Tried and Tested Skincare Products

Born Argan Believer: Products for the body

argan loils

Kelly Rose Bradford’s three-part argan experiment has moved on to her body – with some interesting results…

My 'washing' routine is thus: I shower, and wash and condition my hair in the morning, and I bathe at night. Every day and every night, without fail. I get through a lot of bathing products, and my demands from them are: something oily for my bath that makes the water soft enough to shave with (legs, underarms, bikini line) and something very scrubby for my body – I love a really grainy, harshly-textured scrub for my knees, feet and elbows – I like to feel it doing its job! For my hair (more on that in my next review) I like moisturising, but not heavy, shampoos and conditioners, and after drying, I am religious about using body lotion on my prone-to-dryness, mild-eczema in places (mainly behind knees) skin – it makes a huge difference, particularly in the summer when you have more flesh on display.

I started my body products trial with a generous slug of Wildwood Groves Body Massage and Bath Blend Argan (£12.50/£22.50/£49.70, 15ml/30ml/100ml) in my bath, described as ‘an infusion of argan oil with Moroccan herbs and apricot kernel oil’. It didn't make much difference to the bath in all honesty, and I think it would be better just as a massage product. The blend of oils was very nice when rubbed directly into the skin, but I would have liked it to have made my bath a lot more oily and my skin more slippery so I could have shaved without using an extra product, and been left with skin which felt nourished and not dried out or 'tightened' from the hot water. Wildwood Groves do suggest that it can also be used post-bath, rubbed into damp skin to lock in moisture, and I feel it is far more suited to that, to get a really good effect from the 100% pure and natural blend. 

Ora Naturals Argan Body Scrub (£36.90, 200ml) far exceeded my expectations in both texture and results – it was a real body polisher, even sloughing off some unsightly black dead skin I had on my feet (ingrained dye from sandals, rather than dirt!). It passed my 'can I feel it' test with flying colours thanks to its blend of argan oil, red mandarin and lemongrass in a chunky sugar mix. It was a real luxury product, which left my skin absolutely silky smooth. Would be brilliant to scrub up with before applying a fake tan, or for getting those hidden bits of skin ready-to-bare in the summer – I bribed a small child to work it into my back and then rinse it off with a cloth. There was a very satisfying grey residue on the flannel after and my back sparkled!

Out of the bath and drying off, it was time to get my body argan-ed up. To be frank, I didn't expect Dr Organic's Moroccan Argan Oil Breast Firming Cream (£15.99, 100ml) to produce any results other than snorts of childish laughter. So you can imagine my delight when I actually felt and noticed a difference when I slathered it on 'the girls' post-bath. Along with argan, it contains 'CellActive-form’ – a compound which has apparently been clinically tested to tone and firm the bust, and stimulate skin cell metabolism, and which contains mangosteen peel extract, chlorella and quince seed. It felt kind of warm and tingly on the skin, and although to be fair (as every woman knows) you can make your breasts instantly look firmer and perter through massage (increased blood supply to them, I presume) this cream really did have an 'enlivening' effect. I will definitely keep with it in my attempts to beat gravity at its own game where my ample bosom is concerned.

My body overall was treated to two different moisturisers for this experiment, and both produced pleasing results. Lush were as quirky as to be expected in their offering – Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner (£15.50, 225g) – with not a body 'lotion', but a 'conditioner' which you applied in the shower then rinsed off. I thought it would be faffy as a concept, but was pleasantly surprised. In the container it looked a lot like cocoa butter in terms of colour and texture, but was in fact a mix of argan, cocoa butter, cupuacu butter, brazil nut oil, almond oil and shea butter. The only downside was the fact it came in one of their black pots which you stick your hand in and grab a load of product – I totally overuse in these circumstances, and got through the tub in under a week. It also contains parabens as preservatives – which many skincare consumers avoid. Despite that, my skin was super soft when I rinsed it off, and the gloop was also fab for shaving with.

The other body lotion was more my cup of tea in terms of dispensing and ease of use – the Giovanni 2Chic Ultra Sleek Body Lotion, Brazilian Keratin and Argan Oil (£7.99, 250ml) came in a long, elegant, pump topped bottle, so you can accurately measure out the right amount for either an all-over body splurge, or as I kept doing throughout the heatwave, one pump in the hand to give each leg a pleasing lustre and a feeling of hydration and silkiness. I really liked this product – used on damp skin (as they recommend) post-bathing or showering, it really locks in moisture thanks to the argan and other yummy ingredients – olive fruit oil, Brazilian cocoa and coconut to name but a few. It also smelt really nice – of fruity coconuts! Very summery and makes bare legs look lovely and shimmery.
Moving on to my hands, I have long-lasting UV-cured gel manicures on my nails, fans of which will know look great, but do nothing for either the condition of your nails, or the skin around them. With this in mind, I am fastidious about using an oil on my cuticles and hands to keep dryness and peeling at bay. The Melvita Argan Oil with Geranium Roll-on for Hands, Nails and Cuticles (£10, 10ml) is, on first glance, a nifty little tube with a roller ball applicator on the end. I'm afraid as much as I wanted to love it though, it just did not deliver for me – literally. The rollerball did not let out enough product on each application to allow for a decent dosage. If I kept 'rolling' for several minutes, I eventually got enough, but the whole appeal of this style of product for me, would be it's 'use on the go' design. The argan is combined with geranium oil and smells beautiful – it's just a pity it does not come out of the tube a little quicker!

So my body, on the whole, loves the moisturising and softening properties of argan – next up, my hair – almost waist-length, prone to dry and frizzy ends, and, as I type, thrice its usual size due to humidity and sun damage – can argan restore it to its usual crowning glory status?


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