Recent years have seen a surge of popular interest in the health properties of various oils. Many of these oils have risen from relative obscurity to frequent incorporation in natural beauty products with big claims made for their benefits to hair, skin and dietary enrichment. We have had coconut oil dominating the health and beauty industries recently, boasting everything from weight loss through to hair conditioning amongst its assets; and not far behind that argan oil has enjoyed its stint in the limelight, touted for its skin care and appearing in various obligatory products. There is however a significant new player on the scene – marula oil – and it is set to take the beauty world by storm. If you are feeling skeptical, wondering why you need another miracle oil in your closet – a read of this page will definitely have you convinced as to why this oil is on the up, and may end up being the biggest sensation yet in natural skin care oils.
The main headlines for marula oil are that it is far richer in antioxidants than even argan oil, and packs in omega 6 and 9, which in combination give unsurpassed anti-aging potential and actively moisturize your skin at a deeper level than traditional surface level moisturizers. Those of us who struggle with acne and skin blemishes and have tried the whole raft of pills and potions will find longer lasting relief with marula oil – unlike many others oils on the market this will not end up clogging your pores and exacerbating the problem. As it is so fine, it absorbs quickly and its antibacterial properties will keep skin outbreaks at bay.
It doesn’t stop here however, as shiny healthy hair and nails are also among marula oil’s wonderful benefits, with the oil finding its way into top products and the pages of beauty magazines very quickly already. And remember marula oil is a pure product of nature, free from any artificial ingredients. The maximized benefits of marula oil are proving that anything today’s wonder oils can do, marula oil can also do many times better.
What are the benefits of using marula oil, and what makes it so good?
There is no one answer to such a question – rather it is a prize combination of winning factors that make marula oil a premier ingredient in must-have cosmetics. Marula oil, like many natural oils, is in fact made up of several natural chemicals, constituting a thoroughly nourishing and enrichening combination that gives your skin a new lease of life.
Marula oil is richest in omega-9 oil, also known as oleic acid. This is a colourless odourless liquid found in small quantities in various vegetable and animal foods, but on contact wih the skin can be absorbed far more easily than other so-called fatty acids (read the science behind this here). In fact, marula oil is made up almost 80% of omega-9, which is why it is so effective at keeping your skin replenished, hydrated and smooth compared to other methods of acquiring this oil in your diet or beauty regimen.
Also amongst marula oil’s chemical composition is linoleic acid, which has shown excellent performance in combatting acne, eczema and reducing inflammation on the skin. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid in the human diet, and lack of it is known to contribute to hard skin, hair loss and slow recovery from surface injuries and scrapes. Here’s a very valuable statistic coming up – marula oil is up to 7% rich in linoleic acid, compared to coconut oil which sits at a relatively lowly 2%, just showing how this miracle oil stands up to all other miracle oils!
There’s a lot more to be said for marula oil’s amazing restorative properties for the epidermis – it is very mild to your skin, being an oil there is no pH factor worry about, and works wonders for improving the tone of your skin, dealing with any blemishes and unevenness, and restoring youthful elasticity. There is no danger of marula oil clogging your pores, due to its fine chemical composition, and its innate antibacterial properties serve as an extra layer of protection from acne and related skin complaints. Not least, being antibacterial, this means that preservatives can be kept to a minimum when packaging for use, retaining marula oil’s status as a natural product. In this day and age where consumers lean towards products that improve health and beauty in harmony with nature, and are turning away from synthetic and artificial products, marula oil is set to thrive and become of considerable interest to beauty customers.
Here are a couple of video reviews I found on youtube, which give honest down to earth opinions about use of marula oil on the skin:
Where does marula oil come from?
Marula oil for some of us comes from a long way away, from the Southern regions of Africa. On that continent, many traditional societies are well versed in the skincare properties of marula oil and have used it as part of their daily cleansing and moisturising all through the ages. The oil even forms a part of the diet, finding a use in cooking and preserving meat. It has also been reported as very Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and South Africa, and can be deemed a bit of a best kept secret from those who have a true kinship with the land. It is regarded as so important to some societies, that meetings and public events such a weddings take place under the trees.
The oil itself is extracted from the seeds of the marula fruit, which grows on trees. The fruit is collected once it has ripened and fallen to the ground – when ripe it resembles a large green plum, although in lineage it actually has more in common with the mango. The fruit is a favourite of elephants, giraffe and other tall animals that roam the plains, and with it having several times the amount of Vitamin C than an orange, it’s hardly a surprise that animals and humans alike root for it. Inside the fruit is a stone, within which are the seeds that carry a nut-like flavour – and it is these seeds that contain the valuable oil when processed.
Harvest season is in the first months of the year – a tree may yield up to half a ton of fruit in total. When the stone of the fruit is extracted, it needs to be sun dried and then the stone is cracked apart with rocks in order to release the valuable seeds. This traditional method is still done the same way today in order to provide us with the raw materials for making marula oil. The best looking oil rich seeds are then separated off and put in a cold press so that the oil can be extracted.
As an aside, the marula tree has many other applications to traditional users – the bark has been used for pain relief and treating malaria, indigestion, and a host of other illnesses, and other fluids extracted from the tree are important in making dyes. The fruit itself also deters insects and makes for an intriguing alcoholic beverage when fermented as well. However, it is the oil which has really spread the fame of marula oil throughout the world, due to its remarkable anti-aging, anti-oxidizing and hydrating properties, as well as abundantly rich nutrient content.
Since marula oil originates from the heat of the southern regions of Africa, it stands to reason that the local population have been using it to moisturise and protect their skin against sun damage for a very long time. No matter your skin type, marula oil will do a highly effective job at repairing sunburnt and irritated tissue, and serve as a perfect aftercare for all manner of skin treatments and peels.
Marula oil production and fair trade values
Fair Trade principles exist where products made in developing countries are traded with economically advantaged regions under a set of stipulations that ensure the supply chain is favourable to all, particularly to those lower down. This reverses a historic trend where developing nations have been left exploited and continually disadvantaged by dealings with the industrial West. Users of natural products today are very conscientious of where materials have originated and will favour products that can claim ethical sourcing and back up those claims. Thanks to various exposés that have made the public at large aware of poor conditions and pay for outsourced workers of certain companies, the fair trade system ensures that workers under the model have been fairly renumerated and carry out production in decent working conditions. As such, we are now always on the lookout for indications that the product we are using has been sourced ethically and is providing a suitable income for all involved in sourcing ingredients, manufacturing and distributing.
As far as marula oil is concerned, fair trade suppliers will consult in tandem with the rural workforce on pricing that is considerate to the needs of the producer, and an even payment plan that deals with the sensitivities of marula oil being seasonally produced. However it isn’t just about money – the fair trade ethic is also about ensuring living conditions and healthcare for all is improved in developing areas, and also very importantly that projects are sustainable and environmentally viable. After all, if the projected big increase in demand for marula oil is happening, and all signs are pointing to this, the methods of production must be scaled up and managed effectively and the whole process needs to be kept alive. Indeed in some areas the marula trade is one of the very few viable sources of income, so the fair trade dealers are keen that those families and community projects involved can thrive for generations to come.
How to get hold of the right marula oil products
Marula oil at the time of writing is still considered a bit of a niche oil, a hushed secret long kept between the industry insiders, but beauty experts and columnists forecast that now the word is out there, marula oil is on the brink of becoming one of the biggest oils on the market – and with all the benefits listed above that could hardly be surprising in the slightest! As we have seen above, its chemical composition wipes the floor with the current natural oils that have been in trend in recent years, and its diversity of application across different skincare needs is sure to see it becoming a regular fixture in offerings from beauty outlets of all sizes, the whole world over in the coming years.
As with any product which is on the verge of entering its trend phase, there are many companies and distributors keen to play a part in the action. Availability is of course a very good thing, but customers for these products should always be very careful when it comes to evaluating the choice on offer. First of all, it is key to the consumer that what they are getting is a product containing marula oil in effective concentration, so that what they are buying is the authentic product that can deliver all the wonderful properties we have lengthily expounded upon above. The last thing the customer wants is to buy a product containing this oil but finding that it is in trace quantities and the name has just been slapped onto the label of a bottle of cheaper less active ingredients in order to encourage a sale. The second important consideration is that the product is sourced with ethical and environmental responsibility, to show full respect to the hard workers who harvest and extract the marula seeds in order to make the oil.
This awareness of quality and ethic is where our website comes into play. As well as growing into the premier information resource on all things wondrously marula related, we will extensively cover reviews of new products as they hit the streets, assessing their quality from user reports and what we know of their provenance. We cover products available in USA, and products available in UK and Europe which can be very different. We will also point out the best places to buy each marula oil product, although you will need to buy quickly as it is already starting to fly off the shelves!
So keep your eyes peeled on this site, and your skin healthy!