Tried and Tested Skincare Products

Born Argan Believer: Products for Face Care

Argan oils

In the first part of her three-part argan special, our tester Kelly Rose Bradford puts a quintet of facial skincare products through their paces.

Argan has been a must-have hair product for the past few years, with many a luscious-locked celebrity crediting their glossy mane to daily applications of the restorative Moroccan tree oil. It’s probably no surprise then than its popularity as a hair rejuvenator has been only the beginning of its role as a beauty treatment ingredient: argan is now popping up everywhere, from face creams to breast firmers (yes, really).

Impressed by the effect the oil has had on my hair – keeping split ends at bay, taming frizz, protecting it during blow drying and leaving it baby soft – I was finally worn down by the hype and keen to expand my argan experience – but would I be as sold on it for my top-to-toe beauty needs as I was with its hair care prowess?

I have combination skin with the typical oilier t-zone, and now, as I approach middle age, the signs of ageing around my eyes. I have a propensity to hormonal flare-ups around my jawline at the time of the month, and my skin can quickly become blotchy and flaky if I am tired, run down, or have had a few days of eating rubbish or not sleeping.

Putting an oil on my nose or my spot ‘hot spots’ (jaw and chin) would not usually be my thing for fear of causing congestion, greasyness or ‘feeding’ any existing blemishes, but I was blown away by Unica Cosmetics Evergreen Anti-aging Oil (£16, 30ml). It came in a glass bottle with a pipette dispenser, and I rubbed two drops into my palms before smoothing them across my face morning and evening. It had an immediate effect on the appearance of my skin, instantly hydrating it, and making it look more refined. There was no oily residue, nor increase in sebum production, and I used it twice a day, every day, for a month. It did not add to my ‘monthly’ break outs, and actually, my skin healed faster from those than they usually do. I loved it so much, that since trialling it, I have convinced two friends to buy it!

As I was taking my Unica oil quite far up around my eyes, I used Greenwood Organics Frankincense and Argan Eye Cream (£22, 15ml) as a designated night time treatment product. I found it too creamy for the recommended twice a day application, and instead used it every other night for a month. It had a pleasant smell (probably due to the geranium flower water, the argan and vitamin E compound is mixed with) and a velvety rich – but not sticky or heavy – consistency, but in all honestly, I did not notice any huge anti-aging effect. The skin around my eyes was nicely conditioned and softer to the touch, but there was no visible softening to the crow’s feet, sadly.

Argan Organics Anti-ageing Face Regeneration Serum (£15.99, 30ml) bills itself as being suitable for dry and mature skins, and although I am 39, I would not yet describe my skin as being ‘mature’, so I think this would be a little too heavy for me to use regularly. The product is in a pump dispenser, and comes out as a quickly absorbed golden liquid. The fragrance is very floral – not surprising given the Bulgarian rose absolute, lavender, chamomile and geranium that is combined with the argan oil. I think this would be a fabulous product for a lady in her 50s and beyond, or those with prematurely aged skin – it was just a bit too intense for me – and very good value for money for the quality of oils it contains.

Nourish Argan Skin Renew Treatment (£19.50, 50ml) promises to protect the skin with ‘advanced cellular enzymes’ which ‘help respond to damage’ in order to repair the complexion. In the pot the product is thick and ‘traditional’ looking – a white ‘face cream’ style concoction. On the finger, it is lighter than you would expect, with a noticeable – but not overpowering – rose fragrance thanks to the extract of Rose of Jericho in the blend. It was rich on the face, and best, in my opinion as an overnight treatment, as it was too heavy for me to wear under make up during the day. I concentrated it on my ‘problem’ areas – a patch of reddened skin on my nose, and some flaking on my chin. It certainly calmed my chin down, with visible improvement the next morning. I would worry about using it too often on my combination skin, but as an intensive treatment for specific needs (like when you’ve been over-zealous with a drying spot cream and killed the spot, but taken half your skin with it) I would certainly use it again.

Skin Revivals Argan Blend Facial Oil (£11.50, 25ml) is another pipette dispensing oil in a reassuringly medicinal looking pot. It comes comes out bright orange and with a warning that it might stain clothing (thanks to the Sea Buckthorn in its mix) – something to bear in mind if you leave it unscrewed near a bale of white towels. Ahem. It has an almost spicy aroma which I could not place from the ingredient list of argan, rosehip oil, evening primrose oil, sea buckthorn oil, sweet orange oil and mandarin oil. My skin drank it in immediately leaving no residue (I find this interesting that a skin prone to oiliness reacts so much better to actual oil products than creams). My face felt supple and well moisturised without feeling ‘claggy’ or overly moist – the perfect base for make up, although the product is really designed as a night-time treatment. Another lovely face oil which I would use again.

So overall, with argan-based facial care, I found that actual oils suited my skin rather than creams. Next up, body treatments – will argan be up to the challenge of restoring my blotchy thighs, chicken-skin upper arms and post-shaving/waxing/plucking bumps and blemishes? …


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