Morrocan argan oil is now officially a “thing” in Manila. Three months ago, I couldn’t find a bottle for sale in the malls. It was quite frustrating. Now, there’s argan inserted into every other sentence.
My discovery of a product stemmed from my own research on beauty products. I saw Josie Maran’s argan oil line in Sephora and thought to myself, “Wow, premium oil.” Then I went home and read that it was Jenna Dewan’s must-have product and, let’s face it, the girl has insanely gorgeous skin.
Unfortunately, weeks passed and my quest for argan oil in Manila’s big beauty stores were in vain. I eventually found small health/natural beauty boutiques peddling the miracle product for an arm and a leg. But to shell out almost PHP 1,000 for something that would possibly last me 2 weeks?… I don’t think so.
Luckily, I was shopping in Watson’s SM Megamall when a pleasant sales person approached me and got straight to the point. At the mention of PURE argan oil, I knew I wanted to hear the sales pitch.
The lady led me to the Instant display. –Yes, the brand name is “Instant”. It was pretty much the first time I took interest in their products, since the ladies there are usually busy peddling slimming solutions, which I’m terribly skeptical about. She took out a tester bottle of said oil and dispensed a few drops to the back of my hand.
100mL of “Liquid Gold”
My first reaction was that of apprehension. I’ve tested my fair share of beauty oils intended for either body or face. Most are just greasy, and I end up worrying that they’ll only stain my clothes. This product seemed no different. The second thing I noticed was the pleasant scent. I read reviews about how natural oils tend to smell nutty and raw, but that wasn’t the case here. Third, and to my surprise, the oil ended up getting absorbed into the skin with minimal greasiness. After a couple of minutes, I was amazed to find that it simply looked and felt like I applied a thin layer of lotion.
For a girl on a budget, PHP1,199 for a 100 mL bottle of Instant Glow Morroco [sic] Argan Oil (or PHP599 for a 30 mL bottle) isn’t an easy decision to make, especially considering that this is just oil we’re talking about. I gave myself 2 weeks to mull it over and canvas for anything more affordable out there.
Well, after much research and comparison to brands like Josie Maran or The Souq, on a per mL basis, the best deal so far was Instant’s 100 mL bottle. (It costs PHP 11.99 per mL, to be exact.) It’s even cheaper than the same brand’s 30 mL bottle, so I finally gave in and bought 100 mL.
I’ve been using it for about 2 months now, and my praise goes to its moisturizing properties. I’ve been hooked on moisturizers since I was 12 (no exaggeration!), and this was the first time I used a product that was not at all greasy! —To think that this is a non-greasy OIL. About 2 weeks in, my mother and aunt started making remarks about my face getting lighter. (Note: Initially, I never told them that I bought and used this product.) When I did happen to mention that I had this oil in my possession, they went to SM and checked out the display.
My beauty-conscious grandma got it as an impulse buy. She used it for a week or two and agreed that her skin did feel much softer after religiously applying it twice a day. My mom and aunt came next, buying 30mL bottles marked 10%-off when Watson’s had a beauty blowout sale.
We’re all on board about the wonders of its moisturizing effects. Jury’s still out on its supposedly miraculous anti-aging properties, but we did notice that some fine lines softened. As for scar lightening, the oil does help fade pimple scars faster, but I’m also big on exfoliation, so that probably had a hand in it as well. If you’re in it to get rid of freckles, then you may be disappointed. Finally, don’t forget to layer sun block on top of this when you leave the house.
Another find would be Body & Face Thairapy (PHP 1,450 for 100 mL) at Rustan’s Department Store, which has the same scent and thickness as Instant Glow.
Overall Rating: Instant Glow Morroco Argan Oil
Moisturization = 9/10
Anti-aging = 7/10
Lightening = 8/10
Eliminating Dark Spots and Freckles = 5/10
Value for Money = 9/10 = At the very least, it’s a damn good moisturizer and a simple, straightforward product.
Update: I got to try the new Naturelle d’Argan Pure Argan Oil Elixir (at around PHP 1,400 for 50mL) at Beauty Bar. Their oil is much more liquid than that of Instant’s and the scent is more raw and comparable to that of cooking olive oil. I’m guessing Instant’s and Body & Face Thairapy’s oils have gone through some sort of deodorization process, while Naturelle d’Argan may be more natural.