Spring got here, went into retreat, then came back as full summer. This warmth feels good for a bad cold I've been dealing with, especially now I have completely lost my voice. Decongestants dry out the throat and lead to laryngitis, and dry everything else out as well, including the skin. In this state I have not been able to really appreciate much in the way of perfume though it still gets through to me; I simply have no desire for it at the moment. I am probably missing a lot of subtle components also, as with food. When this happens, as it happens to us all from time to time, the only thing to do is as much self care as possible. Tea made of fresh ginger with honey tastes a lot like brandy and for me quiets the cough reflex more reliably than Robitussin, and also helps with the attendant sinus headache. Tiny bits of eucalyptus oil mixed into the palms with a lotion and rubbed into the arms and chest sends therapeutic fumes to the face.
The dry skin is another factor, and I am very lucky that my kind friend Leah gave me a a new product -- Argan oil. It is very light, clear, and goes on more like a serum than and oil, and sinks into the skin almost immediately. It is also used on the hair and body. Made from the nut of the Argan tree, which grows only in Morocco, the nuts are gathered and the oil is extracted by the local women who are now beginning to materially benefit by setting up as cooperatives. Earning their own money brings them social and financial independence, a rare and precious benefit for them.
Argan is exceptionally rich in natural vitamin E and fatty acids, reduces inflammation and is anti-bacterial. It seems to bring out the latent rose in the cheeks so I am not surprised that it is known for reviving the look of dull, dry skin. At the same time it works well for oily skin because it is cleansing and balances the moisture levels, and so ideal for combination skin on the face.
It is pure enough to eat and is used as a food oil in a similar manner to olive oil. Better known in Europe than in the U.S. so far, we now have Kahina "Giving Beauty", a company that has entered into fair trade practices with the Moroccan women's cooperatives, and they have also created a larger product line that uses Argan as a primary ingredient. Their products have no parabens, synthetics, or petroleum products, and they have been careful to exclude other culprits that might give you pause as you apply a product to your face. Their packaging is thoughtful and renewable and they give back 25% of profits to women's programs in the Moroccan region that produces the Argan. I hope they do well, because they are doing good and have made a beneficial beauty product you can feel good about using.
Above photo of ladies in the dry desert winds, from the Kahina web site.