Marula oil is simply amazing. It’s like our beloved argan oil on steroids. Marula oil comes from the cold-pressed seeds of a tree that grows in East Africa and is sometimes called ‘Africa’s Liquid Gold’. The women of East and South Africa have used it for centuries because of its wonderful ability to moisturize and heal the whole body, from skin to hair to nails.
On a surface level, it’s popular because it’s light in texture and extremely fast-absorbing. It provides the hydration that you would expect from a much more dense and heavy cream, without the filmy or greasy effect of using something so heavy. It provides moisture and a beautiful sheen to hair, absorbing quickly so that frizz is gone but hair is still light and clean with a satin shine. It also regulates your body’s ability to retain water in your skin, meaning that with regular use your skin can better maintain hydration.
On a molecular level, marula oil is a powerhouse. It contains 60% more antioxidants than argan oil, is full of Omega-6 (linoleic) and -9 (oleic) fatty acids to help your body build protein (what skin and hair are made of). It’s naturally rich in both Vitamins C and E— the two most important vitamins for healing and protecting hair and skin. It’s also antimicrobial and is a non-comedogneic oil. This means that it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts and it actually fights inflammation and the bacteria that cause pimples. It absorbs so quickly because its molecules are really tiny and easy for your body to suck up and use.
This oil can be used by any skin type. It puts both dry skin and oily skin back in balance, so that dry irritated skin gets hydrated and greasy breakouts are calmed and absorbed. That truly is impressive. It works for so many hair types and styles as well. It keeps frizz down, protects strands from the damage of drying, curling and straightening, helps keep natural oil production down and makes sure new growth is strong and flexible. Everyone likes it because it works for everyone.
Another great reason to try marula oil is it’s unique relationship with the communities where it is grown. Marula trees are protected in most areas of Africa. This means that the marula fruit that is collected for oil is almost exclusively wild-crafted by local women. The fallen fruit is gathered from below the wild trees. The fruity flesh is used for jam and cooking, the seeds for oil, and the shells for fuel. The value from the marula seed-derived oil encourages further conservation of the trees by giving them a significant economic value and contributing to the livelihood of the people who protect them. This fair trade, sustainable system is a major draw to a product that is already revered for its effectiveness. Many companies even specify where their oil was harvested. It’s usually from Namibia, Madagascar, Mozambique or South Africa.
How to Use It
If you are ready to try it, then there a lot of different ways that you can start. An increasing number of beauty products contain it, from moisturizing foundations to cuticle creams to hair serums. But if you really want to see how it works, without anything else to mask or compete with it, then go with 100% pure oil and apply it to your skin or hair.
Another option is to mix a little of the oil in a small spritz bottle and dilute it with water. You’ll have to shake it up before you spray it, but it’s easy to spritz over your hair and face for a refresher if you’re in a particularly dry building or area. Just pat down the fly-aways and smooth over your face for an instant fix.
Our Recommended Brand
Our brand of choice is the Shea Terra Organics cold-pressed marula oil. It has a good price considering the amount you need for it to be effective, so the 2 ounce bottle will last you a long time. Their oil is harvested and cold-pressed in Namibia where people have used the oil for generations.
The pump bottle makes it easy to dispense, just dab a little on your hands and rub it together— four or five drops is enough to start! Run your fingertips through your hair and spread it lightly over your face and neck. Let it soak into your cuticles.
The oil will absorb fast and leave your hair shiny and smooth, not greasy. Your face will feel moisturized and fresh and your cuticles will be pliable, with no residue. Many people think this is the greatest moisturizer out there for before you apply your makeup. It will completely neutralize any drying effects your cover-ups might have.
Whatever your specific needs are, we recommend you try marula oil every way you can think of! It’s benefits and uses are endless and it’s delightful to play with. And while you’re trying it and looking and feeling beautiful, you’ll know that you’re benefiting the trees and the people who tend them. Now that’s a product that truly satisfies everyone!