It’s obvious to me now, but when I started my skincare journey in 2003 , I didn’t know much about Jojoba and Argan…
Argan wasn’t even mentioned in most textbooks. It was literally this exotic ingredient you’d find on holiday in a Moroccan Souk.
And Jojoba was a weird desert plant, something niche for sock-knitting hippies.
I wanted to know if jojoba oil and argan oil could be used for hair as well as skin care, so I experimented on myself, my family and friends.
Here’s my personal experience on how they’re different and similar so that you can choose what works best for YOUR skin. Enjoy.
Organic Argan Oil vs Jojoba Oil
Ok so which one is THE ‘best’ oil to use. OMG what a tricky choice!
My first question is where and how will you be using it? On your hair? On your face? In facial massage or an aromatherapy full body treatment?
Because both jojoba and argan oils can be used for face, body, hair, nails as well as anti wrinkle skincare.
Yes, both are multi-purpose.
Argan isn’t great in massage though, not glidey enough, so don’t bother. But for skin and hair, it’s the bee’s knees.
Jojoba though, can do all that argan does, plus it’s awesome in massage.
After testing hundreds of ‘base’ oils, my latest favourite massage oil blend features jojoba, sunflower and macadamia.
Soooo silky … a delight to work with, and dry or tired skin just laps it up. Your menopausal client will love you!
I was asked how to identify real jojoba oil.. well two ways – through personal experience, such as massage when you have bought your jojoba from a reputable supplier, and the second way- with the paperwork from chemical analysis in a laboratory.
Is argan oil or jojoba oil better for hair
They both work – so the best will be what suits your budget and what you can source. Another good oil for hair is untoasted sesame oil. I have made a blend with all three.
You’ll need to massage your blend in well and leave it for an hour. It takes extra shampoo to get the oil out, but your hair will feel super silky afterwards.
Which oil is better for face Argan or jojoba?
Both are great for skin. But if you have acne, combination, oily or super reactive skin, I’d suggest you begin with jojoba.
If you’re over 35 or menopausal or have super dry skin, try the Argan first.
With anything, the only way to know for sure is to experiment on your own skin. Use your bare hands to feel the difference they make and then you will know.
Remember, what is best for you, today, might not be best next month or next year. Nothing in nature remains the same.
Which oil is best for rosacea?
Ah the sensitive skin folks…
Whether your skin is sensitive from your genes, climate, time of life or other factors the good news is that Argan and jojoba are excellent. As is rosehip…. for more info here’s an article on rosacea,
Similarities between Argan and Jojoba oil
Both are ‘dry oils’ – they don’t leave your skin feeling greasy because they absorb really fast.
Both are premium priced oils. This means that products that use them will cost more to produce. Cheaper natural oils are soya, corn, grapeseed and sweet almond.
Both can be used undiluted on your skin. This is unlike aromatherapy essential oils which need to be diluted first…read this article to find out more.
Argan oil and jojoba oil are suitable for all ages. I’ve used jojoba on my son as an after bath massage oil when he was only a few months old. In Morocco, mothers use argan to massage their babies. This is for the sense of touch and comfort, improved circulation as well as nutritional benefits. Infants denied touch do not thrive. Massage is an excellent way to bond with your baby.
Both jojoba and argan make excellent moisturizers and face oils. In fact I use jojoba in Proposal in Paris night cream and Argan in Heart of Eternity night cream. I find argan is better suited to skin that is either dry or very dry. Jojoba plays well with all skin types but if your skin is dry, Argan is the way to go. If you are over 35, then consider an argan based moisturiser or night cream such as Heart of Eternity
If your skin is the combination or oily type, then I suggest you start with jojoba in Proposal in Paris and Jardin de Fleurs cleanser to reset your skin’s sebum production. (Tip from Wendy: The best way is to order your Try-Me Experience, then you can see and feel for yourself, for only £30. )
Now what about funky facial rejuvenation techniques such as facial massage (with your hands) or using a crystal tool like a roller or gua sha board? Well you can use both jojoba and Argan on the face area, undiluted. Both can be used during gua sha facial massage. If you want something fancy then a special facial rejuvenation product such as Samba that’s been designed for facial massage – it is easier to use than a liquid oil.
If you are a massage therapist or aromatherapist, consider adding some Argan or jojoba to your massage blend. If you provide after-care products to your clients, consider creating essential oil blends inside jojoba and Argan for your clients to use at home. This means they don’t have to worry about calculating dilution rates etc.
If you’re looking for environmentally-conscious oils that don’t rely on toxic chemicals to thrive, then both Argan and jojoba are plants that grow in hot arid climates without the need for pesticides. Argan is now grown in Israel, where they have developed more efficient methods to extract the Argan oil. Worth a try if you live in Israel.
Argan and jojoba are both cold-pressed to release their oil before being filtered and packed. This means they retain valuable vitamins and minerals.
Yup, both are used for anti-ageing skin and hair care. As I said before, if your skin is drier, then use more Argan especially in your night cream. I recommend Heart of Eternity if you are over 40 and want to prepare your skin for a healthy peri menopause and beyond. Because it comes from a dry climate, Argan is able to help your skin from drying out. Both jojoba and Argan can be used throughout the year although Jojoba is ‘lighter’ in texture so will absorb faster.
If you are looking to use clean and non toxic products that keep you healthy, both Argan and jojoba are excellent. Both are natural extracts that help your skin stay healthy. They’re suitable for vegans and vegetarians as they’re grown on plants.
If you’re travelling, then both these oils are superb multi-taskers. A little bottle will help you with so many issues such as softening dry lips, calming split ends, and adding shine to your hair. You can use them for oil-cleansing and blend with clay and water to create your own clay mask. Legs feeling dry? No problem, use them instead of a body lotion. Also great to use pre and post shaving. Are you seeing their versatility?
And of course both work to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is why they appear in the Glow range.
The differences between Argan and Jojoba oils
OK, so now you know how wonderful and versatile jojoba and Argan are – how do they differ? Well, Jojoba has a natural SPF factor of 4 but argan has none.
However, argan has more vitamin E and sits on the skin’s surface for slightly longer. This gives it more nutritional benefits.
Argan contains fatty acids (oleic and linoleic to name a few), phenols, squalene, vitamin E, and carotenes. You may recognise these vitamins and actives as essential to skincare as they work to fade scars and improve elasticity. And as we age, our skin is loosing collagen and Vitamin E is a valuable antioxidant.
I forgot to explain a technical thing about Jojoba. Officially it’s not even an oil, it’s considered a liquid wax. Yeah, ok, we won’t go into chemistry, but basically jojoba mimics our skin’s own protective sebum. And the other cool thing about jojoba is that it was first used as an alternative to Sperm Whale Oil.
Let’s talk zits, pimples, spots and acne. Which oil would you use? Well my intuition and years of experience lead me to say jojoba. Technical research agrees that it suits skin that is acneic – it helps the skin rebalance sebum production. Why and how does it do this magic? Through the simple process of unclogging pores and hair follicles. Yes it’s blocked pores that are the misery makers of teen and hormonal skin (pregnancy, menopause).
And if you have scars and need help to fade them, read this
Questions about Jojoba Oil and Argan Oil
What colour are argan oil and jojoba oil?
I’ve poured some of each into a clear glass bowl to show you the difference.
The yellow is the Golden jojoba, organic, unrefined.
The clear is the argan unroasted and organic. You can buy clear jojoba oils that have been refined.
The unrefined has more ‘goodness’
The roasted argan is used for culinary purposes only. Salads dressings, drizzling over veggies etc. For skincare, you want it raw, untoasted, unheated.
What about colour? Oh yes, this is fun to compare them. Jojoba is clear in colour, argan is slightly yellow. I’ve taken a photograph to show you.
Let’s talk shelf life. That is an important consideration when investing in a natural product, as real things degrade, go off, rot, decompose. The shelf life of jojoba is longer – 5 years vs 2 years for argan
Geographical differences means that certain areas suit argan and jojoba – both grow in dry and arid climates. Argan comes from Morocco, Jojoba comes from America. And now Israel grows both.
Jojoba contains 66-71% Eicosenoic acid, which according to Pubmed is higher in the skin of Autistic Spectrum people. Hmm, what do you think of that fellow Aspies?
Argan is more suited to prematurely ageing skin, those with sun damage or stretch marks. I can identify with this – I love being in the sunshine for it’s health benefits
Jojoba is ideal for those with acne, eczema, dandruff, inflammatory conditions, dandruff.
Jojoba stimulates wound healing and collagen synthesis
Jojoba reduces hair frizz and breakage, especially during menopause…
Guys, you can use jojoba oil on your beard and post shaving.
Rub jojoba into blisters, calluses, and corns.
Rub jojoba onto your cuticles before a manicure or pedicure to soften them naturally
Organic argan oil uk
If you’re looking for products made here in the UK with organic argan oil, you’re in the right place.
Yes, I use organic argan oil in my Devon-based artisan studio for my Heart of Eternity flagship night cream.
Argan’s Latin name is Argana spinosa while jojoba is Simmondsia chinensis
Argan contains the sterol spinasterol. Sterols are really important for you during menopause
Argan has more triglycerides, while jojoba is mostly esters and fatty alcohols. (Ok that was for formulator and chemistry junkies, don’t worry if it was gobbledegook)
Is jojoba oil good for your skin?
Yes. Jojoba is 100% natural and mimics your skin’s natural healthy sebum.
It does not block pores and it protects and nurtures. How?
Because jojoba oil has anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, it helps with eczema, candida, ringworm, dermatitis and psoriasis.
It also promotes quicker healing of wounds, burns, itching, allergies and inflammatory skin conditions.
Jojoba contains copper, zinc, Vitamin E and A, it’s helpful for your hair and skin.
So yes, it’s great for your skin. I use it in my cream-based cleanser and facial scrub because mature and menopausal skin needs extra TLC so that it isn’t dried out.
How do you use jojoba oil on your face?
Apply a few drops and massage into your face.
Can I leave jojoba oil on my face overnight?
Yes. Jojoba is a pacifier and neutralizer of all the three doshas in Ayurvedic medicine. So will restore balance when used to massage your face and body.
Jojoba has mild, moist, cooling, light and hydrating properties that help skin that is dry, inflamed or acne-prone.
“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.”
–Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89.
How often should you put jojoba oil on your face?
It depends on how your skin feels – it can be used daily.
Judge for yourself how your skin feels.
What does jojoba oil smell like?
Not much – it is a very faint and clean smell. Hardly noticeable.
How do you pronounce jojoba?
Ho-Ho (Like Santa!) – Bar
What is jojoba oil best for?
Everything! Hair, skin, nails, your body. All ages and skin types. All product types-serums, cleansers, moisturizers, makeup, lip balms, beard care, conditioners.
Can jojoba oil grow hair?
Massaging your scalp will improve circulation to your hair’s roots, that in itself will help.
Jojoba has many benefits to healthy hair including:
- strengthen the roots of the hair,
- enrich the scalp,
- reduce dandruff
- control frizz, treat alopecia and
- promote hair growth.
Add some rosemary or ylang ylang essential oil to your jojoba massage blend and rub that into your scalp.
Rosemary and ylang smell great and also improve hair growth, which is why they’re used in shampoos and conditioners.
If your hair is thinning, breaking, or you’re loosing more hair in your hairbrush, then be sure to read this hair care article packed with tips on what you can do about it..
Does jojoba oil clog pores?
No, it’s similar in its structure to healthy natural sebum. It also rebalances sebum production so if your skin is oily it will rebalance it towards normal.
Good products to get rid of acne
Choose gentle options that respect your skin’s biome like Jardin de Fleurs gentle cleanser , Harmony facial scrub, Drench facial tonic and Proposal in Paris face cream.
How good is jojoba oil for your face?
Awesome, read the section on Similarities.
Jojoba oil for beard
Yes, jojoba make s great beard oil – either as a standalone ingredient (as in, it’s the ONLY ingredient in the jar) , or blended with other ‘dry feeling’ oils. I explain what ‘dry feeling’ means in the article, keep reading.
Is argan oil good for rosacea?
Yes. It has a high content of Vitamin E which is anti-inflammatory.
Argan is really soothing on skin that is dry, sensitive or suffers from rosacea.
Top tip – if you are unfortunate to suffer with rosacea, and have Celtic skin, then sign up for Wendy’s newsletter
Substitute for jojoba oil
Hmm this is hard. Jojoba is actually a liquid wax so not really any substitutes around.
The closest feeling to it is olive derived squalane.
Jojoba is actually a replacement to Sperm Whale Oil.
Which is better for your hair jojoba oil or argan oil?
Both do work on hair – it depends on the thickness of your hair, whether you are in menopause, and other factors. Read this article on hair care.
Another great hair oil is sesame. (The virgin unrefined of course, not the cooking variety) I have blended sesame with jojoba and argan for an excellent hair conditioner.
Can we mix argan oil with jojoba oil?
Of course! Mixing makes what’s called synergy where the sum is greater than the parts.
You can play with the ratios and see what works best for your skin condition.
Argan contains antioxidants and fatty acids that regenerate and revitalise mature and dry skin, while jojoba mimics your body’s protective sebum so keeps your skin supple and soft.
Does jojoba oil help with acne?
Yes. it mimics sebum so helps rebalance your skin’s natural oil(sebum) production. Sebum keeps your skin protected so you do need it. I’ve used jojoba when my skin was slightly oily (It no longer is oily due to menopause! But for women with combination or oily skin in the menopause, jojoba and argan are both excellent)
Acne skin is too enthusiastic with oil production. Stripping oil away with harsh cleansers or alcoholic toners makes it worse. You end up with dry skin patches AND acne, double ouch. Instead use a gentle jojoba based cleanser like Jardin de Fleurs.
Acneic skin is often deficient in linoleic acid. You’ll need to eat foods rich in linoleic acid eg hemp seeds.
Remember to shower promptly after sweaty exercise like HIIT and spinning.
Does Argan Oil reduce redness?
Yes, it is calming and soothing. You also need to watch your diet and drink enough water. Cut back on caffeine, alcohol, smoking and late nights too.
How do you use argan oil on your face?
Apply a few drops after you have washed your face. Massage them into your face using gentle circular motions. Use this time to breathe slowly and be present to the feel and touch of your hands on your skin.
You can also blend essential oils into your argan – read this essential guide to using essential oils so that you stay safe.
Argan Oil shampoo
Some salon and health store brands use argan oil in their formula – but here is a a secret they won’t tell you… you can also add a few drops of plain argan oil to your regular shampoo!
A great tip from my acupuncturist, is to add 2 drops of argan oil into your hair conditioner each time you wash your hair. This is really important during menopause when you notice that oopsy your hair is falling out like you’re moulting, and that your ponytail has gotten really scrawny thin, yuk. Argan oil is the key oil you need to improve your scalp’s condition.
Of course you can also massage pure argan into your scalp – it will make you look like a greasy chip though, so cover your pillowcase with an old towel and then use an extra shampoo to rinse it out. Read my special hair care guide too, it’s got loads more useful, practical tips.
( If you like learning practical things you can do to protect the health of your hair and skin then sign up for my newsletter.)
What are dry oils?
How can an oil be ‘dry’ when it’s liquid and greasy? I mean, what a totally dumb name. I agree, it’s confusing. Well it’s a term used by formulators when they are describing the effects of a fatty lipid on your hair or skin or nails. Dry is simply in comparison to another oil that is less dry… it’s a relative thing, eg light rain vs a heavy Tropical-like downpour vs a light Irish mist. You could describe the type of Irish mist as ‘dry’ rain., for instance. I made that up. I don’t know what rain experts use to describe the types of rainfall.
So back to Dry Oils. This is how I describe them, both as a product formulator, and an aromatherapist, gua sha facialist
Dry oils are those that soak into the skin rapidly. They don’t sit there like an oil slick for ages.
However if you’re doing an aromatherapy massage, you don’t want the veg oil to sink in too fast, or else you’ll be creating heat and friction on the skin. Ouchy. So you’ll use oils that give you a glide, some slip. And of course if you are doing a facial and need the oils to sink in faster, you’ll be adding more dry oils into your blend. Yeah, gets confusing, you can either do hundreds of experiments yourself to find out, or hire somebody to create a recipe for you, btw I can create a specialist blend for you, send me an email.
Dry oils are typically used on the face and hair where you don’t want an oily sheen. They vanish like you cast a spell in Potions class at Hogwarts. And depending on which of the dry oils you use, they sink in faster or slower. There’s an art and a science to it. I have been working with the oils since 2003, and have been on many specialist courses to know what to do, as well as devoting hundreds of hours to testing.
Also, in summer you use drier feeling oils during the day to stop your skin getting all sweaty. See, lots you can learn about the oils. I share insights in my newsletter, so be sure to sign up for that.
Do dry oils replace night cream ?
While a dry oil (read the description above) works well in summer on top of a hyaluronic acid serum, it is not a substitute for a night cream.
Why? A night cream contains both water and oil components in an emulsion format. I have found from experience that an emulsion is the only way to restore dry or sensitive skin through the night. An oil can stay sitting on top the skin, and a hydrosol can run off your face into the pillowcase. When you apply a night cream like Heart of Eternity or Proposal in Paris, your rosewater spray or Drench tonic will absorb better, as does your Empress Elixir oil serum. This means that your skin is resupplied with both water and oil components -it needs both!!
So in Summer when it is humid, you may keep your moisturizer or night cream for evening use. Here’s more help in choosing the perfect night cream Night time is when you skin does it’s repairing. A moisturiser and night cream contain elements that hydrate and protect. SPF may be included in your day moisturiser.
Other dry feeling oils great for humid summertime include:
- Arctic cranberry seed oil
- Blueberry seed oil
- Borage oil
- Blackcurrant seed oil
- Camellia oil
- Evening primrose oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Red Raspberry seed oil
- Rosehip seed oil
- Sea Buckthorn
- Sesame oil
- Strawberry seed oil
- Sunflower oil
Use richer oils in winter when your skin feels dry and scaly. Why? Because these oils will leave a much needed layer of protection, to seals in hydration. This is what stops moisture evaporating and leaving your skin parched and flaky like the Sahara desert.
Not only does dry skin make you look older, it’s also itchy… what’s worse though is that dry skin can wake you up at night so you’ll get a poorer quality of sleep. Good sleep is important to immunity and preventing early onset of ageing. Sleep is also correlated to brain function and memory as well as mood and… wait for it.. weight loss!
So beauty sleep does more than it seems. So in short, oils help you sleep better by keeping your skin hydrated. I write about these in my newsletter, so if you sign up you’ll get free prompts to do all these useful things to keep your skin feeling in tip top shape.
What is the best dry oil?
Define’ best’? Is it price, texture, quality or results? I only use the pricier, organic oils in what I make and use on my own skin, I am biased. However, in the categories of Best, Jojoba is one of them – especially as it’s suitable for those with nut allergies. Yes jojoba is expensive and that means you better not buy cheap jojoba on eBay or amazon. Why? Because more ‘jojoba’ oil is sold each year than is grown every year. Read that again. More is sold than grown. I have that fact from a jojoba grower. Think about it, if 100kg are produced each year and 200kg are sold .. does that add up? How can that even be possible??
What this means, is that unscrupulous sellers are selling FAKE jojoba .. it’s being blended with cheaper oils such as safflower, for instance. Or likely soya or cottonseed or another really cheap oil. So if you’ve tried jojoba and got a reaction, chances are you bought a fake one. If you go off any buy El Cheapo, you are hereby warned!! Buy your oils from people who know. That means not from some dodgy seller on eBay or Amazon or from a garden shed someplace – just don’t do it, OK?
Is coconut oil a dry oil?
No, it’s very greasy. It stays on the skin’s surface for ages. It can even dry out your skin if you have Celtic skin or rosacea so beware.
If you do use it, make sure it’s blended with other vegetable oils. I’ve had many women come to me crying that their skin is so dry!! Coconut was involved in many cases so beware.
Is almond oil a dry oil?
No, it’s not. It lingers on the skin so makes a good oil for massage. It also makes a great extraction medium for herbs. Ok an expensive way to extract herbs, only for super keen enthusiasts like myself. Not a commercially viable nor profitable way to do it.
What next? I recommend you read:
- Carrier Oils: For Aromatherapy and Massage by Len Price, Shirley Price
- Liquid Sunshine- Jan Kusmirek
- For crystal-infused skincare see my new serums!