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October 27

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Marula Oil For Skin & Hair

Marula oil has a silky skin feel, and rose gold color and absorbs well into the skin.

It is nourishing, softening, and brightening making it a wonderful facial oil.

Use alone as a signature facial oil or as a base for a facial oil blend or oil serum. 

Fatty acid profile & INCI

Marula oil is very high in oleic acid (70%). The rest of the fatty acid chart is made up of linoleic acid (6%) and saturated palmitic acid (10%). It also has a small amount of the very-long-chain erucic fatty acid which gives the oil a silky full body feel.

INCI: Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Oil

A note on the color: marula oil has a beautiful rose gold color, a color that I have not come across in any other lipid oil I’ve worked with.

The healing fraction, or unsaponifiables in carrier oils

The healing fraction, also called the unsaponifiable portion of oils is made up of antioxidants, vitamins, polyphenols, phytosterols and other compounds.

These plant compounds make up a small, but powerful part of lipid oils. This is also what is refined out of highly refined oils like fractionated coconut oil and others.

Marula oil, when not overly refined has naturally occurring polyphenols, phytosterols, and vitamin E.

Phytosterols are plant compounds that help the skin retain moisture and protects the barrier function of the stratum corneum.

Marula oil for skincare

Add a few drops of marula oil to the palm of your hands and pat gently onto damp skin. This is perfect right out of the shower or after washing your face.

You can also apply a gentle toner or hydrosol to your skin before applying a few a facial oil like marula oil. 

Marula oil is also a lovely full-body moisturizer as it is not as expensive typically as some other skincare oils like prickly pear seed oil.

For hair, apply a few drops to damp hair. The silky texture of marula oil gives shine without weighing down the hair or making it sticky or heavy.

marula oil in beakers

Using single oils

Using a single oil for skin care is a good way to simplify your routine or bring in a new oil when testing for sensitivities.

And, when you’re working with new oils, whether for your personal skincare routine or for clients and customers, experiencing it on its own is also a good way to get to know the oil, how it feels, the effect it has on the skin, it’s texture and characteristics.

Formulating ideas 

When making facial oils, experimenting is a good way to come up with different combinations.

Here are a few ideas to combine marula with:

Combine pracaxi oil with marula oil to create a facial oil for hyperpigmentation and smoothing skin appearance.

Add prickly pear seed oil and sea buckthorn berry oil for a vitamin and antioxidant-rich facial serum.

Combine marula oil with rosehip seed oil to create a nourishing facial oil that can help repair and minimize scarring. 

Marula oil as a carrier oil

Marula oil makes a lovely carrier oil. With its light texture and exceptional skin nourishing properties, an essential oil blend will shine whether for skincare or massage.

Are you using marula oil in your skincare routine or formulas? Share in the comments below.


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About the author 

Olivia Parker

I'm Olivia Parker, Susan's business partner, and daughter. While my mom has a keen interest and expertise in the oils and plants I look to the trends and developments in the health and skincare space to understand what budding and experienced formulators need to stay competitive in the cosmetic and skincare worlds.

    • Hi Sarah, you could use it as a scalp treatment or hair mask and plan to wash it out after. I recommend combining marula oil with Abyssinian oil, broccoli seed oil, or daikon seed oil.

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