Argan vs Olive Oil for Skin

In this article, we compare argan vs olive oil highlighting their unique properties and benefits. By the end, you'll have a clearer understanding of which one is best suited for your specific skincare needs.

argan vs olive oil for skin

Argan vs Olive Oil for Skin

In the quest for flawless and radiant skin, natural oils and fats have gained immense popularity. But beauty lovers want to know, which one is better?

They have so much in common. Both products are natural fats, often nicknamed liquid gold, and packed with loads of benefits such as polyphenols and vitamin E.

They're both vegan and used for cooking, skincare, and more. In fact, there's now a need not only for the fats themselves but its by products.

In addition, both originate in the Mediterranean basin with production going back thousands of years. They greatly contributed to the survival of mankind and are cornerstones of local economies.

Let's dive into price. Olive oil is a very expensive product to make well. Olive trees, as much as we love them, are quite finicky and expensive to care for and have on years and off years.


For skincare, we want to look a the highest quality product available and that's always extra virgin. For the sake of simplicity let's look at a bottle of EXAU which at the time of writing this costs $29 for 16.9 fl. oz. (500ml).

Argan oil is incredibly expensive, easily selling for $100 for 4 fl. oz. (120ml). That works out to $200 for 1 cup of argan oil or $422.50 for 16.9 fl. oz. (500ml), the same size as one our bottles.

But when you learn how the product is made, the large price tag will make a lot of sense as the process is incredibly labor intensive.

What is Argan Oil?

Argan oil is non-refined vegetable oil extracted from the fruit of the argan tree. There are two grades of the product, cosmetic and food.

There are also two types of extraction:

  1. Mechanical, which as the name implies uses equipment and machinery.
  2. Manual, which is much more labor intensive because it's all done by hand, this is also the way the indigenous people of Morocco have traditionally produced the product for centuries.

Harvest can last from May to August. First, the fruit is harvested, and the fleshy pulp is removed to reveal the hard-shelled nuts inside. These nuts contain one to three oil-rich kernels, which are then extracted by hand.

The kernels are traditionally roasted which can take up to 40 minutes for just 1 kg and gives the oil a nutty aroma and flavor. They're then crushed and eventually pressed then decanted and filtered.

The Argan Tree

The argan tree (scientifically known as Argania spinosa) is native to the North African country of Morocco. It primarily grows in the southwestern parts of the country, particularly in the regions of Sous Valley and the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

It's a remarkable plant and incredibly resilient. For example, it can remain in a state of dormancy during harsh weather and poor soil conditions with its roots extending deep into the soil to absorb the moisture it needs to survive.

The tree is thorny, slow growing, and extremely heat and drought tolerant, making it well suited to the arid climate of Morocco. While it does very well in the heat it cannot tolerate the cold at all.

It can grow up to 50 feet tall and 50 feet wide and live up to 200 years old although some say it can live even longer!

As mentioned previously, the indigenous people of Morocco have been making the product for a very long time. The plant plays a very significant role in the local ecosystem and economy. To dive deeper take a look at this research article.

Benefits and Uses For Beauty

Argan oil has been used for centuries in Morocco for culinary, cosmetic, and medicinal purposes. It's highly valued in the beauty and cosmetology industry for many reasons, here are just a few:

  • High saponification level which is indicative of high triglycerides content
  • Rich in squalene
  • High levels of oleic acid which fights free radical damage
  • Vitamin E which is great for your skin
  • Rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols

 The beauty industry wants products that are going to help consumers have glowing and radiant skin and argan oil really checks all of those boxes.

argan oil vs olive oil

What is Olive Oil?

Olive oil is a type of fat that is derived from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea). While there are different grades, extra virgin remains the highest quality product available to consumers.

Related: How EVOO is Made

The Olive Tree

This tree is a remarkable plant because it can live for thousands of years. In fact, we humans aren't really aware of the true life span of the plant because it lives so much longer than us.

It's native to the Mediterranean basin, originating from the Middle East, and has been used for centuries to make things like cured olives and oils. From those two items alone there are a slew of byproducts such as soap, and pellets used to heat people's homes.

The tree is much for tolerant of the cold than the argan tree and does quite well in the heat. While it's technically drought tolerant it does require somewhat regular watering in order to produce fruit on an annual basis.

Benefits and Uses For Beauty

EVOO is incredibly has incredible benefits for both internal and exterior beauty. When it comes to skincare here are some of the benefits according to research:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant-rich
  • Promotes the healing of wounds
  • Repairs the skin barrier
  • Rich in vitamin E

As you can see the product offers loads of benefits and is a great choice for those looking to promote the healing of scars.

To dive deeper on this subject we recommend taking a look at our book.

How They Feel On the Skin

I'm very into skincare and over the past few years have used both products regularly.

Argan oil feels lighter on the skin and is better for people that want a face oil that doesn't feel too heavy. It also absorbs quite well and mixes with lotions and other serums quite well.

Olive oil feels heavier on the skin and takes longer to absorb, however, it feels more moisturizing. It's a better option for facemasks, scrubs, makeup remover, and products that are going to be washed off. But it does mix very well into lotions and other moisturizers.

I like to add at least one teaspoon to my lotion to give my moisturizer an extra boost.


Argan and olive oil are two products that have garnered attention for their numerous skincare benefits and with good reason. They both offer incredible benefits and you can't really go wrong choosing one over the other.

At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference and budget.

We offer a selection of high-quality Italian EVOO, grab your bottles today!

You might also like...

Can you Fry with OO?

Why is My Oil Cloudy?

Regular vs Extra Virgin

If you learned something new or have opinions on this topic, please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts! We love to hear from you. If you’re on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook don’t forget to tag us and use #EXAUoliveoil so we can repost!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Shop real olive oil

Explore the Blog

Explore our blog, a space completely dedicated to helping olive oil lovers better understand their favorite cooking fat!

Explore now


Shop our collection of high-quality, polyphenol rich Italian olive oils. Exclusively produced along the Ionian coast of Calabria, southern Italy for almost 100 years.

We conveniently deliver the freshest and most delicious products directly to your home or business.

Shop now