Josie Maran Argan Oil Review


For the last month, I’ve been covering my face in oil every night. I know, I know, it seems like that’s the opposite of what we’ve been told to do our whole lives. As someone who had terrible acne as a teenager (hello, two rounds of Accutane!) this is completely counter intuitive. But it’s working.

This all started on my trip to Las Vegas. Following a 5 hour flight and one night in a smoke-filled Vegas hotel, my skin was a blotchy dry mess. Since there’s a Sephora in almost every hotel there, I wandered to the nearest one to do my usual Sephora move: walk in and “sample” the most expensive face creams, eye treatments, and wrinkle removers. Yes, I put their tester products right on my face. Judge away. The great thing about being in such a touristy place is that this Sephora had an entire section of travel/sample size products of all their best-selling products.

One of such products was the Josie Maran Argan Oil. I’ve been stalking this product on beauty blogs for months, always hesitating to take the leap because 1. Oil on your face? and 2. The moolah. This shiz is expensive. With a $14 travel size available and no major life events happening in the near future (so if my whole face did go freak out acne crazy, it wasn’t a huge deal) I bought it.

Josie Maran Argan Oil

Excellent decision.

The first night I put it on cautiously. My flaky skin rejoiced but I worried I’d wake up and be staring at 16-year-old Nadine, face full of pimples. That didn’t happen and hasn’t happened. The oil is light (I bought the original version though it comes in a light version as well) and non-greasy. It absorbs quickly into the skin and feels luxurious. The dropper bottle does seem like it’d be easy to knock over and I’m shocked I haven’t yet.

Usually I have dry skin around my mouth and eye areas, with some acne on my cheeks. I put the Josie Maran Argan Oil on each night, focusing on the dry areas but patting it on my entire face. Since I’ve started using Argan Oil, my skin is no longer dry and flaky and because of this, it makes makeup application much smoother. I had read on beauty blogs and makeup review sites that this can improve acne, although I didn’t expect that to be the case and wasn’t using it for that purpose. That has been an unintended bonus. My breakouts have drastically decreased in the last month.

Though the full bottle is a whopping $48, I’m sure it will last me for freaking ever. My tiny travel bottle (0.5 oz.) is only half gone in a month and the bigger bottle is 1.7 oz. If my math is right, the full size should last me more than 6 months. That comes out to about 26 cents a day for a drastic improvement in my skins health and texture. If that isn’t proof that a repurchase is necessary and worthy, I don’t know what is.

Have you tried it or considered trying it? Would putting oil on your face scare you, the way it scared me?

  • That is very counter intuitive, but I have been looking for some type of moisturizer for my face this winter. My face is so dry, the lotion absorbs in an hour or so and then I need to reapply. I may have to try this after the holidays. Thanks for sharing!

  • I bought the Clarins lotus oil after getting a little sample from a counter and haven’t looked back. As someone with oily skin I thought putting oil on my skin would be horrible like you said, but it’s evened out my complexion, and kept oil and spots at bay. Crazy stuff! I’m a huge advocate of oils on your face now.

  • Ok, I am so happy you wrote a post about this. I have a small bottle and I have been scared to try it on my face! It sounds amazing…I will have to give it a whirl!


    • Nadine

      Here’s the thing: what’s the worst that could happen? You’ll break out a little tiny bit. I kind of was just like, eh screw it, and slathered it on. No breakouts at all.

  • Sarah Grace

    I am in love with Josie Maran Argan Oil as well. I bought the light version in the small size about two weeks go. My skin was getting severely dry from the New England winter and being in the hospital for a couple of days (recycled icky, dry air). I went for the light oil because I was hesitant of using oil on my face, so I thought in some round about way that lighter would cause less of a break out. It actually didn’t cause any breakouts and relieved my parched skin immediately. I now apply it at night just on top of my cheek bone, around my mouth, and corners of my nose because that is where I experience most of my dry skin and I ordered a second small bottle of it so that I could carry one in my purse.

    • Nadine

      My skin is legit super super dry so I figured if i was going to do oil, I’d just go big and not do the light version. If my skin was a little more oily naturally, I definitely would have done the light. Even the regular version isn’t super heavy though.

  • You know, I have read all kinds of wonderful things about coconut oil for the face. Bridget over at Tales of Me and the Husband sings its praises. But still, I’m scared! I can just imagine the oil seeping into each pore and smothering it. But then I look at Bridget’s face, and now YOUR face, and I think “these ladies have skin I want. And they use oil. And their pores are still breathing. Something must surely be up”.

    Additionally, my skin is just a hot mess lately. I think my dermal layers have wedding jitters because I swear I’ve aged 10 years in 1. I think the time has come for oil. You’ve just sealed my deal. Thanks, Nadine!

    • Nadine

      I had considered coconut oil also but that is kind of greasy feeling so I didn’t think I’d like it on my face. I do use that as body moisturizer almost exclusively. I cover my body in it when I get out of the shower and then let it sink in. It really does help! But I opted for the Argan oil for my face because it’s a little lighter. I’ve read that coconut oil is great on the face though too so if you try it let me know!

  • All the families I nanny for give me sephora gift cards for Christmas (are they trying to tell me something) so I was already making a list of products I want to try, totally adding this one to the list!

  • I am going to have to try this! I have the trial size of the Tarte Maracuja Oil, and it isn’t anything to write home about, especially for the price!

    • Nadine

      Interesting. That was another product I was considering but opted for the Argan oil in the end. Glad I chose what I did!

  • I like the review! I love trying out new products but usually look to reviews for advice. I like your math problem- it totally justifies the cost! I do the same thing with my dry shampoo 🙂 being a girl is hard.

    • Nadine

      The daily cost math is how I justify any expensive, ridiculous purchases 🙂

  • Contrary to popular belief, oil actually fights oil so it won’t affect acne whatsoever! I’ve never tried the Josie Maran brand, but I’ve bought organic 100% pure argan oil from amazon (it’s a lot cheaper!) and it works wonders. It’s great on hair, too!

    • Nadine

      I’ve heard they sell it at whole foods but that it has a strong smell to it. The Josie Maran doesn’t have a smell but I don’t know that the smell would bother me much so I may look for another brand when this bottle runs out. I was always told by my dermatologist not to put oil on my skin. I’m not sure why they tell you that but maybe they’d advise me differently now that I’m out of my teenage acne phase.

  • I started using a Vit C oil/serum on my face and I was so skeptical and scared I would wake up with huge pimples but I’m a believer now!

    • Nadine

      What brand was it? I’ve heard vitamin c is great and I was considering trying the Juice Beauty antioxidant serum.

  • I’ve thought about using it before. I might have to take the plunge. My skin has been an absolute mess of dry skin and breakouts this winter.

    • Nadine

      Mine was really terrible but it has gotten so much better. I don’t know that any miracle products exist but this one is definitely very high quality and worked for me.

  • I’ve heard of doing this but never tried it before. I always think fashion people arent really sensible but since you are Im going to try it out!

    • Nadine

      I actually weirdly trust a lot of the beauty bloggers, particularly if they weren’t sent the product for free. I also always check and for the reviews first. A lot of times they will have hundreds of reviews and you can really get a consensus on a product before you buy it.

  • I also used to wake up with a dry face and so tried the Body Shop’s Vitamin E serum about 2 years ago and have been using it since. I use it in the morning and evening and it just makes my face soooo smooth! I even use moisturiser and then eye cream on top, and my skin does not get oily. It’s all about finding the right product for your skin which then shouldn’t cause break outs (haha as if I’m a pro!).

    Anyway! Nice seeing more people flying the face oil / serum flag 🙂


    • Nadine

      I hadn’t heard of that one. I’ll have to check it out. I have vitamin E oil that i put on my eyelashes with qtips when I start to notice that I’m losing more eyelashes than normal. It’s really sticky though and I’d like to find another product for that.

      • hmmm that’s interesting to put vitamin E oil on eyelashes – I’ll try that. I would recommend the Body Shop’s Vit E oil if you have dry skin / combination skin. It’s not sticky at all and smells lurvely! Of course maybe another serum would suit you, so best to ask in store, but I’ve found that a couple drops in the morn & eve before my moisturiser make my face feel a lot more supple!

        Happy experimenting!


  • I have this same oil. I don’t use it everyday, but when i’m feeling drier than usual (basically now that it’s winter), I mix a few drops in with my regular moisturizer and it definitely seems to help!

    • Nadine

      My skin is dry all the time, even in the summer. It had gotten so bad that I couldn’t really wear foundation because the second that it set it looked flakey and horrible. I’ve been applying this nightly and it’s really helped.

  • I received the travel sized bottle in one of my very first Ipsy bags and I absolutely love tyhis stuff! I use it on those especially cold and windy days. I feel much less wind ravaged by the time I walk into work. I want the full sized bottle, but yeah, that $48 hurts. For as long as the travel bottle has lasted me I may just buy another of that. I really don’t use it daily.

    • Nadine

      I’m cheap and would consider just buying another travel bottle to hold me over until I can afford the $48 bottle. I’m a lot more inclined to purchase expensive products like this though when I’ve seen that they actually work. I’ve bought anti-aging eye creams and then been disappointed that I spent so much money because duh, I’m 25 and I have very few wrinkles. This product you can 100% tell that it’s working.

  • I tried this last year and LOVED it. Josie Maran knows what she’s doing (I’ve heard great things about her other products, as well). I also really like using coconut oil, and the new thing that I’ve heard about that I’ve been wanting to try is apple cider vinegar as toner!

    • Nadine

      I’ve used apple cider vinegar in my hair as a shine treatment and though it was just okay. It might make a great toner though. I also use baking soda as a face scrub. I just mix a little bit of it in with my regular face wash and it is the perfect consistency. Scrubby but not to abrasive.

  • Ah yes, the oil on the face thing is still horrifying. Thankfully Arbonne does the job for me thus I don’t need oil too. Glad it’s working for you!

  • Hot diggity. You’re yet another blogger who has these results.

    I’m gonna buy the sample and try it for myself as well! I’m SO EFFING TIRED of breakouts!

  • Never tried Argan oil, price too steep for me. I have use castor oil for my face, eyelashes, brows.& hair.Love the results and price of course.

    • Nadine

      I’ve heard that castor oil is one of the oils that is absolutely the least likely to clog pores. I didn’t know where to buy it but I’d imagine natural food stores or something?

  • I have thought about trying it but was hesitant because I tend to break out easily, my face is very sensitive to certain products. But I also tend to get very dry in the winter. How do you apply it? With your fingers or with a cotton pad?

    • Nadine

      I think a cotton pad would just absorb it all. I wash my face and then try not to touch anything (germs) and apply little dots of it on my face. I drop it into my palm and then do dots and then sort of blot it in.

  • Jen

    I got the trial size bottle in a subscription box and I love it, a little goes a long way! I use it around my hair line because my hairline is so stinkin dry. I tried it once on my face, but I always felt like putting more oil on my already oily face just didn’t make sense. After your review, I’m definitely going to try it!

    • Nadine

      I heard that it’s also great in hair and once I’m done patting it in to my face I rub any extra on my cuticles or my ends of my hair. I love this stuff!

  • Hi, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this article.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  • My cousin gave it to me as a present before I moved to Argentina and I totally love it I have half a bottle yet and Im afraid to use it because I cant find it here. Love Josie’s products

  • Ryan

    I experienced the exact same thing. Who would have thought that Argan oil was good for acne prone skin. I have been using it for everything, hair, face, kids.

    I used to use Josie Maran too, but it gets a bit expensive when I am using 4oz bottle fulls every month or two. But I found another one on Amazon – Brand is Beauty by Earth, that is the EXACT same product (I compared the 2) and it is MUCH cheaper. It is also certified organic and imported from Morocco.

    Here is alink in case you want to try it:

  • Amy

    Great Article. It really showed me the benefits of Argan Oil

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  • Hi there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your posts.

    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Thank you!

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  • Great post! It’s so important to buy a high quality Argan oil, one that’s organic and cold-pressed. Theres a ton out there on the market claiming to be Argan oil, instead its a doctored, heat treated version. Love seeing others sharing the amazing benefits of the oil 🙂

    Co Founder of En Bloom

  • Michelle

    Argan oil is way worth it – I use an argan oil that has no harmful chemicals, and can be used on hair & skin – its the Somaluxe Argan Oil – I love this product it leaves my hair smooth, silky, and shiny! I couldn’t keep my hands out of my hair because it was so soft and it’s light or at least for my thick straight hair! I just hate that it’s only one size but will definitely repurchase. I never do reviews on products but it’s so good that I had to tell someone!!

  • Jan Blom

    The trees you see in this video are argania spinosa, the famous argan trees that only grow in a semi desert area in the South Western part of Morocco.
    It is a very special kind of tree. Its roots go as deep as
    50 metres into the soil and it can live to become
    250 to 500 years old. It is also one of the oldest species of trees
    in the world, a living leftover of the Eocene era, some 25 million
    years ago. The fruit looks a bit like olive
    but it is unfit for human consumption. But the seed kernels inside the nut contain an oil that has been used by the local berber
    population for thousands of years for cooking and cosmetic
    purposes. Today, the available quantity is limited and the production process is lengthy and tedious.
    This production process begins with the goats who love the fruits so much that they taught themselves to climb the trees so they can reach them. The goats have no use for the nuts, which are much too hard to crack. They either spit or shit them out. The Berber farmers collect these nuts from the ground and clean them.

    And then the women can begin their tedious job of cracking the nuts and collecting the kernels. It takes these women 20 hours of work to crack the nuts of one tree which produces 1 litre of oil. By Moroccan standards, these women earn a decent wage of around 50 dollars per week. The women here do their work in a dark shed in the village of Tiout in the foothills of the Atlas mountains.

    Slightly higher paid are these women who are members of a production Coop in Essaouira, a beautiful old town on the coast North of Agadir. They also have better working conditions than the villagers

    Finally, the kernels are ground into a brownish paste which other women squeeze with their bare hands to extract the last drops of oil.
    In recent years, argan oil has been discovered by the international cosmetics industry because of its reputation for rejuvenating the skin. Argan oil is called liquid gold because it is sold on the international market for prices upwards of $300,- per litre.
    Processed by the cosmetics industry into products for skin care and bottled in small quantities in luxurious packaging, the price per litre of the final product sometimes exceeds 2000,- dollars per litre.
    But in the shop of Manahill Souss in souk El Had in Agadir, the purest argan oil is produced right in front of you and sold for such a low price, that you always have to stand in a long line of waiting Moroccan customers before you are being served.

  • Oil doesn’t scare me at all and I would definitely try it. In fact, I was researching the product when I found your review, it gives me hope that the product can work on my oily skin. Let’s see!

  • I see everyone raving about Argan oil, but for some reason, Argan oil and products with Argan oil give me terrible hair fall and split ends. Maybe i should try this Josie Maran Argan Oil

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