Beware - fake argan oil coming to a store near you

Having been as involved in bringing argan oil to market as we have, it's easy to forget that there are people who have not yet heard of the 'Miracle Oil' product.

However, what comes as more of a shock is when people who have tried to implement argan oil into their beauty regime tell us they’ve seen no visible benefits.

This niggled us because, quite frankly, knowing how pure the process is to bring organic argan oil to the upper echelons of society’s best dressed men and women, there’s nothing stopping this product working for everyone. Or is there?

We asked our market research team to investigate exactly what it was that discerned dissatisfied customers from evangelists. Not that it boils down to one thing, but there is a common denominator: price.

There’s an old saying: you get what you pay for. This is no truer than in the case of argan oil. Despite its relatively new place in the top beauty products of the well-to-do woman (and their other half), cheap replicas are already on the market.

There are even instances, we’ve found, whereby men and women are being sold the cooking variety of argan oil as a beauty product. Now, Crisp & Dry was a great cooking oil, but I’d no sooner wash my hair in it than dip a thumb with a papercut into a tank of hungry piranha.

Rather than publish a boring list of survey results, we’ve combed through the feedback and put together a top five best practice list when it comes to checking that you’re actually buying a product that will enhance your natural good looks and not turn your fries a nice golden brown at 240 degrees.


Does your argan oil leave a greasy sheen on your skin?

You and I know that when you reach a certain age, our skin becomes thirsty, especially around the cheekbones, lips and eyes.

If a product hydrates your skin, these dry areas will soak it up like kindergartners listening to Hans Christian Anderson tales immediately after application.

It’s the same with organic argan oil. When you apply the genuine product onto your face, or elbows, decolletage, wherever, it will sink in leaving only smooth, supple skin in its wake.

If you get that oily skin sheen, it’s likely you’ve been sold the wrong type or it’s a cheap alternative diluted with other oils that don’t possess the nutrients that organic argan oil does.


What does the packaging tell you about what’s inside the bottle?

That some are yet to experience its amazing skin and hair care properties is something we’re actively trying to rectify.

100% argan oil, the type you’re looking for for your beauty regime, is just that. Vendors who sell the genuine product are rightly very proud that they’re giving their customers the best that the Berber women of Morocco can produce.

If there’s a long list of other ingredients (agua/aqua, for one) on the packaging or the ingredients are concealed from view, it’s highly likely that the product you’re about to purchase has been diluted or mixed in some way to make the genuine oil it does contain go further.

Another good indicator of this is the price. Remember the Stella Artois ad campaign, “Reassuringly Expensive“? 100% authentic organic argan oil does carry a price tag.

The Berber women who produce the oil in Morocco are protected by any one of 22 organisations ensuring that they earn a fair wage for the labor-intensive job they undertake.

If the label has got a comparatively low price tag, it’s most likely an inferior version of authentic argan oil.

The bottle, as well, is a clue. Responsible vendors know that, due to its price tag, the last thing we need is for the product to lose its nutrient value sitting on the shelf.

Argan oil will last for 18 months once opened and, in order that its nutrient content doesn’t become diffused by sunlight, either the label will be all-encompassing or the bottle it comes in will be dark in hue, usually amber or brown.


Hmmm, lovely. Doesn’t this argan oil smell nutty?

If you open your bottle of argan oil and are hit by the aroma of nuts, you’ll have the type of oil used for cooking.

The hair and skincare oil is crushed into a paste and retains its natural yellow color when bottled, retaining the nutrients that the roasting process for the traditional cooking oil literally burns off.

It’s this roasting process that promotes the nutty odor; additionally, it turns the oil a darker color. Rather than the marigold yellow of the cosmetic product, argan oil for cooking takes on a soft brown aspect.

The label or advertising may state that the product in the bottle is ‘cold pressed’. If it’s got that on the packaging, you’re good to use it on your hair and face, not on your fries.

Have you been sold cheap argan oil or the wrong type?

Let us know in the comments or on our facebook page and we’ll promote your comment to help save others making the same mistake…
…that is, of course, unless you want to keep your secret source of the good stuff all to yourself? Surely not…

Sarah Miller
Editor: Beauty

Photo Credits - (Header) CC: 'Old medicine glass bottles' by Tambako The Jaguar - (Sidebar) CC: 'Untitled' by Valetina Manjarrez
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