Product Review: Josie Maran’s Skincare System (on my already shiny face)

You can understand why a girl who has always had all over oily skin would be late to try any product whose only ingredient is oil.

The idea of putting an oil on your face and expecting it to break up makeup and sebum enough for you to wash it away went against everything I was taught about cleansers in school. Cleansing oil is heresy; an abomination cooked up by some hippy…. Burn the witch!

…but the allure of a new product that probably smelled good and worked in a different way and is maybe the bottled miracle we always hope for has it’s draws too.

So a few months ago when a five day supply of Josie Maran’s argan oil-based line was available on Sephora, I decided to just go for it. It wasn’t something I would have tried for full-price, but the little packets spoke to me: “If you hate me, I won’t be smooshed into the back of your bathroom cabinet for the rest of your life… your life…your life….” and then it made some ghost noises while it faded away.

I finally got around to trying it and here’s my breakdown:


Josie Maran cleansePros:

  • Skin felt silky after cleansing
  • Smells unbelievable
  • Did break down my makeup (and I wear a good amount of makeup)
  • Gave skin a healthy dewy look & feel.


  • It got everywhere…I couldn’t keep it from dripping down to my elbows. I corrected had to lean forward so my face was practically in the sink. Also, it somehow it ended up in my mouth almost every time I used it. I don’t have this issue with normal cleansers, so that was weird.*
  • Takes longer to wash off
  • This wasn’t a con for me, but it is for some people with skin like mine so I think it’s important to include. My skin didn’t have that squeaky clean feeling afterward. The every-spec-of-product-sebum-and-bacteria-are-washed-down-the-sink thing. If you have acneic skin, you know the one. Personally, I’ve grown to appreciate products that don’t leave this stark, tight-feeling clean, but I know it can be a hard mental block to get past for some people.



  • The oil felt like an uber-concentrated serum. It made my skin feel soft and not at all oily (although it took time to get absorbed into my skin.
  • It seemed to help a little with some scarring pigmentation I had.
  • I was glowing and felt comfortable wearing less makeup.


  • The con is that I wish I had a con for this bullet point. I loved it.



  • Smells unbelievable. I tried for a while to place it because it was sort of a fruity-ish cinnamony scent that reminded me of Christmas for some reason. I finally realized that it smells like wassail.
  • Great sun protection. I went on a couple of hikes with this on and  it worked like a charm. I probably wouldn’t use it in the summer time, but I can’t imagine anything better in the dry Utah winter.


  • This was the part in the regimen when I was likely to get oily. It took a long time to soak in and sometimes I’d have to use blotting papers so I looked glowy and not greasy.
  • You’re really gonna want to listen to Nat King Cole and you only have 1 in 12 odds that it’s the holiday season.

Overall Impressions

A little goes a long way with these. The cleanser packets lasted at least 2 applications and the “nourish” and “protect” usually lasted for 3 applications. Combine that with the fact that oil can last a really long time when left to it’s own devices (i.e. when it isn’t combined in an oil/water emulsion) makes me think that this product, while a little pricey, will last quite a long time.

Because it took longer to rinse off the oil or let it soak in it did add time to my skin care regimen, so there was a trade off there. I’d do the argan oil thing then get my coffee/breakfast started while it absorbed into my skin before going back to put on makeup.

Also, I was glowing. I got a few compliments on my skin while I was using it. I’d buy a full size of all of these. I liked these products individually but when I used them together for more than a couple days in a row they were too much for my skin’s (already oily) disposition. I do technically live in the desert, so the arid climate means my skin is tempermental and has different needs on different days. If you’re a little more oily and live in a humid area this likely won’t be a good every day system for you.

I’m really glad I tried these, because I’m sort of in love now. This also made me pretty curious about how cleansing oils work versus traditional cleansers, so be expecting a post about that soon.

*FYI – It tastes like children’s cough syrup, which is to say, not the worst thing that’s ever been in my mouth, but also not great.


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