Need a Soap Substitute for Your Face? Try Argan Oil Face Wash

by Andrea Butje on October 16, 2013

Argan oil for skin care: face washArgan oil is extracted from the kernels of the argan tree, Argania spinosa, found only in the southwest of Morocco. If you’re using argan oil for skin care, you’ve chosen a great oil to protect and nourish your skin, hair and nails.

The women of Morocco’s native Berber people have produced and used argan oil for skin care for centuries. It has amazing therapeutic properties.



There are two grades of argan oil:

1. Culinary argan oil is toasted. Before the oil is extracted, argan kernels are roasted over a low fire. This gives the oil its extraordinary nutty aroma, and a dark color. I’ve read that the heat from the toasting affects the chemistry of the oil enough that the anti-aging and healing properties associated with raw cosmetic argan oil are lost. I haven’t seen any research on this, but it’s commonly expressed.

2. Raw argan oil (cosmetic grade) is pounded out of raw kernels and has a light golden color. I visited Morocco and was able to see this process firsthand–believe me, it is a lot of work! Raw argan has a very slight nutty aroma and a mild flavor.

If you’d like more information on making and using the argan oil face wash, check out this video I made!

Here’s what Aromatics International says about raw argan oil:

  • Softens and moisturizes skin
  • Helps maintain the skin’s natural elasticity
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory to sooth irritated or damaged skin
  • Is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants and essential fatty acids
  • Can be applied topically to help nourish dry hair and brittle nails
  • Is effective in soothing acne, psoriasis, and other skin disorders

And now I have a great argan oil face wash recipe to recommend!

3/4 oz (22.5 ml) cosmetic raw argan oil (If you want the amazing toasted aroma, use a 0.5 oz/15 ml raw argan and 0.25 oz/7.5 ml culinary argan.)
1/4 oz (7 gm) aloe vera gel
1 drop Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
1 drop Frankincense essential oil (Boswellia carterii)

More on argan oil

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Aromahead Institute, owned by Andrea Butje, is a premier resource for online aromatherapy classes. Andrea offers her inspired approach to online aromatherapy certification through essential oil videos and original education materials. Check out her book, Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home, on Amazon!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim February 8, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Thanks for sharing! I’m new to all of the oils and such…how often can you use this face wash? I usually wash my face morning and night but read that a lot of people just wash at night. Just curious if it’s okay to use daily with the EO’s. Thanks!


Andrea Butje February 8, 2017 at 6:49 pm

Great question Kim! While it is a personal preference I do find this face wash to be so gentle and nourishing I like to use it morning and night. Each person may respond differently to oils and butters on their face so it’s always best to try just a little and see how it goes.

Let me know how it goes.


Cecilia September 14, 2016 at 8:32 pm

Hi Andrea,

What is the shelf life for this face wash? Should I add a preservative?



Andrea Butje September 15, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Hi Cecilia! When making products, the shelf life of that product will be determined by the ingredient with shortest shelf life you are using. Personally, I prefer not to use any preservatives in my products and simply make it fresh every few weeks.


Heather May 7, 2016 at 9:47 pm

I just read that Aloe Vera is not recommended for use on people with Fibromyalgia, which I have but I had no clue of this? Why, and is it all persons I need to know this for my natural make-up client safety questionnaire.
Happy Blending and prayers to those with troubles this evening.


Andrea Butje May 9, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Hi Heather – I haven’t heard of that before, that aloe vera shouldn’t be used for someone with fibromyalgia. Using such small amounts in a face wash would not be concerning, but if you prefer, you can leave it out and use this recipe:


Wendy Shaver November 8, 2015 at 12:23 am

I have a friend that is on a antidepressant and thyroid medication. Will the oils interfere or have a reaction with her drugs


Andrea Butje November 10, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Hi Wendy – according to Robert Tisserand’s book, Essential Oil Safety, the oils used in the recipe are not known to cause adverse reactions with drugs. 🙂


sources October 6, 2014 at 5:23 am

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Cheryl Richards September 16, 2014 at 11:22 am

I have always wonder how the oil is harvested. I love the fact that I can use this oil for so many things including my face.


Andrea Butje September 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm

It is amazing to see how the oils are distilled!


Aimeed July 31, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Could I also sub in a little tamanu oil? I’m thinking that argan and tamanu together might be amazing for aging/sun damaged skin.


Jennifer October 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm

You must have read my mind. My skin had been feeling so dry with the weather change. I have only been using it for a couple of days but I really love how my skin feels.


Andrea Butje October 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm

That is great to hear, I love it too!


Jewel October 18, 2013 at 2:06 am

I can’t wait to try this!…Thanks for sharing!


Vicki October 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm

What about those of us with fibromyalgia that are cautioned not to use aloe vera? What would be a good substitute for the Argan Oil Cleanser?


Andrea Butje October 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Hi Vicki,
Just try the argan all on its own, it is lovely.


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