Review: Galenic Argane Nourishing Oil a.k.a. Why you should ALWAYS read ingredient labels

I’m in the market for some argan oil.

This “liquid gold” has had high praises sung about it.

Even the goats are wild about this stuff:

This is a real photo by they way. The goats have learned how to climb trees.

Reviews range from:

  • Made my skin look younger
  • Helps provide sustainable income for the women in Morocco
  • Repaired acne and stopped skin from acting up
  • Cured my eczema
  • Smoothed and helped the texture of my skin
  • Moisturized without feeling heavy
  • Made me see unicorns and they led me to a pot of gold after

With reviews of that, how could I NOT look into it?

So I snagged a free sample of this French cosmetic’s company brand:

Galenic, costing $56 for 30mL which is approximately around 1 fl. oz. (Link here)


But hey, no problem, I know the tree is an endangered species that only grows in Morrocco so I am willing to pretend that I’d pay around that ballpark for some high quality “liquid gold” that will repair and maintain my skin while being natural.

Plus it helps the Moroccan women make money in a sustainable, fair trade fashion.

And a free sample = always good right?


This lightweight, dry oil is formulated with nourishing ingredients to revitalize dry, dull skin.

Argan oil provides nutrients to regenerate skin, argan peptides stimulate cell activity and a rich blend of oils comfort the complexion with a non-greasy, pampering texture.

The skin is instantly comfortable, smooth and radiant.

Sounds good right?

I feel my skin getting better just reading about it.

All this talk about Argan oil peptides like little skin-repairing fairies running into your skin cells and making your skin look and feel like a newborn’s butt is very enticing,


I tested a little of it last night, and the overwhelming perfume knocked my sense back.

Smells like women’s perfume.

Not bitter or horrible, more soapy and …. well, perfume-y.

I definitely needed more than just a couple of drops to feel moisturized.

In fact, my skin still felt a bit dry but still oily/greasy under the touch after applying it.


At any rate, I still like to know what I am putting on my skin, even if they call the company “ground-breaking in its use of natural ingredients”.

So I thought I’d do a little search on what’s in this argan oil.

I expected to see ONE ingredient: 100% Argan Oil.

Instead, I saw this list and painstakingly entered each one into the EWG’s The Cosmetic Database to check it’s level of toxicity (the lower the # the better)

Ingredient List:

  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate
  • Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
  • Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum)
  • Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Argania Spinosa)
  • Alpha-Isomethylionone
  • Amyl Cinnamal
  • Benzyl Salicylate — Rating of 4
  • BHT — Rating of 7-9
  • Butylphenyl Methylpropional Rating 4-5
  • Citronellol
  • Fragrance (Parfum) — Rating of 8
  • Hexyl Cinnamal
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
  • Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde
  • Limonene — Rating of 6
  • Linalool — Rating of 5
  • PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate — Rating of 4-6
  • Retinyl Palmitate — Rating of 5
  • Tocopheryl Aetate — Not found


Mineral Oil is the FIFTH ingredient in the list, and the actual Argan oil is the SIXTH.

Anyone who reads ingredient labels, will tell you that the first 3-5 ingredients are what the product is actually made out of.

Instead of putting mostly Argan Oil in the product to justify the super high pricetag, they’ve included MINERAL OIL instead.


Let’s just play off the well-known fact of how rare and endangered this Argan oil is, and charge you a premium for what is essentially horribly perfumed baby oil.


They have too many ingredients for what they are toting as “Argan Oil”.

Not only that, a LOT of the ingredients have a rating of 4 or higher on EWG’s The Cosmetic Database which means this little innocent looking, smelly oil is a wolf wrapped in a Parisian-made cashmere pashmina.

Back to the hunting board.

And yes I washed it ALL off after 20 minutes, mostly because the smell was making me nauseous.


I am not so mad about the list of ingredients — they are near the bottom of the label, and quite frankly I didn’t expect it to be anything less.

What I didn’t expect was SO many ingredients and what is essentially mineral oil for the price they’re asking for, and the product people think they’re getting.

I hear the real argan oil actually sells for $14 an ounce on average.

Much better than $56 an ounce.


I do this for everything I buy to eat (except candy bars, I sometimes turn a blind eye to the awful, nasty stuff in there), and especially on what I am shelling out cash for to put on my skin.

Reading the labels means you know what you’re putting on your skin.

The fewer the ingredients, the better.

If anything, it makes it a lot easier to vet on EWG’s The Cosmetic Database to make sure the toxicity levels are in the 0-3 range.


The very sweet, and friendly girl who gave me the sample in the makeup section had really awful skin.

Kind of like Amy Winehouse’s:

Not that I’m judging.

I know what it’s like to have nasty skin and just be told “don’t wear any makeup, and let your skin breathe”, when you have these HUGE BUMPS flashing like Rudolph’s nose all over your face.

You just want to cover it and pretend you have perfect skin.

It’s something I’m sort of noticing, even in Sephora.

These girls are covering up their bumpy, acne-ridden faces with a masque of makeup, but it isn’t doing any help.

In fact, it looks worse.

Much worse. And it doesn’t let your skin breathe.

Anyway, I just found it kind of funny (or not?) that they’re working in a health & beauty section trying to sell beauty, and their skin is anything but.

She did have some awesome looking eyeshadow on….


About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.