Moroccan Oil: Ultimate Beauty Elixir or No?


A few weeks ago, a friend and I were wandering through a book release party when we came upon the lovely makeup ladies of Josie Maran Cosmetics. They were offering up complimentary makeovers. Already a fan of the eco-conscious cosmetic line and all things “free,” I quickly hopped into a makeup chair. First, I noticed that my own mascara had headed south like a pack of ducks for winter. Second, I picked up on the fact that all the Josie Maran makeup artists had dewy, glowing skin. And by picked up, I mean hit in the face like a lighthouse beacon. These ladies had a glow, and I wanted it yesterday.

The secret to this glow? According to Josie Maran Cosmetics, it is their Argan Oil. Otherwise known as Moroccan Oil, this is Josie Maran’s organic take on an ancient product out of Morocco that has been used for centuries and was sold in Moroccan markets even before the Phoenicians arrived. Rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it contains emollients that are excellent moisturizers for your hair and your skin.

But does it work? Filled with hope that this product would be the cure-all for dry skin, I slathered up my face and lips. I have chronically chapped lips that no lip balm has been able to cure, so I had high hopes that said Argan Oil would accomplish the impossible. I found that the Argan Oil absorbs quickly and that it is best to treat it like a cold cream. It is highly moisturizing and yes, I give it mad props as an excellent solution to dry skin. Did it cure my chapped chopper covers? Sorta. After applying, they would remain moisturized for a while, but would require touch ups.


Argan Oil also claims to be great for hair. Frankly, I have hair strands so fine that a light conditioner makes it look and act like a paper weight. So I asked those with thicker, richer locks to share their experience. As luck would have it, EcoSalon’s Editor-in-Chief Sara Ost is a user of the product – not Argan Oil, but MorrocanOil – similar, just not organic, MoroccanOil is cruelty-free and uses recycling in their packaging. As Sara told me, “I actually just started using MorrocanOil because it was on sale at Nordstrom Rack. Yes, so green, I know! I bought it because I was excited to see something green at a box store, and it’s normally ridiculously expensive. It took a few times to get the amount right – I had some uber grease streaks going on the first day – but now it’s my favorite hair product. Tames the frizz and defines the curls without being crunchy. In fact, there’s no ‘product feel’ to my hair at all.”

Don’t want to invest in the $48 Josie Maran Argan Oil or $39 for MorrocanOil? Organic olive oil will get you similar results on your skin, hair and nails. But be forewarned – I went through a brief spat of being saturated in olive oil a few weeks back. Yes, my skin was hydrated, but it took forever to absorb. I was leaving more oil slicks behind me than a tanker in Prince William Sound. (Yes, there are more topical references, but I’m not going there just quite yet.) You can easily use olive oil for skin hydration, but just be careful sitting down or brushing up against any unfortunate furry friend in the meantime.

FTC Compliance

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.