skin. Being one of the most potent anti-oxidants, vitamin E neutralises free radicals, preventing damage to the skin cells. In addition to the above, it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory which helps with premature skin ageing as it is now known that inflammatory conditions are a prime cause of this.

Moisturising
Vitamin E is considered to be highly moisturising since it prevents the loss of water through the skin, therefore creating a barrier to seal in its own natural moisture levels. This in turn will leave skin more soft, supple and bring welcome relief to dry skin conditions.

Vitamin E and Sun Exposure
Vitamin E or tocopherol as it is also known, is normally found in skin but exposure to the sun's rays has been proven to reduce this highly important antioxidant but direct application increases the availability of it. When our skin is exposed to the sun, it reduces the level of vitamin E in the skin, which leaves it more susceptible to developing free radicals. This is caused not just by environmental factors but also by the body's own oxidative reactions, the chemical and structural changes during exposure. Vitamin E, being a powerful antioxidant helps to counteract this reaction. The effects of sunburn on the skin cause a breakdown of elasticity and reduced moisture levels which leads to lines and wrinkles. Although vitamin E can help to minimise the damage of sunburned skin and the formation of free radicals, it must be noted however, that it cannot be used to replace a sun protection lotion, cream or oil. Most of a topically applied treatment of vitamin E oil or cream will be diminished through sun exposure.

Skin Ageing
Changes that occur in the skin as we age are related to many factors including the environment, genetics and diet but the biggest culprit is the sun. This is evident from comparing parts of the body that have had a lot of exposure to areas that that are usually hidden. Since the amount of vitamin E in the skin decreases with age, it becomes more important to replace this. A topical application of vitamin E will help to keep ageing skin supple and plumped up since it helps to retain water content by creating a barrier to keep in precious moisture.

It is worth knowing that the majority of cosmetic creams, lotions and oils containing vitamin E cannot necessarily reverse the ageing process but it can be considerably slowed down through proper care. With this in mind, we should not wait until we get older to start thinking about skincare but rather it should be taken into account when we are young. A good understanding of the skin, its needs and how it works cannot be underestimated to keep our skin looking its best for a lifetime.

Vitamin E Oils (Topical Application)
There are many beauty oils that contain vitamin E but one that stands out from the rest is prickly pear oil which contains a hefty 895mg per Kg. This oil possesses more vitamin E than any other cosmetic oil on the market today, rivalling even the well known argan oil containing 620mg per Kg. In addition to this, prickly pear oil has many other benefits for the skin as it also contains essential fatty acids and is highly moisturising. Prickly pear seed oil is obtained from the tiny seeds of the prickly pear fruit that grows on the opuntia ficus indica cactus plant and has been used by the Berber women of Morocco for generations, not just for direct application to the skin but also in cooking.

       

Dietary Vitamin E
Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts (especially almonds), dried apricots, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, green olives, avocados and plant oils, (especially wheat germ) to name a few but there are many more. Furthermore, vitamin E supplements are widely available in many stores.

It may be worth knowing that vitamin E taken orally, takes a least 7 days to take any effect on the skin as it first mounts up in the sebaceous glands prior to being conveyed to the outside of the skin via sebum. (Source

It is evident that vitamin E is a fundamental component of the skin’s antioxidant protection, largely giving protection against UV rays and other free radicals that could come into contact with the skin. It helps to delay the processes that harm the skin cells, also providing a barrier that will help to lock in moisture, resulting in skin that looks and feels its best.


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