By Mary N. DiZazzo

Beauty is Health

Ciao bella,

Health is beauty; beauty is health! That is the theme of my You Look Marvelous Beauty Talk series at the North End Branch Public Library for spring.

Join me at noon for the first two Saturdays in May and let's discuss it!

Back in December my friend Robert who is a master stylist at the Catherine-Michaels Salon in Burlington Mall, knows good taste. He gave me a gift of Argan oil. Oh he mentioned it a few times to me if Id heard of it and its many benefits. It was vague to me and all. So as a gift he presented me with this sunshine from the gods!

The oil is derived from the nut of the argan tree found in southwestern Morocco. You would think with my two trips there in the late `80s I would have known all about it! New discoveries are out there at our finger tips so we must always read and listen for it!

The argan tree is well adapted to very dry weather. Unfortunately human invasion is putting the tree on the endangered list.

The oil is extracted from the kernels of the nut found inside a green, olive-like fruit. Manual extraction and crushing has been done by Berber women for hundreds of years. Lately modern presses are extracting the oil. Fair trade cooperatives in Morocco benefiting women have popularized the oil, skyrocketing its use for users and also beneficial for local harvesters. The oil is slightly deeper in color than olive oil, has a nutty flavor, is rich in vitamin E, absorbent and highly moisturizing.

The unroasted oil is used for cosmetic purposes such as rejuvenating the skin and neutralizing free radicals. It is also used to revitalize hair and strengthen nails. The oil is also known to treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. You can find argan oil in beauty products for skin, hair, nails and in lipsticks, face masks and self tanning sprays. And of course just bottled by itself.

Argan oil has also been in clinical tests that prove its properties to reduce cholesterol and is good for the heart. So considering its beneficial health properties with its light, nutty aroma argan oil is a staple in many kitchens.

Another one of nature's wonders-truly sunshine from the gods!

Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns at Mary is a third-generation cosmetologist and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183 or