What You Need to Know About Marula Oil

Argan oil. Olive oil. Jojoba oil – these are the familiar all-natural oils, the ones you can spot in any beauty cupboard. But what about Marula oil? Have you ever even heard of it?

Marula is a miraculous oil extracted from the nut inside Marula fruit – an African native. In other words, this oil is the heart and soul of African skin and hair care regimen; in fact, the origins of Marula can be traced all the way back to 10,000 years B.C.

Long a diet staple in Southern Africa, Marula been used for preserving meat, in skincare, as a massage oil for infants and children, in leather treatment

Wondering what made it special? Of course, its nutrient profile!

The clear, light yellow oil with nutty aroma is full of fatty acids, vitamins C and E, antioxidants, and minerals. Marula oil has 70 -78% oleic acid, 4 – 7% linoleic acid, and 0.1 – 0.7 % linolenic acid. These mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids play a vital role in lowering cholesterol levels. Marula is also rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper.

Truth be told, the list of benefits marula oil provides runs long.. very long! 

Here are the 13 most incredible benefits of Marula oil that might help you embrace it.

13 Benefits of Marula Oil

1. Anti-aging

With 4X vitamin C of oranges and 60 percent more antioxidants than argan, coconut, and many other all-natural oils, Marula oil is rich in anti-aging selling points. Also, it is packed with Vitamin E, oleic acid – one of the potent Omega-9s- known for its potential to ward off dryness, lines, and wrinkles.

When applied on the skin, the anti-oxidants, moisture-locking and anti-inflammatory compounds act together to fight free radicals, hydrate the dull and dry skin, and prevent sagging of the skin respectively.

The omega-9s and other fatty acids also assist the whole process by promoting collagen formation and skin regeneration. The anti-oxidants also add an extra layer of protection from harmful UV rays to prevent sun damage and allergies.

2. Balances Moisture

The presence of a wide spectrum of emollients such as Vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids, and Omega-9 fatty acids makes Marula oil an amazing moisturizing agent for the dry skin. Marula oil is, in fact, said to have 78% oleic acid (next to olive oil that has up to 83% of it) to replenish moisture level and enhance softness and radiance of your skin.

Just add a few drops of Merula oil into moisturizer or BB cream to incorporate it into your skincare regime; you may also use them on its own. For best results leave it overnight and rinse off in the morning.

3. Heal & Prevent Skin Disorders Like Eczema

Eczema or dermatitis is the most common skin disorder characterized by any or all of these symptoms: redness, dryness, itching, cracking, flaking, or bleeding.

Marula oil has anti-oxidant emollients such as vitamin E and omega-3,6 and 9 fatty acids, making it an excellent topical treatment to manage the symptoms of eczema and other skin disorders.

Because it generously hydrates the skin it can calm the oil glands that go wild when the skin is extremely dry. With its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial nutrients, Marula can protect against further inflammations and microbial invasion.

4. Assists with Stretch Marks

The topical treatment oil that is rich in Vitamin C and fatty acids, Marula oil helps to repair and prevent stretch marks.

Applying this magic wand oil regularly all over the body is said to enhance the skin’s suppleness. The antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins help repair the skin and promote new cell growth to cover up the pesky marks.

Marula oil is a great recommendation for pre and post-pregnancy care as it can turn the skin more elastic, helping repair and reduce marks and scars.

5. Protects Against Environmental Damage

In addition to preventing the signs of aging and soothing dry skin, Marula oil extends protection against environmental stressors and pollutants, too.

Increased pollutant load can amp up the skin’s stress level and adversely affect its health and natural state. Moreover, excessive sun exposure and ultraviolet radiation may cause skin cancer.

The antioxidants in Marula oil not only fight such environmental damages but shield the skin and facilitate skin renewal. It also fortifies the damaged skin by enriching with nutrients, moisturizing with emollient ingredients, and protecting against inflammations.

6. Fights Hormonal Changes

No one escapes the stabby feel the fluctuating –tones and –ols create especially, the women. Needless to say, these changes ultimately affect the skin’s wellbeing.

Hormonal imbalance can also result in poor appetite, insomnia, mood swings, and other problems. Marula oil may bring in a sense of balance with its acclaimed nutrient profiles and calming effects.

7. Keeps Hair and Scalp Healthy

Not every all-natural oils out there penetrate deep into the scalp but Marula oil is an exception. Not only does it sinks in, but it effectively coats the strands to protect against external damage, retains the moisture, nourishes from within, and seals the cuticles.

The result: healthy, lustrous hair thanks to vitamin C, fatty acids, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper!

Regular use of the oil can eliminate the dead cells which may then turn into the ever irritating white flakes. 

Daily massage with Marula oil improves circulation, soothe the irritated scalp (Read: limit chemical products and heat), and protects from scalp infections.

8. Aids all skin types

WHAT?? An oil for all skin types? It may sound mythical, but Marula oil isn’t a looker; it is a one-stop solution to look your best no matter your skin is dry, oily, sensitive or a combination of these.

Rich in oleic acid, it is a sealing oil that gets absorbed into the skin in no time. It naturally hydrates, soothes, and rejuvenates the skin. Best of all, it neither clogs the pores nor makes the skin greasy.

9. Nail Care

With loads of Vitamin E and fortifying nutrients, Marula oil is great for treating weak, splitting or brittle nails. The skin-enriching compounds nourish and moisturizes the nails, promote re-growth, and help to remove dead nails.

Thus it ensures you have healthy cuticle and stronger nails. Massaging the oil into cuticles can make them soft, and supple. Add it to nail products to get strong, pretty nails.

10. Acne-Fighting

Marula oil happens to be one of the best topical oil that can be used to treat acne. Because it is inherently antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and non-comedogenic, it is perfect to heal acne blemishes. The good thing about this oil is that it maintains the body’s pH balance and reduces excess oil production.

At the same time, it also soothes, immensely hydrates, and heals the skin which can reduce the scars and spots. Besides bacteria, hormonal imbalances may also contribute to acne and pimples; Marula oil is going to be very effective in balancing it as well.

11. Aids Chapped Lips

While intensely moisturizing and nourishing, Marula oil is the savior especially when the wintery snow starts to fall.

Vitamin E, antioxidants, and fatty acid emollients in the oil will not only heal, but will also lighten the discolorations, repair the skin, improve elasticity, and smooth up the lips. Use a few drops on its own or mix with coconut oil or olive oil to heal cracking and chapping.

12. A natural skin conditioner

With plenty of vitamin E and minerals, as well as antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids like omega-9 (oleic) and omega 6 (linoleic acid), Marula oil is brimming with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and moisture-locking properties.

This makes it powerful at fighting free radicals, acne, infections, dryness, spots, and scars. It also makes a great anti-anger that prevents smile lines and crow’s feet.  Best of all, it provides skin elasticity and firmness. Use it regularly for smoother, conditioned, and healthier skin.

13. Excellent Skin Primer

These days, Marula oil is garnering some special attention because it is found to be effective in priming the skin for a seamless makeup look; thanks to its moisturizing and fast-absorbing properties.

Also, the oil is lightweight, non-greasy, and gives a radiant glow – everything you‘d want in a primer! Not to forget, it protects the skin from the damaging skincare products!

Final Thoughts

If you’re all set to stock a bottle (or a few?) of Marula oil, keep these mind – it is a very potent oil, meaning a little goes a long way; though there are no serious side effects reported so far, usage under expert/medical guidance is highly recommended; people with nut allergies may be allergic to this oil, so patch test before the first usage; it is not recommended for people under medications that may lower blood pressure as it may lower the pressure further.

What is marula oil?

The marula fruit tree (Sclerocarya birrea) is native to parts of southern Africa. The trees grow wild and were once rare, but are now cultivated.

During the ancient times, it is considered a sacred item and are linked to happy marriage and fertility in the ancient times. The fermented fruits of the marula tree intoxicated elephants, they seem to adore its delicious taste as much as people.

Many parts of the marula tree are used as ingredients in food and traditional medicine throughout Africa. Each marula fruit contains a hard, brown nut with pliable, white kernels at its core.

Marula oil is primarily extracted from these kernels, but can also be obtained from the nut’s outer husk. Marula oil is rich in protein and easily absorbed, making it an effective skin and hair treatment.

Marula oil smell

Marula oil is used as a base note in perfumes, body lotions, and soaps. It has a fruity, floral scent with a warm, nutty undertone.

Marula oil benefits

Marula oil is a relative newcomer to the beauty oil scene. Its light texture and rich moisture content properties have made it a popular treatment for skin, hair, and nails.

Marula oil is used as an ingredient in a wide range of cosmetic products. It can also be purchased as an essential oil. It’s beneficial components include:

  • amino acids L-arginine and glutamic acid, which have hydrating, anti-aging properties
  • fatty acids, including palmitic, stearic, oleic, and myristic acids, which have emollient and moisturizing benefits
  • antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds and vitamins E and C, which fight free radicals and may stave off skin damage caused by the ultraviolet rays of the sun and pollution

Marula oil on face

Because marula oil is lightweight, it absorbs easily. This makes it an effective moisturizer for dry or aging skin. It may be beneficial for smoothing and softening fine lines, preventing stretch marks, and keeping skin hydrated and well-nourished. It’s also an effective lip moisturizer.

There is no scientific evidence indicating that marula oil is beneficial for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

However, anecdotal evidence points to its ability to reduce the irritation, itching, and dryness associated with these conditions.

Marula oil for acne

Marula oil makes a good moisturizer for oily skin and treating acne because it’s non-greasy.

It also has antimicrobial properties and may be effective against the bacteria that contribute to the formation of pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads.

Marula oil for hair

Marula oil can help nourish hair from root to tip, without making it overly greasy. The oil has hydrating, moisturizing, and occlusiveTrusted Source (preventing water loss) properties, making it beneficial for dry, frizzy, or brittle hair.

Marula oil for nails

Marula oil is effective at keeping nail beds and cuticles supple. This may help to reduce the incidence of hangnails, and painful, cracked skin around nails.

How to Use Marula Oil

Marula oil has a wide range of uses. These include:


There are many shampoos that contain marula oil. You can also add a few drops of pure, cold-pressed marula oil to your favorite shampoo, or use it as a pre-shampoo treatment.

Hair conditioner

Marula oil can be rubbed into the ends of hair to help eliminate split ends and dryness. You can also massage it into the scalp to reduce dandruff. Try massaging it through your entire head prior to heat styling, or use it as an anti-frizz treatment before venturing out into high humidity or rain.

Facial moisturizer

Whether your skin is oily or dry, marula oil can be used as a daytime and nighttime moisturizer. A few drops will do the trick. Since it absorbs quickly, it can be applied prior to using makeup.

Skin lotion

Marula oil can be used as an overall body skin conditioner. Try applying it liberally after bathing. You can also use it before bed on dry elbows and knees, and behind the ears.

Nail treatment

Rub marula oil into your cuticles after removing nail polish, which can be drying. You can also use it as a nighttime treatment for softening nail beds.

Safety precautions

There are no specific, well-documented risks associated with marula oil. Some people who have nut allergies may be allergic to marula.

If you’re concerned about a potential reaction, before using do a patch test:

  • On your inner forearm, apply three or four drops of marula oil.
  • Wait 24 hours.
  • If there’s no sign of hives, redness, or irritation, you’re in the clear.

Avoid getting marula oil into your eyes.


Marula oil is high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and amino acids. It’s widely used as an ingredient in skincare products, and appears to be beneficial for oily, acne-prone, dry, and aging skin. It’s also effective at keeping hair soft, supple, and moisturized.

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