Beauty oils went from a niche product to a staple of everyone's 'shelfies’ over the past few years. Marula oil has been a rising star of the scene, with advocates swearing that this oil does wonders for your skin and hair.
Lovers of marula oil have science on their side too. As well as being lightweight and jam-packed with antioxidants, marula oil is proven to contain potent amino acids that support skin hydration. At the same time, they combat visible signs of ageing.1
We’ll explain what marula oil is, how to use it, all the benefits, and any side effects of marula oil use.
What is marula oil?
Marula oil is extracted from the nuts of the marula tree, which is native to Southern Africa. Although legend once had it that elephants who ate the fruit of the marula tree got drunk, science has definitively proven the rumour false.2
Marula oil uses
Advocates claim that marula oil does wonders for skin and hair, due to its powerfully hydrating properties and skin protective effects. You can find marula oil in hair oils, facial oils, moisturisers, and scrubs.
Benefits of marula oil
Marula oil is associated with lots of benefits for health and wellness, including:
Marula oil contains two different kinds of amino acids, L-arginine and glutamic acid. These are proven to help hydrate and reduce the appearance of visible ageing, including fine lines and wrinkles.3
Marula oil is rich in fatty acids known to naturally soothe and moisturise the skin, even among those with skin sensitivities.4
Sun protective effects
As marula oil is rich in vitamins E and C, it’s likely to have sun-protective effects when topically applied.5,6
Combats the appearance of blemishes
Marula oil is a natural antimicrobial.7 It helps combat bacteria that causes blackheads, whiteheads, and breakouts.8
Individuals with dry, brittle, or frizzy hair may find a useful ally in marula oil. As marula is a proven hydrating oil, which traps moisturise within the skin or hair, it should help give dry locks a boost.9
Potential side effects of marula oil
Marula oil is much more likely to clog your pores than argan would. But its soothing properties mean that it can help to calm your skin during breakouts.10
Although there are few recorded instances of marula oil causing skin irritation, people with nut or seed allergies may react when applying oils from those products.11 Always do a patch test on a small area at least 48 hours before using the product.
Last updated: 24 February 2021
Reviewer: Manisha Taggar
Joined Holland & Barrett: May 2019
Qualifications: BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science
Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare. After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019. Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.
Reviewer: Manisha Taggar
2 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051205235555.htm 3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6667387/
10 https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a36010/marula-oil/ 11 https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/you-asked/nut-allergies-and-shampoo