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When it comes to face oils, there are a lotof options on the market today - jojoba oil, coconut oil, squalane … the list goes on.
And while many of these are undoubtedly great go-to’s (looking at you, jojoba and squalane) marula oils stands out as one of our all-around MVPs.
Here’s why we love it, and why you should too.
Marula oil is a naturally-occuring oil that comes from the Marula tree, which is native to sub-Saharan Africa. The tree is in the same family as the cashew, mango, and pistachio nut, and the oil can be extracted from many places, including the nuts, seeds, and fruits of the tree.
While it’s still relatively new hear, Marula oil has been used for centuries in Africa. Today:
It’s no wonder, then, that the oil has gained such popularity in western skincare.
Marula oil is rich in antioxidants, including phenolic compounds, vitamin C, and vitamin E. These powerful compounds fight free radical damage, as well as skin damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays and pollution.
The oil is also exceptionally high in saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, including oleic acid, palmitic acid, and linoleic fatty acid.
These oils are known to disturb the intercellular lipids of the skin, meaning they can actually penetrate the skin’s barrier, carrying actives to the deeper layers of the skin and assisting in the manufacturing of ceramides.
They’re also considered to be biomimetic, or extremely similar to our own natural oils.
These properties make it a great oil for:
There are certain enzymes that can degrade collagen and elastin in the skin, making you appear more aged and tired over time. The antioxidants in marula oil can inhibit those enzymes, thereby providing significant anti-aging benefits to the skin.
Marula oil also contains amino acids - specifically l-arginine and glutamic acid - that have anti-aging and hydrating properties, meaning that the oil can help treat fine lines and wrinkles.
Marula oil is also both emollient and slightly occlusive. As an emollient, it fills in any cracks or gaps in the outermost layer of the skin, leading to smoother, softer, healthier skin.
As an occlusive, it can create a moisture-sealing layer on top of the skin, locking in hydration and helping any actives that you’ve applied to do their job.
Because marula oil is so similar to our natural sebum, it won’t clog pores or irritate the skin like other popular oils, including coconut oil. This makes it a suitable face oil for those with acne-prone or sensitive skin.
On top of that, marula oil also has antimicrobial properties, which means it can actively fight the bacteria that contribute to the formation of pimples and blackheads on the skin.
The fatty acids that make marula a great anti-aging oil also make it anti-inflammatory.