I’ve been spending quite a lot of time in Gibraltar lately. Random. Yes. But really quite relaxing, therapeutic and inspiring. Sunshine. Friendly people. An abundant supply of fresh organic produce from neighbouring Spain. And the most heavenly fresh organic turmeric I could dream of, so I’ve been grating this superfood on pretty much everything. But … I am getting a little distracted. The reason I mention Gibraltar is because I have developed a fascination with Morocco. Perhaps it has something to do with our apartment looking directly on to the Atlas Mountains. Or that it conjures up romantic bohemian images in my mind. But at every opportunity I’ve been google-ing Morocco for quirky boutique hotels and spas to visit when the opportunity for a mini-getaway arises. Surely it would be criminal to be in this part of the world and not embark on an exploration.
So, when I received a lovely email from a woman called Joanna introducing me to a 100% organic and natural beauty brand called Moroccan Natural, every little cell in my body perked up. This led to a “right place at the right time” meeting with Moroccan Natural founder, Carole Fraser, who is fabulous! She exudes the kind of energy that I imagine those beautiful iconic women from the 30s and 40s would be like – when women oozed exotic and glamorous femininity, whilst still possessing that approachable down-to-earth nature full of stories and wisdom that leaves you with an unquenchable thirst to want to hear more of what they have to share.
After our brief meeting I was oh so generously gifted one of each of the products from the Moroccan Natural range. You can imagine my excitement. What particularly sparked my interest is their haircare products. So I have much delight in introducing you to Carole Fraser, the lovely woman behind the Moroccan Natural range.
Having discovered the wondrous properties of Argan Oil and Rhassoul Clay used on my hair and skin, I just wanted to share these treasures with the whole world.
My hair had become frizzy, dry, breaking and I had split ends … what more can a girl ask for?! Having gone to the computer prepared to ‘spend anything’ to get my hair back into some sort of reasonable condition, I was on the website of a highly regarded trichologist and I had ordered about ten products – my cursor hovered over the ‘check out” cell … and my brain suddenly woke up and said to me “these are all bad chemicals! And it is bad chemicals that have done this to your hair”. I cancelled the transaction and called Jacques Lee Pelletier in Montreal. We have been partners in our discoveries of all things natural and organic for more years than I care to remember.
“Argan Oil” was his reply, so I managed to source my first bottle of the precious oil. I also found Rhassoul clay at the same time. The rest is history, I was converted.
Next was a trip to Morocco, traveling to the areas that produce these wonderful products. Hence the name Moroccan Natural although we now search globally for natural and organic products that work wonders.
What makes Moroccan Natural unique and ethical?
This is something that we work on all the time, and we keep on learning just how many harmful chemicals that there are in the items that people use daily and how harmful they are. I’d had eczema on my legs for about fourteen years and had tried everything to cure it, Chinese medicine. You name it. But then I started to use Argan Oil as a body moisturiser. I no longer wanted to use creams or lotions because of the nasty chemicals required to stabilise the emulsion, and Argan Oil was the first oil that I had encountered that was totally absorbed into the skin enabling one not to get oil all over ones clothes.
After a few months of using Argan Oil on my skin I noticed how much better the eczema looked, but I wasn’t over excited as anything can happen with skin. But then a few days later the eczema had vanished, never to be seen again!
How this arrived in my life is a bit of a mystery. I had heard about it but knew very little. Then one day whilst sorting out my papers I found a laminated flyer with all the contact numbers to source the African Liquid Black Soap. The next step in my research was to call a friend – the African historian and journalist Cameron Duodu – who told me how the village women in certain areas of Nigeria and Ghana make this soap each week based on a treasured family recipe. They then take what is surplus to their needs to market and sell the liquid black soap to others. There are only two ingredients – ashes of cocoa pod and coconut oil – in this product (apart from water and natural fragrance).
Personally I love what it does for skin and hair, it is apparently also used as a shaving soap and the villagers use it to keep all skin ailments at bay, I know that it is excellent at cleaning acne prone skin and the dreaded ‘backne’ disappears rapidly.
I am really proud to have discovered a truly artificial chemical free and natural alternative to shampoo as this is the most difficult area in which to make a natural and organic product.
So am I Sam. This is a product that I am a self appointed Ambassador for. It has been lurking in the Atlas Mountains for ‘zillions’ of years, and is the only known source of this incredible material in the entire world.
Just think how simple this clay can make one’s life. Rhassoul Clay can be used as a wonderful artificial-and-chemical-free shampoo that clears dandruff and exfoliates all the dead cells on one’s scalp. It does wonders for the skin too.
The same paste can also be used as a body cleanser and body mask as it has exfoliating properties without damaging the skin with granules. The dead skin is removed, so there are no dead cells for bacteria to manifest on, leaving you fresher for longer without having to use a deodorant.
Finally, for the best deep cleanse and condition, use the same mixture as a face mask to treat yourself to the best deep clean and condition you can find this side of heaven. The paste acts like a magnet that draws all the toxins and impurities from the skin and replaces them with all those lovely minerals that have been safely stored in the wonderful Atlas Mountains.
Why did you choose Argan Oil as the main ingredient?
Simply because it is the best medium that I have ever encountered as a base. It really is an all-round-performer and is as good for babies as it is for their mummies, daddies and even their grandparents.
What are your tips for beautiful skin?
Cleanse, condition and feed. This is all so simple with the basic ingredients in Moroccan Natural. We also have used some of the other wonderful ingredients that we have encountered on our quest to find ‘all that is wonderful’ in the world of natural and organic.
What are your top lifestyle tips that help to bring about a more naturally beautiful you?
To prepare myself for the day I meditate. I take this opportunity to wear the Aculifting Mask that works on the acupuncture points of the face using magnets. Then I pray, followed by some physical exercise, and finally I prepare a big ‘smoothie’. I am not keen on that word but this is the easiest way for me to describe a mixture of fruit, vegetables, nuts, goji berries, organic maca, chia seeds, culinary Argan oil and all the super foods that I can find.
I am then set up for the day. I like to keep positive and nice thoughts going through my head at all times. If a nasty thought tries to creep into my head – I just tell it to go away.