Best Argan Oils

Updated September 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

31 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
152 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best argan oils

Last Updated September 2019

Argan oil is native to Morocco, derived from the nuts of the argan tree. Argan oil gained popularity in the West in the 21st century, but others were using this versatile oil long before 2000. Argan oil is naturally packed with omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin E. It has been proven to reduce inflammation and soften skin and hair.

Before you purchase this miracle oil, there are factors to consider. You’ll want to examine the oil’s smell, consistency, organic certification, and whether or not it was cold pressed. Argan oil has a plethora of uses, and the type you would use for cooking is not the same as the type you would use on your skin or hair.

Argan oil is a great exfoliant, skin rejuvenator, acne fighter, leave-in conditioner, bath and body oil, and heel softener. Cooking with it can help lower cholesterol, protect the body from cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, boost the immune system, and stabilize blood sugar. If it sounds like something you’d like to explore further, this shopping guide will help you learn more.

Those who are diabetic or prediabetic may wish to look into argan cooking oil to enhance the diet and help maintain insulin levels.

Key considerations

Argan oil is made by collecting argan nuts from trees. After allowing the nuts to dry, harvesters break apart the flesh and hull of the nut. Then the nuts are ground, either by hand or with a stone mill. Grinding the nuts produces a paste, which is then squeezed to get the oil. Within Morocco, argan oil is a luxury product. Outside of Morocco, argan oil has become popular in beauty products like shampoo and face wash.

Smell

If traditionally pressed, argan oil has a detectable smell. With its growing popularity in the western hemisphere, the demand for odorless argan oil has grown. Cosmetic argan oils tend to have much less odor than culinary argan oils. This is because the cold-pressing process filters the product. Sometimes, argan nuts undergo a double filtration process, making them odorless.

Improper storage and prolonged exposure to air and sunlight will spoil argan oil. If your oil smells rancid, it has gone bad and should be disposed of.

Color and texture

Quality argan oil is smooth and silky, yet it’s not too watery. It should absorb easily into the skin and hair. Colorwise, argan oils range from pale to dark golden yellow. The color largely depends on the oil’s filtration process, as refined oils tend to carry less pigment. It’s not uncommon to spot some sediment at the bottom of an argan oil bottle, especially if it’s a traditionally filtered oil. But no need to worry: the sediment is harmless. A clear argan oil bottle without sediment is ultra-refined, which may actually strip the oil of some benefits.

Organic certification

Your argan oil should have only one ingredient listed — obviously, argan oil. Keep an eye out for “100% organic” or the USDA Organic symbol on the bottle. With organic certification, you’ll know the argan trees were grown in healthy, chemical-free soil.

Cosmetic argan oils have a light scent that tends to fade once applied to the skin.

Argan oil features

Cosmetic vs. culinary

Cosmetic argan oil is made by pressing unroasted (or “cold-pressed”) argan nuts by machine, yielding a light oil with a subtle scent. Culinary argan oil is made with argan nuts that have been roasted and ground by a stone mill or by hand, yielding a deeper, nuttier taste and flavor. You can cook with it and use it on breads, salad dressings, and sauces.

You may wonder if the two oils are interchangeable. Well, not exactly. Cosmetic argan oil is largely devoid of taste and flavor, so it won’t translate well in food. Culinary argan oil has a much stronger scent than the cosmetic variety, which may bother some. Roasting the nuts can sap some of the skincare benefits from argan oil, too.

EXPERT TIP

Just like coconut oil and jojoba oil, argan oil is an excellent carrier for essential oils.


Staff  | BestReviews

Culinary argan oil vs. culinary olive oil

For years, olive oil has been lauded for its heart-healthy benefits and delicious taste. Olive oil, made by gently crushing harvested olives in a mill,  is loaded with antioxidants, vitamin E, and carotenoids, which lower the risk of eye disease. Some research shows that olive oil lowers risk of cancer, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

As you might imagine, culinary argan and olive oil have similar benefits. So what’s the difference? Argan oil has a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which makes it more heat resistant for cooking than olive oil, and more vitamin E. Olive oil has a lower smoke point than some oils, which means it’s not suitable for cooking at high temperatures.

Argan oil prices

Argan oil is one of the world’s most exclusive oils, thus making it expensive. Like many oils, argan oil is sold by the ounce, typically in bottles between one and 16 ounces. With variations in quality and pricing, argan oil prices can range from $10 to $50.

A $10 to $20 bottle of argan oil, if it’s good quality and certified organic, is likely to contain one to four ounces. Remember to search for dark amber bottles, which preserve the integrity of the oil. Assuming you’re not buying in bulk, popular argan oils on the market will fall within this price range.

A bottle may run you $20+ if it’s unrefined, since unrefined argan oil has a considerably shorter shelf life. However, cosmetic argan oils tend to be cold-pressed, so you’re more likely to encounter this issue with culinary argan oil.

DID YOU KNOW?

Argan trees grow in parts of Israel, Turkey, Algeria, and Morocco, but Morocco is the only region to produce argan oil.

Tips

  • There are a number of ways to apply argan oil to your hair. To start, warm a few drops on your palms, and run your hands through your damp hair. You can also massage the oil directly onto your scalp with your fingers. To make a hair mask, cover your freshly washed hair in argan oil and put on a shower cap or bonnet. For best results, try leaving in the argan oil at night and rising it out the next morning.
  • For skin, you can massage drops of argan oil directly onto your body. For best results, apply after a shower while your skin is still damp. Argan oil is great to use after shaving, and it’s helpful for areas of the body prone to dryness, such as the heels and cuticles.
  • Look for argan oil bottles stored in dark brown or amber bottles. Light exposure compromises the quality of argan oil, but a dark bottle will help maintain the oil’s freshness.
  • Store your argan oil bottle tightly sealed in a cool, dry place.
  • If you use toner for your face, consider adding some drops of argan oil to the toner for extra hydration. It can help prevent acne, too.

Other products we considered

We also like Pura D’Or’s argan oil, which is USDA Certified Organic. Users love its effect on dry skin and color-treated hair. With a subtle scent, this argan oil easily absorbs into skin. The bottle has a pump dispenser, which some prefer over an eye dropper. The hand pump is especially useful if you’re using the oil for makeup removal or other facial skincare.

Radha Beauty’s organic argan oil is another hit. This argan oil is packaged in a sleek blue bottle with a dropper. A little goes a long way, and buyers say this argan oil is notable for moisturizing all types of skin. Notably, some say this argan oil sits heavier than others.

Those who are prone to sunburn should know that argan oil has an abundance of vitamin E. Slather some on to help soothe the pain and help your skin recover faster.

FAQ

Q. Will argan oil clog pores?
A.
Another one of argan oil’s benefits: it doesn’t clog pores. Skin care oils have designated comedogenic ratings that tell you how much they clog pores. Argan oil is rated 0 out of 10, the lowest possible ranking.

Q. Is argan oil safe for everyday use?
A.
As they say, everything in moderation. Argan oil will work fine as a light, daily moisturizer for hair. It should work fine for daily skin moisturizing, too, since argan oil won’t clog pores.

Q. Will argan oil strip away my hair color?
A.
Given how light it is, argan oil won’t penetrate the hair shaft enough to alter hair color. In fact, argan oil works wonderfully for rejuvenating the texture of color-treated hair.

While argan oil is safe for all hair types, its particularly helpful for dry, coarse hair and tresses that aren’t so easy to tame.

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Ola
    Ola
    Writer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey