When you think of Morocco, what comes to mind? Sandy beaches? Desert paradise? Trip of a life time? Well, if you thought of any of these words you wouldn’t be wrong. Morocco is a prized vacation destination for many reasons. But the physical beauty of this North African country is just the tip of the cactus needle.
The women of Morocco have long known about the age-delaying beauty secrets of their country’s plants. They know how to tap into the transformative power of its botanicals, including how to extract and apply its oils for astounding anti-aging effects. When we want to diminish dark spots or boost collagen production, we run to Sephora for the latest lab creation. But imagine if you had incredibly effective solutions right in your own backyard?
If you’re looking for skincare problem solvers that have been time-tested, the three natural ingredients in this article are some of the most rejuvenating and protective against the onslaught of aging that you can find anywhere. Read on to uncover the incredible beauty secrets of Morocco — one of the world’s most underrated sources of skincare magic.
Prickly Pear Seed Oil
The warm, dry climate of Morocco is where the prickly pear cactus loves to grow and flourish. From the fruit of this plant comes one beauty-reviving oil that is prized for its hydrating, anti-aging and anti-wrinkle capabilities: prickly pear seed oil. Thanks to research, we now know that the chemical properties of prickly pear seed oil show that it contains a high concentration of vitamin E, polyunsaturated fatty acids, sterols and linoleic acid, which help the skin retain water and stay hydrated. We also know that the contents of prickly pear oil can calm skin inflammation, as well as protect against premature aging of the skin. Since the oil is non-comedogenic, which means that it can penetrate your skin without clogging pores or causing breakouts, it is suitable for all skin types, especially dry, mature or combination.
Aside from the science, Moroccan women swear by prickly pear seed oil for its ability to promote a smoother, more luminous complexion — effectively and without irritation. It has a lightweight, luxurious, silky quality that makes it a joy to apply to the face and neck.
Pomegranate Seed Oil
Like the prickly pear cactus, pomegranate trees thrive in the hot dry Moroccan climate. Also like the prickly pear, pomegranates hold within them the power to help slow the visible signs of aging. The seeds contain a beauty oil rich with enzymes, nutrients and vitamins that repair skin ward off wrinkles and hydrate. No wonder pomegranate oil is known as the “fruit of life.”
Thanks to an astounding nutrient profile, pomegranate oil regenerates and repairs skin, and effectively minimizes and prevents wrinkles. This profile includes linoleic acid to promote moisture retention, punicic acid to improve elasticity and promote regeneration, vitamin A (or retinol) and vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) to prevent free radical damage, and palmitic acid to act as a skin-quenching emollient. As an anti-inflammatory, pomegranate seed oil can be used to calm redness or dry, flaky skin, and may be especially helpful for those who struggle with acne, eczema and psoriasis. Having such a wide array of benefits makes this ingredient rank near the top of all skincare solutions, natural or synthetic.
Saffron (a.k.a “Red Gold”)
Saffron, a delicate plant often referred to as “red gold”, is one of Morocco’s leading exports.
Saffron crocuses typically grow in two well-known areas of the country: Taliouine, a small
mountain village in the south of Morocco, and the Ourika Valley at the bottom of the Atlas
Mountains near Marrakech. Saffron benefits skin because it contains countless vitamins,
phytonutrients (flavonoids) and antioxidants that promote cell formation and repair. For example,
saffron is known to contain an antioxidant compound called quercetin, which can help prevent
melanin production in the skin. With melanin production interrupted, you’ll see less
pigmentation, brown spots and other skin blemishes, and soon see a more even tone and
radiance. For these and many other reasons, saffron oil is a viable skin-preserving and
Which Skin Types Are Best?
All three of these ingredients are generally safe for healthy people of all skin types and ages to
use. If you have a known allergy to prickly pears, pomegranate or saffron, you should avoid
using any skincare product containing those ingredients.If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test by applying a small amount of product to your wrist,
then wait 24 hours. If you have a bad reaction within this time frame, don’t use the product.
Move over K-Beauty; M-Beauty is Here
We can learn a lot from the time-tested beauty secrets of distant lands. One location that
certainly should not be ignored is Morocco. Its climate makes it the ideal place to grow the
plants that have supported the skin health of its inhabitants for ages. Talk to any woman from
Morocco (and look at her amazing skin) and you’ll hear her praise the age-defying powers of her
country’s natural skincare solutions, including prickly pear seed oil, pomegranate oil and saffron.
Thankfully, because beauty brands are finally waking up to the real power behind these
ingredients, those of us living outside of Morocco can now enjoy the ‘fruits’ of this desert
Lunalis Cosmetics products contain a fusion of pricklypear seed oil, pomegranate oil and saffron.