Trader Joe’s Argan Oil – Not Entirely Pure?

7 mins read

Argan oil is derived from the kernels of the Argan tree, found primarily in Morocco and southern Algeria. In recent years, argan oil has exploded in popularity as a miracle remedy for soft, shiny skin and hair.

The organic argan oil available at Trader Joe’s is available for just $6.99 for a 1.7-oz bottle, which is a very competitive price for an organic cosmetic oil. Despite argan oil gaining so much popularity just in the past couple of years, TJ’s has actually been stocking this oil since 2017.

Trader Joe's Argan Oil

Trader Joe’s Organic Argan Oil is sourced directly from Morocco and is certified organic by Quality Assurance International.

Despite some rumors floating around online that TJ’s Argan Oil has been discontinued, it is still widely available in stores as of January 2023. If you’re having trouble finding it, try asking an employee at your local store when it might come back in stock.


Trader Joe’s Organic Argan Oil contains just one ingredient–Organic Argania spinosa kernel oil.

Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s has not provided any information indicating whether or not their argan oil is cold-pressed or unrefined. They do market it as “100% pure,” but because there is no regulation of this term, it’s hard to know exactly what that means.

Trader Joe’s Organic Argan Oil contains ingredient

According to beauty experts, argan oil must be cold-pressed, unrefined, and organic in order to bring the maximum nourishment to your hair and skin. Some Trader Joe’s shoppers have suspected that the reason TJ’s Argan Oil is so cheap is because it’s not real or high quality, and unfortunately there’s no way to dispel this suspicion at this point.

If you’re willing to take a risk on an affordable bottle of argan oil, then go for it. But if you want to be sure your argan oil is cold-pressed and unrefined, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

How To Use

Trader Joe’s Organic Argan Oil is a cosmetic oil most commonly applied to the face and hair.

Argan oil like the kind sold at Trader Joe’s should only be used topically as a remedy for hair and skin. While argan oil is technically edible, you would want to purchase food-grade argan oil if you plan to take it internally. Trader Joe’s does not carry food-grade argan oil at this time.

Try using this oil as a lightweight facial moisturizer in the morning after you wash your face. People with oily skin will find that the lightness of this oil doesn’t leave skin feeling coated or greasy.

My favorite way to use argan oil is as a hair oil. After I’ve blow dried my hair or let it air dry completely, I place a small amount of argan oil in the palm of my hand (about a ½ teaspoon), rub it between my palms, then lightly scrunch it through my hair and massage it into my scalp. I find that applying it this way helps to eliminate any “crunchiness” from my other hair products, adds shine to the texture of my hair, and helps protect my hair from moisture loss until my next wash.

You can also use argan oil as an overnight conditioner before washing your hair. Check out this YouTube video from Doro Cubillo for instructions on how to do this.

My Honest Review

I’ve used several hair oil blends that contain argan oil as well as some pure argan oils in my haircare routine over the years, so I was excited to see how this TJ’s Argan Oil measures up.

Trader Joe’s Organic Argan Oil bottle

First off, this oil has virtually no scent. While this is nice for people with sensitivities to fragrance, it’s actually a bad sign when it comes to argan oil. Unrefined argan oil that is truly pure and unprocessed has a nutty, slightly fruity scent. Refined oils, on the other hand, lose almost all of their fragrance during the refinement process. The same thing happens with refined versus unrefined coconut oil, where the latter smells distinctly coconut-y and the former does not.

If I had any lingering suspicions about this oil not being entirely pure, I’m fairly sure now that it is a refined oil due to its lack of natural aroma.

The oil is very light in color, which is to be expected from any argan oil, and has a super lightweight consistency as the packaging claims. When I rubbed the oil on my hands and cuticles, it felt nourishing and moisturizing without feeling heavy or greasy. It soaked into my skin very fast and didn’t leave any oily residue. This oil could theoretically work really well as a hair oil to give shine and moisture without weighing hair down with excess oil.

As a moisturizer for hands and cuticles, it honestly doesn’t feel moisturizing enough for what I need. I prefer hand creams that are quite thick, and I honestly don’t mind an oily or greasy residue in a lotion since it goes away eventually. This argan oil would work best as a hair oil or lightweight facial moisturizer.

Parting Words

Overall, I’d say that this oil is an okay option if you can’t afford unrefined argan oil. You still get the lightweight moisture, even if it’s probably not providing nearly as much nourishment as a truly pure argan oil.

I plan on using up the bottle I have, but I probably won’t buy another once it’s empty. My favorite go-to hair oil is Badger’s Argan, Jojoba & Baobab Botanical Hair Oil which is certified organic and available for about $19.99 at most major retailers.

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