In a balm or in its pure form, for the hair or for the skin, argan is the ingredient of the moment—with benefits as great as its social giving. With choices aplenty, you’ll feel good knowing virtually every Argan based company unduly supports some underprivileged women’s co-op in Morocco. Every kernel of nut is always cracked open by the authentic ethnobotanists of sorts, who work alongside in sisterly fashion from a traditional roadside workshop (yielding one liter of oil for every 20 hours' of handiwork). Very much in this spirit, La Bella Figura is also like the little shop of wonders. The ladies of La Bella Figura have transformed a once enjoyable hobby into a burgeoning business. From Chicago, founders Karen & Victoria, decided to source the holy grail argan from Morocco and forge a spirited partnership. The calling? Victoria’s sister was diagnosed with a debilitating bout of lupus. Thus, inspiring a need for petrochemical-free beauty.
And, so grew the demand. The ladies have earned a well-respected fan base for their staple line of eco-friendly oils, shunning the usual gamut of preservatives. “There is a myth out there that ‘natural’ means it can't stand up to tough issues, but going natural is exactly what you should be doing if you have sensitive skin or eczema or acne. Some of the chemically laden products out there can make those skin types worse,” says Victoria. A relative new comer to the argan beauty collective, the ladies have crafted an ambitious floral aromatic variation with the nutty kernel, for those of you looking to amp up results.
Argan-obsessed purists will undoubtedly flock to the classic Morocco Face Gold ($40) for its wrinkle busting properties and potent dose of essential fatty acids. The key to anti-aging skin care is to keep skin supple and to protect against external environmental factors. With it's 100% organic formulation, this lightweight oil acts as more like a slick serum for use under moisturizers as argan's simplicity is kept in tact.
Oilier skins will want to opt for the plushy Tesoro Mediterranean Blend ($70). Here the ordinary ingredient into an extraordinary face oil. Woven through the organic argan base, you’ll find some truly appealing oils: bergamot fruit (for antiseptic traits), organic lemon (to bring luster), neroli flower (to stimulate new cell growth), grapefruit (to tighten pores), and fennel seed (to replenish with moisture). The face oil reaches greater depth of intensity and a richness that could be matched only by the almighty argan, but now decidedly grown-up.
Among these, bergamot oil's potent antiseptic properties help reduce the bacteria on your skin that cause acne breakouts, preventing tomorrow’s unwelcomed pimples says clinical aromatherapist, Patricia Davis, in her book "Aromatherapy: An A-Z." The oil also helps regulate sebum production, keeping skin balanced and spot-free. Also interesting to note is how La Bella Figura avoids the use of plastic bottling. Victoria points out, “Certain chemicals can leak into virgin oils, thus contaminating the integrity of the essences.” It’s a pretty, yet demure oil, tempered with a slightly hushed citrusy scent wafting from atop. There’s also a scintillating leafy quality that develops the character and power from within. But, it does blend seamlessly into skin, much like the Face Gold, it's extremely light in texture and viscosity. Be sure to wear an SPF when using this oil, as lemon essentials have been known to cause minor photosensitivity.
Kudos to La Bella Figura for bringing two oils with radically different repertoires of essentials, both created from well-honed instincts and intent.