Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Product Review: Argan Oil

I LOVE Argan Oil! I discovered this magical oil last year, 6 months before arriving in Morocco, and it has become my favorite and most essential beauty product. Its popularity in the US is growing – have you noticed it on the shelves of your beauty and health care product aisle?

I was excited to learn that I would be serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the dry hot desert of Morocco – land of the Argan tree and home to many small cooperatives run by women that harvest and process this magical oil. Argan oil in the southern/Anti-Atlas region of Morocco is abundant and inexpensive. I will be stocking up and sending some home as gifts!

My Argan oil collection...LOVE...

Below are my favorite uses of Argan oil and some of my favorite Argan products
(small sizes and approximate prices listed):
The first time I came across Argan oil was at Sephora. I was in dire need of something that could help the dry skin of my t-zone. Heavy moisturize and mild soap were not working. The sales associate suggested Argan oil, and to my surprise I learned that it was made exclusively in Morocco – the country I would soon be living in. I began to directly apply a few drops of oil, and it immediately began working on my dry, scaly skin. Within a few days my dry patches were gone and my skin was soft and supple.

The wonderful thing about Argan oil is that it mimics your skin's own natural oil, and more importantly it does not feel heavy or greasy on your face. It is also helps to heal blemishes; just apply a drop or two of Argan oil until the area is healed. When there are no areas of my face that need special attention I simply mix a drop or two with my daily (SPF15) and nightly moisturizer for an added healthy boost of Argan oil love.

The Sephora products I purchased were Josie Maran brand – check out her website here. The Argan oil comes in a small glass bottle with a eye dropper for a lid - an eyedropper is the best tool for application. I also love the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF40. I carry this small bottle in my purse for days when my face needs a little extra sunscreen. I also use it specially on my tattoo when it is exposed to the sun.

15 ml/.5 fl oz Josie Maran Argan Oil – found at Sephora - in stores and online (14.00$)
15 mn/.5 fl oz Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF40 – found at Sephora - in stores and online (14.00$)

Argan oil is great for hair; it is the only product I use after a wash. Just massage a dime or nicke sized amount of Argan oil into damp hair with a special focus on the ends. It absorbs like your body's natural oil and makes hair soft and shiny.

I purchased Moroccan Oil brand in the US – check out their website here. It smells wonderful, but is not 100% Argan oil. Nonetheless, it is very nice in the hair!

25 ml/.85 fl oz Moroccan Oil – found in fine salons (15.00$)

After shaving (any area including armpits!) or exfoliating add some Argan oil to your body lotion and generously slather it on. I use a more affordable brand of Argan oil for my body that I found at my local natural food co-op. Brand names are more expensive, and I highly recommend using Aura Cacia for hair, face, and body.

30 ml/1 fl oz Aura Cacia Argan Oil – found at your natural food co-op (15.00$)

Argan oil is a delicious alternative to olive oil. I satuee veggies in it and add it to salads. You can also do as the Moroccans do: dip fresh baked bread in Argan oil or drizzle it over pasta or cous cous. Yum. I am not sure if you can find Argan oil for cooking in the US, and it is bound to be expensive. In Morocco is is relatively expensive, but when you do the math it comes out to be affordable in dollars: 100 ml/3.4 fl oz Argan oil for cooking – 50dHs (6.25$)

Affordable Argan products purchased in Morocco.
Argan oil purchased in Morocco is much more affordable than in the US. I purchased a spray bottle of oil and some soap from a local cooperative in the Tata region of Morocco (where I work and live). Compare the costs:
40 ml/1.36 fl oz Argan Oil spray – 30dHs (3.75$)
Argan Oil soap – 20dHs (2.50$)

Small local Argan oil cooperatives, which usually employ and are managed by women,
produce wonderful and affordable Argan products that are sold regionally and internationally.
Some Argan Oil resources:


  1. Totally going to check it out! Nice review, Kate!

  2. Interesting! And a little funny to me because last night I just purchased a trial size shampoo with Argan oil in it.

    1. Cool - I think people will start to notice it in a lot of products...it is exploding on the market right now...a big trend :)

  3. Thanks for the informative post! Very meaningful and helpful about argan oil.