Face oils face-off: Olive oil or argan oil for your skin care?

Face oils have become a go-to choice for people seeking natural, nourishing skincare options. With so many oils on the market, figuring out which one suits your unique needs can feel tricky.

Olive oil and argan oil are two of the most popular contenders for your skincare essentials. But how do they stack up against each other?

What is better, argan oil or olive oil?

When comparing argan oil and olive oil, neither is definitively better than the other; rather, their effectiveness depends on individual needs and preferences. 

Olive oil and argan oil have earned their place as staples in natural skincare. While each oil delivers impressive benefits, its unique compositions and properties suit different skincare needs.

Argan oil is lightweight and suitable for all skin types, making it ideal for daily use, while olive oil’s rich emollient properties deeply moisturize and nourish dry or sensitive skin. 

Understanding the similarities and differences between olive oil and argan oil can help you decide which is best for your routine. Ultimately, the choice between the two oils boils down to personal preference and specific skincare or haircare concerns.

Composition and origin

The table below highlights the differences between olive oil and argan oil based on their composition and origin. This overview offers insights into these two popular oils:

FeatureOlive oilArgan oil
CompositionHigh in oleic acid and antioxidants [1]Rich in linoleic acid and vitamin E
OriginExtracted from olives, primarily in Mediterranean regionsExtracted from the kernels of argan trees, native to Morocco
benefits of olive oil
Photograph: ikvyatkovskaya/Envato


Both olive oil and argan oil offer significant benefits for your skin, with their distinct compositions providing unique advantages. 

BenefitsOlive oilArgan oil
MoisturizingDeeply hydrates and nourishes the skin, making it ideal for dry or sensitive skin types.Light and non-greasy, moisturizes without clogging pores, suitable for all skin types.
Anti-agingRich in antioxidants, helps fight free radicals, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.Contains high levels of vitamin E and fatty acids, which promote skin elasticity and firmness and diminish signs of aging.
Hair careConditions and softens hair, reduces frizz, and promotes shine. Effective in treating dry scalp and split ends.Nourishes and strengthens hair, improves manageability, and protects against heat damage. Helps repair and restore hair health.
Acne controlAntibacterial properties help reduce acne-causing bacteria, soothes inflammation, and minimizes breakouts.Regulates sebum production, prevents clogged pores, and reduces inflammation associated with acne. Helps balance oily skin.
HealingSoothes and heals irritated or damaged skin, helps alleviate conditions like eczema and psoriasis.Calms redness and irritation, promotes skin regeneration, and aids in the healing of scars and minor wounds.

Both oils provide effective and unique benefits to keep your skin healthy, hydrated, and youthful. Whether it’s soothing dry skin with olive oil or balancing oily skin with argan oil, each brings a unique set of advantages to any skincare routine.

Best uses

Finding the right way to incorporate olive oil and argan oil into your skincare routine can elevate your results. Both oils offer unique benefits depending on your specific needs and preferences. 

Best usesOlive oilArgan oil
Facial moisturizerDeeply hydrates and nourishes dry or sensitive skin, leaving it soft and supple.Lightweight and non-greasy, suitable for all skin types, balances moisture levels without clogging pores.
Makeup removerEffectively removes makeup and impurities while moisturizing and protecting the skin’s natural barrier.Dissolves makeup without stripping the skin’s moisture, leaving it clean and refreshed.
Hair conditionerDeeply conditions and strengthens hair, reduces frizz, and adds shine. Ideal for dry or damaged hair.Nourishes and revitalizes hair, improves manageability, and protects against heat damage.
Scalp treatmentSoothes dry and itchy scalp, helps alleviate dandruff, and promotes healthy hair growth [2].Moisturizes and balances the scalp’s oil production, reduces flakiness, and strengthens hair follicles.
Nail and cuticle careSoftens and strengthens nails and cuticles, hydrates dry and brittle nails, and promotes healthy nail growth.Conditions and moisturizes cuticles, strengthens nails, and prevents breakage and splitting.

How do you choose the right oil?

Choosing the right oil between olive oil and argan oil depends on various factors such as your skin type, hair texture, and specific needs. Both oils offer unique benefits and can be incorporated into your skincare and haircare routines effectively.

To determine which oil is best for you, consider your individual preferences and goals, as well as the specific properties of each oil outlined in the following sections.

Here are some tips to guide you in selecting the best oil for your specific needs:

Understand your skin type

Knowing your skin type is key to finding the perfect oil for your routine. Different skin types benefit from specific properties, so understanding yours will help you achieve the best results. Understand your unique needs, and you’ll find the best oil for radiant, healthy skin.

  • Dry or sensitive skinOlive oil’s rich, emollient nature deeply moisturizes and soothes conditions like eczema. Ideal for those needing extra hydration [3].
  • Oily or acne-prone skin – Argan oil’s lightweight and non-comedogenic properties help regulate sebum production without clogging pores.
  • Combination – Argan oil works well due to its balanced fatty acid content, providing hydration without heaviness.
  • Mature skin – Both oils contain antioxidants to fight free radicals and reduce fine lines, but argan oil’s lighter texture suits all-day wear.

Consider your hair type

Choosing the right oil depends on your hair type and what you want to achieve. Different hair textures respond better to olive or argan oil, so knowing your hair’s needs will help you make the best choice.

  • Dry, brittle, or thick hair – Olive oil is excellent for deep conditioning. It penetrates hair shafts, improving texture and reducing frizz.
  • Fine or light hair – Argan oil is a better choice because it’s lighter and won’t weigh down your strands. It enhances shine and helps manage flyaways.
  • Damaged or treated hair – Argan oil’s nourishing properties repair and protect, making it ideal for hair weakened by coloring or heat styling.

Choose based on your hair’s specific needs to stay healthy, shiny, and vibrant.

olive oil for hair
Photograph: elenavolf/Envato

Look at the product purity

When choosing olive or argan oil, product purity is key to ensuring you receive all the beneficial nutrients [4]. Check for quality indicators like labeling, packaging, and aroma to ensure you get the best possible product.

  • Check the label. Opt for oils labeled as 100% pure, organic, and cold-pressed. Avoid products with additives, chemicals, or fragrances that can irritate your skin or dilute the oil’s benefits.
  • Packaging matters. Choose oils in dark glass bottles to protect them from light and maintain their potency.
  • Determine the color and smell. Pure argan oil should have a golden hue and a mild nutty aroma, while pure olive oil has a distinctive greenish tint.

High-quality oils provide maximum nourishment, so investing in a reputable brand guarantees better results for your hair and skin.

Evaluate your skincare goals

Knowing your specific skincare goals helps you pick the right oil for your needs. Whether you want hydration, anti-aging benefits, or acne control, understanding your desired results is key to finding the best match.

Both olive oil and argan oil contain antioxidants that help reduce signs of aging, but argan oil’s lightweight feel is ideal for all-day use.

Olive oil deeply moisturizes, creating a protective layer to lock in hydration. It’s perfect for repairing dry or flaky skin.

Argan oil regulates sebum production and calms breakouts, so it’s a better choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Argan oil’s soothing and anti-inflammatory properties help with redness and irritation.

Identify your goals to tailor your oil choice and achieve radiant, healthy skin.

Method of use

Using olive oil and argan oil in your routine can greatly enhance your skincare and haircare regimen. Here’s how to incorporate each oil for the best results.

Olive oilArgan oil
Apply directly to the skin as a moisturizer or mix with creams for extra hydration.Works great as a daily facial serum; just a few drops are needed for the whole face [5].
Use as a cleansing oil to gently remove makeup and dirt without stripping natural oils.As an acne spot treatment, apply directly to blemishes to reduce inflammation.
Warm the oil and apply to the scalp and hair for deep conditioning.Use on hair ends to smooth frizz and add shine.

Each oil offers flexibility in application, allowing you to integrate them into various parts of your beauty regimen effectively.

Closing thoughts

Both olive oil and argan oil can transform your skincare and haircare routines, offering unique benefits that cater to various skin types and concerns. 

Olive oil’s emollient properties deeply nourish dry skin and provide a gentle cleansing option, while argan oil’s lightweight nature hydrates without clogging pores and calms acne-prone or sensitive skin. 

When used strategically, these oils can deliver remarkable results. These steps will help you tailor the perfect beauty routine with olive oil, argan oil, or even both for glowing, healthy skin and hair.


Can I use olive oil on my face?

Yes, olive oil can be used as a facial moisturizer or cleansing oil. Its rich emollient properties hydrate and nourish the skin.

Is argan oil good for oily skin?

Yes, argan oil is lightweight and non-comedogenic, making it suitable for oily or acne-prone skin. It helps regulate sebum production without clogging pores.

How often should I use olive oil on my hair?

You can use olive oil as a deep conditioner once a week or as needed to nourish and moisturize dry or damaged hair.

Is it safe to apply olive oil directly to the skin?

Yes, olive oil is generally safe for topical use. However, performing a patch test first is best to check for any adverse reactions.

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30538802/
[2] https://www.healthline.com/health/hot-oil-treatment-for-hair
[3] https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/skincare/olive-oil-for-skin
[4] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/argan-oil
[5] https://www.humblebeeandme.com/my-favourite-argan-oil-serum/

Photograph: YuriArcursPeopleimages/Envato
The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.