Marula Oil: What’s all the hype about?

You’ve probably heard about Marula oil all over the place. Beauty gurus were buying really tiny, very expensive bottles of the stuff and smearing it on like butter. We’re talking £80 for 30ml of the stuff…don’t get me started! The Ordinary brought out a cold pressed marula oil that is quite affordable and everyone has been raving about it. That was the first time I was prepared to buy it and try it. Your girl has a budget and a holiday to save for. You can buy The Ordinary’s cold pressed Marula oil from their site for £8.10 plus shipping. (I am not their affiliate)

Marula oil is wonderful for your skin, hair and nails. It’s an anti-ageing miracle it helps hair grow and it’s great for oily skins and acne. What’s not to like?

Disclaimer: This post does contain affiliate links.

marula fruit

Marula oil is harvested from the seeds of the Marula fruit native to Southern Africa. The fruit itself contains four times as much vitamin C as an orange and locals have been using both the fruit and oil to promote good health, beautiful hair and skin. It is used in cooking, to preserve meat, treat leather, treat skin conditions, in cosmetics, as a massage oil and as a skin protectant. It protects skin and hair from dry conditions and helps to repair dry or irritated skin.

Marula oil contains powerful antioxidants (60% more than argan oil) and fatty acids that help to protect your skin from environmental damage. It reverses sun damage, boosts cellular repair and hydrates.

Which nutrients are found in Marula Oil?

Marula oil is packed with Vitamin C and E which are both powerful antioxidants that help to neutralize damage-causing free radicals. They also help to repair the skin by supporting collagen production.

Essential Fatty Acids:
Marula oil contains high concentrations of oleic (Omega-9)and linoleic (Omega-6) fatty acids. They are similar to the fatty acids that occur in the outer layer of our skin naturally so it won’t annoy your skin.

  • Linoleic acid reduces inflammation and increases moisture levels.
  • Oleic acid tricks the skin into allowing more of the nutrients in your expensive skin care routine to penetrate and be absorbed down to the lower layers where they do all the hard work.

These essential fatty acids help to seal in moisture, improve elasticity and reduce the signs of ageing. Pretty much EVERYTHING I want…

What are the benefits of Marula Oil?

In general, Marula oil protects against environmental damage, reverses sun damage, boosts cellular repair and hydrates deeply. It helps to reverse the damage you did to your skin in your teenage years when sunscreen was an optional extra nobody wanted…

Effective on all skin types:

Marula oil scores 0 on the comedogenic scale. It does not clog pores so it is safe for dry to oily skin and everything in between.

It has many benefits including:

– fast absorption
– penetrates and moisturises deeply
– improves volume and elasticity
– anti-inflammatory
– anti-microbial
– encourages the production of collagen and elastin
– reduces pigmentation and dark spots
– helps to heal scars
– improves the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks
– helps to prevent stretch marks
– hydrates without clogging pores
– sinks into the skin without being sticky or leaving a greasy residue
– soothes irritation
– balances moisture levels
– non-irritant

activated charcoal anti ageing

Collagen and elastin production slows down as we age which is where those fine lines and wrinkles come from. The high concentration of vitamin E in Marula oil helps your skin to produce more collagen and elastin. This boosts skin volume, elasticity and firmness. It is also a deeply moisturising treatment that will plump the skin and smooth fine lines. It evens out the complexion and restores radiance.

Protects against environmental damage:

Marula oil can protect your skin against sun damage, pollution, smoke, heating/cooling systems and weather. All the baddies that the environment throws at our skin daily.

Environmental stressors produce free radicals. They cause inflammation and damage. They also break down collagen and elastin which causes wrinkles, fine lines, dull skin, pigmentation, texture, enlarged pores as well as rough skin. Marula oil will help to protect against further damage and repair existing conditions.

Treats and prevents scars and stretch marks:
Marula oil moisturises deeply and encourages cell growth and repair due to high levels of antioxidants and fatty acids. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce irritation and swelling which is essential to prevent scar formation. By keeping skin moisturised and elastic it can also prevent stretch marks from forming.

Skin disorders, rashes, eczema and dermatitis:

There is a lot of evidence going around that most skin disorders can be traced back to inflammation due to environmental stressors, free radical damage or over-drying. Marula oil penetrates the skin better than most oils so it really moisturises instead of just creating a barrier on the skin surface. It resembles the body’s natural oils which means that it doesn’t cause any further irritation. It doesn’t contain any irritants like perfumes or preservatives which could cause even more discomfort.

Marula oil is also anti-inflammatory which helps to lessen itching and redness. Omega-6 fatty acids have been shown to reduce eczema symptoms.

Treats and prevents acne:
A lot of acne can be prevented by properly moisturising the skin and preserving the acid mantle (the thin acidic layer on our skin that keeps bacterial growth in check). We strip away our natural oils with harsh cleansers and toners. When your skin is dry and irritated it will produce more sebum and it will be harder to get rid of dead skin cells. It’s a recipe for breakout disasters! Marula oil will hydrate the skin and balance oil production leaving your skin soft and hydrated instead of tight and annoyed.

Marula oil is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. It fights the infection while reducing redness and swelling. Inflammation causes the over-production of melanin. This causes dark spots and discolouration. Treat your acne gently and you can prevent the angry red, blotches and purple scars after you’ve squeezed and picked a spot to death. DON’T SQUEEZE AND PICK SPOTS TO DEATH!

Heals cracked lips:
castor oil lips
Most petroleum or wax based lip balms simply create a barrier to try to seal in moisture or give the illusion of moisture. Marula oil resembles the body’s natural oils and actually moisturises the lips. If your kisser is all cracked and flaky it will help to soften the skin and get rid of the scaly look. I like to smear the oil on my lips and gently massage with a warm washcloth to get rid of the dry skin. It’s a little gentler than sugar scrubs.

Healthy Hair:
aloe vera hair
Marula oil is full of oleic acid, vitamin C and E that strengthen and protect the hair shaft from heat and environmental damage such as heat from styling tools, weather, chemicals and pollution. Working a few drops through your hair once or twice a week will help to limit the damage from heat styling tools.

It is a thin, non-greasy oil that can tame flyaways without weighing the hair down or making it appear greasy so you can just smooth a few drops into your hair in the morning if it’s being impossible.

Marula oil also nourishes and protects the scalp. It helps to reduce the flaking and inflammation of dandruff. Dandruff has many causes but one of them is drying and irritation due to harsh shampoos or a bacterial overgrowth. Marula oil will help to soothe the scalp and get rid of the bacteria.

A healthy scalp also helps hair to grow. Some people swear that Marula oil helps their hair to grow faster. I’m pretty convinced that hair grows at a steady rate but I do believe that if your scalp is healthy you have fewer hairs falling out and less breakage. So, instead of making it grow faster, it might just be helping you to hang on to more of your hair which will make it appear thicker and longer.

Brittle Nails:
baking soda nails
The vitamin E in marula oil helps to strengthen nails and smooth rough cuticles. When massaged into the nails it helps to make them more flexible to prevent splitting and breakages.

I massage oil into my nails to improve circulation and help them grow. I have hypothyroidism which means that my thyroid gland doesn’t work. This causes brittle hair and nails so I really need to take care of them or they split and break. I’ve used Marula oil and it does do wonders. Your nails look shiny and happy and they are more flexible which means that they don’t just break off. It does mean that you need to keep them polish free though. It’s a daily thing. If your hands have been in water or if they start to feel dry, you have to grab the oil and rub it in. It’s a maintenance thing that pays off in the long run.

Helps other products penetrate:

According to a dermatologist David Colbert in a recent Vogue interview, Marula oil will help other products to penetrate better because it makes skin more permeable. He compared Marula oil to a trojan horse. Marula oil molecules trick the skin into letting the active ingredients like retinol, glycolic acid and vitamin C deeper into the skin and closer to the collagen-producing fibroblasts, all without irritating the surface.

Effective makeup primer:

Marula oil will moisturise your skin without oiliness. It smoothes skin for a flawless makeup application. You’ll be dewy, don’t get me wrong here. If you are going for the flawless matte look, you need your matte primers but if you like the healthy, natural glow look, marula oil will get you there.

After cleansing and toning, press a little marula oil into your skin. (two or three drops) Concentrate on the under eye area and around the mouth where makeup usually creases then smooth it all over. Give it a minute to penetrate properly, then apply your foundation. It will go on smoother and look more natural because it won’t “catch” on the dry areas.

Buying Marula Oil

Look for organic, cold-pressed marula oil. Check the ingredients list and make sure that you are buying 100% Marula oil. Because it is naturally antimicrobial so it doesn’t need preservatives so it definitely shouldn’t have parabens of any kind in it. If it is blended with other oils it won’t be as effective and it might break you out.

100% NATURAL Marula Oil. One of greatest oils. Rich in anti-oxidants & oleic acid (30ml)- £11.99

Fushi Marula Seed Organic Oil 50ml Extra Virgin, Biodynamic Harvested Cold Pressed – £19.80

Marula Oil Side Effects

There are no real reported side effects but if you have nut allergies of any kind you should do a patch test first. It’s always best to do patch test concentrated oils before you apply it to large areas.

Next up, Argan oil!

Stay tuned!



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