For starters, a quick breakdown of Argan oil vs Jojoba oil. If you happen to be in a rush, and are only able to read these first few lines, it should help you define quickly which one to choose.
Without being put to the test, it remains difficult to say how your skin or hair will react to either one of them. Both could potentially work out great, or neither.
I’d advise Jojoba oil for:
- Oily skin and acne, even though Jojoba oil has a slightly higher comedogenic rating.
- Almost any other skin type or condition, including but not limited to dry and aging skin, because of Jojoba oil’s amazing ability to restore the skin’s balance. This makes it one of the most versatile oils available.
Argan oil would be a good choice for:
- Dry and/or more mature skin.
- Nourishing hair, especially dry lengths and brittle ends.
- Oily skin with acne can sometimes also benefit from Argan oil, due to its anti-inflammatory properties if your skin tolerates it well.
Both Argan and Jojoba oil are easy to purchase online, as well as in select local stores. Argan oil tends to be the more expensive one, but it depends on the brand. On Amazon you can find both organic Jojoba oil and organic Argan oil. They can be used pure (“as-is”) or spruced up with a few drops of one or more of your favorite essential oils.
It won’t come as much of a surprise that Jojoba oil is a key ingredient in this facial oil by Kjaer Weis ($225 for 65ml) and a main ingredient in the Anti-Aging facial oil by Annmarie Gianni ($54.95 for 15ml) which you can sample here. Acure makes some lovely flavored facial oil with organic Argan oil – choose between coconut, rose, and citrus-ginger.
So, we’ve started with a little summary and clearly done things a bit backwards here. 😉 That won’t prevent us from taking a closer and more in depth look at Argan oil vs Jojoba oil below.
Quick Overview of Oleic Acid & Linoleic Acid
The following is helpful to know in relation to all oils and skin care, not just Argan and Jojoba.
Oils contain certain amounts of fatty acids.
Sounds familiar? Good! You may have heard of fatty acids in relation to skin care, but also cholesterol, healthy eating habits, anti-aging in general or cardio-vascular health.
There are a whole lot of different kinds of fatty acids. The two terms to keep in mind when choosing the perfect oil for your skin are oleic acid and linoleic acid. If your skin that tends to be oily, and maybe also struggles with some acne, it could be deficient in the second one: linoleic acid. An oil with a higher percentage of linoleic acid can be helpful in that case. A higher amount of the first one, oleic acid, tends to be present in oils we commonly call “heavier” or “richer”. This makes oils higher in oleic acid more suited to dry or mature skin.
Then again – and unfortunately – things aren’t necessarily as straight-forward as that. The complexity of both oils and our skin makes it hard to determine “on paper” what works and what doesn’t. Finding the right oil(s) for your face, body or hair (whether it be Argan oil vs Jojoba oil, or another one all together) usually involves some trial and error.
Scientific name: Simmondsia Chinensis
Jojoba Oil in a Nutshell
Is Jojoba oil right for your skin?
Scientific name: Argan Spinosa
Argan oil has been on the radar of the beauty industry for some time. You’ve probably seen the mention “with Argan oil” on various skin care labels and shampoo bottles of both high-end and department store products. Local health food stores often carry some more basic carrier oils such as castor and sweet almond oil. Pure Argan oil isn’t as easy to find offline, but it is widely available online.
With so many different suppliers to choose from, let me start off by throwing in an important tip: the best Argan oil is cold pressed and from organic agriculture.
It can be challenging to find trusted sellers of Argan oil, due to its massive gain in popularity over the past few years. Another thing you may want to watch for is whether a company practices fair trade. With Argan oil generally originating from poor countries, most people will agree that it is important for a business to treat everyone well and pay fair wages.
Without getting too technical, let’s go over the properties of Argan oil and their potential benefits to your skin and hair.
Argan Oil Overview
Argan oil is rich in vitamin E and known for its nourishing and regenerating properties. Argan oil is also a great antioxidant, which makes it a powerful ally in the fight against aging.
Argan oil is one of the richer oils. It doesn’t penetrate the skin as well as Jojoba oil. Mixing Argan oil with a second, more easily absorbed oil (such as Kukui nut oil or Rosehip seed oil) can help improve absorption. That being said, Argan oil does have an even lower comedogenic rating than Jojoba oil.
Argan oil is basically an anti-aging and nourishing power house. It contains a lot of natural antioxidants, protecting the skin from aging. Argan oil has antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. While Argan oil is great to make the skin softer and more supple, it may be just a tad too rich if your skin is oily. It mainly protects against premature aging, improves the skin’s function as a barrier, as well as protecting from the outside world. Argan oil does offer some protection from UV rays, but please note that oils are never a substitute for proper sunscreen lotion.
The amount of fatty acids in Argan oil varies between batches and brands, but is approximately:
- Poly-unsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid/omega 6/vitamin F): 29-36%
- Mono-unsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid): 42-49%
- Saturated fatty acids (stearic acid & palmitic acid): stearic acid 6-7% & palmitic acid 13%
Unsaturated fatty acids, which Argan oil has a high content of, are protecting, nourishing, regenerating, work against premature anti-aging, and help making the skin more soft and supple.
Is Argan oil right for your skin?
Argan oil is very good for dry and aging skin, as you can tell from all its regenerating properties mentioned above. It is also supposed to be potentially great for oily skin with acne, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Some people report improvement of their acne when they start using Argan oil, while it totally doesn’t work for others.
If you look at just the linoleic acid content of around 35% in Argan oil, it makes sense that it would work well for oily skin and acne. Jojoba oil contains a much lower amount of linoleic acid – around 5%. However, Argan oil is also fairly high in oleic acid (approx. 45%). This may be too much if you already have oily skin, since the oils high in oleic acid are generally more suited to dry skin types.
If you try Argan oil and it works for you, that’s wonderful. If not, don’t worry. Stuck with a bottle of Argan oil that isn’t doing what you hoped as a facial oil? It has many other potential uses and won’t have to go to waste. It makes a great anti-frizz oil (for the hair), nourishes dry and brittle ends (also hair), and can be helpful on stretch marks, hands and feet.