Argan Oil: You Won’t Be Hard Pressed to Find an Alternative

10 Aug

Good morning! Did you sleep okay last night? I’m kind of tired, to be honest. Any suggestions on how to be less tired all the time?! But let’s get right into today’s topic of discussion: argan oil.

What it is: Though slightly less prominent in the trendy ingredient spotlight these days, argan oil has received a lot of press for being an amazing and natural alternative to moisturizer. You can use it on your hair, lips and cuticles besides your skin – face or otherwise – and it’s supposed to help clear up acne and other skin troubles.

Who: It became popular through model-turned-beauty-entrepreneur Josie Maran, whose entire product line is based on argan oil. It started with just bottles of organic argan oil (with a dropper in the cap), and has since expanded to mascara, lip gloss, eyeliner – you name it. A fraction of the proceeds of her line go to women in Morocco, who harvest argan oil – and all argan oil sold around the world is produced by a women’s cooperative benefiting the women of the Berber tribe. A lot of celebrities are fans of argan oil, including Eva Mendes, who uses Kahina Giving Beauty‘s argan oil, available here on Bergdorf Goodman’s website.

Josie Maran Argan Oil to Go

Josie Maran Argan Oil to Go, picture from

Where to get it: A lot of people sell argan oil, but I purchased Josie Maran’s at Sephora (the smaller size) to see what the fuss was all about.

How to use: All you really need is a few drops – more than that and you’ll overdo it.

Why use argan oil?: Well, I have to say that I don’t see a major advantage. I do like products that give to charities, and it did make my skin surprisingly moisturized while being non-greasy, but here’s the thing about argan oil – it’s a first cold-pressed oil. (This refers to the method of extraction – in order to extract the oil from the argan seed, it’s not heated above a certain temperature – thus retaining as many nutrients as possible.)

So is olive oil. Extra-virgin olive oil, in particular.

Olive oil has been used as a moisturizer for centuries, particularly those who live in the Mediterranean. I’m half Italian, and when I asked around, members of my family recalled those from older generations using olive oil on their skin. Why not? It’s readily accessible and inexpensive. Many brands have products using olive oil as the featured ingredient, including Perricone MD, Carol’s Daughter, and L’Occitane. Check out your own moisturizer – there’s a good chance that olive oil (aka huile d’olive or olea europaea) is in it! But either because it’s been around since ancient times or because it’s just no longer “cool,” olive oil has been forsaken for argan oil.

Like I said, I appreciate products that donate to great causes. And I often find myself really liking products that celebrities use. But if paying up to $96 for four ounces of argan oil sounds less desirable than paying around $25 for 68 ounces – or digging something you probably already have out of your pantry – then I would check out my choice, extra-virgin olive oil.

Do you use argan oil or olive oil for a moisturizer? Why?


3 Responses to “Argan Oil: You Won’t Be Hard Pressed to Find an Alternative”

  1. Saoirse August 11, 2011 at 6:32 PM #

    I am ALL about olive oil! After trying a sample called “Olio Lusso”, which is a COLD-PRESSED OIL, I switched to olive oil. The effect on my skin is pretty much the same, minus the great scent/pharmacy chic packaging. Granted, EVOO can be a little greasy, but that’s why I will use it before a shower or at night! A little goes a long way!

    • makeupmaestra August 11, 2011 at 6:35 PM #

      Glad you’re a fan of olive oil too! You can add a little bit of essential oil to your olive oil to improve upon its fragrance – I personally dig rose-scented things, but you can mix and match to create your own custom oil! You can get your essential oils at a health/natural store, including Whole Foods. 🙂

  2. Saoirse August 11, 2011 at 6:33 PM #

    PS. I trust Italian grandmas more than ANY sort of study funded by P&GJohnsonjohnsonblahblahblah.

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