By Sarah Kinonen. Photos: Hannah Choi/Allure; Courtesy of brand.
Josie Maran and argan oil go together like...white on rice. The brand's entire Skin-care line is formulated with the oil, which is made from the kernels of argan trees. But Josie Maran's latest launch, the Josie Maran Argan Reserve Healthy Skin Concentrate, is different than the products before it in the argan oil-based line. Why? Because, just as its name suggests, it's a super-concentrated formula made from the oil of "an entire argan tree."
An entire argan tree sounds like a lot—and it is—but the Josie Maran developers utilized every aspect of the plant—the essential fatty acid-rich oil, the high-in-protein press cake (the leftover "meat" of the nut after it's been drained of oil), and its leaves, which contain flavonoids (phytonutrients) to brighten skin—to create the new Argan Reserve. "There is only one harvest a year in which the leaves of the argan tree fall to the ground," Josie Maran, the founder of her eponymous line, tells Allure. "We never pick the argan leaves from the tree. We always wait until they naturally fall to the ground."
The production for the Argan Reserve took about five years—from start to shelf, says Maran. "It was extremely important to honor mother nature and not speed along the process just for the sake of consumerism," she says. This meant only a set number of the rose gold bottles of the elixir were made—150,129 bottles, to be exact. And each bottle is hand-numbered and hand-signed by a member of Maran's team. "It was a labor of pure love," she says.
Back to what's inside each bottle: The mixture of argan tree attributes—100 percent argan oil, press cake, and leaves—is so concentrated that the brand claims after a four weeks of use, people noticed an increase in skin's moisture levels by a whopping 135 percent. Now, I'm no mathematician, but that number seems a little high. New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman agrees. "Argan oil is a good moisturizer, but I don't understand how it could increase the skin's moisture by that much—I think that's hyped," Jaliman tells Allure. That's not to say argan oil isn't a worthy moisturizer, though. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist in New York City, says the elixir is one of the "ultimate multitaskers" as it can be used on all skin types—oily, acne-prone, dry, and more mature skin—and is loaded with vitamin E, which acts an anti-inflammatory, and natural fatty acids to hydrate and repair the skin barrier. Together, the ingredients give skin a bright, dewy finish, packed with hydration.
Maran's fans can certainly attest to the product's glowing results—Maran says some of her customer testimonials have even brought her to tears. "A woman told me she looked into a magnified mirror after using Argan Reserve and saw that her pores and wrinkles had completely vanished, and her skin looked better than ever," she says. "The happiness took over and I couldn't hold back the tears."
The Josie Maran Argan Reserve Healthy Skin Concentrate is $78 at sephora.com.
This story originally appeared on Allure.
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