I had a slightly strange email a few weeks ago asking how I was enjoying my Argan Oil products - I had vaguely recalled applying to review them but hadn't heard anything since. I informed the kindly person that I had received no such products, still wondering if something strange was afoot (getting sent free stuff still amazes me!). A couple of days later to my delight I received two full size Insta Natural Argan Oil hair products. I actually was sent these to review for Amazon, which confused me as I could have sworn it was a blogger application thing. At any rate I will review them for the blog, this is a sponsored post because free stuff obviously etc. but all opinions my own.
I'm not someone who buys into most "Argan Oil" products that are for sale, because nine times out of ten if you read the ingredients they are primarily composed of numerous silicones and chemicals with a couple of drops of actual Argan Oil thrown in at the end. I tend to use Matrix Biolage oil or a little Body Shop Shea beautifying oil lately to tame frizzies. I have no idea why Argan Oil is the hippest oil on the block, I tried my Mom's 100% Argan oil stuff and honestly it was just like any other oil to me.
Regardless, I was genuinely impressed at the first Insta Natural ingredients list I looked at. The Argan Oil Hair Treatment and Elixir had Argan Oil listed second, after sunflower oil, but the rest of the product was simple organic oils. Its complete ingredients are comprised of six oils: Organic Sunflower, Organic Argan, Coconut, Organic Jojoba, Olive and Grapeseed) and Shea Butter. I have no idea what percentage the Argan oil comprises though it would seem a respectable amount compare to most products labelled Argan Oil.
It's a very runny oil, and one pump of the glass bottle (the glass bottle I do find a bit slippery esp if you get oil on it and I have dropped it twice already, ugh!) dispenses quite a lot of product, too much even for my fairly massive head of hair. I try to dispense half a pump, and that is more than enough. I have used this as both a wet and dry styler. I will say this oil sits surprisingly lightly in my hair (keeping in mind I have frizzy curly hair that drinks product).
Things like coconut oil and other oil blends I have tried are often too heavy for my hair and make it greasy if I'm not careful, so this was a pleasant surprise. My hair just seems to absorb it, and while it does impart shine and a bit of smoothing, it's not super effective at de-frizzing. But I wasn't really expecting it to, I look to oils as a finisher/smoother yes, but I have yet to find one that really goes to town on frizz. I can't really detect much of a smell with this so it would probably be o.k. to use for sensitive noses.
I haven't been using this long enough to say if it has miraculously transformed my hair - I have dry curly hair, and basically it's a constant battle to keep it hydrated. Nothing is going to permanently tame it short of drastic chemical measures. But I enjoy using this oil and it's nice not having to stress about washing out silicones/product build up. It does moisturise nicely and knowing it is full of good things makes me want to keep using it.
Next we have the "Superior Hydration" Argan Oil Hair Mask. It is a thick, putty coloured product (I personally like/am used to this from using Jessicurl conditioners but those used to all white hair conditioners might do a double take!). The second and third ingredients are Aloe and Argan oil, the ingredients list is substantially longer on this one than the elixir though.
This does, I was disappointed to see, contain palm oil. I am an orangutan nut, and palm oil production is killing their habitat at a staggering rate. There will be no orangutans left in the wild before long if we continue on with this overproduced ingredient in everything. So I emailed the company to query if their palm oil was ethically sourced/sustainable and the response was they were "looking into it". If it was some mass produced stuff I would be less hopeful but the fact that this is a smaller company marketing and building its reputation on being "Natural" and "Organic", not tested on animals, etc. I did think it was worth mentioning/querying.
Regardless of all that, this conditioning mask is very nice and moisturising without weighing hair down or leaving any residue. My hair behaved very well/was less temperamental when I used it.
While it is hard to avoid palm oil, and I'm sure I have other products that contain it without realizing it, (looking up all of the things that palm oil can be called was both daunting and depressing), so I can't really claim a moral high ground or anything. It's in so many food products it's ridiculous. I just wish I could do more, so that is why I mention it here. I found this downloadable list of ethical brands and products here for anyone interested.
These products are both very nice and on performance alone I do rate and recommend them highly. The Argan Oil Elixir is palm oil free and I notice they have a whole range of skincare that gets rave reviews as well. I wouldn't rule out buying from this (Florida based! Did I mention I'm going to Florida? In 5 days!) company in future as they do so well with their ingredients lists/animal welfare in most other aspects, but I really do hope they change their palm oil policy. Because we need these guys to stick around forever:
|Photo c/o flickr cc http://bit.ly/1W5bzpg user mammita|
***These products were provided free for review purposes, all opinions my own (as if that weren't obvious!)