These individually packaged capsules are housed in jar, and provide a silicone-rich formula that contains some very good plant ingredients, including baobab (Adansonia digitata oil) and argan oil. Although argan oil isn't necessarily “precious” or a must-have ingredient, like almost all non-fragrant plant oils, it's a good source of fatty acids and antioxidants that benefit skin without causing irritation.
Along with the antioxidants are a couple of peptides and a good anti-irritant, which is why it's disappointing to report that these capsules take a turn for the worse with the inclusion of a flower wax and neem oil. Neem has potential toxic effects, although it also has been shown to have antimicrobial properties (Sources: Life Sciences, January 2001, pages 1153–1160; Journal of Ethnopharmacology, August 2000, pages 377–382; Phytotherapy Research, February 1999, pages 81–83; and Mutation Research, June 1998, pages 247–258). The formula also contains fragrance, which only adds to the irritation potential. In short, these capsules are not recommended.
As for the argan oil, it isn't "precious" or the best antioxidant around (clearly Signature Club A doesn't think so or they'd include argan in all of their products). Rather, argan oil (or extract) is but one of many very good plant oils to consider.
One more thing about argan oil: The intense hype around it mirrors other ingredient crazes we've seen over the years and, like every one of them, will fade into the background when women realize it doesn't live up to the claims. See More Info to learn more about argan oil.
- Silky texture contains an impressive mix of antioxidants and peptides.
- Expensive considering that, taken altogether, the capsules add up to less than one ounce of product.
- Contains a potent irritant and flower wax that pose further risk of irritation.
Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For these reasons, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Non-fragrant plant oil expressed from the kernels of rarified argan trees. Argan trees are extremely capable of adapting to severe environmental conditions, including droughts. Argan oil contains several beneficial lipids and fatty acids for skin, including oleic acid, palmitic acid, and especially linoleic acid. It is also a good source of vitamin E (Tocopherol) and, like several other plant oils, is a source of antioxidant compounds. Argan oil is a natural source of the antioxidant ferulic acid. The cosmetics industry is hailing argan oil as a restorative wonder owing to its use by Moroccan women for years to tend to their hair, skin, and nails. Despite the folklore stories (which is irrelevant because not all Moroccan women have great skin, hair, and nails, or use argan oil, not to mention different cultures in the Middle East use different oils with mixed results), and limited availability of the trees (plus the difficult extraction process to obtain the oil), argan oil isn't a miraculous ingredient by any stretch of the imagination.
The research on argan oil has shown that, like sunflower and olive oils, its fatty acid and antioxidant content has health benefits (such as lowering cholesterol) when consumed orally. As for topical use, there is limited information about argan oil's unique benefits. In one study, 20 subjects with combination to oily skin were evaluated using a cream containing argan oil, saw palmetto, and sesame seeds. Subjective and qualitative analysis showed that the oil was reduced by 20-42% depending on the inherent oiliness of various parts of the face. The study did not demonstrate that argan oil played a specific role in the results—all we know is that the random formula itself showed the benefit and it wasn't compared to any other product so the results are irrelevant. Moreover, the cream was only used for four weeks, so we don't know if ongoing use may have caused breakouts (and given the fatty acids present in argan oil, there is a possibility it can cause breakouts). Argan oil is a good plant oil to consider if skin or hair is dry to very dry, but is not better than many other non-fragrant plant oils used in cosmetics (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, June 2007, pages 113–118; Clinical Nutrition, October 2004, pages 1,159–1,166; European Journal of Cancer Prevention, February 2003, pages 67–75; and Journal of Ethnopharmacology, October 1999, pages 7–14).
What we know to be true at this point is that argan oil isn't the one oil to look for, nor is it the best (Source: Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, December 2010, pages 1,669–1,675)