Reviewed by Lynda

I’ve been known to be a skeptical person. When I hear claims of “one-size-fits-all” skin products, I don’t believe them. To be honest, I instinctively resent them and want to prove them wrong. I recently tried one of these products, Pure Element Naturals Defend Organic Argan Oil Moisturizer ($48). The company’s claim: “Defend is the miracle worker your skin has been waiting for. This amazing liquid gold from Morocco tightens, clarifies, hydrates, regenerates, and softens skin like no other. Apply this blend of argan oil and essential oils anywhere your face, body, or hair needs it.” After trying this just once, I had to eat my words and re-examine my beliefs. After trying it for four weeks, I am converted. This oil has quickly moved from my “wish list” to my “need to buy” list.

So what’s so good about it?

For starters, the list of ingredients is a beauty. Only seven oils, each with intoxicating aromas and beneficial effects, including:

-Argan oil (organic) – High in EFAs, squalene, vitamin E

-Lavender (organic) – Cell regenerator, combats wrinkles, effective against acne

-Frankincense (wild harvested) – Balances oily skin, smoothes and defends against wrinkles

-Bergamot (organic) – Clears skin infections

-Carrot Seed (organic) – Revitalizes and moisturizes dry skin

-Myrrh (wild harvested) – Cleanses, tightens, and rejuvenates the skin

-Geranium (organic) – Anti-inflammatory, helps control redness and uneven skin tone

The violet glass bottle protects the oil from UV rays, and the pump prevents me from losing oil (and $$) when I accidentally knock the bottle over (seems to happen too often!). It has a shelf life of three years (thanks to the violet glass). Though I expect with the way I’ve been using it over the past few weeks, I’ll be done with mine in far less time. It comes with a removable lid which means I can also safely pack it away to bring with me on travels without worrying about spills. It’s also toxin free with no animal testing. All in all, pretty impressive!

The scent is absolutely heavenly; pure aromatherapy, no unnatural perfumes. I usually prefer my skin products unscented, but this was too lovely and intoxicating not to fall in love with.

Since the company claims that this product can be used practically anywhere for anything on any skin or hair type, I had lots of fun experimenting. One to two drops was more than enough for my face and neck. I tried it as a serum underneath my regular face cream and even used it as a stand-alone moisturizer. It also worked great as a massage-base for my daily Tanaka face massage (perfect for this). While sometimes oils can leave my skin feeling a little greasy, the Defend absorbed well. My normal skin glowed after using this oil. Also, my cuticles were moisturized and I got less hangnails. On the rare occasion when my face was more on the oily side and the Defend oil left it a little greasy, I simply massaged it in with the Tanaka massage until it absorbed completely. I even used it on a couple of my eczema-prone spots when I felt a bout of eczema coming on, and miraculously the eczema never progressed (unheard of for me with any other over-the-counter moisturizer).

After a couple weeks of experimentation on my skin, I got up the nerve to try it in my hair too. First I tried it as a deep-conditioning treatment (applied a few drops to wet hair and covered with a plastic cap, left on overnight, then washed out). Then I tried it as a frizz-free shine serum, with just one drop. Both ways had great results – no greasy feel whatsoever, just lovely moisturized shiny hair. And my hair smelled delicious all day!

However, before I give up all of my skepticism (we all need a healthy dose of that), I will say that it does have one downside. While the Defend oil is a sumptuously scented multi-purpose moisturizer for skin, nails and hair – it does not have the dramatic corrective effects that other creams have. Over the past four weeks, this oil slowly replaced most of my other treatment creams, including the one I use for the “saggies” on my neck. After a couple of weeks without that specialized treatment cream, I noticed my neck getting saggy again. So while I’ll definitely keep using the Defend oil on my skin, hair and nails, it won’t replace all my other products and become my “one-size-fits-all” product. It may for someone in her 20s or 30s, but for those of us with signs of age showing, we’ll need to supplement it with some more targeted treatments.

Overall, I love this oil and the challenge of having to examine my beliefs.  It’s always fun to try and learn new things.

Ingredients: Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender)*, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil**, Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Oil*, Daucus Carota (Carrot Seed) Oil*, Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil**, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil*
*Organic Ingredient


**Wild harvested