a woman holding a bottle of oil in her right hand

Argan Oil vs. Olive Oil: Which is Better for Your Skin?

Argan vs Olive Oil for Skin

With so many skincare products on the market, it can be difficult to know which ingredients are actually good for our skin. Pick up any bottle of skin moisturizer and you’ll find a list of ingredients on the back. Chances are, 90% of them you probably won’t understand. Thus, making it even more vital to know about what’s worth your money, and what’s a waste of time. In the world of haircare and skincare, two natural oils have stolen the show: argan oil and olive oil. These oils are regularly featured as skincare ingredients or touted as home remedies. But do these oils actually help your skin? And when it comes to argan vs olive oil for skin, which one is more effective? Let’s find out. 

What is Argan Oil?

This naturally derived plant oil comes from the argan nut kernels of the argan tree. Before its use in modern skincare and haircare, argan oil was a Moroccan culinary staple for years, thanks to its purported health benefits. 

Argan oil is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, some studies have even shown that consuming it can improve heart health. 

Reported argan oil benefits for the skin include moisturizing the skin, treating acne, and helping to heal wounds. 

What is Olive Oil?

Olive oil comes from wild olives — the fruits of an olive tree. A staple feature of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is regularly used in cooking, to shallow fry foods, or to drizzle on salads and pasta dishes. 

There have been tons of studies looking at the health benefits of olive oil, and they range from reducing the risk of heart disease to supporting a healthy weight. 

Olive oil skin benefits include moisturizing the skin and having a cool, anti-inflammatory effect. 

Is Argan Oil or Olive Oil Better for Your Skin?


Both argan oil and olive oil have moisturizing qualities, thanks in part to their abundance of antioxidants and nutrients. Olive oil is especially useful as a moisturizer for sun-damaged skin. You can apply it on its own, then blot off the excess oil with a paper towel.

Argan oil’s effectiveness as a moisturizer is mostly a result of vitamin E, which argan oil contains in abundance. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps water retention in the skin, keeping your skin hydrated. 

Acne Prevention 

Argan oil is said to regulate the amount of sebum in your skin. Excess sebum caused by hormones is one of the most common causes of blemishes and acne, so argan oil can have anti-acne properties by helping to keep sebum to a minimum. This skin-soothing oil promotes calmer, clearer skin after a few weeks of use in a moisturizer or serum. 

Olive oil, on the other hand, is not particularly recommended for people suffering from acne. If your skin is oily or sensitive, olive oil can make certain skin conditions worse, as well as block pores, which results in acne. 

Olive oil is a heavier oil than argan oil, so avoid using it on skin that’s already oily. It will simply increase overall oil levels, which increases the frequency of blemishes. 

While applying olive oil directly to the face in moisturizers, serums, or alone can be bad for acne, using a facial soap made with olive oil can help this common skin condition. Olive oil has anti-bacterial properties, so its inclusion in a facial soap can help to rid your skin of acne-causing bacteria. 

Healing Skin Infections

One of argan oil’s traditional uses is in healing skin wounds and infections. As well as helping damaged skin heal faster, argan oil has antibacterial and fungicidal properties, so it can be applied topically to an area to try and prevent skin infections. 

Olive oil can also be used to speed up wound healing, thanks to its antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.   

The Bottom Line

While both plant oils boast moisturizing and anti-bacterial benefits, argan oil is the better option for oily or sensitive skin. When used in excess, olive oil is known to clog pores and increase the chances of acne, so argan oil is the oil best suited for use on oily skin. 

Both oils can also be useful in healing wounds and preventing skin infections with their antibacterial properties. 

Olive oil’s benefits can be best enjoyed when it’s used as an ingredient in a facial soap or wash. Argan oil is perfect for use in serums and moisturizers, and can also be applied topically by itself. Remember if you’re applying any type of oil directly to your face, blot the skin after application. That way, you’ll avoid clogging your pores. 

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