Argan Oil: The Original Cult Favorite


Before the entire fashion industry (beauty included) went on a normcore bent, stopped wearing makeup, and proclaimed coconut oil from the grocery store as the cure-all we'd been desperately searching for, there was a different oil to rule them all. Exotic, niche, and certainly more luxurious sounding than the pantry fodder we're smearing on ourselves at present, argan oil was all anyone could talk about when it came to greasing up. While historians may argue fervently about its rise to prominence, by our watches, argan burst on the scene back around 2007 or so. This was in no small part due to the brilliance of one Josie Maran. She told us this summer:

“I discovered it when I was in France for a job—there was this woman who was 70 but she looked 40, so I asked her what her secret was. All she used was argan oil, so I had to try. I had been using Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion by Clinique and then I was using Crème de la Mer my whole modeling career because I liked how it would moisturize—but it was not natural and it broke me out. Argan oil doesn't do that.”

She then proceeded to build her entire cosmetics empire around argan as the hero ingredient. It was a pretty resounding endorsement. And really what's not to like? The oil is light, all-purpose, and in Josie's case, provides a philanthropic incentive (Josie Maran Cosmetics is the single largest importer of argan oil from Morocco, and thus, creates hundreds of jobs for women there). There's really no wrong way to use the stuff. True fans swear by it raw— Helene Kuhn mixes it with borage and jojoba and smears on in lieu of cream; Anais Mali coats her hair in it before she goes to sleep. Leigh Lezark likes hers dry; Ambra Medda takes her makeup off with it; Bregje Heinen uses it on her ends in the shower to stave off the ill-effects of washing her hair every day. We could go on but you get it. And you probably have your own technique, which you should feel more than comfortable sharing with the world by way of the comments. Because friends that argan together, stay together. Or something.