WOMEN WE LOVE: MAY HAMID, founder, ARGAN LIQUID GOLD
Argan and rosehip oil are probably my two favourite multi-tasking oils and yes, although the argan market has been saturated with launches, there’s always room for a top quality, ethical argan brand – especially when it’s different.
UK-based ARGAN LIGUID GOLD which is now available at Look Fantastic is different because it’s infused with 24 karat gold (there’s also, rather interestingly, a multi-tone BB Cream). It’s also officially FAIRTRADE certified and bottled in black opaque glass pump bottles to ensure ultimate freshness and potency.
Not all argan oil is created equally…Argan Liquid Gold was shortlisted in the Pure Beauty Awards last year.
Founder May Hamid’s Berber roots means she still has family in Morocco, so she visits when she can – and not surprisingly, she’s a goldmine of info on anything and everything argan-related.
We finally got to meet and chat about life, work, family, beauty and “gold-infused argan” over an exceedingly long mint tea on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast which turned into an early supper when we both happened to be near Marrakech at the same time, last month.
May Hamid, whose new argan-centric brand Argan Liquid Gold has now arrived at Look Fantastic
1. May, as you (rightly!) say, there’s no such thing as “argan going out of fashion” even if some beauty journalists might say they’re a bit “argan fatigued”. To the contrary, I’m seeing it appear much more now as a leading ingredient (first, second or third) in so many award-winning facial oils – particularly in the most luxurious, high end elixirs and serums at the moment. How long has argan been a beauty star in the commercial market and when did it first appear in the UK?
Argan Oil has been around for centuries and has been used by the Berber tribes as a daily part of their up keep. Its richness was only discovered by the rest of the world in the late 60’s but there was a taboo back then about applying oil to the skin. This has slowly but surely been corrected after people have seen the benefits which was a result of it being introduced to the commercial beauty market over the last decade.
2. As one of the true “supreme oils” in the beauty world, Argan Oil contains natural squalene, phytosterols and phenolic compounds…why are these so important for skin, for those reading this who haven’t heard of them?
It is truly amazing that these magical ingredients are found in Argan Oil. To give you a little idea, once Squalane is absorbed into the skin, it is doing all manner of helpful things. It is an antioxidant, prevents UV damage and the formation of age spots, promotes cell growth and is an antibacterial.
May took this pic during her recent trip…after the flesh and the shells of argan fruit are removed, inside are the argan “nuts” (above) which are a bit like XXL pine nuts! The extraction process is done by hand by Berber women who still crack the shells by hand. It’s an incredibly time-consuming, laborious process but the fruits of their labour – golden argan oil rich in fatty acids (argan helps heal scars) is worth it!
Recent tests have also proven that regular application of phytosterols and phenolic showed anti-aging benefits to the skin by stopping the slow-down of collagen production and actually encouraged new collagen production.
In a nut shell, these natural components of Argan are miraculous for the skin, encouraging healthy skin, slowing down the aging process and encouraging new cell growth.
The Multi-Tone BB Cream, infused with Colloidal Gold
3. So many of us are short of time these days, juggling work, home life, travelling, children, you name it…! What would be your “shortcut skincare” routine recommendation for someone who is very busy and very time poor?!
As a busy mother of five myself, I know all about a busy schedule and finding the time to look after yourself is always a challenge.
– Start your day by replacing your daily moisturiser with Argan Oil. You will be amazed how quickly it absorbs in to the skin and leaves you looking healthy and fresh. A few drops onto damp skin and let it absorb naturally.
– Before going to bed, I would use Argan Liquid Gold’s 2 in 1 Cleanser, to help remove all the impurities from the day and environment, leaving your skin refreshed and clean.
– Finish off with a quick application of Argan Liquid Gold’s Restorative Night Cream, which will help repair your skin while you sleep. Encouraging new cell growth and preparing you for your new day.
4. Are you planning to launch at any UK retailers soon?
Yes, this is currently ‘work in progress.’ We will soon be available on a High Street near you!
5. Your passion for your brand is just extraordinary! How do you manage to juggle a large family, building the brand, all the travelling, and so on? What would be your top 3 real life tips for a woman planning a start-up beauty brand?
Life is a real juggle and the challenges never end. I believe you have to set yourself some goals and work really hard to achieve them. As a basic I would say you will need some industry knowledge, lots of passion and relentless determination to get your dream off the ground.
My 3 tips would be:
· Surround yourself with the right people. Positivity and moral support are really important factors.
· Aim to offer what you would expect as a consumer. People are tired of products that claim to do this and that. Do something that really makes people say ‘WOW’
· Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t give up, regardless of all the negativity, doubts and knock backs. If you believe in your products, other people will too.
Last but not least…what do you do to switch off?!
Although switching off is really difficult for me, our evening meal time is the point where I let go of work and become Mummy. The children help set the table and enjoy participating in the kitchen. I do really enjoy this time with my family and we take pleasure in a well deserved meal (one that I prepared earlier!).
Once they are all in bed, you will always catch me back on my laptop!
ARGAN LIQUID GOLD is available in the UK at LOOK FANTASTIC and directly from May’s own website below: