Josie Maran Cosmetics

Argan Smooth Skin Resurfacing Serum

0.85 fl. oz. for $ 70.00
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Josie Maran’s Argan Smooth Skin Resurfacing Serum sounds good conceptually – but fails in its how it’s carried out, making it a product that simply cannot do for skin what it says.

Packaged in an opaque blue bottle that protects its light- and air-sensitive ingredients, this serum is actually more of a face oil, because of its base that’s comprised of Josie Maran’s signature argan oil. Argan is a good non-fragrant plant oil that has antioxidant benefits, though it’s not quite as impressive as the brand claims. Unsurprisingly, this serum has an oily texture, and while it’s not overly greasy, it’s best for those with normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts.

The claim for this product is that it contains a gentle form of lactic acid (olely lactate), an alpha hydroxy acid or AHA. AHAs, when formulated a certain way, act as exfoliants that refine skin’s surface, improve skin tone, and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Josie Maran says this resurfaces and smooths skin’s complexion, but there’s one issue: the oil base, and a lack of water in the formula. For AHAs to act optimally as exfoliants, they need to be at a pH between 3 and 4, and this product’s lack of water means a pH cannot be established. In essence, this can’t act as an exfoliant – which is this product’s main claim.

Oleyl lactate can hydrate skin, not to mention the amount of oils also serves well in that capacity, but because it’s not formulated to exfoliate, you’re not getting the resurfacing benefit that’s in this serum’s name. If resurfacing is what you want, it’s best to give this one a pass, and select instead an option on our list of best AHA exfoliants.

  • Non-greasy oil texture provides hydration for normal to dry skin.
  • Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Lactic acid cannot resurface or smooth skin in an oil based product.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Release and resurface your skin for a visibly smoother complexion. The Argan Oil-based serum refines texture and boosts skin hydration. The ingredients go deeper into the skin for faster visible results, without the use of harsh topical acids.

Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Olely Lactate, Coconut Alkanes, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Octyldodecyl PCA, Glyceryl Oleate, Isostearyl Lactate, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Oil, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Isosorbide Disunflowerseedate.

Josie Maran At-A-Glance

Strengths: The sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection; well-formulated daytime moisturizer with sunscreen; excellent tinted moisturizer for dry skin.

Weaknesses: Expensive; some products are potently fragranced.

The Josie Maran brand was founded by supermodel and former Maybelline spokesperson Josie Maran. Almost every Josie Maran product is centered on the ingredient argan oil, which the brand attributes many beneficial qualities, some of which are true, and some claims made stretch the facts a bit. According to the brand, this non-fragrant plant oil is said to do everything from reduce wrinkles to heal acne, while giving you younger-looking skin.

Argan oil does contain beneficial lipids and fatty acids for skin, as well as vitamin E and other antioxidants, but we should note that it isn't the only oil with such properties. Even more to the point, no single ingredient does it all for skin. It's just like your diet: if you eat only one type of food, you'd soon be malnourished. Skin is the body's largest organ, and it requires a variety of useful ingredients to look and function at its best.

Fortunately, the Josie Maran brand does include many beneficial ingredients in some of its best products, and does have some unique offerings to consider. It's worth pointing out also that although argan oil does have benefit for skin, its less beneficial to include it in products like eyeshadow and mascara. It does add a unique quality to some makeup, however, especially in a few of the brands lip formulas.

We should note that while the brand relies heavily on the natural theme in its marketing, it doesn't talk about the beneficial ingredients used that aren't so natural. There isn't anything wrong with using naturally-derived ingredients, but it strikes us as disingenuous to not tout the benefits of synthetic ingredients such as silicones, preservatives, coloring agents and film formers that also appear in many of Josie Maran products.

As is the case with many brands that use predominantly natural ingredients, there are some fragrant oils to be wary of, as these can be problematic for any skin type (but especially so for those with sensitivity concerns). However, there are a few products here that are absolutely worth considering and unique, see our individual reviews on the brand for more details.

For more information about Josie Maran, call (855) 461-6512 or visit www.josiemarancosmetics.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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