Is argan oil and castor oil same?

Have you ever stood in front of a beauty store shelf, gazing at the bottles of various oils but couldn’t differentiate argan oil from castor oil? Don’t worry! You are not alone. In this article, we will explore whether these two kinds of oil have anything in common.

The Basics

First things first, let’s talk about the basics. Argania spinosa trees native to Morocco produce argan oil, also known as “liquid gold.” On the other hand, castor oil is derived from Ricinus communis, a tropical plant found mainly in Africa and India. If you believed that they were similar after reading their scientific names and places of origin – stop right there; it’s just getting started!

How They Are Extracted

The next step is to dive into how these oils are extracted.

As previously mentioned, argan trees bear fruit with pits inside that contain kernels which are then pressed to extract pure Moroccan argan oil. Sounds straightforward enough?

You might think extracting castor oil would be equally simple since its source comes primarily from developing countries where people use traditional methods like boiling or crushing seeds- so far so good! However…


The resulting toxic seed-cake (a byproduct) can contaminate land and water which leads us to ask ourselves: do we really need another Breaking Bad type situation when trying to decipher which beauty product contains said hazardous material?

Therefore both processes differ drastically leaving one more eco-friendly than the other…

What method would you choose for personal grooming purposes? We’ll leave that decision up to you.

Their Appearance

Now let’s discuss what they look like because there truly seems to be no end in sight regarding differences between them!

When holding each bottle side-by-side:

  1. Argon has yellow-tinted gold color
  2. Castor oil boasts a more yellowish-brown appearance.

Argan provides a luxurious expensed while castor could be called rather unrefined – who would have guessed that their exterior could differ as well?

Where do your preferences lie between luxury vs rough aspects? You tell us!


Next, let’s talk about each individual property of these oils:

Argan Oil:

As previously stated, argan is also known by some (primarily marketing professionals) as “liquid gold.” with good reason too! The composition consists mainly of vitamin E and fatty acids which can naturally moisturize skin and promote hair growth. Its multi-purpose uses include cooking oil making it helpful in both personal use and artisanal tradesmen alike…

We see you becoming curious for natural glow-up possibilities. Aren’t we all?

Castor Oil:

Castor oil has other useful properties due to being composed primarily ricinoleic acid which fights inflammation aiding in everything from acne management to migraine remedy research (see disclaimer). It has historically been used for constipation purposes but thanks to extensive scientific investigation; the conversation shifted towards cosmetic applications like hair care or improving eyelash growth – what better way to boost confidence than through luscious locks…

DISCLAIMER: Before applying substances on ourselves further researched should happen not mentioning things may lead someone astray

Where does necessity meet vanity? Do they overlap enough when it comes down beauty product selection?

Chemical Composition

Here are some specifics regarding chemical compositions explaining why people compare the two oils;

Type Palmitic Acid Stearic Acid Oleic Acid Linolelaidc Acid
Argan <15% 5-7% ~45-50% ~33%
Castor <2.5% 1-6 % ~4-7% ~3-10%

Aside from argan oil containing much higher linolelaidic acid, they come across rather dissimilar in their chemical makeup.

(We all know how chemistry is something that evokes passionate responses and deep interest don’t we? – It’s okay I won’t tell anyone)

Culinary Use

In this age of gastronomic flair, you may be curious whether these oils have culinary applications;

Argan oil complements a variety of dishes such as grilled flatbread or drizzled over smoked salmon.

However, during ancient times castor seeds were planted by Marry Poppins to quickly sprout into beanstalk-like plants gobbling them up at fast speeds due to their lethal properties; making it safe to say the idea of consuming said ingredient hasn’t exactly held time well… We recommend sticking with some new-age alternatives for your food pairings!

Looks like there might be more versatility regarding what meals can complement argon oil than one initially thought…

Moisturizer Benefits

It is no secret both oils provide moisture benefits which ones specifically?

There are varieties on each side:

  • Argan restores lipid layer leading skin nourishment and hydration
  • Castor has natural emollient properties meaning coating locks sealing hydration long term creating shinier tresses

Which would win if pitted against the other hair care products available on today’s market? Share below!