If Moroccan Oil Treatment is supposed to feature the benefits of Moroccan Argan Oil, why are the first three ingredients silicone polymers? Does this stuff really help? Or is it all hype?

Moroccan Oil

I’m a product developer, so I know how to break down an IL (ingredient listing), which is why I have serious questions concerning the Moroccan Oil Treatment hype. I’m convinced that their marketing claims about the nutrient and antioxidant benefits of Argan Oil in their products are pretty over-inflated …considering a bottle of “treatment oil” contains less than 5% of the stuff. And could someone please explain why the product contains more synthetic fragrance than the advertised “star” ingredient, Argan Oil?

INGREDIENTS: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Butylphenyl Methyl Propional, Argania Spinoza Kernel Oil (Argan Oil), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed ) Extract, Parfum (Fragrance), D&C Yellow-11, D&C Red-17, Benzyl Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone

The first three ingredients of Moroccan Oil Treatment are silicone polymers. In cosmetics, silicone polymers are excellent carrier emollients because their large molecules cannot penetrate living skin but effectively delivers other ingredients to it. Cyclopentasiloxane and Cyclomethicone are volatile silicone solvents (they evaporate) and Dimethicone was one of the first silicone lubricants used in cosmetics.

The fourth ingredient in Moroccan Oil Treatment is the synthetic fragrance butylphenyl methylpropional. Fragrance and flavor manufacturer Givaudan of Vernier, Switzerland developed this substance as Lilial, a chemical mimic of the scent of lily-of-the-valley flowers. In their 2003, Givaudan announced that they discontinued Lilial at the end of 2002 despite high sales volume, but other sources would continue to manufacture it.  Interesting because a 2003 European Union Cosmetics Directive notes Lilial as being a dermatitis risk.

Argania seed kernel oil (Argan Oil), the fifth ingredient in the Moroccan Oil Treatment , is rich in antioxidants and omega 6 fatty acids, and is believed to contain twice as much vitamin E as olive oil.  Argania oil is 48 percent oleic fatty acid and 34 percent linoleic.

The remaining ingredients are

  • Linseed Extract, which is a mucilage emollient extracted from flax seeds.
  • Parfum (Fragrance) which is supposedly Coumarin, a vanilla scent.
  • D&C Yellow 11 and D&C Red 17 which are food colorings.
  • Benzyl benzoate is a preservative and pesticide for scabies and lice. It’s also used as a fragrance.
  • Alpha-isomethyl ionone is a fragrance that the International Fragrance Association has banned for use in perfumes.

Moroccan Oil Treatment - The ingredients

So, we have determined that the main ingredients in Moroccan Oil Treatment are silicone polymers, which are very popular for hair smoothing, frizz fighting and shine enhancing in haircare products. Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone are the main ingredients in MOST drugstore hair smoothing formulas (FrizzEase) …So why does Moroccan Oil Treatment have such a hefty price tag ($40)?
Keep in mind, ingredients are listed by quantity with the largest amount of a single ingredient listed first and so on.  If Argan Oil is this product’s featured ingredient (a.k.a. Moroccan Oil), why is it wedged between Butylphenyl MethylPropional (a synthetic fragrance) and Linseed Oil?  There’s more synthetic fragrance in this product than the featured ingredient (argan oil). Seriously?
The company might rave about Argan Oil’s benefits, but this shamefully small concentration of it is deceptive marketing and exploits people’s trust.

The real issue here is that the cumulative benefits you’re getting from a product is actually a cosmetic band-aid. I agree, it will make the hair “appear” smoother and frizz-free almost immediately, but with repeated use,  the silicone builds up and becomes increasingly harder to remove with just standard shampooing. This buildup eventually repels the moisture and nutrients your conditioner is trying to deliver to the hair shaft, leaving the hair severely dehydrated.  Also, if not removed correctly, the silicone buildup creates an occlusive barrier on the scalp which suffocates and strangles hair follicles and makes hair fall out…NEVER to grow back again.

MAJOR UPDATE 2012 – Moroccan Oil Treatment is no longer on the PETA “Companies That Do Test on Animals” list and  is no longer making “cruelty free” claims.  Interesting.

Want the amazing benefits of Argan Oil? Then use REAL Argan Oil.
New Directions Aromatics is a highly reputable Internet resource for organic, cosmetic grade Argan Oil (and many other natural ingredients) at a GREAT price (around $45 for 16oz).

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